reviews of the best senior dog food

Best Senior Dog Food in 2022

Switching up your dog’s food can be a confusing time, especially if you have extra dietary needs to consider as your dog ages. Here we will be explaining everything that dog owners need to know about purchasing senior dog food.

This includes what you should look for in a good senior dog food along with a useful buyers guide. In addition to this, we will also be listing some of the best senior dog food that you can buy. Here is the best senior dog food that you can buy for your senior dog.

What to Look for in Senior Dog Food

Senior Dog Eating Food with Recommended Vitamins and Minerals
Photo by Ayla Verschueren on Unsplash

When looking to get a good senior dog food there are a few things that are important to look out for. These things include the use of quality ingredients, the lack of cheap fillers, and a food that is lower in calories. Additionally, the best senior dog food will always have all of the recommended vitamins and minerals for a senior diet as well. Here are some things to look out for in senior dog food.

The Use of Quality Ingredients

Senior Dog Food Quality Ingredients
Photo by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron on Unsplash

All good senior dog foods will use quality ingredients. These ingredients should include a quality source of protein such as deboned chicken and named meat meals such as chicken meal. This is very important because protein is an essential part of a dog’s diet.

In addition to quality sources of protein, the best senior dog foods will also contain real fruits and vegetables in their formula. Ingredients like these add nutrients and fiber, which are both very important for senior dogs.

Finally, the best senior dog foods that contain grains will only use good quality grain ingredients. This includes ingredients like oatmeal and brown rice. Many quality foods for senior dogs will also contain probiotics. This aids in digestion.

Free of Carcinogens and Cheap Fillers

Ingredients That Can Be Harmful to Dogs
Photo by Calum Lewis on Unsplash

Any good quality dog food will not have cheap fillers or any ingredients that could potentially harm a dog when eaten in large amounts. Some ingredients that are prime examples of cheap fillers and potentially harmful ingredients include mystery meats and mystery meat meals, food dyes, caramel dye, corn, and high fructose corn syrup. Vegetable oil and canola oil are also generally some ingredients that you do not want to see on a dog food label.

Contains Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are extremely important for a senior dog’s health. These vitamins and minerals can help to support joint health and strengthen the immune system. In addition to this, nutrients like omega fatty acids will help support healthy skin.

Unfortunately, giving your dog some extra help through their diet for things like immune system health, skin health, and joint health is very important. This is because these areas tend to deteriorate as a dog ages, and feeding them a balanced diet can help to keep our senior dogs going strong.

Is Lower in Calories

Let’s face it, most senior dogs do not move nearly as much as they used to. This means that many senior dog’s are in danger of becoming overweight. As a result, many good senior dog foods will be lower in calories to support a healthy weight in senior dogs.

View the Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs Below

In order to help you out on your search for the best dog food for your senior dog, we have compiled a list of the best senior dog food brands out there. Here are some of our favorite dog food picks for senior dogs.

1. Wellness Complete Health Senior Recipe

Wellness Complete Health Senior Recipe

Product Specifications:

  • Brand: Wellness
  • Lifestage: Senior
  • Weight: 30 lb. bag
  • Breed Size: small breeds, medium breeds, large breeds, all breeds
  • Food Form: Dry dog food
  • Special Diet: No corn, no wheat, no soy, grain inclusive, weight control

Our Review:

Wellness’ Complete Health Senior Recipe is a great dog food for many different reasons. The first is that this dog food contains quality ingredients along with all of the recommended vitamin and mineral supplements for senior dogs. Additionally, this dry dog food contains plenty of fiber and probiotics, which are added to dog food in order to make it easy to digest.

This dry senior dog food is also great because it is designed with weight control in mind. This means that this senior dog food is great for dogs that need to be kept at a healthy weight. Plus, their soy, corn, and wheat free formula is good for many dogs with food sensitivities. It is important to remember that this senior dog food formula is grain inclusive, so it may not be the best option for dogs that need a grain free diet.

