What’s The Best Dog Food For Older Dogs?

If you’re an owner of an older, senior dog, then it’s always wise to consider buying a quality brand of food that provides all of the essential nutrition your older dog needs.

In many cases, a senior dog formula will be quite different from a conventional brand – so you’ll often see a focus on reduced calories to prevent weight gain, along with digestive support and additional supplementation to ease sensitive joints and provide general comfort throughout their older years.

In this guide, you’ll find a wide selection of different senior dog food brands, all of which receive excellent reviews and are generally regarded as great options. Keeping this in mind, let’s explore these food choices in closer detail, so you can decide which brand is likely to be the most suitable choice.

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Wellness Complete Health has long been a popular brand and their ‘senior’ version of the formula always scores good feedback from dog owners. The senior formula relies on deboned chicken for easy eating and plenty of flavor, and it also features additional chondroitin and glucosamine which goes a long way towards supporting healthy hips and joints, which is always good news for a senior dog.

What’s more, the food uses only high quality, premium-grade ingredients – without the addition of wheat, corn, soy, or meat by-products which could potentially upset your dog’s digestion system. Ultimately, this is a reliable formula for any older dog, and it remains to be one of the most popular senior dog food blends on the market right now.

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Blue Buffalo are a well-respected brand with many great products, and their senior dog food option is certainly one of their best formulas in general. You’ll find ingredients such as L-Carnitine which is useful for maintaining lean muscle mass and preventing fat gain, and there’s also plenty of additional vitamins and minerals which will provide adequate energy, along with ensuring healthy skin and a shiny coat.

This food comes with all of the essential ingredients you’ll need to support a senior dog’s health, and interestingly, several dog owners mention how their dog truly loves this food, even those who tend to be picky eaters. Overall, this is a great option that comes at a reasonable price, so it’s a worthy choice if you’re looking for something new for a senior dog.

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Here’s another excellent formula that’s designed specifically for senior dogs in mind – and it’s also classed as a ‘limited ingredient’ formula, which makes it highly suited to a dog who may have a sensitive digestion system. The product uses quality fresh chicken as the main ingredient, and altogether it only comes with 9 different ingredients to avoid overwhelming or upsetting your dog’s stomach.

The ingredients are generally considered to be very high quality overall, and several buyers note how quickly their dog takes to the blend, and a few people have found their dog’s skin allergies have been somewhat alleviated since choosing this particular product for their senior dog.

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This brand of senior dog food by Diamond Pet Foods is perhaps a lesser-known brand compared to some, but it’s equally fantastic when it comes to supporting the long-term nutritional needs of a senior dog.

The manufacturer promises to use only quality ingredients in their blend, and this certainly  seems to be the case overall. It features chicken as the primary ingredient, along with egg and oatmeal – which supports the energy requires of an older dog as well as giving them some extra protein and fatty acids that will support healthy skin and coat.

What’s more, the formula comes with additional chondroitin and glucosamine which are useful for maintaining your dog’s joint health – which is obviously a common issue for senior dogs in particular.

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Orijen produce some of the highest quality dog food you’re ever likely to find, which is reflected in the higher price point for most of their products. Their senior formula is no exception to this – providing your dog with fantastic ingredient quality and tasty blends that your dog is sure to enjoy eating.

While the price can make it somewhat prohibitive to purchase regularly, it’s definitely a high-quality product that gives your dog a protein-packed meal, along with several key vitamins and minerals. The formula is also fairly carbohydrate-limited and entirely grain-free, and it does well when it comes to replicating a ‘natural’ diet that won’t upset your dog in any way.

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Here’s another fantastic dog food that caters specifically for senior breeds, and it comes with the added benefit of using real chicken as the primary ingredient. Of course, this means it provides plenty of tasty protein that your senior dog will love, even if they’re on the fussy side.

