Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs — Top Dry and Canned Chow for Older Pooches

Aging may slow your dog down!

With 7 years or more, your dog needs having nothing to do with a puppy that is in the process of growing. Your pup’s nutrition, like yours, must change.

Lucky for your pal, dog food companies produce a variety of special diets that are tailored towards the health and wellbeing of your dog.

Senior blends are nutrient dense with sufficient fiber, leaner and less caloric proteins, and naturally sourced supplements (such glucosamine and chondroitin).

But, there are so many senior dog food brands out there. So, you need to do a little research and exercise caution in order to find the best dog food for senior dogs.

The Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Senior Dry Dog Food is our top pick for feeding senior dogs. This diet is highly recommended by canine nutritionists and dog parents because it contains natural ingredients tailored towards your dog’s digestive health, hip and joint support, and skin and coat care.

The Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs Are:

ProductDetails
1. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Senior

  • Limited ingredient senior dog food
  • Contains real turkey as the first ingredient
  • Small bite kibbles with a good balance of protein and carbs
  • Enhanced with minerals and vitamins
Check Current Price
2. American Journey Senior Dry Dog Food

  • Grain-free diet contains nutrient-dense ingredients
  • Contains naturally occurring medium chain triglycerides
  • Antioxidant blend boosts a healthy immune system
  • Chondroitin and glucosamine boost joint health
  • Enriched with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
Check Current Price
3. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior

  • Farm raised chicken is the first ingredient
  • Contains essential antioxidants and important minerals
  • Enriched with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Contains wholesome grains, fruit, and vegetables
  • Enriched with natural fiber
Check Current Price
4. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior Canned Dog Food

  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Made up of 78% moisture
  • Enriched with chondroitin and glucosamine
  • Free of by-product meals, preservatives, or artificial flavors
  • Complete and balanced meal
Check Current Price
5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Dry Dog Food

  • First ingredient is deboned chicken
  • Contains essential vitamins and vital minerals
  • Features antioxidant rich ingredients
  • Supports joint function as well as mobility
  • Great for health muscle maintenance
Check Current Price
6. Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food

  • Features three lean animal protein sources
  • Contains nutrient dense wholesome grains
  • Naturally sourced glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Made without preservatives, flavors, or artificial colors
  • Great nutrition for joint, skin, and coat health
Check Current Price
7. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Senior Dry Dog Food

  • Complete and balanced small breed nutrition
  • Crafted for weight maintenance
  • Controlled sodium levels for improved heart health
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin improve joint health
  • Enriched with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
Check Current Price
8. Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

  • Composed of meaty protein
  • Fortified with essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals
  • Enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Contains L-carnitine and yeast
Check Current Price
9. Iams ProActive Health Senior Canned Dog Food

  • Formulated with real chicken
  • Contains slow-cooked natural ingredients
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals
  • Has omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids
Check Current Price

 

1. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Senior — Best Dry Dog Food for Senior Dogs

Feed your dog’s seniority with the Basics Limited Ingredient Diet from Blue Buffalo. An all-natural dry nutrition made without preservatives, artificial flavors, or poultry by-product meals.

Specs

  • A mix of kibble and freeze-dried raw meat
  • Grain-free and gluten-free for sensitive dogs
  • Made for adult dogs
  • Includes the finest ingredients

Why choose this food? It is a limited ingredient diet for senior dogs as well as dogs with food sensitivities.

This diet contains deboned turkey as the first ingredient, which is great because it is a good protein source that’s rich in Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, riboflavin, and phosphorus.

The food has easily digestible carbohydrates (including potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, and peas) that help supplement your senior dog with energy.

I really appreciate the presence of flaxseed and fish oil in this recipe, considering that they are great sources of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

But the thing is, this recipe is low in fiber; so, it may leave your pooch hungry.

Pros

  • Small bite kibbles are easy to chew
  • Turkey provides high levels of energy and essential nutrients
  • Easily digestible carbohydrates are good sources of energy
  • Omega 3 and 6 support skin and coat care
  • Doesn’t contain preservatives, artificial flavors, or by-products

Cons

  • Low fiber content may leave your pooch hungry
  • Transition may take slightly longer

Concluding Statement

The Basics Limited Ingredient Diet is grain-free, gluten, and it is available in small bite kibbles that are easy for older dogs to munch.

