Senior dog foods are made for the older dogs, especially those who are in the borderline of their average lifespan. They contain all the essential nutrients needed for your pet dog to survive aging and fight against age-related illnesses and diseases. That said, choosing the best senior dog food should be grounded on the qualities that should help you and your dog gain all the best perks in a dog food product.

When choosing the best dog food for senior dogs, you can rest assured that your dog will live that happy and healthy life no matter how old he can be. However, you must first check whether your dog’s breed can handle the senior dog food formulation.

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How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs

You have to take a look at the following qualities to ensure that the senior dog food you’ve bought online or in-store is right for your aging buddy:

Nutrition Content

The most important quality check in senior dog food is its nutritional facts at the front or back of its bag or label. If you buy dog food online, the nutritional content should be listed on the product description. It is essential for your older dogs to eat food that is low in calories, high in protein, enough fats, and none of those carcinogenic, non-organic, and toxic materials.

Ingredients

As much as they are nutritious, not all ingredients are suitable for your pet dog’s diet. Like older human beings, some older dogs cannot tolerate some of the ingredients in senior dog food. Some organic coloring agents found in most dog foods in the market can cause irritations on your dog’s skin and intestinal tracts. If your older dog has no specific physical reactions or intolerances on his dog food ingredients, then it is safe for him to take.

Quality Branding

Most of the quality brands on the market are awarded either by associations of veterinarians or animal scientists, endorsed locally, nationally, or internationally by animal wellness organizations, and even appraised by the commerce groups on animal welfare. However, it is still advised to check the label meticulously. Not all with quality branding are true enough to their standards.

Manufacturer

The reputation of the dog food manufacturer is also an important factor to consider. Well-organized animal science laboratories, veterinary companies, and food processing factories are subjected to standards in formulating, processing, and even packing these dog foods. This is also inclusive of the FDA approval and USDA inspection in terms of compliance policies among animal food industries and the government regulatory board for food and drugs.

Price

The price of every senior dog food varies per brand and manufacturer. One factor that makes a senior dog food quite expensive is the added formulation and fortification of vitamins and minerals essential for the health and wellbeing of older dogs.

Nonetheless, most senior dog foods available in the market are within the suggested retail prices. As a dog owner, you should be prepared for any additional cost when taking good care of aging dogs as they require all the extra care they need.

11 of the Best Senior Dog Foods on the Market

CANIDAE Pure Senior Recipe

CANIDAE Pure Senior Recipe

Grain-Free Formula for the Older Dogs

CANIDAE has been an irrefutable brand when it comes to animal feeds, especially dog foods. Their less active formula features lower fat recipe, offering 27% less fat than regular multi-protein All Life Stages Formula. This also includes the HealthPLUS Solutions which is a combination of antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and probiotics that will be activated after cooking it.

Why We Like It:
  • Made of natural and organic ingredients
  • A specialized formula for less active and senior dogs
  • Also works for non-active, overweight dogs
  • Inclusive of the HealthPLUS Solutions
What We Don’t Like:
  • A little bit expensive in some stores
  • A lot of unfamiliar ingredients

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Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Senior Dry Dog Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Senior Dry Dog Food

All-Natural Formulation for a Complete Daily Nutrition

The Nutro Wholesome Essentials is made of all-natural ingredients that are good sources of essential nutrients needed for a senior dog’s development. With the added vitamins and minerals in its formulation, this dog food product is considered as one of the best dry dog foods for senior dogs.

Why We Like It:
  • Made of non-GMO ingredients
  • Sourced from farmers
  • Made with recognizable ingredients
  • No chicken by-products included
What We Don’t Like:
  • Not suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Not suitable for all dog breeds, especially toy dogs

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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Senior Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Senior Dry Dog Food

Chicken-Based Diet for Senior Dogs

This product from Blue Buffalo is made of the finest ingredients that are all-natural and packed with vitamins and minerals. It also contains LifeSource Bits, an antioxidant-rich kibble that helps in maintaining the youthful glow and energy in your senior dogs. This is good for all dog breeds and is packed with animal-sourced ingredients for higher protein at a lower calorie content.

