Your aging dog will be getting slower and more prone to health risks as years go by. As this happens you should be more concerned with your pet’s well being and their nutrition. This is especially the case when they start expressing disinterest in their dog food. They could also start having weight issues or other challenges due to age. If you worry about your older dog, then you should start looking for senior dog food to better suit their changing dietary needs. Dogs are usually considered “older” when they reach about half of their life expectancy. Smaller breeds commonly live between 15 to 20 years of age, and bigger dogs about 12 to 15 years.
Other common health risks with senior dogs include arthritis pain, poor dental health, and metabolic diseases like kidney disease and diabetes. Your senior dog might also suffer from sight loss, hearing loss, itchy skin and even cognitive dysfunction. Granted this is not an all-inclusive list of health risks. Also, not all these problems can be prevented or solved with diet. However, one thing you can do to improve your senior dog’s wellbeing and longevity is feed them a nutritious, well balanced diet.
Nutritional Needs for Senior Dogs
According to a recent survey by Tufts University, 84 percent of people believed older dogs needed a different diet through different life stages. Yet, less than 50 percent actually took the steps to get their dog on a senior diet. The main concern should always be your pet’s health. All nutritional requirements should always be tailored to your dog’s needs, regardless of age.
Unfortunately, there is no specific formula designated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) or the National Research Council (NRC) to determine what qualifies as a senior dog food. The ingredients and nutritional value will vary widely between brands and manufacturers. With this in mind, you need to find out the nutritional needs of your senior dog. Then meet those needs with the best senior dog food.
That being said, there are some general things to consider in a diet for senior dogs. With any dog, in any life stage, their diet requires a high quality protein source. Contrary to many commercial dog foods for senior pets, protein requirements should not decrease as your dog ages. In fact, your canine friend may need more protein as they age. Also, older dogs need fewer calories and higher fiber to help reduce the risk of obesity and improve gastrointestinal health. Dogs with heart disease require lower calories, as well as lower sodium. If your dog has diabetes, you will want to slow down the absorption of food with lower fat and higher fiber to better control their blood sugar.
Basics of the Best Senior Dog Food
- Adequate and high quality proteins
- Fewer calories
- High quality fiber
- Optimum vitamins and minerals
- Glucosamine and chondroitin for joints
- No artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors
Just remember, some of these common suggestions will not work well for your pet. Be sure, when choosing the best senior dog food, you are catering to the individual needs of your dog. Also, just because a dog food is labeled “senior” does not mean the formula meets the general nutritional requirements. Instead of relying solely on this label, do a little research, work with your vet, and find the right senior dog food for your dog.
10 Senior Dog Food Reviews
Newman’s Own Organics Advanced Dog Formula for Active or Senior Dogs
This dog food for seniors is made in the USA. It is a special blend of chicken and organic brown rice. If you are looking to go organic for your senior dog, and never look back, then this is the pet food for you. The proteins, dense carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants of this senior dog food are all your pet needs. This food helps take care of your pet’s coat and skin, improves digestion, and will keep even aged dogs active and healthy. The top listed ingredients include chicken, chicken meal, organic oats, organic barley, and organic peas. All Newman’s Own pet food products are manufactured without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or artificial fertilizers. Customers who choose this product say their dogs love it. It is easy for their older pets to digest, and it has amazing nutritional value. It is also great for pets with allergies or digestive problems. Many customers say they cannot recommend this senior dog food enough.
CANIDAE Platinum Formula for Senior and Overweight Dogs
As your dog ages their diet should change to help meet their growing needs. This is what you get with CANIDAE. The glucosamine and chondroitin promote healthy joints. The probiotics help with improved digestion. The antioxidants keep your dog’s immune system strong. And the healthy Omegas 6 and 3 keep their coat and skin healthy. The quality proteins in this dog food come from four distinct sources: chicken, turkey, lamb and fish, and are perfect for senior or overweight dogs. Top listed ingredients include chicken meal, brown rice, white rice, rice bran, peas, potatoes, and oatmeal. This food is also wheat, corn, soy, and other fillers free. There are no antibiotics, hormones, artificial flavors, or preservatives. Customers say this product is wonderful and is the key to top quality nutrition for their older dogs. Once they made the switch to this kibble, they wouldn’t settle for anything less.
Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food Senior
As a dog grows older, not only do they slow down, but so does their metabolism. This is why so many older dogs gain weight. This recipe for senior dogs was carefully chosen for the complete health of your pet. With this senior dog food your pet will get fewer calories, yet all the nutrition they need to live a long and healthy life. The specialized formula supports hip and joint health, skin and coat, digestive health, and tastes great. Top listed ingredients include deboned chicken, oatmeal, ground barley, rye flour, and chicken meal. It has no GMOs, meat by-products, wheat, corn or soy. There are also no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. Customers say this is a great, healthy dog food that is well worth the money. Their pets with arthritis pain or other problems connect with age, saw great improvement. They easily recommend it as the best senior dog food.
Hill’s Science Diet Mature Adult Active Longevity Small Bites Dog Food
This senior dog food is formulated to provide your dog with youthful longevity, especially during later life stages. If your dog is 7 years or older, then this food can meet all their dietary needs. It is packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and high-quality ingredients. It contains 16.5 percent protein, 12 percent fat, and 4 percent fiber. These key nutrients will give your older dog energy and improve their quality of life. This formula promotes ideal body weight, healthy heart, proper digestion, and healthy immune function. It also has controlled levels of sodium and phosphorus to keep your pets organs functioning as they should. Top listed ingredients include chicken meal, whole grain wheat, whole grain sorghum, brewers’ rice, and brown rice. Customers call this senior dog food a lifesaver. Older dogs with kidney failure or digestive issues improve when on this diet. It is great for older dogs and many pet owners continue to stand by the Science Diet.
