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Best Senior Dog Food

Best Senior Dog Food

Dogs need quality, healthy food at every stage of their lives. Giving your pup the best food possible will help him to live a longer, happier life. Nonetheless, senior dogs will be at a more severe disadvantage if they aren’t getting the best senior dog food. As with humans, the canine body begins to age and lose some of its strength and ability to heal.

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You might notice that your pet has less appetite, is less active than he used to be, or takes longer to get up the stairs than he used to. All of those are symptoms of old age, and while it’s impossible to stop the process, the foods we’re highlighting in this article will go a long way to slow it and make your pet live as long, healthy and happy as possible.

Top 5 Rated Best Senior Dog Foods

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Best Small Breed Senior Dog FoodNo products found.
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Our Top Pick: Nutro Max Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

At the top of our list, we have the Nutro Ultra Senior Recipe. It’s made from premium protein sources. You’ll be able to make your choice from beef. chicken or lamb. Whichever one you select, your pet will be getting the full complement of high-quality animal protein, with all the essential amino acids.

In addition to the protein source, the recipe contains whole grain sorghum, which is good because, despite some pet parents’ aversion to grains, whole wheat products can be very beneficial to canines. There are also brewers rice and peas, along with several fruits and vegetables which combine to provide numerous minerals and vitamins.

Now that we’re clear as to what the recipe contains, you’ll be glad to know what it doesn’t – No artificial chemicals in the form of flavors, colors or preservatives. It’s completely natural, meaning that your pet will be at less risk of ingesting anything harmful. That’s a good thing for all, but for seniors with decreased immune system capability, it’s crucial. It could be the difference between shaking off a minor illness or infection and a serious, debilitating medical condition.


  • Contains all essential vitamins and nutrients
  • Specially formulated to support healthy skin and coat development
  • 100% Natural
  • Affordable price – exceptional value for money
  • Multiple flavors available
  • Formulated especially for senior dogs
  • Good for mixing with wet food
  • Easily digestible


  • There could be more bag sizes

Our Runner-Up Pick: ORIJEN Senior Dog Food, Biologically Appropriate & Grain-Free Dog Food

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ORIJEN is well known for its high-quality food products, and this one they made for seniors is no exception. It’s made from a blend of chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs which give it a premium kick of protein to help your aging pet maintain his body mass and muscle mass. Without enough protein, your pet is likely to begin looking gaunt over time. Apart from appearance, the loss of muscle would lead to lower strength and vitality.

Another standout feature of this product is that most (up to two-thirds) are fresh or raw. That means little nutrient content would have been lost to the processing as you’ll find in many other products. It also means that your pet will find the food to be incredibly flavorful. Even if you have a very picky pet, you won’t have any problem getting him to love this food. That’s important because old dogs usually have much-reduced appetites.

Apart from the poultry, fish, and eggs, the rest of the ingredients list is composed of similarly healthy items. Fruits and vegetables take up most of the list, providing minerals and vitamins which are crucial for maintaining your pet’s immune system and cognitive ability. The price of this product, which is somewhat high, would be the only downside, which is somewhat high, but you’ll definitely be getting what you pay for.


  • High protein content from multiple sources
  • Minimal processing for nutrient retention
  • Highly digestible
  • Great flavor to boost appetite
  • Stellar quality control
  • Mostly fresh/raw ingredients
  • Contains essential amino acids


  • Somewhat high pricing

Best Budget Pick: Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult 7+ for Senior Dogs

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From Hill’s Science, this dry food is formulated with one of the best senior dog food ingredient lists you’ll find anywhere, and for an incredibly affordable price. It’s made primarily from chicken meal, barley and brown rice, a combination which provides an ideal balance of proteins and energy. That will help your pet maintain his lean muscle mass while still being able to stay active for longer.

As we have come to expect from Hill’s Science, this product also has myriad benefits for your pet, beyond appearance. It contains Omega-6 fatty acids and Vitamin C, which are great for your pet’s skin and coat. That will stop the patchiness that often comes with old age, helping your pet look sleek and fluffy even in old age.

In addition, the product has a full complement of minerals which help strengthen several organs. Of those, the heart is the most important, but the minerals also work to keep the kidney in good shape and prevent the onset (or worsening) of kidney disease.