Why We Like It:
  • Comes with glucosamine and chondroitin for joint strength and support for mobility
  • Rich in protein
  • Grain-free formulation
What We Don’t Like:
  • Includes ingredients that do not have nutritional value
  • Contains a lot of artificial ingredients, but were primarily for fortifying nutrients in dog food

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Diamond Naturals Senior Dog

Diamond Naturals Senior Dog

Offers a Healthy Source of Essential Vitamins and Minerals

This dog food offers holistic nutrition alongside its superfood-enhanced dry formula. It contains chicken, egg, and oatmeal which are all tested to be highly-efficient in maintaining the overall health condition of your aging dog. It also has optimal protein content and fats in order to maintain your dog’s body conditions on an ideal level.

Why We Like It:
  • Contains probiotics and fiber for digestion support
  • Also includes chondroitin and glucosamine for mobility and joint support
  • Comes with a balanced formulation of animal and plant ingredients
What We Don’t Like:
  • Not suitable for dogs with digestion issues

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Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult 11+ for Senior Dogs

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult 11+ for Senior Dogs

The Perfect Food for Small Senior Dogs

This dry variant is best for senior dogs who belong to smaller breeds like toy dogs and short-legged dogs. Its formulation is optimized for senior dogs aged 11 years and up, but it can still be taken by aging dogs aged 7 years and up. It is also one of the brands which are recommended by most veterinarians in the US.

Why We Like It:
  • Comes with precise nutrition for healthy skin, coat, and stool
  • Contains clinically-approved antioxidants
  • No artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives
What We Don’t Like:
  • Contains controversial ingredients and those with no nutritional value

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Merrick Grain-Free Senior Dry Dog Food

Merrick Grain-Free Senior Dry Dog Food

An Excellent Grain-Free Dry Food Option

Merrick’s dry dog food has a grain-free formulation and is made of real deboned meat and whole foods which are a great source of nutrients for better dog nutrition which is highly needed by senior dogs. Apart from that, it is said to be best for all dog breeds and sizes.

Why We Like It:
  • Rich in protein
  • Contains Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • Also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for better mobility and joint support
What We Don’t Like:
  • The formulation is prone to bacterial growth if not stored properly

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Nulo Senior Grain Free Dog Food

Nulo Senior Grain Free Dog Food

Ideal for Senior Dogs with an Active Lifestyle

With glucosamine and chondroitin in its contents, this senior dog food from Nulo Freestyle is made for aging yet active dogs to maintain healthy joints. It comes with phosphorus and calcium to make your dog’s bones stronger and sturdier. It also has probiotics which aid in digesting dog food and strengthen the digestive tracts of your pet. Additionally, it can prevent diarrhea and dog constipation.

Why We Like It:
  • Includes antioxidants that help strengthen your dog’s immune system
  • Rich in protein which can help build and repair lean muscles
  • Comes with chondroitin and glucosamine for those with aging joints
What We Don’t Like:
  • It has some ingredients that do not have any nutritional value
  • Moderately high in carbohydrates, adding to its overall calorie count

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Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Senior

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Senior

The Perfect Food for Senior Dogs with Food Sensitivity

Yet another quality product from Blue Buffalo, the Basics Limited Ingredient dog food is a grain-free option which makes it perfect for senior dogs who are sensitive to various food types. It has turkey as its main ingredient which is then paired by easily digestible carbohydrates from potatoes, peas, and pumpkin.

Additionally, it contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids as well as other essential vitamins including vitamin B6, B12, and D3.

Why We Like It:
  • An ideal formulation for dogs with food sensitivity
  • Doesn’t contain any animal by-products
  • No artificial food coloring and other potential ingredients
What We Don’t Like:
  • Contains several controversial ingredients such as garlic, pea protein, and more

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ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Senior

ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Senior

An Excellent Aid in Your Aging Dog’s Development

The chelated minerals in the ORIJEN’s dry senior dog food help in the absorption of the essential nutrients needed for your aging dog’s growth and development, alongside maintaining his overall health. The food’s low-calorie content is good for your older dog’s lower metabolism and also helps maintain his weight and prevent cases of obesity and obesity-related health issues.

