Top Rated Senior Dog Food Brand for 2019 – A Comprehensive Comparison
If you are here for the best senior dog food, Dr. Fox can tell you everything you need to know in this short paragraph. Out of all the available critically acclaimed products on the market, the Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed proves to be the most popular. A recipe based on chicken meat, rice and barley, this dog food is both tasty and nutritious for aging dogs. The formula is created with the unique needs of dogs aged 11 years old and older. The content of antioxidants helps with supporting the immune system. If the Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed is no longer in stock, Dr. Fox recommends the EUKANUBA Senior, as another excellent formula for aging pets.
Our Top Choice
Your aging dog needs a formula that caters to his or her specific needs. This particular dog food is made for dogs that are 11 years old or older, and it is ideal for small breeds that don’t weigh more than 25 pounds. You will be pleased to learn that this food contains omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E, which are great for combating the issues associated with old age in dogs.
Some buyers say that, while their dogs like the food, they find the smell difficult to bear.
This formula is a great pick for dogs in their senior years and particularly for small breeds.
When you feed a senior dog, there are several things you must bear in mind. One of them is that you should focus on a premium source of protein, and, in this formula, you will get lamb as the main ingredient. While your dog might not be happy to move a lot, the lack of physical activity will have a negative impact. This formula will offer support for the muscles and energy.
It appears that some dogs need a bit of coaxing to try and eat this food.
A good option for an aging pet, as it is made with premium ingredients for optimal energy levels.
This grain-free formula will be not only to your pet’s liking but also to yours. Easy on the dog’s digestion, the formula is delivered as small kibble that is easy to grab by a senior dog. Since getting your dog to eat enough can be a challenge for you, as the dog parent, too, it serves to have a formula that doesn’t impose any hurdles. It contains ingredients for joint health.
There are reports that some dogs became gassy after trying this food for a while.
You will get a grain-free kibble that will offer your dog the necessary support for both muscles and joints.
Dr. Fox Recommends – Comparison & Yearly Report
After reading the senior dog food reviews available from buyers and experts alike, Dr. Fox has concluded that several products on the market deserve particular attention from you. The following brands offer excellent nutrition to senior dogs and contain healthy ingredients for an improved immune system.
Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed
What goes in your dog’s food may or may not contribute to their overall optimal health. If you care about your aging pet, you surely want to provide him or her with everything that is needed for an immune system that can fight disease and keep your dog healthy for a longer time.
This particular formula is intended for small breeds. The age group it is addressed to is 11 years and above, so it is helpful for aging pets. If your dog belongs to a breed that does not grow to weigh more than 25 pounds, this formula is just right.
The Science Diet senior dog food contains omega-6 acids that prevent aging, and it is rich in vitamin E, as well as other nutrients that play an essential role in maintaining your dog active and healthy. You will be pleased to learn that there are no artificial flavors or other preservatives in this dog food.Buy from Amazon.com for ($13.99)
Pet owners try to keep the food for their furry friend in special dog food containers, to prevent it from spoiling, but sometimes they don’t pay attention to the most critical aspect, which is choosing a product that is made from only premium ingredients. If you want to start on the right foot when caring for an aging dog, you should opt for the EUKANUBA Senior.
This formula has lamb meat as its primary ingredient, which means that your dog will benefit from a natural source of protein that will allow him to maintain his muscles in perfect condition.
The entire recipe used is focused on providing your dog with everything he or she needs for a healthy metabolism. With age, dogs tend to become slower and less interested in physical activity, which, in turn, allows diseases and other conditions related to age to appear. Offering balanced nutrition for an aging dog, this is one of the most popular brands right now.Buy from Amazon.com for ($44.99)
Wellness Complete Health Small Breed
If you have a small breed dog, you may want to try this formula. Besides the fact that it is made for senior dogs, it comes as small size kibble so that your little friend does not have to struggle to eat it. As a pet owner, you will undoubtedly be content with the fact that the manufacturer does not use any grains or artificial ingredients.
A senior dog needs a natural formula to thrive and maintain good health. That is why this formula is created with his or her needs in mind. Aging dogs tend to gain weight, as they are less active, but this recipe keeps the calorie intake within healthy limits.
