How do you know that your dog is now senior (geriatric)?
Well, as a rule of thumb, when dogs attain half of their life, you need to consider getting the right diet for them as seniors.
Quick Navigation: Top 13 Best Senior Dog Food
- CANIDAE All Life Stages Senior Dry Dog Food
- NUTRO ULTRA Senior Dry Dog Food
- Holistic Select Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- AvoDerm Natural Senior Dry Dog Food
- Wellness Complete Natural Dry Senior Dog Food
- Hill’s Science Diet Senior Dry Dog Food
- Nutro Ultra Wet Senior Canned Dog Food
- Wellness Complete Natural Wet Senior Dog Food
- Merrick Grain Free Small Breed Senior Dry Dog Food
- CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Small Breed Dry Dog Food
- Taste of the Wild Small Breed Senior Dog Food
- Holistic Select Natural Large Breed Dry Dog Food
- NUTRO MAX Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
What Are The Health Risks For Aging Dogs?
Unfortunately, these risks may increase as your dog gets older as the body undergoes certain changes that it may not work as well as it once used to.
For instance, dogs may develop cognitive decline, eye, and even heart problems. Their immunity may be further compromised and result in regular veterinary checks for you.
Do Dogs Lose Weight As They Age?
More often than not, dogs pack pounds as they approach old age. This needs to be carefully managed as most dogs give in to too much weight. The effect is mostly felt on the joints, and this may leave the dog arthritic.
The sure way to ensure that your dog does not head through this path is by feeding them smaller portions of food.
This does not mean that a dog should lose weight at old age, as this could be as a result of an underlying problem.
Are Supplements Beneficial To Senior Dogs?
In the recent past, Glucosamine and Chondroitin have received significant attention due to the claims that these supplements improve or maintain joint health.
To prove that, numerous studies have been performed to determine the efficacy of chondroitin and glucosamine to dog health, specifically joint health.
There have not been any evident side effects with one study conducted in 2003 having found that the two supplements can be of benefit to your aging dog. The two were found that they can be extremely important in canine spinal degeneration.
Tips For Feeding Senior Dogs
- Feeding Commericial Senior Dog Food
While shopping around for senior dog food may seem like a simple task, you need to be extremely cautious.
Many lower quality brands assume that senior dog foods are the same as weight management dog foods.
Let’s agree, it’s important to try and help your dog achieve a healthy body weight, but that doesn’t mean that getting mid-quality dog food for weight management is right.
A majority of pet food manufacturers produce formulas that have lower calorie count, but they do it at the expense of protein content.
Obesity can be a dangerous condition for your senior dog because it increases certain health risks. But you have to ensure that the food you choose has all the basic nutritional needs of your friend. Most important, ensure that the dog food has the highest quality protein possible.
- Feeding Homemade Senior Dog Food
If you are doing a home recipe for your senior dog, however, you don’t need not put too much protein as you can get other healthy foods such as veggies and fruits. If you can add sweet potatoes too, it will mean that your aging dog gets a special combination of phytonutrients. You also need to up the antioxidants as these are extremely important in keeping your dog in good health. That’s where freshly cooked vegetables come in. These contain Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that is naturally contained in nut oils and the greens.
Also, arthritis and other musculoskeletal issues are other things to put into consideration when choosing a diet for your dog. While some dogs may develop inherited problems such as hip dysplasia, you need to go for food products that have specifically been made for senior dogs.
What Is The Best Dog Food For Senior Dogs?
Best Senior Dry Dog Food Brands
There’s a lot to consider when as your dog gets mature and older but keeping them healthy and fit is the key thing to do.
And even as your dog begins to slow down, you still need to show them that they are still your best friend and companion.
Here is a detailed list of senior dog food reviews by various brands with ingredients and usefulness of each dog food;
1 . CANIDAE All Life Stages Less Active Formula Dry Dog Food – Canidae Platinum Dog Food for Puppies, Adults & Seniors
For more than 2 decades now, CANIDAE has been producing special formulas by offering different dog foods for different nutrition. Do you need to balance your time while keeping your senior dog’s pack nourished well? This dog food from CANIDAE is one of the finest you can get for feeding dogs of different stages.
