What’s The Best Dog Food For Senior Dogs? Reviews & Buyer’s 2020 Guide

senior dog food review - feature image

Everyone has varying dietary requirements during the different life stages, and canines are no different. Just like a meal with whole grains and leafy vegetables keep us full longer than a slice of cake, a carefully composed and well-balanced formulation affects the pup differently.

Thus, dog owners need the best dog food for seniors. Remember, the best dog food for senior dogs should have natural ingredients rich in protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals.

Switching up the menu of a senior dog can be confusing. There are no set guidelines to do this and the personal preference of the pooch has to be taken into consideration before making changes. Age, breed, and types of physical activity engaged in are factors to be considered.

We already did all the research for you. If you’re in a hurry and just want to see the best senior dog foods, here are our top choices.

PRODUCT / PRODUCT DETAILS

PRODUCT

PRODUCT DETAILS

TruDog Feed Me Freeze-Dried Raw Superfood best food for senior dog with protein

1. TruDog Feed Me Freeze-Dried Raw Superfood, Beef

TruDog Rawgo Dehydrated protein ingredients

2. TruDog Rawgo Dehydrated Raw Superfood, Lamb & Cranberry

Pet Plate high-quality protein ingredients

3. Pet Plate, Barkin’ Beef Recipe

Top 10 Best Dog Food For Senior Dogs

1. TruDog Feed Me Freeze-Dried Raw Superfood, Beef

TruDog Feed Me Freeze-Dried Raw Superfood best food for senior dog with protein

TruDog Feed Me Freeze-Dried Raw Superfood, Beef is an all-natural and nutritional meal in the form of freeze-dried meat. Crafted from 100% Wisconsin grass-fed USDA beef, meaty bones, and whole organ meats, the kibble contains no byproducts or meat proteins. Moreover, the product can also be used as treats.

It contains 41% protein which aids in building and maintaining the muscles and bones of the elderly dog. Also, this formula includes herring oil which is a natural source of vitamin D, and d-alpha-tocopherol which is a source of Vitamin E. The mixture of tocopherols which is a natural antioxidant supports the immune system of the pooch and reduces the chances of allergies.

It is quite easy to serve the TruDog Feed Me Freeze-Dried Raw Superfood, Beef; just add water and serve according to the weight of the dog. The brand claims of no added ingredients and preservatives. Moreover, they aim to reduce the strain during the digestive function by developing the best senior dog food for sensitive stomach pets.

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2. TruDog Rawgo Dehydrated Raw Superfood, Lamb & Cranberry

TruDog Rawgo Dehydrated protein ingredients

All sizes and breeds can reap the benefits of the lamb and cranberry flavor of TruDog Rawgo Dehydrated Raw Superfood, Lamb & Cranberry. Packed with nutrients, this brand is one of the Dalmatian friendly dog foods available. This budget-friendly formula has no added chemicals or GMOs.

The taurine in the formula supports heart health and the canola oil brings the advantages of linoleic acid to the dog’s usual fare. TruDog has designed one of the best dry dog food for senior dogs which incorporates antioxidants in the form of cranberries.

Moreover, the dog food has high fiber composition which promotes absorption. It is highly recommended by the veterinarian community to help maintain muscles and prevent vision loss.

Even though some pooches prefer gravy with the kibble, it has an added benefit of inducing appetite in an older dog who is reluctant to eat. Also, it has been observed that this formulation is successful in keeping away the allergies and itchy patches across their bodies.

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3. Pet Plate, Barkin’ Beef Recipe

Pet Plate high-quality protein ingredients

Pet Plate offers human-grade food that is freshly prepared and delivered door-to-door in pre-portioned recyclable containers. This adult dog food improves the overall health and well being of the dog.

The Barkin’ Beef is made from quality ingredients like ground beef, sweet potatoes, potatoes, beef liver, carrots, apples, and pumpkin. This ensures that the portions are loaded with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals which supports the immunity mechanism and enables better brain functions.

Freshly cooked meals are more digestible than dry and pre-packaged ones. Canines who consume fresh snacks with veggies and fruits are less likely to develop problems with the bowels or kidneys. Also, the recipe contains essential amino acids and antioxidants necessary for brain health and organ maintenance.

Some users may find the portions too small. In some cases, it causes trouble for sensitive stomachs. Even though the establishment offers various options, it does not tailor the meals to prescription diets. Thus, this one of the best wet dog foods available.

