The Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs | Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Last Updated on by Gail Ramirez

Older dogs have unique nutritional needs. As they grow older, their energy levels drop and they become more vulnerable to conditions of the joints, stomach, and heart. The best dog food for senior dogs keeps dogs healthy as they grow old by providing a high-fiber, high-protein, low-sodium, and low-fat diet.

The best dog food can also help prevent obesity, which can result in severe health issues such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. However, there are certain things you need to put into consideration when looking for the best dog food for your senior dog.

In this guide, we will expose you to some of those vital things you need to consider when shopping for dog foods for senior dogs. We will also review nine of the best dog foods for older dogs. Here we go!

Our top pick is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food. This dry dog food is formulated specifically for senior dogs, and it caters to their nutritional needs. It contains plenty of fruits and veggies, and it supports healthy bones, joints, hips, and teeth.

The Best Dog Foods for Senior Dogs Are:

ProductDetails
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Senior
  • All breed sizes
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy
Check Current Price
2. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables Canned Food

  • Wet Food
  • Senior
  • All breed sizes
  • No corn, no wheat, no by-product meals, no soy
Check Current Price
3. Wellness Complete Health Senior Deboned Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Senior
  • All breed sizes
  • No corn, wheat, soy, weight control
Check Current Price
4. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal, Barley, & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult, Senior
  • All breed sizes
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy
Check Current Price
5. Holistic Select Senior Health Chicken Meal & Lentils Recipe

  • Dry Food
  • Senior
  • All breed sizes
  • Grain-free, gluten-free
Check Current Price
6. Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Senior
  • All breed sizes
  • No corn, wheat, soy
Check Current Price
7. CANIDAE All Life Stages Less Active Formula Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Puppies, adult, and seniors
  • All breed sizes
  • Weight control, no corn, no wheat, no soy.
Check Current Price
8. Eagle Pack Original Adult Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Healthy digestion, no corn, wheat, soy, and pea-free
Check Current Price
9. Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult, Senior
  • All breed sizes
  • Grain-free, high-protein, gluten-free
Check Current Price

 

1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food — Best Dog Food for Older Dogs

The first dog food on our list is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food. This is one of the best dry dog food for senior dogs.

The first ingredient of this food is real meat from fresh deboned chicken. Other ingredients in this food include garden-grown veggies and fruits, added L-carnitine, and wholesome grains, making it a perfect soft dry dog food for senior dogs.

This food also contains the LifeSource Bits of Blue, which is a powerful blend of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants to boost the health of your dog and keep it strong and happy for as long as possible. It also comes with adequate levels of phosphorus and calcium for strong teeth and bones.

In addition to that, this food contains chondroitin and glucosamine to provide your oldie with strong and healthy joints. The added minerals and vitamins also support a healthy immune system.

This high-quality protein formula helps with healthy muscle maintenance and it contains great carb sources for energy to remain active. It also contains sufficient amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. It is free of corn, soy, wheat, or chicken (poultry) by-product meals. It is not artificially preserved, colored, or flavored.

In all, the ingredients used to make this food support the overall health and well-being of senior dogs. The crude protein content of this food is 18 percent, which is great for senior dogs. It contains a minimum crude fat of 10 percent, maximum crude fiber of 7 percent, and the caloric content is 357 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Senior
  • All breed sizes
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy

Pros

  • A blend of crunchy and soft pieces
  • Blue’s LifeSource Bits
  • Supports strong teeth and bones
  • It contains plenty of fruits and veggies

Cons

  • It is not completely grain-free

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

2. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables Canned Food — Best Canned Dog Food for Senior Dogs

If you are looking for the best canned for senior dogs, then the Homestyle Recipe Senior Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables Canned Food from Blue Buffalo is one great option you should consider.

This chicken and vegetable canned dog food is a great alternative for dogs that do not like dry dog food, as it is sure to provide your senior dog with great alternatives to raw kibbles. You can either use this food as sole nutrition or a topper on dry food.

It also contains great carb sources that are sure to keep your oldie’s energy up all day. This food contains real chicken as the first ingredient together with garden veggies and fruits.

It is formulated to provide older dogs with all the nutrients they need as they grow old. It also contains adequate levels of chondroitin and glucosamine for mobility and healthy joints. It contains high-quality protein and healthy ingredients for healthy muscle maintenance.