The food is generally balanced very well, with a reliable balance of protein and fat, along with all of the important nutrition they need to remain healthy. Additionally, the crunchy kibble helps to keep your dog’s teeth clean between brushing and goes a long way towards reducing the buildup of plaque which can cause dental issues for an older dog.

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This brand of senior dog food is a little more affordable than the others listed in our guide, so it’s a good choice if you’re on a limited budget. However, despite its affordable price, it comes with plenty of healthy ingredients, along with extra beta-carotene and vitamin E that will help to support a senior dog’s immune system.

Of course, it also contains the crucial glucosamine and chondroitin that further supports healthy joints and mobility – both of which are very important for an older dog. Furthermore, the kibbles can help to keep your dog’s teeth clean by reducing the buildup of tartar.

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Hill’s Science Diet is another well-respected brand, and this particular option aims to cater specifically for mature dogs. Interestingly, this brand is often recommended by veterinarians, which adds to its overall trustworthiness.

It’s formulated to sustain lean muscle mass while maintaining your dog at their ideal weight, and it also features additional ingredients, vitamins, and minerals that help to sustain a healthy heart and joints without triggering any digestion issues.

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Holistic Select make a range of great dog food products which score consistently high reviews – and their senior formula is certainly no exception.

While it’s a little more expensive than some of the competition, it comes with excellent ingredient quality along with a unique digestive support system that features prebiotics, probiotics, natural fibers, and digestive enzymes – which is great news for any dog that struggles with stomach sensitivity.

Additionally, it comes with added glucosamine to benefit your older dog’s hips and joints, and it’s generally considered to be a well-balanced, complete formula that’ll accommodate all of your dog’s key nutritional needs.

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Finally, we have this formula from Nutro Ultra, which is again specifically formulated for senior breeds and comes with both a small breed option as well as a medium/large breed blend. Both versions use excellent protein as the primary ingredient with a 26% protein and 11% fat ratio, which is perfectly suited to an older dog.

What’s more, there’s plenty of antioxidants used as well, which are mostly sourced from natural fruits and veggies like cranberries, spinach, blueberries, and pomegranates. You’ll also find chondroitin and glucosamine which help to maintain your dog’s joints – which is obviously great news for an aging dog.

Nutritional Advice For Senior & Older Dogs

  • When should you buy a senior formula? This largely depends on the size of your dog’s breed, as well as their weight. Small and medium-sized breeds (when not overweight) can start on a senior brand at around 7 years old. Whereas large breeds can benefit from 6 years onward, and giant breeds from 5 years onward.
  • Quality dog food is beneficial at any age, but especially for the senior dog. Quality brands leave out many of the cheaper protein sources and meat by-products, and they’ll often leave out low-grade carbohydrates which can trigger digestion issues, too.
  • Be wary of overfeeding your dog and causing unwanted weight gain. It’s all too easy to treat our beloved dogs all the time, especially as they grow older, but extra weight problems can make old age a whole lot worse for your beloved pooch.
  • Senior-focused dog food is a great choice. These products are formulated with the appropriate level of calories to avoid excess weight gain, along with key vitamins and minerals that aid digestion and joint health.
  • Regular health checkups are important. Ideally, at least every 6 months, which will help you to keep on top of any developing health issues such as arthritis, and ultimately ensure your dog has a comfortable and enjoyable older life.
  • Arthritis is common in older dogs, as well as general mobility issues. try to keep their access to any furniture or beds as easy as possible, and you may want to consider investing in a quality orthopedic bed for added comfort.
  • Ensure there are decent levels of protein in your older dog’s food to maintain their muscle mass as much as possible. Indeed, it can even be beneficial to provide a little more protein than before, especially when your dog still receives a fair amount of activity.
  • Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are key. In particular, look for vitamin E, beta-carotene, biotin, GLA, FOS, along with omega fatty acids for their skin and coat. Of course, a quality brand will come with a whole host of vitamins and minerals which will provide a range of benefits.