Best Senior Dog Food – A Complete Buyer’s Guide

Your senior dog is a beloved constant companion.

Over the years he’s given you nothing but love and affection. Now that he’s entering his twilight years, he deserves the best you can give him.

Purina Beneful Dry Dog Food, Simple Goodness With Farm Raised Beef - 32 ct. Box
Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food with Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison
Nutro Max Senior Recipe With Farm Raised Chicken Dry Dog Food, Whole Grains For Nutritious Fiber, (1) 25-Lb. Bag; Rich In Nutrients And Full Of Flavor
Nulo Senior Grain Free Dog Food With Glucosamine And Chondroitin (Trout And Sweet Potato Recipe, 11Lb Bag)
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Small Breed Wet Dog Food, Chicken 5.5-oz can (Pack of 24)
MSRP
$12.61
$48.99
$37.99
$36.99
$27.33
Our rating
96
93
92
92
95
Size
32 count
5/14/28 lbs.
25 lbs.
11 lbs.
5.5 oz.
Ingredients
Chicken, Beef, Poultry, Fruit, Veges
Bison, venison, fruit, vegetables
chicken, trout and sweet potato
Trout, turkey, salmon
Chicken, vegetables
Purina Beneful Dry Dog Food, Simple Goodness With Farm Raised Beef - 32 ct. Box
MSRP
$12.61
Our rating
96
Size
32 count
Ingredients
Chicken, Beef, Poultry, Fruit, Veges
More information
Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food with Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison
MSRP
$48.99
Our rating
93
Size
5/14/28 lbs.
Ingredients
Bison, venison, fruit, vegetables
More information
Nutro Max Senior Recipe With Farm Raised Chicken Dry Dog Food, Whole Grains For Nutritious Fiber, (1) 25-Lb. Bag; Rich In Nutrients And Full Of Flavor
MSRP
$37.99
Our rating
92
Size
25 lbs.
Ingredients
chicken, trout and sweet potato
More information
Nulo Senior Grain Free Dog Food With Glucosamine And Chondroitin (Trout And Sweet Potato Recipe, 11Lb Bag)
MSRP
$36.99
Our rating
92
Size
11 lbs.
Ingredients
Trout, turkey, salmon
More information
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Small Breed Wet Dog Food, Chicken 5.5-oz can (Pack of 24)
MSRP
$27.33
Our rating
95
Size
5.5 oz.
Ingredients
Chicken, vegetables
More information

That includes being dished up the best senior dog food that you can find.

In this article, we reveal the 5 best senior dog food products in the current market to make your choices that much easier.

Best Senior Dog Food on The Market

WINNER – Purina Beneful Simple Goodness Dry Dog Food

Purina Beneful Simple Goodness Adult Dry Dog Food Review

Specs

Size: 32 count box
Ingredients: Chicken, Beef, Poultry, Fruit, Veges
Reduced-Fat: Yes
Organic: No

Benefits

Purina Beneful is a 100 percent complete and balanced dry dog food that is packed with real meat, poultry and fish as its main ingredient, depending on the specific product your select.

Purina add accents of fruits and vegetables for nutritional variety and to add vital minerals and vitamins.

Drawbacks

We couldn’t really find any serious drawbacks with Purina Beneful. Just be aware that it is a dry food so your dog may not love if it is used to wet stuff in his dish.

More than likely, however, you’ll find thaat your pooch loves it so much that you have to watch the calorie creep as he barks for more!

Extra Features

All Purina Beneful products are manufactured in the United States.

To ensure the quality and safety of each batch, it undergoes regular checks to confirm it meets Purina’s high standards.

Their complete and balanced recipes contain no artificial flavors, or added sugars.

Every flavor includes the highest quality protein sources from beef, poultry or fish.

The Adult Dry Food selection is available in a variety of recipes, including Originals, Healthy Weight, IncrediBites (Small Breed), Healthy Puppy, Select 10, Grain Free, Simple Goodness, Superfood Blend.