This canned food is also enriched with minerals and vitamins. It is free of corn, soy, wheat, by-product meals, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, making it ideal for senior dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies.

The protein content of this canned food is 7.5 percent minimum while the minimum crude fat content is 4.5 percent. This food contains a maximum crude fiber of 2 percent while the calorie content is 396 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Wet Food
  • Senior
  • All breed sizes
  • No corn, no wheat, no by-product meals, no soy

Pros

  • High-quality protein
  • It contains real chicken with garden fruits and veggies
  • Formulated to support the nutritional needs of senior dogs
  • No additive or by-products

Cons

  • It may take your dog some time to transit to this food

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

3. Wellness Complete Health Senior Deboned Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food

The Wellness Complete Health Senior Deboned Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food is another great pick for senior dogs. This dog food is made in the USA and it is sure to give your oldie the best nutrition it needs in the later stage of its life.

The ingredients used to make this food include deboned chicken, which is a great protein source for older dogs. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for the promotion of healthy joints and hips.

This food is free from soy, corn, wheat, meat by-products, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. All the ingredients used to make this food are easily digestible and they are gentle on the digestive system. This food is moderately-priced, and it will not leave a hole in your pocket.

This food also contains taurine, which supports a healthy heart as well as Yucca Schidigera extract to help reduce odor in the stool. The green tea extract in this food helps to fight free radicals and cell destruction.

This protein-rich dog food is formulated to help your oldie maintain a healthy weight, its bones and joints strong, keep its coat looking beautiful, and let it age gracefully. It contains 22 percent protein, 10 percent crude fat, 4.25 percent maximum crude fiber, with a calorie content of 416 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Senior
  • All breed sizes
  • No corn, wheat, soy, weight control

Pros

  • Helps to fight free radicals and cell destruction
  • No meat by-products and additives
  • Reduces odor in stool
  • Supports healthy joints, bones, and hips

Cons

  • Longer transition time.

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

4. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal, Barley, & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food — Best Soft Dog Food for Older Dogs

The next on our list is the Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Dry Dog Food. This is one of the best dog food for older dogs. It is also one of the best budget options on our list.

This food comes with a clinically tested formula of antioxidants and supports a healthy immune system to keep your dog healthy and active as it grows old. If your dog has hit seven years old, this is an excellent option for their diet.

This food contains chicken meal, rice, and barley to give your doggy the right nutrition to stay healthy. It is formulated to be balanced and complete and is proudly made in the USA and all the ingredients meet strict requirements for nutrient content and purity surpassing industry standards.

This food is also rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to nourish the skin of your dog for a healthier and noticeable shiny coat. It also supports a healthy immune system, thanks to the blend of antioxidants, vitamin E, and C.

The protein content of this food is 15.5 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 10.5 percent. It boasts of a caloric content of 353 kilocalories per cup while the maximum crude fiber content is 4 percent.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult, Senior
  • All breed sizes
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy

Pros

  • A synthetic blend of nutrients
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • It contains omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • Natural, premium ingredients

Cons

  • The protein content is a bit low

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

5. Holistic Select Senior Health Chicken Meal & Lentils Recipe

If you are looking for the best dog food that will not upset the stomach of your senior dog, you should consider the Holistic Select Senior Health Chicken Meal & Lentils Recipe Dry Dog Food. This dog food is completely grain-free and it does not contain any harmful corn, fillers, wheat, soy, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Rather, this food is made with natural alternatives and beneficial ingredients that will keep your senior dog healthy regardless of their slower metabolism.

The number one ingredient of this food is chicken meal, and it is the major source of protein. It also contains complex carbs such as peas. To supply your pup with a boost of fiber, this food contains flaxseed and beet pulp. It also contains sources of protease to help break down protein, alpha-amylase to help break down starch, and cellulase to help break down cellulose.

This food also contains healthy vegetables and fruits including papaya and pumpkin, which are great sources of fiber to support a healthy digestive process. It also contains glucosamine to support the healthy function of aging joints and hips.

This food also contains the right amount of fat, protein, and fiber to help support the slower metabolism of senior dogs and maintain healthy body weight. It contains an impressive 28 percent protein with a minimum crude fat of 12 percent. The maximum crude fat percent is 5.5 percent while the caloric content is 368 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Senior
  • All breed sizes
  • Grain-free, gluten-free

Pros

  • Easily digestible ingredients
  • Healthy fruits and veggies
  • Glucosamine for healthy joints and hips
  • Protein-rich

Cons

  • Some fussy eaters might not like it

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

6. Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food

If you are looking for a nutritious and healthier way of supporting the aging body of your senior dog, then the Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food is one of the best ways to do that. This food is rich in protein, with sources such as salmon, chicken, and lamb.

