The Best Senior Dog Foods
When our dogs enter their golden years, we must ensure they have the best nutrition. This means giving them food that will help them stay healthy and live a long life. Sometimes we can be blinded by our love for our senior dogs and forget that their nutritional needs are changing. So if you are looking for the best dog foods for older dogs, this is the place to be. Let’s get started!
Quick Picks: The Best Senior Dog Foods
Best Senior Dog Food Reviews
1. Blue Buffalo — Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula is a good choice for helping to sustain your senior dog’s wellbeing. It is nutritionally balanced specifically for older dogs and will satisfy your puppy’s needs at heart.
This Blue Buffalo meal for senior dogs contains real meat, veggies, and fruits of the highest quality. This well-balanced combination of ingredients will satisfy your dog’s palate and give him the necessary nutrition. This recipe’s protein content and chelated minerals enhance nutrient absorption for optimum health.
2. Nutro — Wholesome Essentials Senior Farm-Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
This Nutro senior dog diet is a good choice for your four-legged friend. It is made with clean and healthy ingredients that will help your dog’s health in many ways. This diet can help with memory loss, mobility issues, and other problems that come with aging.
This diet is suitable for dogs that develop food-related sensitivities as they grow older. The expertly formulated ingredients are GMO-free and include protein from farm-raised chicken. This helps to maintain your dog’s metabolism. The diet is rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which help keep your dog’s skin healthy and their coat shiny.
3. CANIDAE — Grain-Free PURE Senior Real Chicken, Sweet Potato & Garbanzo Bean Recipe Dry Dog Food
Many older dogs develop food sensitivities and allergies. This can be bad for their health. You can give them a diet that is specifically for seniors. This recipe will help them get the best nutrition possible without causing any problems. If you are looking for a diet that is gluten-free, grain-free, corn-free, soy-free, wheat-free, and also helps with sensitive digestion. This limited-ingredient diet by CANIDAE is ideal.
This recipe for dog food is made from only 9 ingredients. This will help avoid any possible allergens that could cause sensitivity in your pet. Plus, the high-quality ingredients will ensure your dog loves the taste of this kibble, made with chicken, sweet potatoes, and garbanzo beans.
4. ORIJEN Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Orijen has designed a protein-rich diet for senior dogs. The diet is made from almost 85% animal ingredients. This includes deboned chicken and turkey meat, which are very nutritious and help keep your dog’s muscles healthy and strong. The food is also coated in freeze-dried liver, making it a delicious meal that your dog will love.
The recipe list contains numerous nutritious items, such as greens, lentils, and beans. These foods are a good source of carbohydrates, antioxidants, and protein. The recipe also contains a variety of fruits, including apples, berries, and pumpkin. These fruits include vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for the aging body of a dog.
5. American Journey — Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Senior Dry Dog Food
One of the reasons American Journey is a popular choice for senior pet owners is because of the high protein content in their food. The brand has gained a good reputation by making sure they have a variety of dog foods that are specifically designed for senior dogs. This recipe is made specifically for older pets, meeting their unique nutritional needs.
Experts have prepared this grain-free recipe to create a diet that is rich in nutrients and good for your senior dog’s health. The diet includes a variety of ingredients that support your aging dog’s immune system and joint health. Keep your dog healthy and active as they age by paying special attention to their diet.
6. Merrick — Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Senior Dry Dog Food
The Merrick kitchen uses the best ingredients to make this recipe. The recipe includes real chicken, sweet potatoes, and other good ingredients perfect for your senior dog’s nutritional needs. The formula is tested before packaging to ensure it is safe and high-quality. This is a great choice for your precious pup.
Merrick’s grain-free diet is a healthy choice for your dog in its golden years. The diet includes high chondroitin and glucosamine to support our senior dogs’ well-used bones and joints. High-quality proteins benefit our older dogs, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in this blend.