The soft chew nature of this dry food makes it ideal for older dogs with missing teeth!

Buying Advice

Purina Beneful Simple Goodness Adult Dry Dog Food is a premium dry dog food that all dogs seem to love the taste of.

It uses only the best ingredients, starting with a high quality protein source, and then topping with fruit and vegetables.

This is an easy top pick recommendation from one of the world’s most trusted pet food suppliers.

runner up – Taste of the Wild Premium Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food Review

Specs

Size: 5/14/28 lbs
Ingredients: Bison, venison, fruit, vegetables
Reduced-Fat: Yes
Organic: No

Benefits

Taste of the Wild recipes are created to provide your dog with a complete nutritional profile while tasting great.

This company specializes in using roasted bison and roasted venison as its main ingredients.

The combination of the two provides a unique taste that you will (or rather your dog) will not find anywhere else.

Both bison and venison will provide you with a very high quality of protein for very little saturated fat content. 

Drawbacks

Taste of the Wild products have been claimed by some online reviewers to cause digestive and elimination problems in their senior dog.

Extra Features

The bison and venison used in all Taste of the Wild recipes are pasture raised.

A proprietary blend of KP strain probiotics have been designed specifically for senior dogs and are added after the cooking process.

This ensures that every pound of Taste of the Wild provides 80 million live, active cultures to help support healthy digestive and immune systems.

Taste of the Wild products are supplemented with vegetables and fruits, providing health giving antioxidants.

Buying advice

Taste of the Wild provides a unique taste that dogs absolutely love. It provides a very high quality of protein with very little saturated fat.

The unique KP strain probiotics add valuable digestive and immune benefits. High recommended.

alternative – Nutro Max Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

NUTRO MAX Adult Dry Dog Food, Regular & Large Breed, 25lb. review

Specs

Size: 25 lbs
Ingredients: Chicken, trout, and sweet potato
Reduced-Fat: Yes
Organic: No

Benefits

Nutro Max Natural Adult Dry Dog Food contains all-natural ingredients, with protein sourced from real chicken, trout and sweet potato. Nutro Max contains added artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Drawbacks

Nutro Max Adult may prove to be a little hot for some dogs.

Extra Features

Nutro Max Adult does not contain any cheap chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, soy protein, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

They only insist on using the very highest quality sources of protein, healthy fats, and low glycemic carbohydrates.

All of Nutro Max’s natural food for mature dogs is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of older dogs. It is made with farm-raised chicken, plus added vitamins and minerals.

Every Nutro Max Dry Dog Food recipe is made with real, recognizable, non-GMO ingredients.

Buying advice

Nutro Max Adult provides you with a great source of macronutrients specifically designed for a senior dog.

It gives you plenty of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes, all wrapped up in a recipe that your pooch with absolutely love.

alternative – Nulo freestyle Senior Dog Food

Nulo Senior Grain Free Dog Food With Glucosamine And Chondroitin Review

Specs

Size: 25 lbs
Ingredients: Trout, turkey, salmon
Reduced-Fat: Yes
Organic: Yes

Benefits

Nulo Senior provides you with a completely grain free source of highest quality protein, carbs and fats.

There is no corn, wheat, soy, white potatoes, tapioca, artificial colors, flavorings or preservatives.

The high protein, low carb formula makes use of 80 percent animal proteins to provide your senior dog with quality amino acids, and fewer carbs.

The carbs that are used are all low on the glycemic index.

Drawbacks

Nulo Senior Formula quite an expensive product. It also doesn’t smell very good.

Extra Features

The Nulo Senior formula also includes Glucosamine and Chondroitin to support hip & joint health, as well as L-Carnitine to help the metabolism of fats for dogs that aren’t quite as active as they used to be.

A uniquely patented BC30 probiotic supports healthy gut flora to aid in digestion and metabolism. L-Carnitine is also included to promote healthy weight and stamina.