  • Health-focused recipe
  • Contains Omega-3 and 6
  • Natural ingredients
  • Myriad therapeutic benefits
  • Great for the digestive system
  • Available in 15 and 33-pound bags
  • Really affordable price
  • Contains antioxidants
  • High energy content for active pups


  • Single flavor available

Best Small Breed Senior Dog Food: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Senior Small Breed Dry Dog Food

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Senior dogs usually face similar issues, regardless of their breeds. However, details truly matter here and getting your chihuahua, or other toy breeds the best senior dog food that’s specifically made for smaller canines will usually make a significant difference. The difference between toy breeds and large ones is beyond the size: Their body composition impacts significantly on their health and dietary needs.

From Blue Buffalo, the first ingredient in this product is deboned chicken, which provides complete protein to fuel cell regeneration and keep muscle atrophy and unhealthy weight loss at bay. The rest of the ingredients list is made up of fruits and vegetables which help to provide other crucial nutrients.

Notably, the recipe contains Blue Buffalo’s proprietary nutrient blend known as “LifeSource Bits.” It provides antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in perfectly calibrated quantities. They help to stimulate organ activity and support the immune, digestive and other systems in your dog’s body.


  • No artificial chemical content
  • High-quality protein content
  • Contains crucial antioxidants
  • Great for oxidative balance
  • Wholesome ingredients
  • Contains L-Carnitine
  • Supports bone and joint health
  • Available in multiple sizes


  • Single flavor available

Best Large Breed Senior Dog Food: Diamond Naturals Adult Large Breed Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food

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Although Diamond Naturals is one of the biggest dog food brands in the industry, they have gradually been building up a reputation for stellar quality products, and this is one of them. Made with large dogs in mind, this product focuses on providing them with premium protein to fuel growth and maintenance of lean muscle mass.

The protein comes from real cage-free chicken, which makes it clear it’ll be free from too many chemicals. Since large breeds often suffer from joint and bone problems as they age, this product has high levels of
glucosamine & Chondroitin to strengthen the bone structure and keep your pet strong.

It’s made entirely from natural ingredients and does not have any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. There’s also no wheat or corn in the recipe, so it’s a great option if you have a pet that’s allergic to either ingredient. The removal of common allergens makes it suitable if your pup has a sensitive stomach or you just want to reduce the stress on the internal organs such as the kidney and liver.


  • Contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids
  • High Glucosamine and chondroitin content
  • Ideal nutrient balance
  • Contains proprietary probiotics for digestive health
  • Sustainably souced ingredients
  • Fully natural ingredients list
  • High caloric content to provide energy


  • Contains chicken meal

Buyer’s Guide

When your pet is getting older, you will need to begin giving her food that’s made specifically for the exact needs of aging canines. Here’s what you’ll need to consider:

Your Dog’s Breed

Although canines have the same overall biology, there are marked differences between breeds. Those differences include size and other physical traits, cognitive function, and various others.

If you want to help your pet maintain its characteristics, try to find food that’s made for that breed. If you can’t, follow a vet’s advice to find food with all the essential nutrients your pup needs. For instance, a large one will need food that contains glucosamine and chondroitin to keep its bones strong and prevent joint injury.

Medical Conditions

Like people, dogs tend to develop medical issues as they grow older and lose some of their strength and immune system protection.

When buying food for senior dogs, be sure to look out for ones that have all the necessary vitamins and minerals which will reinforce the immune system and prevent the onset of illness.

Digestibility and Palatability

Another common feature of aging in dogs is loss of appetite. You might find that your dog who could wolf down three cups of kibble before is struggling with one now. It’s normal, but you can combat it by shifting to foods that are more appetizing in order to get your pup more interested.

It’s also crucial that the food be easily digestible. It shouldn’t be too stressful on the digestive system and organs like the liver and kidney. Reducing the workload of those organs will help prevent them from failing, and help your pup live a longer, healthier life.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I feed my old dog?

Ultimately, every dog is unique and must be treated as such. This is especially true in the case of older dogs because of the medical effects of aging. See your vet for an accurate direction regarding food quantity and frequency.
Generally speaking, senior dogs need to be fed less than younger ones due to their reduced physical activity. Continuing to feed them too much and too often will likely lead to unhealthy weight gain.