7. Hill’s Science Diet — Adult 7+ Youthful Vitality Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food
Once your dog turns seven, it is a good time to think about changing his diet to a food that is better for him as he ages. Hill’s Science Diet has a diet that is made with high-quality chicken and that your dog will love. It also has the nutrients your dog needs to stay healthy in his older years.
8. Purina Pro Plan — Bright Mind Adult 7+ Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
Keep your aging dog healthy by feeding her a diet that meets her nutritional needs. This recipe is packed with high levels of protein and other essential nutrients, which will help your dog feel satisfied, healthy, and happy during daily activities. The blend is also rich in natural prebiotic fiber, making it a great addition to a sensitive dog’s diet.
9. Blue Buffalo — Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Even a senior dog’s food shouldn’t be different from their natural ancestral diet. The Blue Wilderness formula has a range of holistic ingredients to maintain a high nutrient profile for your older dog. With chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal as the primary source of protein, the finest ingredients craft this grain-free formula to support your dog’s health in her senior years.
10. Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult Dry Dog Food
One of the main reasons to recommend Iams ProActive Health Mature Adult Dog Food is that it provides a lot of important nutrients for senior dogs. The food has protein from real chicken and lots of antioxidants, prebiotics, and more. This ensures your dog gets all the amino acids needed to stay strong and active.
The recipe also includes prebiotics, which help improve gut health and make it easier for the body to absorb nutrients. The food is also rich in nutrients that support bone health and keep joints functioning properly. Additionally, the antioxidants in the food help strengthen immunity, while fibers improve digestion.
11. VICTOR — Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food
Your older dog’s activity level may go down as they get older. Still, you can help them stay healthy by feeding them Victor Senior Healthy Weight dry dog food. This food is rich in chondroitin and glucosamine, which help keep your dog’s bones and joints healthy. This food is a good choice for pet parents whose dogs are less active because it helps them maintain their weight without sacrificing important nutrients.
12. Nulo — Freestyle Trout & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Senior Dry Dog Food
This recipe contains high-protein, grain-free foods that are beneficial to the health of elderly dogs. It contains turkey meal, trout, turkey, and salmon, all of which are rich in natural vitamins and minerals. This kibble boosts your dog’s immune system and helps strengthen its bones.
13. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Senior Deboned Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food
This special turkey-based recipe from Wellness can help boost your senior dog’s health and activity level. The grain-free formula is packed with high-quality nutrients. It does not include fillers or artificial flavors that could upset your dog’s sensitive digestive system. Serve your furry friend a meal loaded with the goodness of rich and nutrient-dense components to protect your dog’s health in his golden years.
Senior Dog Food Buyer’s Guide
Nutrition is very important for your dog, no matter how old. You should always try to give them the best food possible, so their health stays healthy. This is especially important for senior dogs, who may not be as healthy as they used to be. Ensure their food keeps their immune system strong, joints flexible, and digestion smooth.
It is important to note that different breeds of dogs may hit the ‘senior’ stage at different ages. You should not switch to a senior diet for your dog immediately if you do not see any signs of aging. The key is to watch and observe your dog for any signs of aging before making the transition.
In this guide, we will discuss all the important aspects related to buying senior dog food. This will help you decide the best food for your dog.
Feeding Your Senior Dog a Special Diet
One of the first things we often notice about our dogs as they get older is that they have less energy. This can signify that their internal organ function is declining, affecting their activity level and overall wellbeing.
Joint problems, like arthritis, can cause discomfort and pain while moving and playing. This can make seniors less likely to want to do these activities. If this is the case, feeding them too many snacks for energy can be a mistake.
For senior dogs, the best way to diet is by reducing their carbohydrate intake and increasing their fat intake. This will give them more energy. Older dogs might also benefit from eating fewer calories. Since they move around less, giving them the same amount of food as before can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
Including fiber in your older dog’s diet is important for digestion, reducing sensitivities, and promoting healthy bowel movements.
Make sure that you only give your dog high-quality protein. Protein is very important for your dog’s health. You must be careful about the protein-based ingredients in food for older dogs.