The good news is that you don’t have to purchase dog glucosamine products separately, as this formula contains this valuable ingredient that helps with joint health. It is also rich in chondroitin, another compound with an active role in keeping your dog’s skeletal system healthy.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Hill’s Science Diet Active Longevity
Different breeds age differently, and it is crucial for you, as a pet owner, to choose that brand that can ensure your dog with what he needs in his old age. The Hill’s Science Diet Active Longevity is made for dogs aged seven years old and older, and it contains the perfect blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to address the particular requirements of such dogs.
The formula contains premium, natural ingredients that will supply your dog’s body with everything it needs. The presence of amino-acids assists with the usual problems associated with old age, and it completes an already excellent recipe.
Your dog will live longer and will keep his or her optimal health for an extended time if you choose to feed him this formula. Manufactured by a company with a long-standing tradition in making dog food, this particular product will aid your pet feel happy and healthy in his senior years.Buy from Amazon.com for ($47.99)
IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH
Buying dog food in large quantities is a good idea because you can save some money in the process. The IAMS senior dog food is good dog food for seniors, and it offers all the advantages the most popular brands on the market offer. For instance, the high content of antioxidants helps with slowing down aging.
But this is not the only benefit your pet will enjoy when eating this formula on a regular basis. The kibble is made to help your dog have healthy teeth; it gives your dog a dental hygiene scrub that will ensure that no food remains will get stuck between the teeth, leading to cavities later on.
Your dog needs premium protein in his or her food, but, as he or she ages, the pet also needs antioxidants. In this recipe, antioxidants are ensured by the content of carrots and peas. It also contains apples and blueberries, two fruits well known for their rich content in antioxidants.Buy from Amazon.com for ($83.22)
Nature’s Recipe Senior
Get a good deal for your money by purchasing a 30-pound bag of dog food, made by this company. This recipe has everything your dog’s body needs, and it is also tasty. If you want your dog to be happy and full of energy, you may find this particular recipe to be right up your alley.
As they age, dogs manifest less and less interest to go outside and play. You may notice that the dog harness gets used less and less because your pet no longer cares about long walks and playing in the park. You can do something about this, and choose an excellent food that will supply the dog with the much-needed fuel to move should be the first thing on your list.
The source of protein in this formula is lamb meat. This is an excellent choice because it keeps the dog healthy and lean. Remember that while you want your dog to eat healthily, you don’t want it to get fat, and lean protein is always a good choice.Buy from Amazon.com for ($31.93)
ROYAL CANIN HEALTH NUTRITION
Healthy nutrition is the key to a longer lifespan and optimal well-being in an aging dog. This is precisely what this manufacturer thought about when creating this unique formula. Dogs may have a hard time trying to keep in shape while they are getting older because they don’t get the same level of activity as when they were young.
That is why it is a real challenge for you, as an owner, to help your dog keep active and healthy. The ROYAL CANIN senior dog food will help you achieve this goal, by offering your dog the most essential nutrients for a healthy life.
The formula is made from dogs aged 8 to 12 years old and caters specifically to small breeds. It is essential to pick food that aims at the specific problems of your dog, age, and breed wise, and that is why this brand is so popular with many pet owners.Buy from Amazon.com for ($13.49)
Purina Pro Plan Savor
Real meat should be present in any dog food, but that might not always happen because some manufacturers try to save up money by sacrificing your pet’s wellbeing. Purina is not among such manufacturers, and this shows in the attention to detail invested in any product they sell. The Purina Pro Plan Savor would be an excellent pick if your dog reached his senior years.
The recipe includes real chicken meat and rice for a tasty combination that your dog will love. Your dog needs a good source of carbohydrates, and that is why rice is included in this formula. The dog digestive enzymes that exist naturally in the dog’s body need a bit of help in old age, and that is why it doesn’t hurt to pick such a recipe.
The recipe also contains natural sources of fiber that promote the dog’s natural bowel movement, for optimal health.Buy from Amazon.com for ($47.98)
BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain
We should never forget that dogs’ ancestors are wolves, and on the world’s timeline, their evolution from wild animals to humans’ most trusted companions does not look like such a long time. That means that the way dogs eat and what they prefer in their diet is not much different from wolves’ diet.
