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When your dog ages, it is essential to provide him with the right nutrients. Thus, normal dog food might fail to serve the purpose.
As a dog ages, the metabolism rates get reduced and he might find it extremely difficult to digest foods rich in protein and fats. Thus, you need to find the best senior dog food for your dog.
Here, we have curated 20 best senior dog food based on the contents and nutritional value. Scroll down and choose the best dog food for older dogs which would be perfect for your pet.
Factors To Look For When Buying Best Senior Dog Food
While buying senior dog food, you need to look for the following factors. Senior Dog food is entirely different from the normal dog food in terms of protein and fat content. Based on the metabolism rate of aged dogs, they are given less protein and fats when compared to other dogs.
1. The Age Of Your Dog
Dog food for all adult dogs isn’t the same. The dog’s foods will have the age mentioned at the back of the packing. Mostly, there are two age categories–7+ and 11+.
2. The Crispiness Of The Kibbles
As your dog ages, his gum health takes a downfall. Thus, if you opt for highly crispy kibbles, the dog might find it extremely difficult to chew the food. You will have to mix it with wet foods all the time. To avoid this, you can go for smaller kibbles with chewy or slight crispiness.
3. Digestion Rate
Unlike young dogs, aged dogs tend to have a weak digestive system, thus opting for foods rich in fibers can aid the digestion process. If the food isn’t digested properly, dogs might experience bowel problems and indigestion.
4. Food Rich In Joint Supplements
As dogs age, the health of their joints deteriorates. Thus, foods rich in Glucosamine are best to get rid of the joint-pain and improve the health of joints. This nutrient is also helpful for dogs suffering from Arthritis.
Top 20 Best Senior Dog Foods 2020
1. Purina One SmartBlend Senior 7+
This senior dog food from Purina ONE contains chicken as the main ingredient and is therefore rich in proteins. This food, therefore, helps to maintain a healthier heart and stronger muscles.
The food comes as a mixture of meaty morsels and crunchy small kibbles. Thus, the kibbles sharpen the teeth and the meaty morsels give some real meat flavor to the food.
This food also contains rice flour, corn and soybean meal, whole grain wheat and includes vegetables like carrots and peas. Supplements like Vitamin E, Vitamin B-12, riboflavin and Vitamin D-3 are added to enrich the meal to help maintain a strong bone structure and immune system.
Botanical oils are also added to enhance the mental sharpness and the glucosamine content provided by fish meal helps to maintain healthier joints and ligaments. The biotin content helps the dog maintain a thick and shiny hair coat.
The nutrients present in the food and the fiber content ensure that your dog finds no problem in digesting the food and fiber-content and especially aids the digestive process.
The Vitamin A provided by the carrots makes sure that the health of the eyes is well maintained. Make sure you provide the dog with adequate amounts.
This is one of the best dry dog foods for senior dogs available in the market and it is super affordable.
If your dog is allergic to gluten, then this food is not the one for him. This dry food is highly rich in gluten and given to dogs allergic to gluten, the dogs probably develop skin allergies and it also affects their digestive systems.
2. Blue Buffalo Life 596022
This dry food contains glucosamine and chondroitin that help to strengthen the joints and ligaments. These nutrients also help to ease the movements of the bones and the dogs can, therefore, move without experiencing pain.
The food contains no artificial colorings, flavoring agents or preservatives. The food is also free from poultry by-products, soy, and corn, making it gluten-free and ideal for dogs that are intolerant towards gluten.
The serving size of different breed sizes is mentioned at the back of the packet and make sure you serve accordingly. Taking a second opinion from your dog’s vet would also be helpful.
This dry food is highly rich in antioxidants and helps to improve the health of your dog’s heart and prevent cancer. The food is cold-pressed to preserve the vital nutrients, thus preserving the flavor as well.
It is a mixture of two differently sized kibbles, and the aptly sized kibbles ensure that dogs even with small jaw bone structures can easily consume it.
Some dogs may find it very difficult to digest this dog food and may also get Diarrhea from it. All this happens because dogs are not able to process the food properly.
