A proper, well-balanced diet is essential, especially for the older dog. Every degenerative disease your older dog suffers, whether it is a heart problem, arthritis, cancer, kidney failure, or cataracts, is in some way related to nutritional deficiencies or to poor absorption of nutrients.
Most authorities agree that the older dog needs more vitamin and mineral supplementation, as well as a smaller quantity of higher-quality food (higher biological value). Many of the experts, however, do not properly interpret degenerative symptoms into recognition of substandard nutrition.
When your dog is young, time is on his side, even considering the numerous nutritional errors that were provided to him in his daily menu. Your dog does not know or care that he is not getting optimum nourishment. However, you, as his owner, need to realize that many of the old dog’s illness are preventable through proper nutrition!
Many experts agree that essentially there is only one canine disease; toxemia. By whatever local disease names or manifestations you choose to call it, waste matter is backing up in the cells of the body and causing them to malfunction or to cease functioning. How do our animals get into this shameful condition? The shocking truth is that most often they eat the wrong foods.
The common source of canine illness could lie in putrefaction in the colon. The large intestine (colon) develops rings of fecal waste, much like a tree acquires rings as it advances in age. The rings gradually solidify into impermeable yellow plaster (fecal matter) that becomes quite hard.
These layers of fecal plaster impair a very obvious function. The main mode of movement of food from the esophagus to the rectum is peristalsis, the wavelike motion used by the digestive system to push the food from one end of the body to the other.
A dog’s colon is normally an efficient sewage system for the evacuation of wastes. But we have, in all innocence, turned it into a cesspool of seething putrefaction. Without peristalsis, fecal matter continues to collect in the colon. Without proper elimination, disease-producing bacteria increase in the intestines.
With the intestines stuccoed with dried fecal matter, how can good food be absorbed through the walls of the intestines? What is to prevent contamination of good nutrients by putrefactive juices? The flexure that acts to push food from the small to large intestine, is often draped in feces. So it either jams open, or it jams shut; either way, your dog has trouble.