Overall Rating – 4.8

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

2. American Journey Senior Dry Dog Food — Best Grain-Free Diet

The American Journey provides a delicious senior dog food recipe that will have your furred friend energized, healthy, and happy.

Specs

  • Grain-free diet contains nutrient-dense ingredients
  • Contains naturally occurring medium chain triglycerides
  • Antioxidant blend boosts a healthy immune system
  • Chondroitin and glucosamine boost joint health
  • Enriched with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids

This complete and balanced grain-free kibble is prepared to meet the nutritional needs of your senior pooch and support its overall health.

It features real chicken protein as the first ingredient, which is great because it is a good source of lean meat that supplies sufficient protein without adding too many calories.

I really like the inclusion of coconut oil in the recipe because it contains naturally occurring medium chain triglycerides that help boost brain health in senior dogs.

Plus, it includes chondroitin and glucosamine, which offer mild anti-inflammatory effects and inhibit destructive enzymes in cartilage and joint fluid.

What I don’t like; however, is the kibble size, which might be slightly big for some dog breeds.

Pros

  • Grain-free nutrition is highly hypoallergenic
  • Lean protein provides sufficient energy with low calorie count
  • Supports joint health as well as overall mobility
  • Enriched with antioxidants for a healthy immune system
  • Supports brain health

Cons

  • Kibble size may be a little bit bigger for some dog breeds
  • It’s possible to receive a defective bag

Concluding Statement

This recipe is made without poultry by-product meals, soy, wheat, or corn, making it a great choice for seniors and dogs with sensitivities.

Overall Rating – 4.8

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

3. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior — Best Diet for Small Breed Seniors

If you are looking for the best dog food for small breed senior dogs, look no further than the Nutro Wholesome Essentials.

Specs

  • Farm raised chicken is the first ingredient
  • Contains essential antioxidants and important minerals
  • Enriched with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Contains wholesome grains, fruit, and vegetables
  • Enriched with natural fiber

Real chicken is the first ingredient, which is great because it delivers a complete meal that is rich in nutrients and full of flavor that your small breed dog will love.

This diet is formulated with natural fiber, which is great because it promotes digestive tract health and helps inhibit the overgrowth of bad bacteria.

The nutrition is enriched with Vitamin E (a fat soluble vitamin) that does a great job of boosting the immune system of your furred friend.

But the only problem is that the kibble size may be a little bigger for some senior small breed dogs.

Pros

  • Tailored nutrition for small breed dogs
  • Rich in nutrients and full of flavor
  • Natural fiber enriched for supporting digestive tract health
  • Fat soluble vitamin supports a healthy immune system
  • Great choice for weight management

Cons

  • Kibble size may be a little bigger for some small breeds
  • Only available in a five pound bag

Concluding Statement

Do you have a small breed and are looking for the best dog food for senior dogs? Look no further than the Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior Dry Dog Food.

Overall Rating – 4.8

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

4. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior Canned Dog Food — Best Canned Dog Food for Senior Dogs

The Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe has a flavor that your senior dog cannot resist. That’s because the formula contains real meat as the first ingredient followed by wholesome grains and veggies.

Specs

  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Made up of 78% moisture
  • Enriched with chondroitin and glucosamine
  • Free of by-product meals, preservatives, or artificial flavors
  • Complete and balanced meal

This diet contains real chicken, chicken liver, and chicken broth as the top ingredients, providing your pooch with sufficient energy.

I really appreciate the high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin in this diet because they’re effective in joint inflammation reduction, pain reduction and increased joint mobility.

I really appreciate the presence of carrots in this canned diet, considering that they are a great source of Vitamin A for supporting eye health and overall immune system.

This nutrition is also enriched with omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which help in treating protein loss, skin conditions, as well as inflammatory joint diseases.

My only concern is that this diet is based on chicken, which can be a problem for pet parents who own dogs that are allergic to this ingredient.

Pros

  • Lean meat is a great source of energy with less calorie count
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin increase joint mobility
  • Highly enriched with Vitamin A for a healthy immune system
  • Omega 3 and 6 improve skin and coat health
  • High water content ensures your dog is hydrated

Cons

  • Some dogs may be allergic to chicken based ingredients
  • Smell may not be appealing for some pups

Concluding Statement

This is a great canned food for your furred friend, providing it with more palatable and more appetizing meat protein.