To avoid this, make sure you visit the vet before switching between brands. Even though the nutritional requirements might be the same, the processing method may vary with brands and this may harm your pet’s digestive system.
3. Nutro Ultra Senior
This dry dog food is best for senior dogs belonging to small breeds. The food is highly rich in proteins to enhance the bones and this protein content is contributed by chicken, salmon and lamb meat. All the ingredients used are naturally sourced in their farms.
The food is free from genetically modified contents and also doesn’t contain any harmful preservatives and flavoring agents. The food is also rich in antioxidants like blueberry and you can find healthy foods like coconut and chia seeds as well.
The food is gluten-free as it doesn’t contain any traces of soybean or cornmeal. The kibbles are not too strong and the small breed dogs can easily munch on them and in the process sharpen their teeth as well.
The dry food contains important vitamins and nutrients like Riboflavin, Vitamin E and Vitamin B-12, which help maintain healthy joints and a thick and shiny coat of hair.
A lot of duplicates of this dry dog food is available in the market. The packaging might look the same but there will be a huge difference in the quality of the ingredients. This can pose a serious threat to a dog’s health.
Therefore, make it a point to source the food from trusted sellers. For the price, this dog food from Nutro Ultra is one of the best senior dog foods available in the market.
4. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+
The unique blend of chicken, barley and brown rice makes this dry dog food from Hill’s Science perfect for senior dogs. The food supports the hearth, kidney and bladder health and also improves the health of joints in adult dogs.
The food is highly rich in omega-6s and Vitamin E that helps dogs develop a shiny and thick hair coat as well as healthy skin. The extra small kibble helps dogs with small jaw bone structure to consume the food without any difficulty.
The ingredients that go into the kibbles are sourced from the trusted farmers and the quality is therefore top-notch. The ingredients can be easily digested by dogs and would not cause any bowel problems for your pet.
The food doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients and is also free from artificial preservatives and coloring agents. You can be at peace as the food is also free from genetically modified materials as well. The food does contain soybean milk and cornmeal; therefore, it isn’t suitable for dogs allergic to gluten.
The main problem with this dog food is that it expands once it enters the digestive system and small breed dogs with poor digestive systems may experience serious problems and might even faint.
To avoid this, make sure you consult your vet and make sure your dog is able to properly digest the food. If you get a green flag, start by giving very small quantities and increase the serving size gradually.
5. Iams Proactive Health Mature
This dry dog food is best for small and toy breed senior dogs and contains chicken at the main ingredient. The antioxidants present in the food boost your dog’s immune system and the high protein content helps to strengthen the fragile bones.
The food is free from gluten as it doesn’t contain any traces of soy, corn or wheat. The food is also free from artificial flavoring agents and preservatives. Thus, the taste is contributed by the chicken alone.
The dry food contains vegetables like carrots and beetroots which help contribute Vitamin A that promotes better eyesight. You can also mix the food with wet dog food to enhance the taste and to make sure that your dog gets adequate nutrients.
The wholegrains present in the food make it nutritious and the fiber content makes sure that the food gets digested easily.
The food does contain poultry by-product in very small traces and make sure your dog isn’t allergic to it before feeding it to him. The dog food is highly recommended by veterinary surgeons as it is highly rich in vital nutrients.
As the food is free from genetically modified ingredients you can be at peace while pouring the kibbles onto your dog’s plate.
The kibbles are made small to match the small jawbone-structure of small breed dogs. The serving size is mentioned on the back of the pack and also consult with the vet to be double sure.
This food can easily get spoilt if not stored properly unlike other dry foods. Thus, you need to find an airtight zipper to complete the cut of the contact of the food with air. Also, make sure you don’t feed the dog the food that was lying on the plate for more than 10 hours.
6. Diamond Naturals
The Diamond Naturals senior dry dog food contains a unique formula consisting of chicken, oatmeal and egg. As the food contains eggs, it isn’t suitable for dogs allergic to eggs. The food is rich in antioxidants that aid the proper function of the immune system.
