Did you know that you should be having regular conversations with your veterinarian about your pet's diet? You'll start him out on a puppy diet, switch him to one of the many adult dog diets available, and eventually it will be time to find him a food formulated for seniors. You don't want to make this choice without the advice of your vet. He or she will recommend one of the best senior dog food brands.
Typically, the larger a dog is, the shorter his lifespan. Some small breeds won't reach senior status until they are more than 10 years old, while some extra-large breeds are considered seniors at the age of 6 or 7.
This is why it's so important to work with a vet or a canine nutritionist before deciding on your pup's diet.
When is a dog considered a senior and require a senior dog diet? It largely depends on your dog's breed.
“It really depends on the breed and body weight. Large and giant breeds age faster than smaller dogs.” – Fred Metzger, DVM, Diplomate ABVP via WebMD
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Research shows that senior dogs usually require low-calorie food for longevity. Their metabolism is slowing down, so higher calorie foods could cause them to gain unnecessary weight. The worst thing for a senior dog is the extra weight, since most of them are already dealing with degenerative diseases such as canine arthritis. Keeping your old dog's diet on point is extremely important for long lifespan.
Diets that have a higher fiber content are also good for senior dogs, as they aid in gastrointestinal health. Just remember that all dogs are different and they each have unique nutritional needs – not all senior dogs will require low-calorie, high fiber diets.
|Dog Food Brand||Price||Quality||Rating|
|Orijen Dog Food for Senior Dogs||$$$||A+||4.7/5|
|Wellness Complete Health Senior||$$||A||4.4/5|
|Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Longevity||$||A||4.6/5|
|Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Senior||$||B+||4.4/5|
|CANIDAE Life Stages Dry Seniors||$$||A-||4.5/5|
* Click on the dog food brand for more information, prices and nutrition. Alternatively, scroll down below to read our overview.
After speaking with some known vets and doing the necessary research on how to prolong a senior dog's lifespan with diet, we picked 15 best senior dog foods that are low in calories and higher in fiber, which is exactly what your older dog needs. We'll list top 5 best choices at first, and you can find the rest of the senior dog foods down below as alternative options.
Top 5 Best Senior Dog Food Choices for Longevity
This best senior dog food is specially formulated and protein-packed, considering the elderly dogs’ less efficient metabolic functioning. The higher level and high-quality protein compensates for this low metabolic efficiency. The ingredients in this dog food from Orijen include premium chicken and turkey meat, whole eggs, fish, fruits, vegetables and other sources of nutrients and minerals.
No artificial preservatives were used in the manufacturing of this product. This bag contains 15 pounds of dog food, but it is also available in 5-lb and 28.6-lb packages. Customers and their senior mutts have great feedback about this dog chow. Dogs like it so much, and their owners were naturally happy about resolved skin issues, shiny and healthy-looking coats, and their perceptible improvement in energy level.
Best of all, their dogs are now either off or needed lower doses of anti-allergy medications. For these reasons, they put this product on their list as the ‘best senior dog food’. Some buyers initially hesitated because of the price, which is a little higher than the brand they’re used to. They soon realized, however, that a bag of Orijen Senior Dog Food actually lasts almost a month. Spreading the cost that way and with fewer visits to the vet, they finally decided that this food is worth it.
Senior dogs can be very picky, and finding a food that they’d bother to eat, much less like so much, is already a great thing. That’s exactly how Orijen Senior Dog Food is to these dogs. They like its smell and taste, and it does wonders for their senior years. This best senior dog food is proudly made in Canada.
Most helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review): “Well never have anything but wonderful things to say about this food. Best thing out there in my humble opinion. My 9 year old American Eskimo who is REALLY picky – eats, and loves this stuff. I buy senior, I still have some puppy chow and rotate through the red as well. Wonderful…”
This USA-made product provides the delicate diet required by elderly dogs. It contains carefully selected ingredients that are nutrient-rich and naturally sourced. The ingredients in this dog food from Wellness Natural Pet Food include chicken, oatmeal, barley, brown rice, white fish, flaxseed, canola oil, carrots and other vegetables. It has balanced levels of calcium, glucosamine and chondroitin to strengthen bones and joints in senior dogs.
This best senior dog food is not only formulated to improve body mass and enhance digestive health in old dogs, it is also very tasty. Pet owners have no trouble feeding it to even the most picky eaters. Customers find this to be an excellent food for their elderly pets. They observed marked improvement in their dogs, and they’re convinced that it was brought about by this great product.
One customer in particular noted that after a few months on this diet, his dogs with various levels of heart conditions recorded significant improvement. He believes that it all boils down to proper nutrition, which was provided by Wellness Complete Health Senior Chicken & Barley Natural Dry Dog Food. It also mattered to them that preparation of meals, even for three or more senior dogs, would take only around 5 minutes.
Some buyers who bought this dog food online noted delays in shipment. This would have been only a minor setback if the product they received was in good condition. However, they noted that the bag they received was misshapen and smelled foul. They still decided to continue using the product but buy instead from the pet supply store. Overall, customers trusted this product. While there were a few unsatisfied online buyers, many still would opt to buy online for the convenience it offers.
Most helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review): “…I have done extensive research on canine and feline nutrition and I highly recommend, if you are going to feed commercial food, Welless, California Naturals or Innova. For a great complete meal, I give my dogs all one of those dry foods mixed with a little bit of canned from the same brands, water for hydration, a touch of a good quality essential oil (such as olive, flax, etc.), a touch of powdered kelp and alfalfa, a splash of organic apple cider vinegar, Prozyme digestive enzymes to unlock the nutrients in all that good food and top with a dollop of plain yogurt…”
Dogs turn sluggish as they grow older. With the wrong food, this inactivity oftentimes develops disorders or worsens existing ones. To improve the quality of life and restore the energy of senior dogs, this food from Hill's Science Diet was formulated. Its ingredients are all natural and easy to digest, tastefully prepared, and are guaranteed to contain complete nourishment required by dogs in this stage in life.