Last, chondroitin and glucosamine should be included in a senior’s diet to help with joint discomfort and enhance joint capsule flexibility.
Common Health Problems of Older Dogs
As your dog ages, it is common for them to have health problems. You should take your dog to the vet and be aware of these problems. They sign that your dog is getting old and needs a different diet to stay healthy.
Some common health issues and symptoms include:
- Skin problems and lumps
- Vision problems or blindness
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Bad breath, dental problems, excessive drooling
- Memory loss
- Altered behavior/irritability
- Personality changes
- Loss of muscle mass
- Sleeping problems
- Increased thirst – indicating kidney disease
- Impaired mobility
As your dog gets older, it is important to keep an eye out for symptoms of aging. Providing your dog with the best diet at this stage can help improve their quality of life. It is also a good time to have them checked more often to see if the food you provide makes a difference in their overall health.
What to Look For In The Best Senior Dog Foods
It is hard to pick the right food for an aging dog. You need to consider your dog’s health condition when deciding. Here are a few things you should consider.
- Get an assessment done.
To find out your older dog’s dietary needs, you need to know about their current health condition. Getting help from a veterinarian is a good idea. They can tell you what kind of food your dog needs to be based on their health profile.
- Choose high-quality, rich protein sources.
To keep your dog healthy as it gets older, it’s important to choose a diet that is rich in protein. Protein is essential for building a strong immune system, replacing damaged tissues, and even helping with kidney problems. Look for high-quality protein sources when picking your dog’s food.
- Add wholesome grains to the diet.
Many pet parents listen carefully when they hear the word ‘grain.’ A grain-free diet is recommended for dogs with digestive problems or a weak immune system. However, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal are good sources of amino acids, which are important for an elderly dog’s diet.
- Steer clear of the artificial
Some foods have things you don’t want your dog to eat. These things can be harmful to your older dog. Be careful of foods that have artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
As dog’s age, they might not be as excited to go for walks. They might need some extra attention to stay healthy. One way to help your dog live a longer life is to change their food according to their age. Puppies need different food to help them grow big and strong. Senior dogs need different kinds of food to help them digest their food and use the vitamins and nutrients.
This is the time of your dog’s life when things may seem a little confusing. But you must understand that this change is necessary for them and will help them stay with us longer. To make the transition easier, we have put together a list of dog foods for senior dogs.
Why Do Seniors Need a Special Diet?
Not all senior dogs need a special diet. Suppose your dog is eating a portion of high-protein dog food and is at a healthy weight. There are no health problems that your veterinarian thinks could be improved by a new diet. In that case, you can keep your dog on its current diet.
However, many senior dogs do need a different kind of diet. This is because dogs have less energy as they age, and their metabolism slows down. They also don’t need as many calories as when they were younger.
If a senior dog doesn’t eat a lower-calorie diet, it may become obese. Obesity can stress a dog’s body and lead to health problems like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. Some senior dog foods are made for weight loss, while others help dogs maintain their current weight.
Many senior dogs have joint problems, like arthritis or hip dysplasia. If the dog becomes obese, it will put more pressure on the joints and worsen these problems.
Senior dog foods help keep dogs healthy and also improve joint problems. Senior foods are also easier to digest, which can help with stomach problems and constipation.
As a dog gets older, it needs more high-quality protein. Senior dog foods have the right amount of protein to meet these needs.
What to Do If Your Senior Dog Will Not Eat
If your senior dog isn’t eating, you might be worried. You might be wondering if they’re getting enough to eat and if they’re staying healthy. If you’ve noticed a big drop in their appetite, try one of these ideas:
- Switch to a wet food
- Try making home-cooked meals
- Add a food topper or flavor enhancer to their current food
- Try vet-recommended suggestions from their veterinarian
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Senior Dog Food
You have had your dog by your side for many years. He has always been there for you; now it is time to return the favor. You will need to choose the best food for senior dogs. This is not as easy as picking a good food and sticking with it for a long time. You need to be careful about what you choose. Here are some things to consider when choosing a senior dog food.