The food contains fruits and vegetables like papaya, kale, blueberries, and carrot that contribute to the necessary vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A, required for maintaining strong eyesight, is contributed by the carrots.
The carrots, pumpkins and chia seeds contribute the necessary soluble and insoluble fibers that help in the easy digestion of the food.
The food is AAFCO approved and doesn’t contain any artificial flavoring agents, coloring agents, or preservatives. The food contains Vitamin E and ascorbic acid as natural preservatives and this helps to enhance the shelf life of the food.
The glucosamine content helps relieve joint pain and is, therefore, best for dogs suffering from Arthritis. The food is free from soy and other gluten contributing ingredients; thus, it is suitable for dogs allergic to gluten.
This dry dog food can lead to a loss in appetite in some dogs and may also cause Diarrhea. You may not find any suspicious ingredients but the manufacturing process of the food might be the cause.
Therefore, it is essential to talk to a vet before switching onto the food. Some dogs may have Diarrhea when you switch between brands, but this disappears after two to three days.
7. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 11+
This dry dog food is best for small breed dogs and contains naturally sourced chicken as the main ingredient. The food also contains fish oils that contribute to omega-6s, which is best for the health of the bladder and kidneys.
The food contains wheat, soybean, and barley and isn’t therefore gluten-free. The flavoring agent used is the natural pork liver oil and also contains oat fiber to enhance the digestive process.
Vitamin E is added as a natural preservative to enhance the shelf life and also to promote the growth of a healthy and shiny hair coat.
The extra-small kibble size helps dogs with small jawbone structure to easily consume it and the crispiness makes sure that the dog’s teeth are sharpened in the process.
Another unique characteristic property of this dry dog food is that it contains flaxseed which prevents constipation and lowers the chance of Diabetes.
The food also contains carrots, apples, broccoli, cranberries and green peas in generous amounts. This ensures that the food is rich in essential vitamins and nutrients. Blueberries are a great source of antioxidants which help to boost the immune system.
This dog food has a very pungent smell and this may not attract dogs. However, the unique blend of ingredients improves the digestive health of your dogs and you can see visible results in a week or two. This is one of the best senior dog foods.
8. Purina Pro Plan Savor Senior 7+
The Purina Pro senior dog food consists of a chicken and rice formula and contains probiotics. The food contains kibbles as well as meaty pieces, thus providing a great texture to the food. The dry food doesn’t contain any kind of artificial preservatives or food flavoring or coloring agents.
The fish meal, which is a great source of glucosamine, is found in a generous amount and is best for dogs suffering from Arthritis. The nutrient can improve joint health and prevents the wearing of the ligaments.
A natural preservative, such as Vitamin E or tocopherols, is added to enhance the shelf life and it also aids in the growth of a thick, shiny and healthy hair coat.
The food contains traces of soy and cornmeal and isn’t therefore ideal for dogs sensitive to gluten. But the food is completely free from genetically modified ingredients.
The garlic oil present in the food helps to prevent the loss of the haircoat and also is a good immunity booster along with other antioxidants. Fish oil is another natural oil that goes into this product and promotes good heart and skin health.
Even though the food contains great ingredients and nutrients, it has an awful smell and most dogs wouldn’t even bother to lick the food. To resolve this problem, you can mix the food with a dog food gravy and feed dogs.
Another problem is associated with the size of the kibbles. The kibbles are uneven throughout the pack and you may have to break them into small sizes before serving them to your pet.
9. Nutro Wholesome Small Bites
The Nutro Wholesome dry food contains chicken, wheat and sweet potato as the main ingredients and is ideal for small breed dogs. The food is highly rich in grains and vegetables and is therefore packed with essential nutrients.
The food is completely free from artificial flavoring agents, preservatives and coloring agents. You won’t even find a trace of genetically modified ingredients. The food is highly rich in antioxidants and helps to boost the aging immune system of your senior small breed dogs.
The dry food contains a dried version of apples, carrots, and blueberries. The apples help to improve the functioning of the heart and aid in weight loss.