Ingredients

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Ground Brown Rice, Peas, Rice, Ground Flaxseed, Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat, Tomatoes, Carrots, Natural Chicken Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness…

Pros:

+ Contains quality ingredients
+ Contains plenty of fiber and probiotics
+ Is designed for weight control
+ Contains the recommended vitamins and minerals

Cons:

– Some dogs do not digest this food well
– Can be hard for some senior dogs to chew

Nutritional Information:

Crude Protein: 22.0% min
Crude Fat: 10.0% min
Crude Fiber: 4.25% max
Moisture: 10.0% max
Calcium: 0.6% min
Phosphorous: 0.55% min
Vitamin A: 25,000 IU/kg min
Vitamin E: 200 IU/kg min
Omega 6 Fatty Acids: 2.4% min
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: 0.8% min
Glucosamine: 800 mg/kg min
Chondroitin Sulfate: 700 mg/kg min
Taurine: o.o9% min
Total Lactic Acid Microorganisms: 20,000,000 CFU/lb. min

Why We Like It:

I like this dog food because it is designed to provide senior dogs with a healthy and balanced diet. This is a great choice for senior dogs that are on a grain inclusive diet and need to be carefully kept at a healthy weight.

2. Chicken Soup for the Soul Mature Recipe

Chicken Soup for the Soul Mature Recipe

Product Specifications:

  • Brand: Chicken Soup for the Soul
  • Lifestage: Senior
  • Weight: 28 lb. bag
  • Breed Size: small breeds, medium breeds, large breeds, all breeds
  • Food Form: dry dog food
  • Special Diet: no corn, no wheat, no soy, grain inclusive, supports healthy skin and coat

Our Review:

Chicken Soup for the Soul has an excellent mature pet food formula, and I have found that it is a great choice for anyone looking to get their dog to lose a few pounds. This is because this low calorie dog food has plenty of important nutrients and quality ingredients, leaving any dog with balanced nutrition.

This senior dry dog food is also great because it is easy for most dogs to digest thanks to the high quality fiber that is included in this formula. Plus, the small sizes of the kibble make this food easy to eat for even small dogs in their senior years.

Ingredients

Chicken, Turkey, Chicken Meal (Natural Source Of Glucosamine And Chondroitin Sulfate), Turkey Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Peas, Oatmeal, White Rice, Faba Beans, Millet, Pea Starch, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Ground Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Duck, Salmon, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Dried Chicory Root…

Pros:

+ This product is of good value
+ Smaller sized kibble is easy for dogs to eat
+ Includes quality ingredients and all of the recommended vitamins and minerals
+ This food is easy for many dogs to digest
+ Many people have found this food to be effective for weight control

Cons:

– Some dogs will not eat it

Nutritional Information:

Crude Protein: 23.0% min
Crude Fat: 12.0% min
Crude Fiber: 5.0% max
Moisture: 10.0% max
Zinc:125 mg/kg min
Selenium: 0.35 mg/kg min
Vitamin E: 125 IU/kg min
Omega 6 Fatty Acids: 2.4% min
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: 0.4% min
Glucosamine: 700 mg/kg min
Chondroitin Sulfate: 500 mg/kg min
L-Camitine:30 mg/kg min

Why We Like It:

This dry dog food has small pieces, which is great for older dogs. This dog food recipe is nutritious and great for weight control for both small dogs and large breed dogs alike. I have found that this formula is also very easy for most dogs to digest as well.

3. Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Senior Recipe

Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Senior Recipe

Product Specifications:

  • Brand: Nulo
  • Lifestage: Senior
  • Weight: 26 lb. bag
  • Breed Size: small breeds, medium breeds, large breeds, all breeds
  • Food Form: Dry dog food
  • Special Diet: grain free, gluten free, high protein, low glycemic, supports immune system health, joint health, and digestive health

Our Review:

Although Nulo’s Grain free senior dry food is a bit on the more expensive side, the quality is well worth the price. Not only does this dog food contain plenty of good quality ingredients, but it also contains all of the vitamins and minerals that are recommended in senior dog’s diet.