The diet is specially formulated with all the nutrients that your senior dog needs to keep on matching strong. The practical formula contains optimum levels of protein that helps in building strong muscles without packing on weight which can be risky for elderly dogs.
This best senior dog food is loaded with Omega 6 and omega 3 which is important for keeping their skin and coat healthy. Senior dogs may experience digestion difficulty in their living, but Canidae has included adequate probiotics for smooth digestion.
Some customers who have tried this dog food were amazed by how their pets look lively again after feeding on this formula. Dogs with certain age-related diseases such as arthritis have really benefited from this dog food as it keeps the weight in check. Similarly, dogs whose bodies are not physically strong enough will find an ultimate solution in this dog food.
The dog food doesn’t have many concerns from pet owners, but some have noted that their elderly dogs experience constipation which can be a serious issue. However, adding some canola oil to the meal has been showed to solve this problem. What’s more, you need to ensure proper transitioning so that your senior dog doesn’t develop complications.
2 . NUTRO ULTRA Senior Dry Dog Food
Small breed senior dogs demand unique nutritional needs. Nutra Ultra is a healthy dog food that has been made with natural ingredients to meet the needs of your mature dog. This natural formula is tailored with nature’s finest ingredients and offers an amazing balance for balanced nutrition in each and every bowl.
Apart from just being a nutritious diet, Nutro ultra has a delicious taste for your dog. The Nutro’s premium dog food offers a perfect blend of sun-ripened blueberries, pomegranates, and cranberries for a strong immune system. Better yet, it contains 3 lean protein from a farm-raised chicken and healthy lambs for adequate amino acids. These proteins ensure that your aging friend becomes strong and youthful.
Additionally, the dog food contains naturally sourced chondroitin and glucosamine which are the building blocks of strong cartilage and super healthy joints. Glucosamine also combines with beta-carotene for a healthy and active lifestyle. This best senior dog food offers a perfect balance of fiber sourced from whole ingredients which offer an ideal digestive environment for the absorption of nutrients. Other noteworthy ingredients in this dog food are whole chia seeds, dried spinach, dried kales, whole flaxseed and dried blueberries. There are also highly digestible carbohydrates from wholesome grains such as whole brown rice, nutrient-rich whole oatmeal for dogs with a sensitive stomach.
Since Nutro started making pet food in 1926, they have won most customers’ trust around the world. Their dog food contains no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors.
3 . Holistic Select Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food – Senior Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe
Select Senior Health Dog Food is the perfect treat for your older dogs. This is due to its unique nutrient composition which will be perfectly fit for your pet. All this is accomplished through a rigorous process in line with the company’s commitment to providing wholesome, natural pet food.
To start off, this meal is packed with chicken meal and lentils; this is a great source of proteins to aid in muscle regeneration and hence a healthy youthful look. The meal also contains sources of protease which helps in the breakdown of starch.
Holistic did go a step further to include fruits as well as vegetables such as papaya and pumpkin. These contain fiber which aids in supporting the digestive system keeping it healthy. Live is also added, this naturally occurring microorganism is normally found in a healthy digestive tract.
To provide energy, the meal contains brown rice which when cooked will provide a rich source of carbohydrates. This bust of energy will ensure that your pet remains strong as it ages gracefully. The coarsely ground oatmeal is a good source of vitamin B- which helps in conversion of food to energy. The other ingredient is chick fat, obtained from chicken by rendering the meat. It’s important to note that fat is rich in omega 6 fatty acid which is essential for healthy skin and coat.
4 . AvoDerm Natural Senior Dry Dog Food
AvoDerm has been around for a while now, the parent company; Breeder’s choice has been around since 1982. The company boasts time-tested techniques in preparation of dog foods. As a result, each meal is composed of carefully selected ingredients. As a result, this wholesome dog meal is designed to suit every nutritional need of your aging may need.
The meal has avocado as one of the main ingredients, which has long been effective in keeping dogs’ skin smooth and alleviating any skin allergies. The other main ingredient is a chicken meal, which is a concentrate and as a result contains almost 300% more proteins than other meat products. As a result, proteins will go a long way into ensuring that your dog remains healthy without any loss of muscles even as old age kicks in.