It also comes with a blend of 12 of the world’s superfoods that include tomatoes, sunflower oil, coconut, flaxseed, spinach, carrots, chia seeds, apples, blueberries, kale, pumpkin, and egg.

The chicken meal also serves as a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin for optimal joint health, as arthritis and other joint disorders are major health concerns among older dogs. It is also free of wheat gluten, corn, and soy, making it a safer option for senior dogs with allergies or sensitivities. 

The fish oil content in this food also provides adequate amounts of EPA, which helps with the reduction of inflammatory processes. It also augments the ability of the immune system to fight infections that are common in older dogs.

This food is on the higher end of the price spectrum though, but it is worth the price. This senior dog food is easy to chew, contains plenty of natural flavors, and free of animal by-product meals. The protein content of this food is 26 percent while the crude fat content is 11 percent. It contains a maximum crude fat of 4 percent and the calorie content is 316 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Senior
  • All breed sizes
  • No corn, wheat, soy

Pros

  • GMO-free ingredient
  • Triple protein combo
  • Packed with joint-friendly substances
  • No additives

Cons

  • It is a bit pricey

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

7. CANIDAE All Life Stages Less Active Formula Dry Dog Food

This dry dog food from CANIDAE is suitable for dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds. It is made with natural, premium quality ingredients, and it is one of the best dog foods out there.

This recipe does not contain any wheat, corn, or soy, and it is not artificially colored, flavored, or preserved. If you are looking for an average nutritional balanced low protein dog food, then this is one option you should consider.

It contains a high-quality protein that helps to maintain the body muscles of your dog but does not increase weight, making it a great option for weight management. It also contains an adequate level of probiotics for improved digestion. This food is also rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to leave your senior dog with healthy skin and a shiny coat.

This food contains a minimum crude protein of 22.5 percent while the crude fat content is 8.5 percent. The maximum crude fiber content of this food is 4 percent and the calorie content is 342 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Puppies, adult, and seniors
  • All breed sizes
  • Weight control, no corn, no wheat, no soy.

Pros

  • Supports proper digestion
  • Great for weight control
  • Supports healthy skin and coat
  • Optimal protein level

Cons

  • Some dogs suffer constipation immediately after the switch

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

8. Eagle Pack Original Adult Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

Eagle Pack offers the right amount of fats, proteins, carbs, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants. This dog food is delicious and it provides senior dogs with balanced and complete nutrition.

It contains wholesome ingredients such as oatmeal, brown rice, and other similar ingredients that are nutrient-rich. The fiber content helps with healthy digestion and firm stools. This food is made with natural, quality ingredients including real lamb and premium protein.

Lamb, which is a highly digestible protein, is the first ingredient of this food. It also contains flaxseed, which is a great source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat. The antioxidants in this food support a healthy immune system and meet the daily nutritional requirements of senior dogs.

This food is made in the United States and it does not contain any corn, soy, wheat, by-product meals, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. The protein content of this food is 23 percent with a minimum crude fat content of 12 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 4 percent while the calorie content is 337 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Healthy digestion, no corn, wheat, soy, and pea-free

Pros

  • Natural and delicious recipes
  • Free of corn, wheat, soy, and artificial additives
  • It contains glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Supports a healthy digestive system

Cons

  • The calorie content is a bit low

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

9. Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

The last dog food on our list is the Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. This is one of the best alternative sources of grain-free diets. This high-protein formula is made with natural ingredients that help to develop and maintain energy and muscle function. This food contains turkey, chicken, and whitefish as the main sources of protein.

It is crafted with some healthy veggies and fruits such as cranberries, apples, carrots, and blueberries, which are also rich in antioxidants for daily nutrition. A balanced amount of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids supports a shiny coat and healthier skin.