I have found that this dog food promotes healthy skin and coat health, leaving even elderly dogs with a shiny coat. In addition to this, Nulo’s grain free senior dry food also promotes immune system health, digestive health, and joint health in older dogs as well.

It is important to mention that this dog food formula contains turkey in addition to trout and sweet potato, so this dry food will not be a good choice for dogs that are allergic or sensitive to poultry.

Ingredients

Deboned Trout, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, Yellow Peas, Sweet Potato, Chickpeas, Deboned Turkey, Pea Fiber, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid), Lentils, Natural Flavor, Yeast Culture, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Tomatoes, Dried Carrots, Dried Blueberries, Dried Apples, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, L-Carnitine, Choline Chloride, Chondroitin Sulfate…

Pros:

+ Contains good quality ingredients
+ Contains all of the recommended vitamins and minerals
+ Is good for dogs on a grain free diet
+ Promotes healthy skin and coat

Cons:

– This product contains turkey in addition to trout and sweet potatoes
– Expensive
– Some dogs do not like the taste

Nutritional Information:

Crude Protein: 30.0% min
Crude Fat: 12.0% min
Crude Fiber: 5.0% max
Moisture: 10.0% max
Calcium:1.0$ min
Phosphorous: 0.9% min
Vitamin E: 300 IU/kg min
Omega 6 Fatty Acids: 1.3% min
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: 0.35% min
L-Camitine: 400 mg/kg min
Glucosamine: 350 mg/kg min, 400 mg/kg max
Chondroitin Sulfate: 350 mg/kg min, 400 mg/kg max
Ascorbic Acid: 65 mg/kg min
Bacillus Coagulants: 80,000,000 CFU/lb. min

Why We Like It:

Nulo’s grain free senior formula is an excellent choice for those looking to choose a healthy dry food for their older dogs. This grain free formula is nutritious and needs some help promoting healthy skin and good digestion.

4. Victor Senior Healthy Weight

Victor Senior Healthy Weight

Product Specifications:

  • Brand: Victor
  • Lifestage: Senior
  • Weight: 40 lb. bag
  • Breed Size: small breeds, medium breeds, large breeds, all breeds
  • Food Form: Dry dog food
  • Special Diet: weight control, sensitive digestion, no corn, no wheat, no soy, supports immune system, digestive, and joint health

Our Review:

Victor Senior food is great because it promotes a healthy immune system while also being very easy to digest. Victor’s mature formula is easy on the digestive system of older dogs because it contains prebiotics, probiotics, and plenty of healthy fiber.

Victor is also of an incredible value because it contains quality ingredients and all of the recommended vitamins and minerals for older dogs for a decent price. This formula is also great for overweight dogs as it is a healthy weight formula.

This is a grain inclusive dog food, which means that good quality grains are included in the recipe. If you would like to make this dry kibble easier for your dog to eat, you can always add warm water or bone broth to hydrate the food.

Ingredients

Beef Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Menhaden Fish Meal (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid), Yeast Culture, Chicken Meal, Peas, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Blood Meal Conventionally Dried, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Carrot Powder, Tomato Pomace, Salt, Organic Dried Seaweed Meal, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Calcium Stearate…

Pros:

+ Contains good quality ingredients
+ Is Inexpensive
+ Contains all of the nutrients recommended for older dogs
+ Is a healthy weight formula
+ Contains prebiotics and probiotics for healthy digestion

Cons:

– Large sized kibble
– Some dogs do not like the taste

Nutritional Information:

Crude Protein:27.0% min
Crude Fat: 11.5% min
Crude Fiber: 4.5 % max
Moisture: 9.0% max
Vitamin E:150 IU/kg min
Omega 6 Fatty Acids:2.6% min
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: 0.4% min
DHA: 0.1% min
Zinc: 150 mg/kg min
Selenium: 0.35 mg/kg min
Glucosamine: 800 mg/kg min
Chondroitin: 300 mg/kg min
L-Camitine: 100 mg/kg min

Why We Like It:

Victor’s healthy weight mature formula is great for older dogs and overweight dogs alike. This is because this senior food combines quality ingredients like beef meal and whole brown rice with all of the recommended vitamin and mineral supplements for aging dogs. Plus, this food is also low in calories.

