Dogs enjoying their golden years certainly don’t have the same nutritional requirements that they had as young pups.
Joints need a little extra help to stay strong, lighter formulas with less fat will help prevent them from becoming overweight from being less active and a little more fiber to help keep things moving in the intestines.
Not sure which food to pick for the new senior citizen in your home?
In our guide, we will highlight 10 of the best senior dog food formulas, so read on to find out what you should be looking for on the label as you shop.
Top 10 Senior Dog Foods Comparison Table
|Picture||Name||Appropriate For||Price||Rating (1-5)|
|Picture||Name||Appropriate For||Price||Rating (1-5)|
|1. Fromm Family Foods 33 lb Gold Nutritionals Dog Food||Seniors or Inactive Adults||$$$$||4.6|
|2. Ideal Balance Natural Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food||Sensitive Stomach||$$$||4.6|
|3. Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food||Seniors in General||$$||4.6|
|4. NUTRO ULTRA Wet Dog Food||Seniors in General||$$||4.5|
|5. AvoDerm Natural Dog Food||Seniors in General||$$||4.5|
|6. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Dog Food||Small Breeds||$||4.5|
|7. Natural Balance Original Ultra Reduced Calorie Dry Dog Food||Overweight Adults or Seniors||$$$||4.5|
|8. CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food||Seniors with Grain Allergies||$||4.3|
|9. Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food||Seniors with Grain Allergies||$$$||4.3|
|10. Wellness Complete Health Natural Wet Canned Dog Food||Seniors in General||$$||4.3|
Key Components of Senior Dog Food
There are three main things that make senior dog foods different from regular formulas, including ingredients that promote joint health, the percentage of fat, and the amount of fiber.
- Joint Health. Glucosamine helps keep joints healthy, and since it is already a natural substance found in your dog’s body, the production of it slows down as he or she ages.
Adding an extra dose to the food formula can help replace what is no longer produced by your dog, which will lubricate the joints better and act as an anti-inflammatory to help reduce joint pain.
- Lower Fat Content. If senior dogs continue to eat regular adult food, the risk of obesity is much greater.
Senior formulas are developed with lower Crude Fat percentages per serving to help prevent this problem, but if you do happen to have a senior that is already overweight (perhaps you rescued a senior), then a reduced fat formula might be more appropriate.
- Fiber. Human seniors turn to things like prunes and Metamucil for their daily dose of fiber to help with regular bowel movements, but for dogs, the choices are a bit different.
Many dog food manufacturers use brown rice, beet pulp, peanut hulls, flaxseed and bran in senior formulas.
Kibble and Teeth
Keep in mind that older dogs may have problems breaking down the kibble with age; this is especially true for seniors that have had teeth removed due to gum or dental disease.
If you have recently noticed that your dog has lost interest in food, this could be one of the reasons. It might be painful for them to eat, so if you find that your dog is still interested in food and accepts softer table scraps, then try breaking down the food for him and incorporate wet food into the mix.
Top 3 Best Senior Dog Food Reviews
Fromm is a quality brand of dog food that many dog owners trust, topping many of our dog food lists.
They have created a great formula designed to meet the needs of dogs that are inactive or in their golden years. Don’t confuse this for a weight loss formula because it isn’t. It simply has a lower percentage of fat per serving and enough protein to keep their energy levels up.
Since this is not a grain-free formula, you’ll see that is has oatmeal, brown rice, and pearled barley. These, along with the flaxseed, are all more easily digestible for aging dogs.
Keep in mind that this does have eggs and cheese, so if your dog is allergic to either one, you should opt for another formula.
If your dog doesn’t have any known allergies, then try this quality food. You’ll notice healthier stool and a healthier coat with this formula.
If you can’t spring for Fromm, then give Hill’s Ideal Balance Mature Adult formula a try.
We see that in addition to the oats, brewers rice and pearled barley that they have also used a bit of dry beet pulp to aid in digestion. It, too, has the flaxseed in there.
Again, we see chicken in the mix and as the #1 ingredient since it is a lean protein that won’t fatten your dog up. We also see that they have the chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine for joint health.
The fat percentage was at 14.9, which is a bit higher than the Fromm formula, so if you have a senior that is still a bit more active, then this would probably be a great match.
The next best senior dog food formula on our list comes from Holistic Select.
Chicken is pretty much standard in most senior dog foods, so it was no surprise to see it here, too. There are quite a few types of carbohydrates in the mix, including white rice, oatmeal, brown rice, and pumpkin. In spite of these, the Crude Fat percentage is still just a 10% minimum with a 26% Crude Protein minimum; this is the ideal balance for most seniors.
Can we guarantee that this is the right formula for all senior dogs?
Of course not. We do know that many dog owners have great success with it and because of that, we recommend that you give it a try, too.
If your senior has grain allergies and can’t handle a formula like this, then try either the CANIDAE Pure Meadow Grain-Free Senior or Nature’s Valley Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Senior. Both are grain-free formulas intended for senior dogs.