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4. Wellness Complete Health Senior, Deboned Chicken & Barley Recipe

Wellness Complete Health high-quality protein ingredients

Wellness uses deboned chicken, barley, ground brown rice, peas, tomatoes, carrots, and fat to create a flavorful treat for an adult dog. The high protein and starch content ensures high energy which means less lying around for your dog. Also, the fruits in the blend provide the much-needed vitamins.

The tomatoes in the dog food prevent damage to the cartilage and the hip. With the addition of chicory root and green tea extracts, the dog is equipped to fight bacteria and prevent the destruction of cells. Green tea is also beneficial in improving the absorption of minerals.

Wellness has also included ascorbic acid in their ingredients to meet the Vitamin C and the fatty acid requirements and to ensure fur and skin health. The glucosamine and chondroitin amounts promote good bones and lean muscles. Furthermore, healthy gums and bones are seen as a result of calcium and phosphorus in the diet.

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5. Nutro Ultra Senior Dog Food

Nutro Ultra best food for senior dogs protein ingredients

In search of dog foods rich in proteins for a senior dog of a larger breed? Nutro Ultra is one of the top-rated senior dog food in the current market. This brand offers a treat with 12 variants in the superfood category like sunflower oil, chia seeds, kale, coconut, tomatoes, flaxseed, blueberries, and spinach with a mix of sources of lean protein like chicken, salmon, and lamb.

It does not contain wheat gluten, soy, or corn, making it perfect for a pooch that is allergic to them. Also, inflammation is reduced as the fish oil provides the necessary EPA and strengthens the immunity system to fight off germs. Each bite is filled with nutrients like chondroitin and glucosamine and these help in preventing difficulty in moving that is common in ultra seniors.

Nonetheless, it is among the dog feed brands that take the protein intake of the old furry friend into consideration. Most importantly, Nutro Ultra is one of the best dog food for older dogs but the brand can be pricey for some.

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6. Fromm Gold Nutritionals, Senior Dog Formula

Fromm Gold Nutritionals high-quality protein ingredients

Made from natural ingredients like chicken, oats, barley, millet, and potatoes, Fromm offers one of the best senior dog food for sensitive guts and decreased mobility. The brand has developed an adult formula for dog owners looking for the results of weight control. The real eggs and natural cheese added to the formulation make the feed more wholesome.

While being effective in weight reduction, the brand does not compromise on the carbohydrates and proteins in the diet. Wisconsin duck and ash-lamb were the sources of animal proteins but the duck has been removed from the formula recently. Being rich in omega fatty acids and salmon oil, the feed ensures that the skin remains healthy.

Probiotics have been incorporated to increase digestibility and the bone strength is assisted by glucosamine. Fromm Gold Nutritionals is one of the topmost picks in our list of the best senior dog foods.

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7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Canned Dog Food, Turkey & Chicken Grill

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Canned protein ingredients

Pets with renal dysfunction and specific illnesses fail to drink adequate amounts of fluid. Their appetite is drastically affected as well. For canine companions undergoing this ordeal, canned wet food is the ideal choice for sustenance. The increased moisture content in canned dog foods makes it suitable for pets who are no longer using their water bowl and for pets with problems related to teeth.

Considered as the best-canned dog food for senior dogs, Blue Buffalo has devised a hearty bite of kibbles for the pets with decreased appetite or other sicknesses. Prepared from natural ingredients which are the best sources of protein like lamb, chicken, turkey, and beef, Blue Buffalo aims to provide essential amino acids for proper organ functioning.

Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from the fruit and vegetable contents, this canine feed strengthens the immunity system. It also promotes mobility and prevents arthritis by supplying adequate amounts of chondroitin and glucosamine.

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8. TruDog Rawgo Dehydrated Raw Superfood, Chicken & Rosemary

TruDog Rawgo Dehydrated Raw Superfood rosemary protein

Pet owners using TruDog Rawgo report excitement during mealtimes owing to the flavor-enhancing rosemary. Using natural ingredients and superfoods like canola oil, chicken, and papayas, the brand aims to support bone strength and cell maintenance in aging dogs. This is aided by supplemented chondroitin and glucosamine.