5. Orijen Senior Grain Free Dog Food

Orijen Senior Grain Free Dog Food

Product Specifications:

  • Brand: Orijen
  • Lifestage: Senior
  • Weight: 25 lb. bag
  • Breed Size: small breeds, medium breeds, large breeds, all breeds
  • Food Form: Dry dog food
  • Special Diet: weight control, high protein, grain free, supports digestive and joint health

Our Review:

Orijen grain free senior dry dog food is a great option for older dogs with sensitive stomachs. This is because this senior food contains high quality ingredients such as garden vegetables and fruits that are easy to digest. Similarly, Origen also uses very high quality protein sources that include both named muscle meats and organ meats.

This is also a grain free product, which means that this is a great formula for aging dogs that have sensitivities to grains. This food also has the benefit of being tasty, as we have found that most dogs love the taste of this formula.

Ingredients

Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, Whole Mackerel, Turkey Giblets (Liver, Heart, Gizzard), Chicken Liver, Eggs, Whole Herring, Dehydrated Chicken, Dehydrated Turkey, Dehydrated Mackerel, Dehydrated Chicken Liver, Dehydrated Egg, Whole Red Lentils, Whole Pinto Beans, Whole Peas, Whole Green Lentils, Whole Navy Beans, Whole Chickpeas, Lentil Fiber, Dehydrated Pumpkin, Natural Chicken Flavor, Pollock Oil, Chicken Fat…

Pros:

+ High quality ingredients
+ High quality protein
+ Contains all of the recommended vitamins and minerals
+ Most dogs love the taste
+ Good for dogs with sensitive stomachs
+ Good for both small dogs and large dogs

Cons:

– Reported to have a strong fishy smell
– Not good for dogs with a poultry allergy
– Expensive

Nutritional Information:

Crude Protein: 38% min
Crude Fat: 15% min
Crude Fiber: 8% max
Moisture: 12% max
Dietary Starch: 17% max
Sugars:1.3% max
DHA: 0.2% min
EPA: 0.2% min
Calcium: 1.3% min
Phosphorous: 0.9% min
Omega 6 Fatty Acids:3% min
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: 0.8% min
Glucosamine: 600 mg/kg min
Total Microorganisms: 1 million CFU/lb.

Why We Like It:

Orijen has a great grain free senior dry dog food formula that is as easy to digest as it is nutritious. This tasty formula has one of the best ingredient labels around, so it is well worth the extra price if you can afford it.

6. Go! Carnivore Grain Free Senior Recipe

Wellness Complete Health Senior Recipe

Product Specifications:

  • Brand: Go!
  • Lifestage: Senior
  • Weight: 22 lb. bag
  • Breed Size: small breeds, medium breeds, large breeds, all breeds
  • Food Form: Dry dog food
  • Special Diet: grain free, gluten free, weight control, high protein, muscle care
  • Our Review:

Carnivore high protein senior food is a great choice for older dogs that are also fairly active. This is because this food promotes muscle, has a high protein content, and is also designed to be a healthy weight formula.

I have found that this dog food also tends to work great for dogs that have a sensitive stomach as well. This is mainly thanks to all of the fiber that this formula contains. This food is grain free and gluten free as well, so it is also great for dogs on these kinds of diets.

Not to mention, you will not likely need to worry about your dog not liking the taste of this senior food. Most dogs love the taste, and I have found that it does not have a very strong smell either. This makes the formula appealing to both pet owners and their dogs alike.