Overall Rating – 4.7

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Dry Dog Food — Best for Boosting Immune Health

The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula contains the finest natural ingredients enriched with essential vitamins and minerals that are vital for supporting a healthy immune system.

Specs

  • First ingredient is deboned chicken
  • Contains essential vitamins and vital minerals
  • Features antioxidant rich ingredients
  • Supports joint function as well as mobility
  • Great for health muscle maintenance

The Life Protection Formula for senior dogs from Blue Buffalo features real meat as the first ingredient followed by healthy veggies and wholesome whole grains.

This dry senior dog nutrition doesn’t contain soy, wheat, or corn, which is great because these ingredients are genetically modified.

The nutrition is made up of a super seven package of antioxidant rich ingredients, including spinach, cranberries, pumpkin, blueberries, pomegranate, apples, and black berries.

The kibbles are cold formed to retain potency and they contain a precise blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that were selected by animal nutritionists and holistic vets.

But here is the thing, some dog breeds may be allergic to chicken.

Pros

  • Real meat is a great protein and energy source
  • Cold formed kibbles retain potency
  • Antioxidant enriched to support a healthy immune system
  • Doesn’t contain genetically modified ingredients
  • Supports joint function and muscle maintenance

Cons

  • Some ingredients may be allergic to some dog breeds
  • Quality control may be inconsistent from one bag to another

Concluding Statement

If what you are looking for is a diet that contains real meat and wholesome ingredients, then the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is your best bet.

Overall Rating – 4.7

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

6. Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food — Best Blend of Vibrant Super Foods

Your aging furred friend deserves the best, which is why Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food is massively crafted with a unique blend of nature’s finest ingredients.

Specs

  • Features three lean animal protein sources
  • Contains nutrient dense wholesome grains
  • Naturally sourced glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Made without preservatives, flavors, or artificial colors
  • Great nutrition for joint, skin, and coat health

This amazing recipe from Nutro Ultra contains farm raised chicken as the first ingredient, which is a great protein and omega 6 fatty acids source.

The recipe is made up of an exclusive blend of superfoods, such as chia seeds, kale, and coconut, which help boost energy as well as maintain good health.

I really appreciate the fact that this premium natural diet contains the right amounts of fat, protein, and carbohydrates for promoting the overall wellbeing of your pal. 

My only concern is the inconsistent quality control, since it’s possible to receive a bag with altered ingredients.

Pros

  • Real chicken is a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • No genetically modified ingredients, such as soy, wheat, or corn
  • Supports a healthy immune and digestive system
  • Nutrient dense whole grains promote digestive health
  • Omega 3 and 6 boost joint health and treat protein loss

Cons

  • Quality control may be inconsistent from one bag to another
  • Some breeds may be allergic to chicken

Concluding Statement

This nutrition is thoughtfully formulated to ensure that your pooch is nourished, satisfied, energetic, and healthy.

Overall Rating – 4.7

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

7. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Senior Dry Dog Food — Best for Weight Maintenance

The Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Senior Dry Dog Food is an amazing choice for your aging pal because it’s rich in protein, essential vitamins, vital minerals, and omega fatty acids.

Specs

  • Complete and balanced small breed nutrition
  • Crafted for weight maintenance
  • Controlled sodium levels for improved heart health
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin improve joint health
  • Enriched with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids

This nutrition offers high meaty protein content while at the same time remaining one hundred percent free of animal by-products.

This amazing weight maintenance food is nutrient dense and enriched with antioxidants to support a healthy immune system.

It is also packed with healthy fiber and probiotics to support the digestive tract as well as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to help the skin and coat shine.

This senior dog food normally offers consistency, but there have been issues where some bags have been of lower quality.

Pros

  • Enriched with antioxidants to support a healthy immune system
  • No animal by-products used, only meaty protein
  • Healthy fiber and probiotics support a healthy digestive tract
  • Nutrient-dense kibbles are tender and ultra-digestible
  • Great choice for weight maintenance and treating gastric problems

Cons

  • May receive a bag of lower quality
  • Picky eaters may dislike its texture and taste

Concluding Statement

This is a great nutrition for weight maintenance and treating gastric problems. It is also packed with antioxidants for boosting the immune system.