What age should I begin feeding my dog senior dog food?

Dogs age differently depending on their breeds and sizes. Smaller breeds live longer and thus become seniors later than larger ones.
For larger breeds, the switch should take place at around six to eight years, while you can wait till your pup is nine or ten years old if he’s a smaller or toy breed.

Other Senior Dog Foods We Reviewed

  • Canned Senior Dog Foods
  • Limited Ingredient Food

Canned Senior Dog Foods

Wellness Complete Health Natural Wet Canned Dog Food Senior

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If your pets prefer wet food or you’d like to mix wet and dry food to get the benefits of both types, you’re in luck. There are some stellar canned foods on the market, and this one from Wellness is our top pick among them. Its primary ingredient is chicken, which is derived from premium, safely-farmed birds.

The formula is stellar, as one would expect from Wellness. There’s a great balance of nutrients to keep your pet supplied with everything he needs for a healthy life. The calories are reduced and are instead replaced with a lot of fiber. That makes this product ideal if your pet is getting overweight due to reduced physical activity.

It’s completely from natural ingredients, meaning that there are no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives which could pose a problem for your pet’s weakening immune system. There’s only one size available, as with most canned foods.

  • Premium chicken for protein supply
  • Reduce caloric content
  • High level of fiber
  • All-natural ingredients list
  • Very flavorful and appetising – great for dogs with lowered appetite
  • Easily digestible
  • Great for skin and coat health

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Wet Dog Food 

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This Natural Balance dog food also has chicken as its primary ingredient. The next major ingredient in the recipe is sweet potatoes, which is generally agreed to be a healthier alternative for providing energy than wheat or other grains.

It’s a limited ingredient product, so the list is quite short, but it still manages to pack in all the essential nutrients which are essential to optimize your dog’s diet and health. It contains Vitamin E, Calcium and many other minerals and vitamins which play important roles in the digestive system and even in your pet’s cognitive function.

Unlike the Wellness canned food, you can buy this one in three different can sizes – 2.75-Ounce, 6-Ounce, and 13 oz. That makes it easy to buy just what you need and serve it out conveniently to your pets, no matter their size or number.


  • Available in multiple can sizes
  • Completely natural – No artificial chemicals
  • Reduced risk of allergic reactions
  • Great for all breeds
  • Extensive quality control
  • Provides balanced nutrition
  • Maintains digestive health

Limited Ingredient Food

Rachael Ray Nutrish Just Natural Dry Dog Food, Limited Ingredient

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If you have a canine that’s prone to allergic reactions from different ingredients, you should be looking for a limited ingredient food product. There are many products in this category, but this one from Rachael Ray Nutrish stands out for a couple of reasons.

First, it is truly limited in that it is made from just six main ingredients. That’s crucial because it makes the food very hypoallergenic and a safe bet for the vast majority of pets. You can find this in two variants. There are the lamb meal and rice versions which is great if your dog doesn’t like poultry and there’s the turkey and pea one.

Whichever one you choose, the recipes are specially formulated to provide a balance for protein for growth as well as energy to fuel your pup’s activity and help prevent unhealthy weight gain. It contains minerals and vitamins which shore up the various systems in your dog’s body and keep the organs from getting overworked.


  • Very limited ingredient diet
  • Provides all necessary nutrients
  • Multiple flavor options available
  • Available in several bag sizes ranging from 5 pounds to 28 pounds
  • Gluten-free
  • Reduces allergen risk drastically


When we’ve had dogs from when they were puppies, and they grow old, it can be a very fulfilling experience to share such a long period of our lives with them. As they age, though, it can begin to be depressing when they begin to grow old. When they begin to lose their appetites and ability to play and be active, it can be very sad to bear.

Thankfully, you can use their diet as a tool to help them live longer, better and happier. Our list of the best senior dog food is a great place to pick out your pup’s diet from. Choose what’s ideal for your pet’s needs, place the order and get ready to help your pet live a longer, healthier and happier life.

If you want other options, you can try Halo Holistic Beef Recipe canned dog food for senior dogs.

Continue reading:

How to Keep Your Senior Dog Active and Loved

Top 7 Best Dog Foods with Glucosamine For Joint Health

How to Figure Out Your Dog’s Age