Salmon meal is another ingredient in this meal. Salmon meal is obtained from dried and ground tissue of whole fish and fish cuttings. This is a great source of omega 6 oils which help in keeping the body healthy and fighting off infections.
Some dog owners have in the past complained about the rice included in the meal; they would rather have brown rice which is much more nutrient-packed compared to mixed rice.
5 . Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Senior Dog Food – Specially Formulated for Senior Dogs
The metabolism process in a dog gradually slows down as it gets old. As a result, your pet may become slow, and their joints may ache. The only way to slow down these effects is by ensuring that your dog has a continuous supply of nutrients required for the proper health.
This is where wellness complete senior meal comes in. This is the perfect blend of nutrients and tastes so nice that even a choosy pet will still enjoy the meal. The meal has deboned chicken as the main ingredient which gives this formula that delicious taste. Better yet, chicken provides a constant supply of the much-needed proteins which are required in cell replacement.
The meal contains added glucosamine and chondroitin which is responsible for healthy joints. To enhance the heart performance the meal also contains taurine. This promotes the fitness of your pet so that the two of you can enjoy even more years together.
To enhance your dog’s health and immunity, the meal contains green tea extract which fights cell destruction. Yucca Schidigera extract is also added to reduce the odor in dog stool.
6 . Hill’s Science Diet Active Longevity Senior Dry Dog Food – Precisely Balanced Nutrition For Dogs Age 7 +
It’s not uncommon for dogs to become lethargic with age. It’s recommended that you select the right dog food for Fido to avoid worse conditions and various health disability. Hill’s Science Diet dog food is specifically made with dogs that are 7+ in mind. Your senior dog will definitely notice improved levels of energy after consuming this dog food which is of the top-rated senior dog foods. It includes a synergistic blend of vital nutrients which ensures increased energy levels in just one month of consumption.
The dog food has been formulated with all the natural ingredients, vitamins and minerals as a way of making it tasty and digestive. Better yet, Hill’s Science dog food offers a perfect balance of antioxidants to keep your dog’s immune health at its best. The dog food uses clinically proven antioxidants. The dog food has been made in the US with every ingredient meeting and exceeding all the strict requirements set by the industry standards. Therefore, Hill’s Science uses natural and high-quality ingredients without the use of artificial colors and preservatives.
The dog food contains enough omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to ensure that the youthful look is restored as well as a healthy coat. Antioxidants and vitamin E and C combine to offer adequate support to your dog’s immune system. The dog food has been made with Glucosamine and Chondroitin which acts as key nutrients for healthy joints and hips.
Best Senior Wet Dog Food
1 . Nutro Ultra Wet Senior Canned Dog Food
Nutro Ultra wet food is a holistic dog food that has been formulated for senior dogs of smaller breeds as it contains 3 types of important protein. The company uses Vitamin E to preserve the freshness of wet dog foods. Do you own a senior dog and are in need of wet canned dog food? The Nutro ultra dog food is a premium food that offers an adequate amount of nutrients for improving the overall health of your senior dog. The recipe has been made from pure, natural ingredients to ensure that your aging friend gets proper nutrition.
Senior dogs are prone to various health illnesses, but you can be sure that your dog will thrive under this diet. The inclusion of high-quality protein means that your dog will have leaner muscles and hence a stronger body. The dog food also packs enough omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to ensure that your dog has a healthy coat and a youthful look. The meal also contains adequate minerals and vitamins to enhance the immune system of your dog. The older dog food brand makes its food in the US which is why most users have trust in this formula. Some customers have noted significant improvements in their dog’s appetite and energy levels, thanks to the blend of meat and vegetables. If you are looking for suitable dog food for a weak dog, this is what you’re looking for.
2 . Wellness Complete Health Natural Wet Senior Canned Dog Food
This meal aims at providing a holistic approach to all of your senior pet’s needs. To further ensure that your dog remains healthy, the meal provides nutrition which sums up to the complete nutrition that can be attained in that day. In case you have a picky dog then this is the best meal for them, it’s specially formulated to ensure that the flavor stays natural even after canning.