Why We Like It:
  • Contains 85% animal protein that promotes lean muscle growth
  • Contains inulin for carbohydrate needs
  • Also features antioxidants which help maintain youthfulness and increase immunity against diseases
What We Don’t Like:
  • Contains egg protein which is not suitable on some dogs, especially those who have intolerances to egg and egg products

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Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity Senior 7+ Formula Wet Dog Food

Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity Senior 7+ Formula Wet Dog Food

A Well-Balanced Formulation for Senior Dogs

Considered as one of the best wet dog foods for seniors, Purina’s One SmartBlend boasts of its balanced formulation of protein, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids which support your senior dog’s growth and development. This wet variant is best for dogs who have palate and digestive issues.

Why We Like It:
  • Well-balanced protein, fatty acids, and antioxidants formulation
  • Easily taken in by senior dogs with palate and digestion issues
  • 100% complete and balanced nutrition
What We Don’t Like:
  • Not suitable for all dog breeds

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Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Senior Wet Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Senior Wet Dog Food

An Excellent Choice for Dogs with Stomach Sensitivity

This homestyle recipe is an excellent choice for dogs with a sensitive stomach. It’s formulated from high-quality ingredients and is guaranteed grain-free. It is formulated for all life stages, dog breeds, and sizes. It also has a lot of real meat ingredients that contain a lot of protein and omega fatty acids which are all essential for your dog’s growth and development.

Why We Like It:
  • Packed with essential vitamins and minerals
  • Features a rich taste that your dog will surely like
  • Includes real ingredients, whether they are meat or vegetables
What We Don’t Like:
  • Its formulation has a questionable consistency

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FAQs

Q: Can my senior dog eat regular dog food?

A: As long as the formulation meets the dietary requirements of your senior dog, that is fine. However, not all regular dog foods provide the same formulation needed for senior dogs. They need more protein and fiber but fewer calories to maintain its shape and prevent obesity. They also need specific nutrients responsible for maintaining stronger joints and back.

Q: What is the difference between regular and senior dog food?

A: Most senior dog foods have more calibrated nutritional contents that are required in keeping an aging dog active, alert, and physically strong. Regular dog foods have higher calorie content in order to keep dogs healthy and physically well-developed. Senior dog foods, on the other hand, have lesser calories and more vitamins and minerals to support their aging body and even extend their lifespan.

Q: How much senior dog food should I feed my dog?

A: This normally depends on every breed. Not all dogs are suitable for eating wet food, especially senior dogs. This is especially true for those with a sensitive stomach, in which case they should be given a dog food for sensitive stomach instead.

Moreover, you should not give puppy food to senior dogs, even if its protein and fiber content is almost the same. Dog foods designed for puppies contain higher calories to sustain the energy they need for their growth and development.

Q: What are the common nutrients found in senior dog food products?

A: Proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber are the most common nutrients found in every senior dog food. There are some dog foods that contain glucosamine and chondroitin which help in maintaining joint strength. Other senior dog foods add essential vitamins and minerals needed to strengthen the immune system, encourage proper blood circulation, and even help in digestion and prevention of digestive diseases like diarrhea and constipation which is common among aging dogs.

Q: Why do senior dogs only need less calories?

A: As much as these dogs are no longer engaged in strenuous activities, they are better served with lesser calories in order to prevent obesity among senior dogs. Higher calories with lesser ingestion means more fats to store. More fats in the body can lead to serious body conditions like hyperventilation, diseases caused by bad fatty acids and cholesterol, and other obesity-related illnesses.

Q: Is there a difference between wet and dry senior dog food?

A: Wet and dry foods are usually different in texture and the way they’re prepared for. Wet foods are served without any liquid and are usually sticky. This is best for dogs who have challenges in digesting solid food. Dry food, on the other hand, needs to be served alongside with water. This is considered a better option most of the time.

Final Thoughts

A dog’s nutrition is an essential aspect to keep him healthy and strong at all times. Therefore, as much as possible, you should provide him with all the essential nutrition he needs.

Also, keep in mind that older dogs need more nutrients to keep their bones and muscles healthy, their fur as soft and luscious, and their overall health in check. Luckily, the products we mentioned above are all specially formulated for senior dogs.

Hopefully, you can find the right one for your furry friend based on the factors we’ve given. Best of luck!