The rosemary extract used in the feed supports digestion, kills unwanted microorganisms in the system, and promotes heart health. It is also handy in preventing cancer. Doubling as a dietary fiber, the spearmint extract keeps nausea and diarrhea at bay.

The manufacturers have considered the sensitive digestive systems of senior dogs and hence the kibble does not contain cereals. It is hypoallergenic and can be fed to canines of all ages as well.

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9. Eukanuba Senior Dog Food For Medium Breed

Eukanuba For Medium Breed dogs with omega 6 fatty acids and protein

Optimized for pooches over the age of 7, this food helps senior medium breed dogs to function well, both mentally and physically. Hearty and wholesome with chicken, chicken by-products, and vegetables, this is an excellent dry dog food that is antioxidant-rich and filled with DHA to maintain brain health.

The diet is designed to create a balance in the nutrients taken in by the pet. Optimal levels of carbohydrates with proteins, glucosamine, and chondroitin with sulfate strengthen the organs and body of the animal. Moreover, the inclusion of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids promotes luscious locks.

If you choose to feed Eukanuba to a senior canine with active physicality, their body becomes much more equipped for the changes that come with time. Besides, the formula reduces tartar buildup in the mouth and keeps the pet’s teeth and gums healthy.

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10. Fromm Pate Grain-Free Canned Dog Food, Chicken & Sweet Potato

Fromm Pate Canned high-quality protein ingredients

Pet owners looking for canned dog formulations that are good sources of carbohydrates, proteins as well as fluids should consider Fromm Pate Grain-Free Canned feed as an option. The formula boasts of 78% moisture which benefits the canines with lowered water intake.

The pate texture of the canned fare makes it easier for dogs with a dental health condition to consume the feed. Its mushy consistency improves digestibility. Made from wholesome natural ingredients like finely minced chicken, chicken broth, sweet potatoes, lentils, and carrots, the formula supplies essential fatty acids to the graying pooch.

Vitamin A in this soft dog food for older dogs improves vision and prevents blindness. Also, the minerals present in the pate prolong proper cognitive functioning.

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dog food brands with glucosamine, protein, 6 fatty acids

3 Common Health Problems In Senior Dogs

Passage of time weighs heavily on the canine companions. They show a significant slow down in their physical and mental abilities. The most common of the health problems seen in an older dog are heart disease, deafness, arthritis, renal failure, and incontinence.

Loss of muscle mass is prominent in older dogs, so include lots of protein in their diet. Consider the calories required by the pooch according to their breed and age to avoid underweight conditions or obesity.

1. Arthritis

Inflammed joints and immobility in the affected joints are as common in dogs as in people. Resulting from factors like body weight, diabetes, and injuries, this degenerative joint disorder is seen in at least one out of every five dogs. The painful joints lower the motivation to move and gradually the pooch refrains from moving at all.

Senior dogs with arthritis do well with supplementation of glucosamine with chondroitin sulfate. [1] These additions to the diet help in reducing the breakdown of cartilage and play a role in providing lubrication to the joints. Also, including papaya, alfalfa, ginger, and celery in the pooch’s diet has been shown to lower the symptoms of arthritis.

2. Kidney Disease

Aging dogs develop renal dysfunction starting from renal insufficiency and progress into kidney failure. There is no cure for the disease but it is possible to treat the symptoms. Indications of kidney problems are increased urination and thirst, loss of appetite, nausea, and lethargy. Moreover, this disorder can be a side effect of medications for other disorders.

The beginnings of a kidney condition can be picked up during regular visits to the vet. Providing the canine with a nutritious diet from early on prolongs the gradual deterioration of the renal system. There are also prescription diets that can help with kidney problems.

high-quality protein sources, omega 3 fatty, and 6 fatty acids are essential in ingredients for dog foods

3. Incontinence

With the passage of time, the muscular and the nervous system suffers degeneration. This leads to poor control over the bladder. Senior dogs seem to have higher rates of ‘accidents’ and it could be a sign of other underlying diseases.

Consult with the vet to rule out diseases like urinary tract infection. Weakened ability to hold urine in can be an indication of the onset of dementia in some dogs. According to the pooch’s needs, take them out for bathroom breaks more frequently.