The meal contains salmon and chicken as the main ingredients, these offer proteins and are rich in omega 3 and 6. As a result, your dog will have healthy muscles and fur as well. Omega 3 has the added advantage of providing a healthy coat.
The formula is further fortified with DHA which aids in maintaining eyesight as well as proper brain functioning. It’s important to remember that a single helping of wellness wet canned food contains enough nutrients for a daily meal.
Turkey broth is another main ingredient, but while it might be of modest nutritional value, it does add flavor to the meal which will be tasty even to the picky adult dogs. Turkey liver is also added to provide a rich supply of iron.
Regarding energy provision, the meal contains barley which is a starchy carbohydrate. Barley also supports stable sugar levels.
Best Senior Dry Dog Foods For Small Breeds
1 . Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food – Real Buffalo & Sweet Potato Recipe for Small Breed Senior Dog
Many pet parents know firsthand the implications of grains to any dog with sensitivities. Merrick grain-free formula is perfect for such senior dogs. It’s not only high in protein content but is also heavily fortified with other essential nutrients.
Merrick grain-free features omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that aid in skin and coat maintenance. The deboned buffalo offer high levels of proteins. This ensures that your dog remains healthy even through its old age.
To provide daily energy requirements, the meal is prepared using sweet potatoes. These are better sources of carbohydrates compared to grains, and they are also soft to your pet’s gut. It’s important to remember that sweet potatoes are also rich in fiber for smooth digestion.
Unlike other food manufacturers who rely on cheap ingredients from China, Merrick is quality focused, and all of their ingredients are sourced for in-house. As a result, you can rest assured that the company is looking out for your dog’s health just as you are. This dog food does not contain artificial flavors and preservatives.
2 . CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Small Breed Dry Dog Food – Formula with Fresh Chicken
Canidae is a family owned company based in California. The company is committed to quality with all the ingredients used being natural and holistic. The company sources its ingredients from various parts of the world as a way of ensuring that they get only the highest quality ingredients.
The Canidae Grain Free Pure dog food comes with 7 grain free ingredients with premium proteins such as wild boar, fresh lamb, and duck. The recipe has been made with carefully picked ingredients to reduce the risk for food allergies and other sensitivities. The food which has been specifically made for small breed senior dogs uses a fresh chicken as the first ingredient to enhance the taste and add enough protein for lean muscles and energetic look.
The formula also includes whole foods such as sun-cured alfalfa, chickpeas, and lentils, which are rich in fiber for gentle digestion. The formula uses essential vitamins, probiotics, and minerals to offer balanced nutrition. This recipe has been made with the mind of a satisfied customer as it doesn’t include wheat, soy, hormone or artificial fillers. The dog food has also been cooked using probiotics to ensure a continuous supply of antioxidant for an enhanced immune system.
Additionally, it contains loads of omega 3 and 6 which are vital for a healthy and shiny coat. The formula contains dried fermentation products which enhance digestion. And just like any other dog food, the Canidae grain free dog food has some disadvantages such as the inclusion of Alfalfa which is a controversial ingredient. Additionally, the dog food contains potato which is of modest value to your pet.
3 . Taste of the Wild, Appalachian Valley Small Breed Senior Dog Food – Canine Formula with Venison & Garbanzo Beans
Specifically made for your small breed senior dog, this dog food from Taste of the wild uses natural ingredients to make this dog food. The protein has been sourced from various sources that your dog consumes a high-quality protein with enough amino acids. The major sources of proteins include Venison and lamb meal whose digestibility is rather easy than the chicken meal found in most dog food. The good thing is that the dog food has a great taste that your dog will like. Most of the ingredients are good protein sources such as the egg product and the duck meal which are highly digestible.
To ensure the right balance in the number of microorganisms in the gut, this dog food has been made with prebiotics which boosts the good bacteria important for your small breed dog’s gut health. The dog food also boasts an adequate amount of amino fatty acids sourced mainly from fish meal to ensure that the coat of your dog remains beautiful and the skin healthy. Apart from just the nice appearance, the fatty acids help in transportation of vitamins and minerals.
