Treating your dog with love and care is easy – we do love our dogs after all!
But one of the hardest things an owners must do is to try and keep your dog healthy while he or she begins to age.
One to keep your aging canine healthy is to consider special formulas of dog food that are uniquely engineered with senior dog health in mind.
Why Do Senior Dogs Need Special Food?
Is “senior dog food” really any different from normal dog food? With trusted dog food brands, it really is.
Dog food for senior dogs contains special ingredients such as fish oils, chondroitin, glucosamine and MSM. These ingredients help to improve your dog’s health and help remedy common senior dog issues such as joint pain, coat thinning, and digestive troubles.
These ingredients are often used in dog joint supplements, and their presence in dog food can potentially mean reduced arthritis pain for your pooch.
Senior dog food also usually contains less calories. While some owners have trouble getting dogs to gain weight, senior canines struggle more with keeping their weight down.
This is mainly due to the fact that as they grow older, dogs’ metabolism begins to slow down. Energy levels gradually begin to decrease, with dogs moving much less as a result. Keeping your dog trim is very important for senior canine health, which is why these specialized dog foods try to control canine weight-gain.
4 Best Dog Food For Senior Dogs
Now that you know some of the key reasons behind how senior dog food helps aging dogs, here are a few of the best different types of dog food for you to contemplate buying for your elderly dog.
Note: Be prepared to try several brands and formulas of dog food before finding your perfect match. Often, the dog food that works for one dog won’t suit another as well. Try different dog foods and see which variety works best for your own dog’s unique body composition.
About: This Diamond Naturals Senior Dog food offers great ingredients designed to keep your older dog lean and healthy, all in a tasty egg, chicken and oatmeal formula.
Price: $, available on Amazon and other dog food retailers.
K9 of Mine Rating:
- Supports Joints. This senior dog food contains glucosamine and chondroitin to help support your senior dog’s joints.
- Vitamin E and Selenium. Contains guaranteed levels of vitamin E and selenium, ensuring that your senior dog receives top antioxidant nutrition.
- Contains Antioxidants. Antioxidant formula provides the best health benefits for your dog.
- Healthy Skin & Coat. Includes a balanced amount of Omega Fatty Acids to help keep skin and coat healthy.
Pros: Owners note that this is a great senior dog food at an affordable price. The dog food comes in very small pieces, making it a great choice for smaller dogs.
Cons: There were no downsides to this product as far as we could find. As usual, the dog food did not react well with some dogs, but the vast majority of owners reported positive results.
About: The Wellness Complete Health senior dog food prides itself on only using the finest, most high-quality ingredients and combining them with unique, effective nutrients for canine whole-body health.
Price: $$$, available from Amazon and other dog food retailers.
K9 of Mine Rating:
- Wholesome Grains + Fiber. Contains wholesome grains and natural fiber (plus real fruits and veggies) to help maintain a healthy intestinal tract for digestive health.
- Quality Animal Protein. This senior dog food features quality animal protein sources to help build and maintain lean muscle mass. Wellness Complete only uses real meat.
- Healthy Hips + Joints. Contains glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate to help maintain healthy hips and joints for senior dogs.
- No Fillers. This healthy senior dog food has no meat by-products, no wheat, no corn, no soy.
- No Preservatives. This dog food contains no artificial flavors, no colors, and no preservatives.
- Digestool Confirmation Studies. Wellness Complete evaluates their dog food through digestive stool studies – less nutrients in the stool means more nutrient are staying in your dog’s body. Certain levels of calcium and other nutrients are guaranteed.
Pros: There is overwhelmingly high praise for Wellness Complete Senior Dog Food from owners, who rave about the quality of the food and the improvements seen in their dogs after transitioning to this dog food.
To sweeten the deal, this Wellness Complete senior dog food is satisfaction guaranteed, and the business is family owned, which gives comfort to consumers.
Cons: This dog food comes extremely highly rated, and at such a high level of quality, this senior dog food isn’t cheap.
About: The Canidae Platinum senior dog food helps to keep your dog forever young with its reduced fat and protein levels, plus plenty of ingredients for senior dog health in mind.