Overall Rating – 4.7

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

8. Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food — Best for Lean Muscle Development

This Victor dog food features nutrient dense ingredients, which will provide your pooch with glucosamine, chondroitin, L-carnitine, minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids.

Specs

  • Composed of meaty protein
  • Fortified with essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals
  • Enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Contains L-carnitine and yeast

This nutrition contains L-carnitine, which is great because it accelerates the rate of weight loss as well as converting fat into energy for preserving lean body mass.

The diet is formulated with all-natural fully fermented selenium yeast that works to support excellent digestive health and helps support healthy brain functionality.

I really appreciate the fact that the kibbles are highly digestible, which means your pooch would require less food intake to meet its daily energy requirements.

A downside with this dog food is that some bags may contain smaller kibble sizes, which may be a problem when feeding large senior dogs.

Pros

  • Great diet for preserving lean body mass
  • Converts fat to energy to aid with weight loss
  • Selenium yeast supports digestive health
  • Kibbles are highly digestible
  • Enriched with antioxidants to support the immune system

Cons

  • Some bags may contain smaller kibble sizes
  • May not be a great choice for picky eaters

Concluding Statement

This diet contains selenium yeast, mineral complexes, prebiotics, and probiotics, super ingredients that your senior dog desperately needs.

Overall Rating – 4.5

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

9. Iams ProActive Health Senior Canned Dog Food — Best Value Diet

If you are looking for the best dog food for older dogs that is wholesome, delicious, complete, and balanced, look no further than the Iams ProActive Health Senior Canned Dog Food.

Specs

  • Formulated with real chicken
  • Contains slow-cooked natural ingredients
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals
  • Has omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids

This diet is made with real chicken that ensures your best friend gets a sufficient supply for meaty proteins for energy and lean muscle mass development.

The food contains a higher moisture level of eighty four percent, which is great because water helps to keep your pal hydrated without straining its kidneys.

I really appreciate the presence of omega fatty acids in this diet, considering the fact that they support healthy immune function, reproduction, growth, and skin/coat care.

This canned dog food is very nutritious, but a large breed dog would need more cans a day, which some pet parents may consider impractical.

Pros

  • Real chicken supplies meaty proteins
  • Slow cooked natural ingredients are nutrient dense
  • High moisture content keeps your dog hydrated
  • Omega fatty acids support healthy skin and coat
  • Antioxidants improve overall immune function

Cons

  • Large breed dogs may require more than two can a day
  • Some dog breeds may be allergic to certain ingredients

Concluding Statement

The Iams ProActive Health Senior Canned Dog Food has the ingredients and flavors your dog needs excluding soy and artificial flavors.

Overall Rating – 4.5

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Buying Guide: Things To Look For When Buying Senior Dog Food

The aging process forces your dog to undergo unavoidable changes in its life. So, the food you choose must be nutrient-dense, complete, and balanced in order to meet the needs of the aging body.

Here are the main things you should take into account during your search:

Age or Health Status

A dog is considered a senior when it is in the last stage of their lifespan, which is usually seven plus years. Large dog breeds may live up to ten years, which means you can switch to senior dog food at its sixth or seventh birthdate.

But, the transition from adult dog food to senior dog food may not be necessary if your pooch is healthy. Therefore, the decision to change its food should also be based on its health status rather than its age defined in years.

If you can’t decide on the best dog food for senior dogs because your dog is aging and has health issues, then the most sensible cause of action would be to consult a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist.

Dry or Wet Food

There are two main types of senior dog food; dry and canned. The dry diet is by far the most common type of dog nutrition, the type that many dog parents choose to feed their four-legged pals.

As long as the diet is nutrient-dense, complete, and balanced, the preference of dry or wet is up to you and your furred friend. Most dogs prefer dry, but there are some that prefer wet.

But, there are some benefits to buying dry senior dog food:

A dry dog food is good for your senior’s pup dental health. The crispy texture of the kibbles helps to clean its gums and teeth. Vets usually recommend dry food for good oral hygiene.