Ingredients

Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, De-Boned Chicken, De-Boned Turkey, De-Boned Trout, Potatoes, Peas, Tapioca, Lentils, Chickpeas, Pea Fiber, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Duck Meal, Natural Chicken Flavor, Whole Dried Egg, Apples, Herring Meal, Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Alfalfa, De-Boned Duck, De-Boned Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, Potassium Chloride, Pumpkin, Carrots, Bananas, Blueberries…

Pros:

+ Uses quality ingredients
+ Uses all of the recommended vitamin and mineral supplements
+ Most dogs like the taste
+ Good for dogs with food sensitivity
+ Is good for dogs on grain free diets

Cons:

– Some dogs had some trouble digesting this formula

Nutritional Information:

Crude Protein: 32.0% min
Crude Fat: 14.0% min
Crude Fiber: 4.5% max
Moisture: 10.0% max
Phosphorous: 1.2% min
Omega 6 Fatty Acids: 1.8% min
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: 0.33% min
Glucosamine: 380 mg/kg
Chondroitin Sulfate: 140 mg/kg
Taurine: 0.16%
L-Camitine: 190 mg/kg min

Why We Like It:

Go!’s senior foods are great because they mix value with quality. This dog food is middle of the road expense wise, but they still contain plenty of high quality ingredients. This food is great for dogs needing a high protein and grain free diet. We have also found that this formula is great for many dogs with sensitive stomachs as well.

Senior Dog Food Buyers Guide

Senior Dog Food Bought Based on Buyers Guide
Photo by Mathew Coulton on Unsplash

When feeding senior dogs a good rule to follow is to only use dog foods that your dog can digest well as well as meets their health needs. Unfortunately, an older dog may have additional health concerns such as diabetes or kidney disease. Of course, it is important to take these things into account when purchasing senior foods for dogs.

It is also a good idea to choose a senior dry dog food that is rich in high quality ingredients, vitamins, and minerals. The same goes for wet food as well. For an older dog, it is a good idea to find a food that is rich in omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and high quality protein.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Wet or Dry Dog Food Better for Senior Dogs?

The best food to feed your dog is one that meets their dietary needs and can be eaten and digested by your dog easily. Many people falsely believe that wet food is better for their senior dogs. However, wet foods tend to be higher in calories than dry foods. Hydrating your dry kibble with warm water or bone broth can help make the food easier for aging dogs to eat.

Is Senior Dog Food Necessary?

Yes, senior dog food is necessary for most elderly dogs. This is because older dogs tend to need different levels of nutrients and calories than young adult dogs do.

How to Switch to Senior Food…Without Making Your Dog Sick

The best way to switch your dog to senior food is to mix it in with their old food for several days. It is recommended to start out with a 25% new formula 75% old formula ratio for the first few days. Then you can have half and half of the old food and new food for several days, then give 75% new food 25% old food for the final few days of the transition.

What to Look for in Dog Food for Older Dogs

The best thing that you can look for in a food for older dogs is one that uses high quality ingredients, is easy for dogs to digest, and meets their health needs. This is because many elderly dogs have unique health issues that require different kinds of diets.

Conclusion

All of the above senior foods make for excellent choices for senior dogs. Of course, you will need to take your dog’s health needs and food sensitivities into account as well. For example, a healthy skin formula is a good idea for dogs with skin conditions, but it is not necessary for every older dog.

Any good dog food will also include good ingredients like high quality protein and fresh vegetables. This is for both dry food and wet food for dogs. A good quality dog food will also contain vitamins and minerals needed in a dog’s diet, and you should not see any cheap filler ingredients on their product label.

Did You Know?

Many senior dog foods are also used as a healthy weight formula for younger overweight dogs. This is because many of these foods are lower in calories to take a senior dog’s lower energy levels into account.

Expert Tip

If your elderly dog is having trouble chewing their kibble, adding some warm water or another healthy hydrator like bone broth or raw goat’s milk can help make the process easier for them. Having the hydrator be warm will make the eating experience better for your dog.

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