How to Choose Quality Foods for Senior Dogs
- Vet Recommendation
You should follow this advice for any food or product you buy for your dog. However, it is especially important to follow this advice if your dog is in a vulnerable position. Look for foods that have been vet recommended, or ask your vet for their opinion.
- High Protein, Low Fat
As a dog ages, it starts losing some of its natural energy. This happens because the dog isn’t as active, and its metabolism slows down. To help keep the dog healthy, you should give it recipes with a high protein ratio to fat.
- Balance of Canned and Dry
Some dogs lose muscle mass as they age but don’t gain any fat. If this is the case for your dog, you will need to help him by feeding him canned food with more calories. Talk to your vet about how much-canned and dry food to give your dog daily to stay healthy.
- Stay Away from Artificial
Eating artificial substances is not good for a dog’s health. This is especially true as the dog gets older. To help a dog’s system work as well as possible, feed them high-quality food that does not contain artificial substances.
- Individual Dog’s Health
Finally, think about your dog’s specific needs. If your dog has problems with their joints, skin, or other health issues, you may want to consider a portion of food designed to help with those issues.
Best Senior Dog Food Formulas to Try
Open Farm Senior Recipe
The Open Farm is a company that makes pet food using ethically sourced and humanely raised ingredients. Their recipes are good for the environment and also good for pets. They do not use fillers, by-products, or preservatives in their food.
Open Farm Senior Recipe is a high-protein blend of Certified Humane turkey and chicken. Digestion-friendly pumpkin, antioxidant-rich coconut oil, glucosamine, and chondroitin help promote healthy joints. This food is perfect for older dogs who need more protein in their diet.
- No antibiotics, added growth hormones, artificial flavors, or colors
- Meats from audited higher welfare farms
- No rendered poultry or meat meals
- 100% traceable ingredients
- Added glucosamine and chondroitin to promote healthy joints
- Recyclable packaging
Some senior dogs are picky and need help to eat. Ollie’s fresh dog food delivery service is a good option for these dogs. We’ve seen a lot of positive reviews from happy pet parents who appreciate how well this food appeals to their picky pups.
You’ll feel better knowing that Ollie works with a veterinary nutritionist to create balanced and healthy recipes for your dog. Your meal plan will be customized based on your dog’s age, weight, breed, activity level, and allergies or sensitivities. Their recipes use real chicken, beef, turkey, or lamb as the first ingredient. They include leafy greens, root veggies, and plant-based proteins like chickpeas, peas, or lentils. Plus, the recipes are designed to be interchangeable, so you can keep mealtime interesting for your golden oldie.
- High-quality, human-grade ingredients. No fillers, by-products, artificial flavors, or preservatives
- Food is minimally processed and gently cooked in U.S. facilities at low temperatures to preserve nutrients
- You can select up to all four of Ollie’s recipes for your dog’s meal plan (choose from beef, chicken, lamb, or turkey)
- Vet-approved recipes are portioned for your dog and delivered right to your door on a flexible schedule
- The starter box includes a guide to help you safely transition your dog to Ollie. If your dog doesn’t enjoy it, Ollie will give you a full refund
- Meets AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages
- Ships are free anywhere in the contiguous United States
Redbarn Whole Grain Dry Dog Food
Redbarn’s whole grain dry dog food recipes provide well-balanced nutrition that supports your senior dog’s overall health and longevity. The first five ingredients are meat, fish, or poultry protein sources, depending on the recipe. The Land recipe, for example, contains beef, lamb, beef meal, pork meal, and lamb meal. These recipes contain functional ingredients like oatmeal, sunflower oil, flaxseed, probiotics, and prebiotic fiber. To help support your dog’s heart and immune system as well as coat and digestive health.