The best dry dog food for older dogs has fewer carbohydrates, lower sodium, higher lean protein, and lower calories.

Dry dog foods are also cheaper compared to canned diets, especially if you have a small breed dog or several dogs. One large dry dog food bag can feed your small breed pooch for a month.

The unique benefits of senior canned dog food are:

Canned foods are generally low in artificial flavors and colors. They are also low in synthetic preservatives, thanks to the canning process.

Canned diets tend to contain more lean or meaty protein and fat, making them ideal for older dogs. They also have high moisture content to keep your older pup hydrated.

Canned dog foods are also great for pooches suffering from tooth loss or other dental issues that may make it difficult to chew dry kibbles.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

These are the two most important supplements for senior dogs, especially when they are sourced naturally. Glucosamine and chondroitin are regularly added to dog foods because they are good for their joints. These supplements do a great job of protecting your pup’s joints and repair damage that has already been done.

Glucosamine is an essential ingredient for the development of all the cushioning components within the joints. It helps generate as well as maintain the elasticity and thickness of the fluid in the joints.

Chondroitin, on other hand, acts like a glue that holds as well as lubricates joints. It also coats the outside of cells and fills spaces.

High or Low Protein Levels

The amount of protein that senior dogs need has become a highly debated subject. Veterinarians have, for many years, recommended dog parents to lower the protein content in their dogs’ food once they enter their senior years.

The reason behind this is that many commercial dog food brands use rendered protein. Rendering is a process that removes fat and water from the meat. Most commercial dog food companies use a similar rendering process to reduce fat and water.

Rendered protein; however, becomes difficult for dogs to process as they grow older. Not to mention that a nutrition high in rendered protein can possibly lead to kidney or liver failure, in the long run.

How do I know a dog food I am choosing has rendered protein? If you see bone meal or meat meal on the ingredient list, that should tell you the food contains rendered protein. The best dog food for older dogs; therefore, shouldn’t have such terms in the ingredient list.

Several dog food brands have managed to reduce the amounts of rendered protein in their senior dog diets. But, many canine nutritionists and veterinarians argue that avoiding rendered protein in all dog foods is a better strategy.

Preferably, the best dog food for older dogs should have real meat, such as chicken as the main protein source. Such nutrition will supply your senior pooch with enough protein to help preserve lean muscle mass without adding too many calories to its body.

Are Antioxidants and Functional Ingredients Important?

Your senior dog has the same mineral and vitamin requirements as adult pups. There’s no evidence that suggests older dogs have altered requirements. But, they are enriched with antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which are important for your senior pups.

Vitamin E is placed in the diet for one of two reasons. First, it is a natural antioxidant that protects the outside of body cells against oxidative damage. Second, it acts as a natural preservative.

Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant that does a great job of scavenging harmful free radicals and can reduce cognitive aging and inflammation. Dogs normally make enough vitamin C on their own, but aging may interfere with the process. So, consider a diet that’s high in vitamin C.

Why Does My Senior Dog Need Omega Fatty Acids?

Omega fatty acids are good fats for your older dog that have great benefits. They can be found in nuts, eggs, flaxseeds, fish and plant-based oils. These fatty acids have been known to support skin, coat, joint, and heart health.

Omega 3 fatty acids have EPA + DHA, which is great because it can help with cognitive aging and inflammation. On the other hand, omega 6 fatty acids support brain health, regulate metabolism, and stimulate skin and hair growth.

An imbalance of omega fatty acids may lead to overweight, joint problems, poor skin and coat, inflammation, and allergic symptoms. Several studies have shown that omega fatty acids aren’t just important, but vital for your aging dog.

Final Thoughts

The overall winner of this roundup is the Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Senior Dry Dog Food. A nutrient-packed senior dog diet that is complete and balanced. This food contains less rendered proteins; so, it is safe for your senior pup.

The deboned turkey is a great source of meaty proteins and it is rich in selenium, riboflavin, vitamin, and minerals.This diet has good amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin; two important ingredients that will help improve your dog’s joint health and overall mobility.

It is also packed with antioxidants to support a healthy immune system, and omega fatty acids to support skin, coat, joint, and heart health. Not to mention that it doesn’t contain genetically modified ingredients.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top