Senior Pet Nutrition and Management

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2021 May;51(3):635-651. doi: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2021.01.004. Epub 2021 Feb 27.


Senior dogs and cats commonly present to veterinary clinics for wellness examinations and for illness. Nutritional needs change in healthy elder pets compared with the young adult life stage. Veterinary health care teams must provide nutritional assessments and individual recommendations, recognizing there is no defined nutrient profile for seniors. Individual variation prevents a one-size-fits-all approach. Advancing age places pets at risk for developing medical conditions. Early detection can lead to earlier nutritional intervention to support recovery, health, and quality of life. However, comorbidities may present a nutritional conundrum, requiring prioritization of problems and nutritional triage to balance needs.

Keywords: Aging; Geriatric; Nutrition; Nutritional assessment; Senior.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Cat Diseases* / therapy
  • Cats
  • Dog Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Dog Diseases* / therapy
  • Dogs
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutritional Status
  • Physical Examination
  • Quality of Life