It also contains L-carnitine, which helps to convert body fat into energy and muscle, nourishing overall body conditioning and lean muscle mass. It is completely free of gluten and grain, and all the ingredients are highly digestible. This food contains an impressive 38 percent protein with a whopping crude fat content of 20 percent. The maximum crude fiber content is 2.5 percent while the caloric content is 415 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult, Senior
  • All breed sizes
  • Grain-free, high-protein, gluten-free

Pros

  • Supports body fat into muscle and energy
  • Balanced omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids
  • Loads of veggies and fruits

Cons

  • The protein and fat content might be too much for less active dogs.

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Best Senior Dog Food Buying Guide

Picking the best dog food for your senior dog is not really easy, as older dogs usually have underlying medical issues that can compound their ability to process food.

In most cases, senior dogs will need special dog food based on their health concerns. Hence, how do you pick the best dog food for your older dog?

Choose High-Quality Protein Sources

Protein is one of the most vital nutrients in senior dogs. Senior dogs need protein to support the ongoing tissue-building process that aims to replace age-damaged tissues.

Even dogs with kidney issues can greatly benefit from high-quality proteins. However, you should ensure that the protein count is moderate.

Food Ingredients

When looking for the best dog food for your oldie, it is very important that you consider the ingredients used to make the food. It is crucial that you know the ingredients that you are going to feed your dog. We recommend you go for dog food with “meat meal” at the top of the ingredient list to meet the adequate protein level of your oldie.

You should avoid meat by-products such as the heart, skeletal muscle, diaphragm, and other animal parts, as they are not healthy for you oldie to consume.

Some of the best meat sources you should look out for include duck, egg, poultry, beef, chicken, pork, turkey, tripe, and rabbit. Fresh fish is another great source of protein, and you can find it in both dry dog foods and wet dog foods.

You should also consider oily fishes such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna as the major source of essential omega 3 fatty acids. The best sources of grains you should consider are barley, maize germ, rice, and cereals.

Wholesome Grains Are Important

Many pet owners are wary of grains in dog food. While grain-free dog foods can be beneficial to dogs with immune system issues, wholesome grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa are great sources of amino acids.

These are proteins that are already in their simplest forms and the digestive system no longer needs to break them down. This means they will get to work immediately your dog consumes them. Hence, if your oldie does not have any immune system issues, then it would greatly benefit from a grain-containing option.

Chondroitin and Glucosamine

Glucosamine and chondroitin are two vital elements in the food of a senior dog. Chondroitin and glucosamine can do wonders in the overall joint and hip health of your dog.

When consumed regularly, these supplements can strengthen the connective tissue in the joints. This will considerably reduce the level of discomfort in your dog as it moves. If you have a large breed senior dog, then these supplements are necessary.

Other ingredients such as fish oil can also do the trick, as it contains beneficial omega fatty acids. Hence, before you pick a diet for your dog, you need to consider its needs and make sure the food contains what your dog needs.

Reduced Fat and Calories

To prevent your older dog from getting obese, you need to opt for dog food with fewer overall calories. Senior dogs are not as active as young dogs and puppies; they spend most of their time relaxing.

It is important that you always match the caloric intake of your dog to its activity level to avoid unnecessary gains. When it comes to fat, we recommend you go for senior dog foods with a lower fat content of about 12 percent.

Fiber Is Also Important

Gastrointestinal and constipation issues are far too common in older dogs. They have highly sensitive digestive tracts. They may experience stomach pains and diarrhea more often. To help your senior dog over these issues, you should look for dog foods with high fiber formulas.

Ingredients such as kale and other leafy greens will help to make sure that the food passes through the system of your dog with ease. Fiber can also slow down the absorption rate so that they can take advantage of every nutrient the food has to offer.

Avoid Artificial Ingredients

No matter how the food looks attractive and affordable to you, do not settle for a dog food that comes with anything but natural ingredients. Artificial ingredients are one of the major sources of dogs’ health issues.

Artificial foods are totally prohibited for harmful bad effects such as kidney, brain tumor damage, allergic reactions, and more.

From coloring to preservatives to flavorings, provided it is not natural, you should avoid it completely. All products reviewed in this article are all free of artificial ingredients.

Final Thoughts

While aging is inevitable, the best way to make this process enjoyable, comfortable, and pain-free for your dog is to continue feeding it the best dog food for senior dogs. In this guide, we have provided you with the best options in the market, making it easy for you to make a choice.

Our top recommendation dog food is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food because it is formulated specifically for senior dogs. It provides them with all the nutrition they need, easy to chew, and supports strong bones and teeth.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top