Price: $$, available from Amazon and other dog food retailers.
K9 of Mine Rating:
- 4 High-Quality Meat Sources. Contains 4 high-quality meats, chicken, turkey, lamb and fish to help provide numerous health benefits while remaining tasty for dogs.
- Reduced Fat for Overweight Dogs. This senior dog food has reduced fat and protein levels for senior and overweight dogs. This helps less active older dogs remain at their optimal, healthy weight.
- Healthy Joints. This senior dog food contains glucosamine and chondroitin that can help to alleviate the bone and joint pain often experience by senior dogs.
- Wholesome Ingredients. Contains wholesome grains like brown rice, plus peas, papaya, and sage for a great, healthy taste.
- No Fillers or Other Additives. This food contains no fillers, antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, artificial flavors, artificial colors, or artificial anything else. This dog food also contains NO wheat, corn, or soy.
- Guaranteed Levels of Probiotics, Antioxidants, and Omega 6. This dog food for senior dogs contains guaranteed levels of live probiotics for healthy digestion, powerful antioxidants for healthy immune systems, and omega 6 and 3 for healthy skin and glossy coat.
Pros: Owners love this dog food that is made in the USA – it comes well recommended.
Cons: Unlike some of the other dog foods listed, this senior dog food is not grain free (although it is a healthy source of grain).
About: This affordable dog food for senior dogs comes in chicken & rice flavor, providing good quality ingredients such as fish oils and Vitamin A and B for senior health.
Price: $, available from Amazon and other dog food retailers.
K9 of Mine Rating:
- Finest, Real Ingredients. Made with real, farm-raised chicken, plus whole grain rice and wheat.
- No By-Products or Unnatural Additives. Contains no chicken by-product meal, no ground corn, no sorghum, no rye and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
- Supports Dental Health. Nutro Max’s crunchy kibbles scrubs your dog’s teeth to reduce plaque and tartar build up, while whitening teeth and keeping your dog’ breath fresh.
- Immune System Health. This dog food for senior dogs is fortified with vitamins, minerals and taurine to support a strong immune system.
- Healthy Muscle Mass and Mobility. Dog food protein promotes muscle mass and mobility for a long, healthy life.
- Better Digestive Health. This senior dog food is a combination of natural fibers, resulting in better digestion and small, firm stools.
- Healthy Skin & Coat. Rich in omega-6 fatty acids resulting in a healthy skin and a lustrous, shiny canine coat.
- Improved Brain Function. Contains fatty acids and DHA for healthy brain function.
Pros: This dog food has received positive reviews, is made in the USA, and is much more affordable than other senior dog food brands.
Cons: The only downside to this senior dog food is that it doesn’t contain any ingredients like chondroitin or glucosamine, which are present in other senior dog foods.
One buyer also noted that, when measuring the bag marketed as a 30lb bag, it came out to actually weighing at only 25 lbs. It’s yet to be determined if this is a single isolated case, or a common issue.
Best Dog Food For Senior Dogs: Final Verdict
In conclusion, the best dog food for your senior dog really depends on what you are looking for, as well as how much you are willing to spend on a regular basis to keep your dog healthy.
If you are looking for a good budget option, try the Diamonds Naturals, as it offers a number of solid features such as good ingredients to keep your dog healthy and doesn’t pose any huge disadvantages.
However, if you have a bigger budget and want a premium dog food, I’d point you in the direction of the Wellness Dog Food as it offers premium features such as wholesome grains, quality protein, and many other nutritional benefits.
Ultimately though, be prepared for a trial and error process. Dogs react differently to various brands of senior dog food, and you may need to try several options before you find the perfect formula for your unique canine. Still, start with these recommended dog foods and you’ll be at a good starting point.
Looking for other ways to care for your senior dog? Make sure to check out our post about dog steps and ramps (for improving senior dog mobility), our post about Fresh Patch and other dog potty pads (for when trips outside get more difficult), as well as our evaluation of the best dog beds for senior dogs.