The carrots are a good source of fiber and Vitamin A, and thus promote a better digestion process and improve eyesight. The blueberries help to reduce cholesterol.
The food contains citric acid or ascorbic acid as a natural preservative and this helps improve the health of the muscles and bones and also helps in the absorption of iron present in the food.
As the food doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives, make sure you store it in an airtight container. If you fail to do so, the food may get spoilt easily.
Also, there has been a slight change in the formula of the food. Initially, the kibbles used to smell like chicken but the smell is now mainly due to the fish oil.
Dogs may find it difficult to adjust to the smell, and this can be avoided by mixing the food with dog food gravy.
10. Canidae All Life Stages
The potatoes provide the necessary fiber required for improved digestion and the peas play a crucial role in preventing heart-related diseases.
The food is also rich in omega-3 and omega-6. Omega-3 helps maintain the blood pressure and the omega-6 helps reduce the risk of heart-related diseases. The food is best for less active dogs as it contains less fat and protein.
This dry food doesn’t contain soy, corn and wheat meal is thus suitable for dogs allergic to gluten. All the products are naturally sourced and contain no genetically modified ingredients.
The food is also free from all kinds of artificial flavoring and coloring agents and contains only natural preservatives. Vitamin E is the natural preservative used to enhance the shelf life of the product and is also helpful in promoting the growth of a thick and shiny hair coat.
This food is great for the price range. Make sure that you lookout for the fake ones in the market and only buy the original one.
You can easily identify the fake ones from the color of the kibbles. The original ones will have a darker brown color, while the fake ones would be slightly bigger and will have a lighter shade.
11. Blue Buffalo Wilderness
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness high protein grain-free food is one of the best senior dog foods available in the market. Made from freshly sourced chicken from trusted farmers, dry food provides enough nutrients to active senior dogs.
Blue Buffalo is a brand that needs no introduction and nor does the quality of the ingredients that go into the dog food. The food also contains fish meal along with the chicken meal. The flavor is predominantly from the chicken and no artificial flavoring is used.
Apart from chicken, vegetables like carrots, potatoes and green peas are found in a significant amount. The carrots and potatoes make the food rich in fibers.
Carrots also supply vitamin A, which helps to improve eyesight. The food contains blueberries and cranberries as antioxidants, both of which help to boost the immune system and protect the heart from diseases.
The food also contains fish oil, which is an essential source of omega-3 and promotes healthy skin and hair. The fish oil also gives a significant taste to the dry food. Glucosamine content in the food makes it perfect for dogs with Arthritis.
The food is free from artificial preservatives, with ascorbic acid and Vitamin E as preservatives. These preservatives are obtained naturally and don’t cause any harm.
Instead, Vitamin E aids in the growth of a healthy and shiny hair coat. The food contains a chicken by-product, which may not be suitable for some dogs. If your dogs are allergic to poultry by-products, then this dry food is a big no.
12. Blue Buffalo Life Protection
This Blue Buffalo senior dog food contains lamb and brown rice as the main ingredients. The dry food also contains potatoes, peas, cranberries, carrots, and blueberries. Carrots are a rich source of Vitamin A and improve eyesight.
Blueberries and Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and fibers and are therefore great for the digestive and immune systems.
The food is cold preserved and therefore preserves the nutrients and flavor. The food is naturally flavored and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals in the form of preservatives and coloring agents.
The food, however, contains Vitamin E, but this is naturally processed-preservative and does no harm at all. Instead, Vitamin E oil helps to boost the growth of a shiny and thick hair coat.
The kibbles are small in size and therefore are suitable for dogs with small jawbone structure. The kibbles aren’t too crispy; thus, they can be easily eaten by dogs and also help to sharpen their teeth and improve gum health.
The food is best for highly active small breed dogs and is rich in proteins and fats. Make sure you don’t feed this dry food to lesser active dogs, as they might find it difficult to digest the proteins and fats present in it.
The product contains garlic, and some dogs are extremely allergic to garlic. Garlic is added in very small amounts and helps to detox a dog’s body and improves the function of the liver.