The BLUE senior dog food is inspired by the foods wolves eat in the wild, thus providing dogs that are kept as pets with the same vital nutrients that can primarily be of assistance in old age.
The formula combines the most critical necessary compounds for optimal health. You can rest assured that your dog will receive all the vitamins and minerals he needs for a happy, active life. No meat-by products or grains are contained in this recipe. Meats such as beef, venison, and lamb are combined in this tasty formula for dogs.Buy from Amazon.com for ($20.98)
Purina ONE SmartBlend
Your senior dog needs your love and proper nutrition to continue to thrive and be the same dependable companion. Any dog food that is made with the needs of aging dogs in mind should have an excellent source of protein as the main ingredient.
This particular dog food is made with real chicken meat, so you will not have to worry that your dog doesn’t get the nutrition he or she needs. Chicken is an excellent choice for protein content in dog food as it contributes to the maintenance of strong muscles. Also, it assists heart health, another important aspect for an aging dog.
The kibble is crunchy on the outside, which helps with keeping your dog’s teeth clean all the time, while on the inside, the meat content will instantly make your dog fall in love with the recipe. Tasty and healthy, this dog food is ideal for keeping your pet healthy in his older years.Buy from Amazon.com for ($33.24)
NUTRO MAX Natural
What do you want for your dog? You surely want to ensure excellent care, and that starts with proper nutrition. Instead of trying to make food for your dog at home, you should go for the NUTRO senior dog food, one of the formulas on the market that will ensure that your dog gets everything he needs to keep healthy and happy.
When you find a senior dog food for sale, don’t overlook this brand. Made with meat obtained from farm-raised chickens, it is an excellent formula that will cater to the specific needs of an aging dog. While it is not a good idea for the dog food you feed your pet to have grains, if whole grains are used, you can trust that particular recipe.
The whole grains included in this recipe ensure the proper amount of fiber for healthy living. Your dog will never feel like he is going hungry, and you will not have to worry that your pet might become obese.Buy from Amazon.com for ($32.99)
Wellness Complete Health Natural
This recipe is made with an essential purpose in mind: to maintain your dog’s weight within reasonable limits, even in his senior years. Gaining weight is one of the most important enemies of a dog’s health, as he or she becomes less active. That is why you need to bear in mind that calorie intake must be monitored.
When eating this dog food, your pet will feel full, and well nourished. The nutrition you offer your dog must be balanced and should provide all the basic compounds the dog’s body require at this point in life.
There is no soy, wheat or corn in this recipe, and you don’t have to worry about the content of preservatives and artificial flavors. The manufacturer does not use such fillers, and the Wellness senior dog food is made only with premium ingredients, while it aims to ensure your dog with proper nutrition.Buy from Amazon.com for ($56.99)
Diamond Naturals SENIOR
Your veterinarian might recommend dog foods with probiotics for your aging dog, and that makes perfect sense because senior dogs tend to have unique requirements when it comes to their nutrition. The Diamond Naturals SENIOR is a recipe with probiotics that assist the dog’s optimal digestive health.
Only meat obtained from cage-free chickens is used for this recipe, so you can rest assured that your pet receives everything he needs for optimal well-being. Besides a clean and reliable source of protein, this recipe is enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin, two compounds that play a crucial role in joint health.
The formula is rich in superfoods and sources of antioxidants, to make sure that your pet gets all the nutrients he or she needs for a happy, active life. For prolonged longevity and excellent health, the Diamond Naturals SENIOR is one of the foods that appear in most of the recommendations made by veterinarians and other pet owners.Buy from Amazon.com for ($36.99)
CANIDAE Life Stages
This manufacturer knows very well that dogs have particular needs as they develop and advance in age, to the point that they become senior dogs. That is why the CANIDAE Life Stages has a lower content of fat, as it is well known that dogs tend to become obese as they turn older.
A veterinarian is behind this recipe, so there is no wonder that it has managed to garner so much praise from dog owners to this point. It provides your dog with everything he needs for a healthy and active life, and this is not a little thing, seeing that senior dogs are faced with so many challenges as they age.