- The first five ingredients are animal protein sources
- Whole grains include oatmeal, barley, milo, millet, and brown rice
- Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids from ingredients like sunflower oil and flaxseed support skin and coat health
- Contains probiotics, miscanthus grass, and prebiotic fiber to help support digestive health
- Guaranteed levels of taurine, l-carnitine, and methionine to support heart health
- If your dog prefers fish or poultry, they also offer Ocean (salmon, trout, ocean fish, menhaden fish) and Sky (turkey, chicken, duck) recipes to appeal to varying tastes
- The land recipe is formulated for maintenance; Ocean and Sky recipes are suitable for all life stages
- Available in 4-lb or 22-lb bags
- Subscribe and save and get 15% off your first order
JustFoodForDogs Lamb & Brown Rice
JustFoodForDogs is a company that makes food for dogs. It is made from human-grade ingredients that are good for dogs. Their recipes are made with many healthy ingredients, like superfoods and premium proteins, and no unhealthy things like preservatives, dyes, starches, or synthetic nutrients.
This Lamb & Brown Rice Fresh Frozen recipe is perfect for seniors who need extra calories or a delicious meal. This meal is high in calories and moderates in protein, making it a great source of essential vitamins like zinc, iron, and B. This meal is frozen and vacuum-sealed immediately after preparation, which helps to keep the nutritional integrity (and taste!) intact.
- Vet-trained consultants are available to help build your dog’s nutritional plan
- Meats are inspected and approved by the USDA for human consumption
- JustFoodForDogs uses the same premium suppliers as the restaurant industry
- JustFoodForDogs recipes are crafted by hand in open-to-the-public kitchens as well as in their own kitchens in Irvine, California, and New Castle, Delaware
- It May be frozen for up to a year
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Dog Food For Seniors
As your dog gets older, their dietary requirements will change. They will need two meals daily, one in the morning and one in the evening.
If your dog doesn’t eat his dry food, it may be a picky eater. Dogs often won’t eat if they’re not feeling well, especially if they have intestinal or dental issues. If your dog eats other kinds of food (like wet food or snacks), you should take him to the veterinarian to ensure everything is okay.
Eggs are safe for dogs to eat. Eggs are a good source of nutrition for dogs and have many benefits. Eggs are high in protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that help support your dog’s health. Remember only to give your dog eggs from healthy chickens.
The FDA has cited 16 dog food brands, including Blue Buffalo, as a probable contributor to canine congestive heart failure.
Feeding your dog a mix of wet and dry food can give them variety. This will give them different textures to try, making them more likely to eat.
A dog around 13-15 years old will act like a 70-115-year-old person. This is because it becomes harder for them to learn new things as they age. In fact, they may not want to change their surroundings or routine.
Older dogs can be very active when it comes to walks. Susan Rosenau’s 10-year-old Boston terrier and French bulldog get four daily walks. Jenn Stollery’s cavalier King Charles spaniels walk one to four miles daily.
Senior dog foods have less protein, fewer fats, and more carbohydrates than adult dog foods. This might not be good for your pet. More carbohydrates and less fat is usually not a good thing and might mean that the food is cheaper and uses more fillers.
Unsurprisingly, wet dog food has more moisture than dry kibble. Canned dog food might be a good choice if your senior dog has problems with its urinary system or needs help staying hydrated.
Although high protein food has not been shown to cause kidney disease in healthy dogs. High protein foods may contribute to the progression of kidney disease once kidney function is compromised. It is also important to avoid excessive phosphorus in a senior dog ration.
Small dogs are considered old when they reach 11-12. Medium-sized dogs are considered old when they reach 10 years of age. Large-sized dogs are considered old when they reach 8 years of age. And finally, giant-breed dogs are considered old when they reach 7 years old.
Dogs need carbohydrates to produce energy, but too many can lead to obesity, bad bacteria in the gut, and a lack of energy. If a dog food is labeled “grain-free,” but the grains are replaced with other ingredients, it might not be a healthier option for your dog.