The food doesn’t contain any traces of soybean or wheat and can, therefore, be used for dogs allergic to gluten.
If you are looking for dry food that would be best for your small breed senior dog, then this is one of the best dog foods for small senior dogs; go for it without any doubt.
13. Canidae Pure Senior Recipe
The food is free from traces of soybean, cornmeal, and wheat. Thus, it can be fed to dogs allergic to gluten.
Another characteristic of this dry dog food from Canidae is that it contains turkey meal as well. This enhances the protein content of the food.
The dry food contains just 9 ingredients and you can’t find any traces of artificial flavoring or coloring agents. The food is preserved using vitamin E and is great for the growth of thick and shiny hair coats.
The food is highly rich in antioxidants and is therefore great for dogs with a weak immune system. The food also contains Riboflavin, which helps in repairing the joints and also in extracting energy from carbohydrates.
As the brand is quite famous and preferred by most pet owners, there are chances that you may come across fake products. The products may look the same from the packaging, but the difference will be in the appearance of the kibbles.
The fake kibbles are bigger and have a light brown color., while the original Canidae products have smaller kibbles and are dark brown.
The Eukanuba dry dog food contains specially curated ingredients essential for meeting the energy requirements of your large-breed dogs. The optimum level of protein, fat, and carbohydrate helps to supply the necessary nutrients.
The high fiber content helps to digest the food easily and would also help to maintain a good digestive system, especially for aged dogs.
The kibbles are sufficiently big and would suit the large jawbone structure. The crispy texture helps to improve the teeth and gum health and also sharpens the teeth. The glucosamine content is best for dogs with arthritis.
The food doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives, coloring agents or flavoring agents. The food contains Vitamin E and ascorbic acid as natural preservatives.
Vitamin E helps to promote the growth of a healthy and shiny hair coat. The ascorbic acid helps to absorb the iron in the food and prevents gum infections.
The kibbles are slightly bigger and this might be a problem for dogs with weak gums. The crispiness might also cause a problem to their teeth. The best solution is to mix the dry food with dog food gravy; thus, this softens the kibbles and the dog can eat it with ease.
15. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken and Brown Rice
This dog food from Blue Buffalo is best for adult dogs with high protein needs. The food contains a unique blend of chicken and brown rice. The food also contains whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
The food is also rich in antioxidants contributed by blueberries and cranberries. Blueberries are also a rich source of fiber and thus help in the process of digestion.
The food is completely free from poultry by-products, soybean, cornmeal, and wheat. You can find no traces of chemical preservatives, coloring or flavoring agents.
Vitamin E is added as a natural preservative to improve the shelf life of the product. Tocopherols or Vitamin E also helps in the growth of a healthy and shiny hair coat.
The kibbles are very small in size, suitable for dogs with small jawbone-structure. If you are planning to switch from a different brand to this dog food, make sure you start by giving small quantities and if the dog seems to adjust with the food, increase the serving size.
This dog food is best when served with wet dog food. As the kibbles are very small, you can easily mix them with any type of wet food. This dry dog food has a very weird smell to it.
Thus, the dog might develop an aversion to the food. To avoid this, you can mix it with the wet food from Blue Buffalo.
16. Holistic Select Natural
This food contains protein and fat in adequate amounts to aid the slower metabolism rates of the senior large-breed dogs. The protein content is mainly from the natural farm-sourced chicken and lentil is also added to enhance the taste of the food.
The food has glucosamine to help dogs with Arthritis. The prebiotics and probiotics present in the food help promote a better immune system along with the antioxidants supplied by the blueberries and cranberries.
The food also contains adequate natural fibers which make sure that the food gets digested easily and also helps with the bowel function of the aged dog.
The food is free from artificial preservatives and flavoring agents. The only preservative added is ascorbic acid, a natural preservative, that helps increase the shelf life of the product.
Ascorbic acid also helps in the effective absorption of iron present in the food. The food contains no traces of soy or corn and is completely free from gluten. Thus, the product is ideal for dogs with gluten sensitivity.
As this dry food is easy to digest and aids the low metabolism rate of the aged dogs, the food is one of the best dry foods for senior dogs.