A great thing about this formula is that it can be used for dogs in all life stages, so you will not have to purchase a type of food separately for your senior dog, in case your household is populated by more than one canine.Buy from Amazon.com for ($54.99)
Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost
Your dog’s nutrition needs to change with age, and that is something you should not overlook in case you intend to help your pet live a longer and healthier life. The Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost is a particular formula made for the needs of an aging dog.
If you purchase this particular dog food, you will ensure that your dog will receive the proper nutrition he deserves. First of all, this is a grain free senior dog food and it contains no wheat, soy, potato, or corn. On the other hand, it is rich in high-quality protein, from cage-free chickens.
Nutrition packed with protein is an excellent way to ensure that your dog receives what he or she needs in his senior years. The formula contains glucosamine and chondroitin for maintaining good joint health, as well as L-carnitine which helps with an optimal metabolism. The added calcium and phosphorus are for your dog’s bones and teeth.Buy from Amazon.com for ($69.99)
Blue Buffalo BLUE
This brand is sold in 30-pound bags for convenience, and it can be said that it is a cheap senior dog food that offers excellent value for the price. It must be mentioned that this food is rich in premium protein, obtained from deboned chicken that is tasty and high in nutrients. The entire formula abounds in ingredients good for your dog’s optimal health.
The food is made using whole grains, veggies, and fruit, as excellent sources of fiber and antioxidants. Your dog’s digestive system needs all the assistance possible to maintain healthy, as advancing in age will have an impact on the dog’s metabolism and ability to process food.
You will not have to worry about preservatives and other artificial compounds being present in this food. It is made to sustain your dog’s nutrition and health for a long time, and it contains only the ingredients your dog’s body needs.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Most of the foods we presented so far are dry foods, and many pet owners prefer them because they are convenient, easy to store, and the kibble also contributes to the dog’s oral cavity hygiene. However, treating your dog with a can of the best senior wet dog food is highly recommended, and will also help the dog’s digestive system, especially if your pet doesn’t drink enough water.
The NUTRO ULTRA contains nice chunks of food dipped in gravy, so your dog is sure to enjoy it. Only premium protein sources are used in the making of this brand of dog food, and the formula is particularly flavorful to make your dog love it.
You will find no undesirable ingredients in this wet food for dogs, as there is no soy or corn included. Also, the manufacturer sticks to their promise to deliver only high-quality products to their buyers, so this food has no artificial flavors or colors added.Click to see the price on Amazon!
One essential ingredient that should be found in any dog food is protein, but this is not the only thing your aging dog’s body needs. A good recipe should also contain amino acids, such as this particular dog food. Your dog, as he or she ages, will require a proper diet, based on protein, carbs, and antioxidants.
You can ensure that your dog gets precisely what he or she needs if you pick this brand of wet food. The carbs in each can are sourced from whole grains such as rice and barley. The antioxidants included come from the real carrots, sweet potatoes, cranberries and blueberries used by the manufacturer in the recipe.
You can rest assured that your dog receives what he needs to thrive, even in his late years of life. No artificial flavors or colors mar the perfection of this formula, and your dog will receive optimal nutrition, just as he deserves. There is no better way to show your affection for your dog than feeding him a proper diet.Buy from Amazon.com for ($20.28)
NUTRO ULTRA Senior
Attention to detail is paramount, and NUTRO is one of the companies producing dog food for which such a credo is at the base of each recipe it creates. The formula reviewed here is a new recipe that contains some superfoods that have not yet been traditionally used for senior dog food. Such superfoods include chia, kale, and coconut, but they are not the only ones.
The people working for this company prepare this dog food in the state of the art kitchens offered by the manufacturer, and they include no fewer than 12 superfoods in this particular formula. The sources of protein used include lamb, salmon, and chicken, for extra flavor.
There are many benefits associated with this type of food. Your dog will have stronger teeth and will enjoy better overall health when consuming this formula. And, what is most important, he will benefit from a balanced diet that will help him live a longer life.Buy from Amazon.com for ($14.99)
When your dog suffers from skin conditions, the first thing you may do is to purchase some dog shampoos for itchy skin. While this is a good solution for alleviating your dog’s discomfort, you should also identify the source of the allergy, and that might be linked with nutrition. The AvoDerm Natural is a formula that caters to dogs with sensitive skin.