Most customers have noted increased energy levels and coat appearance after using this dog food. The dog food also contains added vitamins and minerals to ensure that your canine becomes healthy enough. The dog food contains no artificial preservatives, colors and fillers. To ensure that your dog enjoys the food, it has been made with small kibble to make it easy to chew. The dog food has been supplemented with vegetables and fruits to ensure that your dog gets the right dosage of antioxidants for enhanced immune health
Best Senior Dry Dog Food For Large Breeds
1 . Holistic Select Natural Large Breed Dry Dog Food
Now for over 10 years Holistic has been providing remarkable dog meals, with the Holistic Select dry, the company aims to go even further by providing high-quality dry meals. The formula is prepared under strict quality controls to ensure that you only get the best of the best. As a result, this meal has come to be widely recognized as an all-natural meal.
The main ingredient happens to be a chicken meal. This is a good source of both energy as well as proteins which are important for body building in large breeds. The ground brown rice is a rich source of fiber and will provide your pet with all the carbohydrates it needs for the day to day activities.
The meal also contains active probiotics which help in maintaining gut health. Oatmeal is also present and is naturally rich in vitamin B- , these aids in metabolism. Another major ingredient in the meal is fruits; these include pumpkin and apples which will help in vitamin provision. As a result, your pet will have a stronger immunity.
To ensure that your large breed remains healthy and active the meal is supplemented with glucosamine which supports the formation of healthy hips and joints.
2 . NUTRO MAX Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
Nutro max aims at providing the best quality natural dog meal for your pets. It’s, therefore, no surprise that this formula does not contain any by-products and all of the ingredients are sourced for and prepared in-house. This ensures that the meal retains the same great taste that has come to be s favorite among many adult large breeds.
If your dog is sensitive to grain products, you will be happy to know that this meal does not contain corn, soy, or wheat. Also, the manufacturer ensures that no added artificial flavors and preservatives are used during the preparation.
The main ingredient is a chicken meal which is considered to be a concentrate and packs more than enough proteins for your dog’s daily needs. Chicken fat is also added to provide omega 6 fatty acids which are essential for life.
Alfalfa meal is also added and is another source of proteins. In terms of energy, the meal is packed with sorghum which is a starchy carbohydrate. This will provide your pet with the much-needed energy boost all day long.
Brewers rice which consists of leftover rice after the milling process is also added. This is rich in fiber and also provides carbohydrates.
Homemade Senior Dog Food
If your pet ever refused to eat, you may have tried homemade recipes for your dog. Most homemade recipes benefit dogs as they contain natural ingredients and high-level nutrients.And now here’s a recipe that has a balance of 50% protein, 25% grains and 25% Veggies but you can adjust the ratios to suit your breed needs.
- 1 ½ cups brown rice
- 3 pounds ground Turkey
- 1 tbs. olive oil
- 3 cups spinach, chopped
- 2 carrots (Shredded)
- ½ cup peas
- 1 Zucchini, shredded
- Cook rice in a large saucepan of 3 cups carefully following package instructions.
- Heat Olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat then add ground turkey and cook until browned.
- Stir in Spinach, Zucchini, carrots, peas and brown rice until the spinach has wilted and the mixture is well heated.
- Let it cool completely before Fido can enjoy.
How To Choose Best Senior Dog Food
Choosing the best senior dog food is not an easy task considering the numerous brands available as well as the underlying health conditions among dogs.Seek comprehensive assessment by a Vet
You should always depend on a professional vet for exceptional advice on what to feed your aging companion depending on the health profile.
If your dog has a common disease that affects senior dogs, then you will be aware of what to feed your dog and what to avoid.
Dietary matters can be challenging, but your vet will guide you in the right way to handle it.
Go for higher quality protein sources
The most important macronutrient in aging dogs is protein. This is mainly because they need it the ongoing tissue building process to replace the damaged tissues.
Without protein, your pooch’s heath may deteriorate and mean danger.
It’s worth noting that dogs with kidney problems hugely benefit from feeding on higher quality protein.
Include wholesome grains
Many people have a low opinion about the word ‘grain’ in dog food. And while grain diets can be beneficial to pooches suffering from immune problems, wholesome ingredients are a requirement for every dog.