Dogs with such health issues have dietary requirements different from dogs of other ages. According to the advice of the veterinarian, implement substitutes in the senior pooch’s kibble to provide them with vital nutrients.

importance of protein, 6 fatty acids, glucosamine to prevent health issues - breed senior dry dog food

Important Features To Consider

It is imperative to know the health profile of senior dogs before choosing food as the excess of nutrients can lead to problems. Certain dogs become sensitive to components of the food with time due to their aging digestive systems.

Consider low-calorie diets with a high density of antioxidants. Dog foods with too much protein have been proved to be harmful to the kidneys. Excess of Vitamin A can cause harm to the blood vessels, dehydration, and joint pains. Too much Vitamin D results in damage to the bones and atrophies the muscles. Consult with a veterinarian before making any changes in diet.

With the physiological changes that come with age, meals should be tailored to suit their needs. The best senior dog food should include:

High-Quality Protein

High-quality protein contains essential amino acids that are needed to thrive. Dog foods with high protein content bolster their energy level and maintain their bones and immune system. Additionally, high-protein diets make senior dogs more mobile and maintain the lean muscle of their bodies. It is also necessary for proper organ functioning.

Wholesome Grains

These include wheat, brown rice, oats, corn, barley, millet, oatmeal, and quinoa that are excellent sources of fiber and digestible carbohydrates. These can be included in the food for dogs with a medical reason that calls for reduced fat and protein content. Unlike their human counterparts, dogs are not always intolerant of gluten.

Gluten and fiber obtained from whole grains help in lowering the incidents of constipation. But aged dogs can develop intolerance to this ingredient and so it is prudent to look for gluten-free diets for older canines.

take note of the weight, number of years old, glucosamine, omega 6 fatty acids, protein

Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids like omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are instrumental in promoting joint health and boosting the immune system. Nutrients like fatty acids should be included in foods for seniors as the anti-inflammatory properties lower the pain and severity of arthritis.

Also, it has the ability to improve cognitive function and anti-aging properties to keep the coat health. Most importantly, fatty acids can be found in high concentrations in fish oils.

Vitamins

These are required by dogs, just like humans, for the general smooth functioning of their bodies. Vitamin A is necessary for vision, various kinds of Vitamin B aid metabolic activities, Vitamin C works as an antioxidant, and Vitamin K helps with the clotting of blood. Apart from finding dog food for seniors with enhanced vitamin content, they can be given in as an easily chewable capsule as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should senior dogs eat grain-free food?

Yes, based on the vet’s recommendations and the dog’s preference, grain-free foods can be included in an elderly dog’s diet. Whole-grain foods are essential sources of amino acids and help in maintaining energy but diets devoid of grains solve immunity problems in many instances. Make sure the feed you choose includes appropriate nutrients.

What supplements should I give my senior dog?

Essential fatty acids, glucosamine with chondroitin sulfate, prebiotics, and probiotics are important add-ons to include in an aging dog’s diet. Glucosamine, Omega 3 fatty acids, and Omega 6 fatty acids reduce inflammation and keep the pooch’s skin and coat healthy.

Unlike antibiotics, prebiotics retains the ‘good’ bacteria in their body system and increase their immunity. Check-in with your vet before making any switches in the diet.

Is soft food better for older dogs?

Yes, soft food with increased moisture content is advised for senior dogs who are reluctant to drink water. The body’s ability to retain fluid decreases with age and the risk for heat strokes and electrolyte imbalance increases. Thus, moisture-rich foods are a healthy alternative to increase the intake of water in senior dogs.

Conclusion

As the snout of the pooch greys, they may become more reluctant to eat. This could be a consequence of weather, medical conditions, medications, or exhaustion. Try hand-feeding or mixing liquids like milk, yogurt, or an egg to appeal to their appetite. Be mindful of dairy though.

Meals for older dogs should be nutritious, balanced, easily digestible, and have zero preservatives. Treats with hard to digest carbohydrate content, low antioxidant composition, and gluten will induce discomfort in pooches. Added natural ingredients like fruits, salmon, and rice, alongside a good protein source improve the eating experience for the pooches.

Tailored to suit and soothe the ailments of old age, TruDog Feed Me Freeze-Dried Raw Superfood is the best choice for an aging dog. Its dog-tested and dog-approved taste make it more palatable. Have a discussion with the experts before choosing from the available brands.

TruDog Feed Me Freeze-Dried Raw Superfood best food for senior dog with protein

Editor's Choice

TruDog Feed Me Freeze-Dried Raw Superfood, Beef