Packs are available in 5, 17.5, and 33 pounds, and prepared in two styles – original and small bites. This product received the approval of its buyers for its excellent quality. Their feedback was based on the health benefits this best senior dog food provided their weak and aging pets.
Some of these benefits included the gentleness and completeness of this diet to the kidney functions of dogs with kidney and renal conditions, the tastiness of the product, and its digestibility. Erstwhile picky eaters wagged their tails and became interested in Hills Science Diet Adult 7+ Longevity Original Dry Dog Food.
A buyer whose dog was allergic to corn was dismayed that the list of ingredients hid this fact under the term “whole grain”. This could cause stomach issues and other irritations in dogs sensitive to corn, and this customer rightly thought that this should have been disclosed in the label of the food. Other than that, customers were generally happy with their purchase and would buy this product again without hesitation.
Most helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review): “The vet diagnosed my little Pom(Tazzi) with renal failure and suggested Tazzi be put to sleep on the spot. Of course, I disagreed and took Tazzi home. After 30 minutes of internet research, I discovered several recipes for dog food for dogs with renal failure. I began to make and feed those recipes to Tazzi and he made a quick and remarkable recovery. Making your own dog food can be a little time consuming though so I began to search for pre-made dog foods that would provide the same benefits as the home made dog food…”
Maintaining proper weight, an active lifestyle and proper nutrition in elderly dogs can be quite a challenge for dog owners. A properly formulated dog food would certainly help in attaining optimal health for these pets, and this formula from Diamond Naturals is designed just for this stage of a dog’s life. It is made of well-balanced protein, fat, and antioxidant and mineral sources to help manage your dog’s weight. It will also provide their required nourishment and keep them agile even at a senior age.
This recipe contains chicken, brown rice, eggs, oatmeal, beet, chicken fat, fruits and vegetables. Aside from the basic nutrients, vitamins and mineral that are found in this food preparation, it also contains antioxidants and omega fatty acids to aid in keeping the skin and coat beautifully healthy. This bag contains 35 pounds of premium dog food, but other sizes are also available.
Senior dogs are very sensitive about food and their stomachs are the first to indicate this by getting upset. Customers found this best senior dog food to be very helpful for their pets with such conditions. They even found Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Senior Dogs 8+ Chicken, Egg and Oatmeal Formula to be a very affordable alternative to medications and expensive diets recommended by their vets. Even professional breeders approve of this product and have been long-time users of the Diamond brand. They say that the first indicators of how great this dog food is are the healthy-looking stools, then next are the healthy skin and shiny coats.
Not all good dog food, though, will work for every dog. A few dogs wouldn’t take a bite of it. It could be the best senior dog food their guardian could think of, but these dogs just won’t have any of it. Summing everything up, buyers can’t recommend this highly enough. This has been their dog’s main food and it has been very effective in cutting back weight in senior dogs, keeping them active and well-nourished, and living a wonderful senior life.
Most helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review): “I'm a breeder of Champion Bird Dogs. Our Dogs have been winning on national stages in the field and in the ring for over a decade. We have tried almost every form of canine nutrition available. We have done more research than I care to admit, and I have concluded that the Diamond Naturals Brand of Dog (and Cat) Food is the best value in the market today…”
Pet owners who need to balance their time and still keep their pack nourished well will find this dog food from CANIDAE the best option for feeding several dogs of different ages. Feeding a senior dog may require specially formulated meals, but having a product that will be perfect for puppies and non-senior dogs, too, is something that’s really practical. This product has optimal levels of protein to build muscles without packing on weight in elderly dogs.
This best senior dog food contains probiotics to aid digestion and adequate levels of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids to make skin and coats healthy. Customers who just shifted to Canidae to feed their elderly dogs were pleasantly surprised to see their pets lively again.
Dogs which had been weak and suffering from arthritis and other age-related diseases were able to shed off unnecessary weight and were engaging in activity again. Buyers of CANIDAE Life Stages Fry Dog Food for Puppies, Adults & Seniors saw hope upon noticing their dogs acting young again, and were very happy to note that they believed the last years of their pet companions life would improve because of this best senior dog food.
A buyer noted that while transitioning, their elderly dog experienced mild constipation. This could be a serious problem, especially for senior dogs with other ailments, but one pet owner shares that drizzling canola oil on the meal would easily solve the problem. Like all other shifts in food, proper transitioning must be observed to avoid complications. Many consider this as the best dog food, not only for their elderly dog but for their whole pack.
Most helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review): “It's been about a month since we started our 12-year old dog on this food. He had really gone downhill the last 6 months, with arthritis – so we couldn't exercise him much and he started gaining weight and becoming very listless. Our daughter is a Vet Tech in another State, and told us the dog food our vet recommended was high in protein and was adding weight (and our dog didn't like to eat the food)…”
10 Best Dog Foods for Senior Dogs as Alternatives
Most pet owners will be able to find something appropriate for their senior dogs from the above five options. However, if for some reason you were unable to choose between these five senior dog foods above, there are some other alternatives that may be a better fit.
- Organix Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
- Natural Ultramix Adult Dry Dog Food
- AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Formula
- Wellness Complete Health Chicken & Oatmeal Natural
- Holistic Select Senior Chicken & Rice Natural
- Hill's Ideal Balance Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
- Fromm Gold Small Breed Adult Dog Food
- ULTRA Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
- NATURAL CHOICE Adult Large Breed
- Blue Buffalo BLUE Senior Dog
Have you tried any of these dog foods with your own seniors? How did your dog react, and what did you find? Let other dog owners know in the comments below!