The recipe contains healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are responsible for maintaining your dog’s skin healthy and free of allergies. Not many manufacturers might get the right balance of such nutrients, but this particular company is known for the excellent care they provide by creating perfect nutrition for dogs.
Only high-quality ingredients are included in this formula. Your dog will also get the necessary vitamins and minerals for healthy living. Made with real chicken and brown rice, it is a recipe that will help your dog feel full of life and energy in his senior years.Buy from Amazon.com for ($9.54)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Your dog needs a different type of nutrition as he or she gets old, and your perspective on what brands of food you should get for your pet should change, as well. It may feel like quite a challenge to pick only one type of food from the many displayed in pet stores, and online stores, because, at first glance, they may seem to be the same. The best dog food for senior dogs must contain specific ingredients and skip others, as it will be shown right away.
The first ingredient: real meat
This aspect cannot be stressed enough. So many dog foods of inferior quality use meat by-products instead of real meat, and they cannot ensure your dog’s need for proper nutrition. An aging dog will have more need for good quality protein than a young dog because his or her body cannot process and pick the nutrients from food as well as he used to.
If you are prepared to spend money on expensive things like dog DNA tests, you should not shy away from paying a little bit more for good quality food. Search for brands that only use real meat, and be careful about the percentage of meat included.
Real meat as a source of protein should be the first on the list of ingredients. The choices vary quite a lot, as some brands use chicken, while others prefer lamb, and there are even more exotic ones that use venison and bison. There are many sources of protein useful for maintaining your dog’s optimal health, and, before you think whether you should choose chicken or lamb, just go for a formula with real meat, to get you started.
Be aware that the source of protein should be lean and reduced in fat. Unfortunately, aging dogs tend to gain weight, while they are less and less active. That means that their diet should not contain a lot of fat, so you can ensure that they will still keep in shape. This is just a basic rule to follow when you search for the best food for old dogs on the market.
Good food for old dogs should assist their digestive system
Besides the fact that they tend to get overweight and even obese, old dogs need nutrition that can ensure that their digestive system works as it is supposed to. There are probiotics powders for dogs available for sale, but if you don’t want to overspend, consider getting a type of food that already contains such compounds.
A formula enriched with probiotics will make sure that your dog’s digestive will work well, and this will also help prevent other unpleasant consequences of old age, such as allergies. If you notice that your dog coat starts getting coarse and rough to the touch, it can be a sign that your dog starts developing some skin condition.
Pick food that contains probiotics for dogs with allergies if you want to offer your four-legged friend the attention and care he deserves after being by your side for so many years. A dog who suffers from fewer health conditions, even if just superficial, will be happier, and his chance to live longer will undoubtedly increase.
Get a dog food that has plenty of healthy ingredients
If you read the label on various brands that are praised as the best food for mature dogs, you will notice that real meat is not the only ingredient that is included. Your dog needs a balanced diet, and this is the primary purpose such foods should aim to achieve.
For instance, your dog’s diet should be rich in vitamins and minerals, just like a human’s diet. An aging dog will suffer from aging bones and joints. This means that it does not hurt to purchase a dog food that is rich in calcium and phosphorus.
Also, ingredients like chondroitin and glucosamine are responsible for maintaining healthy joints. On top of that, when you take your dog outside in cold weather, don’t forget the have him wear some dog boots, to avoid any discomfort and pain in his aching joints.
All the vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants, should come from premium sources, just like protein. Check the food you intend to purchase to see if it includes real fruits and veggies in its formula. Peas and carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a compound that acts as a real anti-aging factor.
Antioxidants are present in many fruits, and it depends on the manufacturer to pick the right sources for their formula. Apples, blueberries, and cranberries, are among the most popular you can find in dog food recipes, but not the only ones.
You will also notice that many dog foods designed to cater to a dog in his senior years contain a source of fiber. As mentioned earlier, a healthy happy dog must have a robust working digestive system. The content of fiber helps with bowel movement, and, in turn, this helps with good overall health.
Fiber should come from healthy sources, such as brown rice, whole grains, barley, to mention a few. Suitable content of fiber helps the dog feel full, an essential aspect if we think about the fact that mature dogs tend to overeat and become overweight, and even obese, in some cases.
What ingredients should you stay away from?
