Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 10/14/21 •  6 min read
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Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs

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When our dogs become seniors, it may be time to consider changing their dog food to a senior dog food. But how do you know which food is the best?

First of all, it’s always best to consult your vet if you believe your fur baby needs a change of dog food. Your vet will have the best information and advice on what’s best for your dog.

Even so, we’ve put together some tips on what to look for in food for senior dogs, as well as some of the best dog foods for our senior canine companions.

When Should a Dog Change Over to Senior Dog Food?

This answer depends on your dog’s breed and his overall health. The reason is that smaller dogs tend to live longer, which means they may reach their senior years later than other dogs. On the other hand, large and giant dog breeds usually have a shorter lifespan. They will reach their senior years earlier than small and medium dogs.

Other considerations include your dog’s health and activity levels. Most dogs, as they age, their metabolism slows down. This leads to lower activity levels, too. What does this mean for your dog? He may need dog food that has fewer calories. It also takes your senior dog’s body longer to heal after an injury, surgery, or illness.

Then there are older dogs that have health problems. In this case, it’s best to consult with your vet as to which senior dogs’ food may be better for your canine friend. It may be your dog will need a special diet to help him with this specific health issue.

What to Look for in Senior Dog Foods?

It’s essential to find a senior dog food that provides all the nutrition your fur baby needs. This may mean dog food that’s lower in calories, higher in fiber, with enough protein and fat, too. In some cases, it may be possible to leave your senior dog on his favorite food, but just serve him a little less at mealtimes.

Then there are dog goods geared to specialty diets, including for dogs who have kidney disease. This type of dog food has lower amounts of protein to keep the kidneys from overworking. Many senior dog foods also have lower amounts of fat. It’s good to look for a senior dog food that has a fat level somewhere between 8% to 12%, with fiber at about 3% to 5%.

Another health concern is tartar buildup on a dog’s teeth. This can get worse as a dog ages. So, it can be helpful to use a dry senior dog food to help keep your dog’s teeth and gums free of tartar and gum disease.

Other Ingredients

Because dogs can develop joint pain as they age, you may also want to consider buying senior dog food with the following ingredients:

These ingredients can help build up your dog’s joints, relieve inflammation, boost his immune system, and more.

Best Senior Dogs Foods

OK, now we’re ready to review some of the best senior dog foods available today!

1). Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

This is a great dog food for dogs seven years and older. This senior dog food is a dry formula, which is made with real chicken. It also contains DHA & EPA, antioxidants, B vitamins, and arginine, which work to support a dog’s cognitive health as they age.

When dogs eat this senior dog food daily, they will benefit from the blend of nutrients specially included to support the dog’s cognition. This can be important, as some dogs do develop a form of doggie dementia as they age.

What’s more, your dog will have a shiny coat, remain alert, have healthier joints, and more mobility.

2). Iams Proactive Health Mature Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

This is a senior dog food meant especially for large dog breeds. It’s formulated for dogs over the age of five or six. This dog food is made with farm-raised chicken, a blend of whole grains that include barley and sorghum, as well as beets and carrots.

This is a dry dog food that will support your senior dog’s joints, boost his immune system, and strengthen his bones. All of these are important for older large breed dogs.

3). Hill’s Science Diet Adult +7 Small Bites Chicken Meal, Barley, & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

It’s a fact that smaller dog breeds tend to live longer than larger dog breeds. This means they don’t reach their senior years until later. This may mean that a smaller dog won’t become a senior until he’s about 8 or 9 years old.

When searching for the best senior dog food for your dog, it’s important to consider the size of the kibble (if buying dry dog food). Smaller dogs have a smaller mouth than a larger dog, so they’ll need a kibble size that’s smaller, too.

This Hills Science diet for adult dogs is made with small, soft pieces of kibble. This makes the food easier for small dogs to chew properly. It can also be eaten by dogs who have lost some of their teeth. This dog food is made with chicken meal, rice, barley and coated in omega six fatty acids that help keep your dog’s skin healthy and his coat shiny.

4). Canidae Grain-Free Pure Senior Real Chicken, Sweet Potato & Garbanzo Bean Recipe Dry Dog Food

Does your fur baby suffer from a sensitive stomach? Then you may want to consider buying this dog food for him. This Canidae formula is grain-free, which means it doesn’t contain soy, wheat, or corn. This means it’s easy on a dog’s digestive system.

In addition, the ingredients do include chicken, lentils, fish meal, and more. All of this is included in a dried kibble, which is also fortified with vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants.

5). Wellness Core Grain-Free Senior Deboned Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food

This is a dog food that’s great for senior dogs who may have a weight problem. It is a low-calorie dog food, which contains all kinds of good stuff, including animal protein, vitamins A & E, omega three fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

This is a dog food that’s made without preservatives, artificial flavors, or colors. And it’s grain-free, which means this senior dog food contains no corn, soy, or wheat.

This is also a great dog food for older dogs who have sensitive stomachs.

There you have it! These are some of the best senior dog foods you can find on the market today! Each of these dog foods contains the nutrition your older dog needs. He’ll stay healthy and happy each on his new diet!

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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