Wholesome grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice offer amazing benefits to your dog because they occur in their simplest form.
Best senior dog food
You may wonder whether there are any specific requirements for senior dogs.
And while there are is no AAFCO statement for senior dog food, there’s need to offer your senior friend the right nutrition to reduce health risks and obesity.
Here are some nutrients to consider in the best senior dog food:
Protein – Older dogs need protein to help in synthesis of amino acids for metabolization of energy and tissue repair. It’s important to note that some dogs need much of it than others. You need to pick dog foods for seniors with real meat as the number one ingredient.
Fiber – It is also an important nutrient for seniors as it aids in weight loss, regulates glucose and alleviates constipation. Fiber keeps your dog full for longer durations which means eating less. This, however, maybe a disadvantage to your furry friend as it may decrease the intake of some nutrients. Be careful.
Sodium – It is yet another vital nutrient for dogs and humans alike. Luckily, most dog foods have plenty of sodium especially for food for senior dogs. And while sodium (salt) is a vital nutrient, senior dogs with heart or kidney problems or even hypertension should consume reduced levels of salt. Additionally, phosphorus is yet another important nutrient for your older best friend as it can keep them strong.
Antioxidants can enhance cognitive function in senior dogs. Better yet, they help is the preservation of dog food and keep it tasting incredibly fresh. Antioxidants also prevent cancer.
Senior dogs also need Medium-chain Triglycerides such as omega 3 to assist in keeping the mind sharp, but supplementation needs to be long-term. Amino acids such as L-Carnitine prevent unhealthy weight gain hence maintaining a youthful physique for your aging dog. L-lysine and Taurine also keep the muscles and bones strong and healthy.
Another nutrient is Tryptophan which is crucial for the synthesis of serotonin which helps curb aggressive behavior is younger and senior dogs alike. Most turkey formulas have tryptophan.
Healthy fats and oils help in regulating metabolism so that your senior dog maintains a healthy weight covered by a shiny looking coat. If the dog food has essential vitamins and minerals, it means a further boost in the immune function.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin are in many dog foods for senior dogs as these are good for joint health. Glucosamine helps in the synthesis of collagen, and this may offer anti-inflammatory relief. On the other hand, Chondroitin inhibits destructive enzymes in cartilage. If your dog has joint problems, you need to visit a vet.
Water is essential for every dog to prevent dehydration.
What are the ingredients to avoid in senior dog food?
- Fillers: These have a trivial nutritional benefit and can block nutrients absorption, examples of fillers include Corn and Wheat.
- Unrecognizable veggie and meat by-products: These should be on your red list as they create an imbalance in your senior dog digestive system.
- Corn Syrup: This is just a fancy name for sugar. In light of this, it can result in obesity and diabetes for your senior friend.
- Chemicals: Dogs are naturally allergic to chemicals and synthetic ingredients. These cause cancer.
- Preservatives, artificial colors and flavors.
What Should You Do If Your Senior Dog Refuses To Eat?
While sometimes you do your best to offer the right amounts of nutrients to your dog, it’s not uncommon that senior dogs lose their appetite sometimes. This can have profound effects on their overall health.Check with your vet
It’s important to contact your vet immediately when you notice a poor appetite with your pooch. This may be a sign of an illness. Most dogs with stomach upsets may be nauseous causing them not to eat. Cancer is also another illness that may result in appetite loss.
Try homemade recipes
This is the time to research on nutritious treats for your pet, but it’s important to include ingredients that only benefit the pet. Some ingredients such as cooked chicken, lamb or brown rice may restore their appetite.
Try flavor enhancers
We should carefully check flavor of dog food if home-cooked meals don’t work. Elderly canines need special foods due to the ongoing changes in their body. Ensure that you include all the important ingredients for senior dogs.
Deciding on the best senior dog food for your furry friend is not an easy task.
You want to ensure that your dog eats the best food no matter his age.
Remember that this tender age of being a senior dog comes with the creaking of bones, bulging of the body and aching of joints.
This comprehensive guide offers all the best dog food choices for your fuzzy friend so that he can be around you for a longer time.