There is quite a long list of ingredients that you should never see in your dog’s food. To start with the beginning, and to keep things organized for your easy understanding, you will notice that many of the popular brands are advertised as grain free.
Because dogs do not usually eat grains, if they live in the wild, grains should not be part of a healthy diet. Whole grains are an exception because they add a necessary source of fiber to dog foods and they have an active role. But the dog food you intend to purchase should not have any corn, soy, or wheat.
You must bear in mind that your dog’s diet should not include any preservatives and artificial ingredients. These are only fillers, and they are not good at all for your pet’s health. The same goes for artificial colors, which are not only useless from a nutritional point of view, but are, in fact, very likely to cause cancer.
Frequently asked questions about senior dog food brands
Can puppies eat senior dog food?
As a general rule, you should not feed puppies the same food that you buy for your senior dogs, but there is one exception to the rule. If the dog food you intend to buy is labeled as “all life stages”, you should consider getting it for all the dogs that live in your household.
This label means that the formula contains everything a balanced diet for your pets should include. Usually, puppies are fed a more high-calorie diet that the older dogs do not need, but as long as the manufacturer offers a recipe that provides all the necessary nutrients, regardless of the dog’s age, the answer to this question is ‘yes’.
How is senior dog food different?
Senior dogs have different calorie needs compared to dogs in other life stages. Because they tend to become overweight, they need to eat less, and that means that you should monitor their diet more closely. Good food for dogs in their senior years should have fewer calories, but still provide a sensation of fullness.
This means that it should be high in fiber, and the amount of fat should be reduced when compared to regular food. The most popular brands that sell top of the line food for dogs provide an adequate balance between protein and fat.
How to make senior dog food?
If you have time to cook for your dog, you should bear his or her special needs in mind. You should include much-needed antioxidants that come from fresh fruits and veggies. Of course, your dog will not be crazy about eating these, but, if you mix them with real meat, you will offer a more convincing meal.
Don’t forget to add fiber. It helps with constipation, and it prevents your dog from overeating, something that can be an issue for senior dogs. It is a good idea to cook the meal for your dog first, as raw meat can contain salmonella and other disease-causing critters. You can add a little psyllium powder to your homemade dog food — this plant aids with the production of intestinal mucilage that helps the dog have regular stools.
Why do some types of senior dog food have low protein?
It is a mantra any dog owner knows, which points out senior dogs should have high-quality protein in their diet. However, this doesn’t mean that you should have your dog splurge on meat, without any care for consequences.
Some senior dogs should be fed foods that have a low content of protein, and these are foods intended for mature dogs that tend to become obese or overweight, or that might have skin allergies. Even the leanest meats, such as chicken, have some content of fat, and this needs to be monitored quite closely. Large breeds should be on a low protein diet, more than small breeds.
Are there types of senior dog foods with glucosamine and chondroitin?
Yes, there are, and they are indicated for dogs that have problems with their joints. However, even if Fido has not yet shown signs of old age, by moving less, and being less active, it is not a bad idea to start feeding him a type of dog food that contains these two ingredients, for prevention purposes.
Once dogs hit a certain age, they tend to be less active, because their joints hurt. By having enough glucosamine and chondroitin in their diet, these dogs can maintain healthy joints for a longer time, and they can be more active, too.
Is salmon senior dog food good?
Lean meats are excellent sources of protein for aging dogs, which is why dog owners are advised to choose less traditional dog foods, as are those containing salmon as their primary source of protein. Salmon is a healthy protein source and also tasty, which means that even if you are dealing with a picky eater, you will be able to convince your dog to have some.
Salmon is also a perfect source of fatty acids, responsible for a healthy brain and also great for combating skin allergies. The amino acids contained by this meat also help with maintaining healthy bones and cartilages.
Is lamb a good ingredient for senior dog food?
When choosing dog food for your senior pet, you should always aim for premium sources of protein. Lamb is an excellent choice, and you will find it in many top of the line dog foods, due to the high content of amino acids, as well as its ability to maintain your dog’s bones and muscles in excellent condition.
You should also bear in mind that your dog should like the food you buy for him. If your pet is a picky eater, you will be pleased to learn that most dogs love lamb in their food, which means that yours might like it, too.