Go for this one if you have a senior large-breed dog in your house. The food being reasonably priced is an added benefit.
17. Eukanuba Adult
The Eukanuba Adult dog food is best for medium breed dogs and contains chicken as the main ingredient. All the products are sourced directly from trusted farmers, and therefore, all the ingredients are of premium quality.
The food contains no artificial preservatives and is free from artificial flavoring agents as well. The food, however, contains naturally obtained Vitamin E as a preservative. This helps improve the shelf life and also promotes the growth of a shiny and healthy hair coat.
The DHA present in the food is best for promoting the healthy function of the brain. The glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate content, present in the food is best for dogs with Arthritis.
Along with promoting the health of joints, these nutrients play a vital role in strengthening the bone structure and tissues.
The optimum levels of fat and carbohydrates present in the food make it ideal for medium dogs with a moderate metabolism rate. The high fiber content makes sure that the food can be easily digested without causing any cases of constipation.
The main disadvantage of this food is associated with its kibbles. The kibbles, even though they are aptly sized to suit the jawbone structure, have a highly crispy structure. If your dog is suffering from any gum-related problems, he might find it difficult to eat the food.
To solve this problem, you will have to mix the food with a dog food gravy; thus, the kibbles would soften and your dogs can easily consume them.
18. Nutro Wholesome Essentials All Breed Sizes
This dog food is suitable for all breeds of dogs and contains chicken as the prime ingredient. The food doesn’t contain any traces of genetically modified ingredients and is also free from all sorts of artificial ingredients.
The food contains potatoes and brown rice along with chicken and it is the unique blend of these ingredients that imparts the flavor to the dry food. The food is free from poultry by-products and is therefore safe to be used by all dogs.
The food is highly rich in proteins, so it may not be suitable for dogs with low metabolism-rates. Even though the food is rich in fibers, the dogs may find it very difficult to digest the food and may cause constipation or other bowel problems.
The food is also free from soybean, cornmeal, and wheat, so you can feed this to your gluten intolerant dog. Before switching onto this dog food, make sure that your dog’s digestive system is capable of breaking down the high protein content.
It is highly recommended to first consult your vet and start administering the food in a small serving size. If your dog seems fine, you can increase the serving according to your dog’s nutritional needs.
19. Wellness Complete Health Turkey & Peas
The food also contains rice, oats and ground flaxseeds in significant amounts. The flaxseeds maintain blood pressure and maintain cholesterol levels.
The flaxseeds are also rich in fibers that aid the digestion process. The oats are also a rich source of fiber and improve the health of the digestive system.
The rosemary and green tea extracts help in detoxing the dog’s body and also imparts a good fragrance to the food. The food is free from artificial colorings and flavoring agents.
Instead of artificial preservatives, this dog food contains natural preservatives such as tocopherols and ascorbic acid. These help in the effective absorption of nutrients from the food and also helps to maintain a thick and shiny hair coat.
The kibbles are rightly sized to fit the small jawbone structure and the crispiness is just perfect. The kibbles also help to promote good gum health and sharpens the teeth.
FAQs on Senior Dog foods
1. When Is A Dog Considered Apt For Serving Senior Dog Food?
Small breed dogs have a larger lifespan and would be considered senior after 7 to 8 years. Whereas large breed dogs have a shorter lifespan and can be considered for serving senior dog food after 5 to 6 years.
2. How Much Food Should I Feed My Senior Dogs?
Every breed has different metabolism rates, the reason behind varying serving sizes. It is necessary to consult a vet before you decide the serving size.
3. How Do I Satisfy My Picky Eater Senior Dog?
The best way to ensure that the dog gets enough nutrients is to mix canned food and dry kibbles. This can enhance the flavor and the dogs would tend to eat more.
Dogs tend to be picky eaters as they turn old. Thus, to ensure that your dogs get the right nutrition, it is necessary to provide them with the best senior dog food.
You can either go for dry food or wet foods or a combination of both. The choice depends on the nutritional needs of your dog.