Merrick Whole Earth Farms Adult Dry Dog Food
At Merrick they have one main goal, to make the best pet food ever. That is why they focus on providing real, wholesome recipes. All the ingredients are from farmers they know and trust. The food is handcrafted in their Hereford, Texas kitchen. That is why this adult dog food boasts of 100 percent all natural ingredients. There are many protein sources and much needed vitamins and minerals for your senior dog. The kibble is bite-sized and easy to chew. Top listed ingredients include chicken meal, turkey meal, oatmeal, pearled barley, and brown rice. There are no dangerous fillers, no poultry by-products, and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Customers say this was a great choice of dog food for their senior dogs. They made the switch from cheaper brands and were very pleased with results. They are happy to support a dog food company that is serious about nutrition
Dogswell Nutrisca Chicken and Chick Pea Food for Pets
Every ingredient in Nutrisca serves a purpose for your pet. It is one of the few grain-free recipes without potato or tapioca, both ingredients known to increase weight gain. Instead, this brand of dog food uses chickpeas and peas as glycemic legumes to provide fiber, folic acid, carbohydrates, and the amino acid lysine. These are balanced with proteins and other fruits and vegetables to make sure your pet gets optimum nutrition. The top listed ingredients include chicken, chicken meal, peas, chickpeas, menhaden fish meal, and chicken fat. Other ingredients include apples, carrots, cranberries, blueberries, and apricots. There is never any gluten, corn, soy, wheat, BHA/BHT, or added hormones. Customers say, that though they had never heard of this dog food, they now choose it over every other kibble. It is the best food for the price and they were happy to finally find a senior dog food of such high quality.
Blue Buffalo Dry Food for Senior Dogs Chicken and Rice Recipe
This Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is specifically designed to promote the health and well-being of senior dogs. It has only the finest natural ingredients. In fact, one of the things that sets this pet food apart are the LifeSource Bits added to each mix. They are created by holistic vets and veterinary nutritionists to efficiently provide the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your pet needs most. Top listed ingredients include deboned chicken, whole ground brown rice, oatmeal, whole ground barley, and chicken meal. The leading benefits of these ingredients include lean muscle mass, healthy skin and coat, and joint health. Customers say even the pickiest eaters have loved this dog food. Pets with sensitive stomachs have had no problems once they made the switch. Their dog’s coats are shiny and healthy. Dogs are also active with full mobility. They say that though this food may seem expensive, it is well worth it.
Eagle Pack Natural Pet Food, Senior Formula for Dogs
If your dog has a champion spirit, even though they are older, then this senior dog food can help support them. The Eagle Pack formulated this dog food to meet the unique needs of adult dogs 8 years or older. It has the right combination of fats and proteins to help maintain a proper weight. There are also a variety of proteins to support natural muscle tone and provide great flavor. You can count on this American made food to help fuel your senior pet’s daily needs. Top listed ingredients include chicken meal, ground brown rice, ground yellow corn, oatmeal, chicken fat, and pork meal. Customers who love this product say their older dogs are happy, hearty, and healthy on this diet. Compared to other brands, this food was easy for their pets to digest and alleviated some problems caused by cheaper, commercial brands. They also say it is a good price for a quality food.
Premium Edge Lamb Rice and Vegetables Dry Dog Food for Senior Dog
This formula provides your dog with real lamb, real rice, and real vegetables. It helps give your senior dog all the optimal nutrition they need during the later stages of life. Enhanced with fatty acids and antioxidants, your dog benefits from overall good health and will look great too. The formula also contains taurine for a healthy heart, and glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints. The top listed ingredients include lamb, lamb meal, oatmeal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, millet, and white rice. It is fortified with vitamins and minerals and L-carnitine to keep your older pet healthy and fit. Customers who purchased this product say it is especially great for senior pets with touchy digestive systems. It helped bring back their pet’s energy and full range of motion. They call it the best senior dog food because it actually delivers amazing results for older pets.
Holistic Select Vitalize Senior Chicken Meal and Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
This brand of dog food features a unique Digestive Health Support System in each food. It has healthy fiber sources, digestive enzymes, and active probiotics to ease digestion and spread nutrients throughout your pet’s body. This special senior diet will have your pet looking and feeling healthy, working from the inside out. Top listed ingredients include chicken meal, ground brown rice, ground white rice, oatmeal, chicken fat, anchovy and sardine meal, and pork meal. Customers say this dog food gives their pet great health from head to tail. Some have been using this brand for several years and their aged pets simply love it. They say it is especially good for their pets that have food allergies. Many pet owners highly recommend this senior dog food and will not settle for any other brand.
You probably know that puppies have special dietary needs to ensure they grow and develop properly. The same type of care and dietary vigilance is necessary in older dogs if you want your senior pet to live a long and healthy life. As they age their nutritional needs will change and you will want the best senior dog food to help support them. Depending on activity levels, disease, allergens, and many other factors, the dietary needs of your pet will vary. If you want your pet to age gracefully, then start paying close attention to their diet and use these senior dog food reviews as a guide to find the right food for them.
I've been a dog lover since the day I was born but it's the current four legged love of my life, Phoebe who inspired me to create the Munch.Zone.
We moved together from Israel to New York in 2013, love hiking together, and never pass up a trip to the dog park. Watching her over the years sparked so many questions about dog behavior and health needs, and it wasn't always easy to find answers. Thus, the Munch.Zone was born.
On any given day you'll find me watching Netflix originals, eating popcorn, and thinking about how to get into house flipping.