The first five ingredients in Nulo Senior are Deboned Trout, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, Yellow Peas, and Sweet Potato.

Buying Advice

Nulo Senior Formula delivers a premium blend of protein, carbs and healthy fats that is completely grain free and fortified with glucosamine, chondroitin and L-Carnitine.

It’s a little expensive and doesn’t smell very good, but if you can put up with those inconveniences, this is a great choice for your senior dog.

BEST WET DOG foOD – Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Wet Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Small Breed Wet Dog Food Review

Specs

Size: 0.35 lbs
Ingredients: Chicken, vegetables
Reduced-Fat: Yes
Organic: No

Benefits

Blue Buffalo Homestyle wet dog food is a paté style wet dog food that features high-quality protein from real chicken.

It is specifically designed for small senior dogs. The handy 5.5 oz can provides you with just enough for a delicious treat or a mix to add in with your dog’s favorite dry foods.

 Drawbacks

Blue Buffalo Homestyle wet dog food is quite expensive. A couple of online reviewers have also mentioned that their cans of wet dog food arrived dented.

Extra Features

Blue Buffalo wet dog food does not contain any chicken by-product meals or any corn, wheat or soy.

There are also no artificial flavors or preservatives. What they do contain are lean cuts of real beef, chicken, fish, lamb or turkey.

There are also hearty stew recipes that deliver a delicious mixture of real meat, poultry and fish, loaded with potatoes, and vegetables and covered in savory gravy.

Buying Advice

Blue Buffalo wet dog food offers a delicious stew like bend of real animal meats, vegetables and gravy to provide a tasty and nutritious meal for your senior dog.

Senior Dog Food FAQ

senior dog with head in bowl

When is a dog considered a senior?

This is not an easy question to answer.

The age at which a dog is considered to be senior varies with the breed and weight of the dog.

You are probably familiar with the concept of seven human years being the equivalent of one dog year, but that general guide depends upon the size of the dog.

That is because large dogs will usually age faster than smaller ones.

The one to seven ratio will generally work for dogs that weigh between 20 and 40 pounds, but not for those that are lighter or heavier than that.

As a broad generalization, however, we can say that dogs should be considered to be in their senior years, between the ages of 5 and 10.

Another way to think about the issue is that your dog is considered senior when he has reached half of his normal life span.

Many small dogs have a life span of around 15 years, so they can be considered to be senior after their seventh year.

Whereas larger dogs tend to have shorter lifespans of perhaps 10 years. These would be considered senior after their fifth year.

What are the signs of aging in dogs?

senior dog sitting in grass

The signs of aging in dogs are quite similar to those in humans. They include;

  • Intolerance to exercise
  • Limited mobility
  • Being overweight
  • Being underweight
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Lumps and bumps

Do older dogs need more protein?

No, older dogs do not need more protein.

Puppies require more protein as their muscles are growing and developing. Puppies require 28 percent of caloric intake from protein while senior dogs require 18 percent.

Nursing dogs require the same amount as puppies.

Dogs are well equipped to digest and utilize diets that contain higher amounts of protein, although there is no agreement on exactly how much protein is considered to be too much.

If you are feeding your senior dog a balanced diet then giving him too much protein should not be a problem.

If your senior dog is given an excessive amount of protein, his body will use some calories, convert some of it fat and eliminate some of it in his urine.

If he has any kidney problems, a high protein diet would not be recommended because it would place too much stress on the kidneys.

While a high protein diet will not cause kidney disease in dogs, your veterinarian will probably recommend limiting protein intake if your dog has severe kidney problems.

Should all older dogs eat senior dog food?

happy senior dog

Yes, all dogs should transition to a senior dog food diet as they enter their senior years.

Older dogs will be less active, which will be coupled with a decreased metabolism, and a slower rate of digestion and absorption of food.

The change to a senior dog food diet will account for these changes and provide the essential nutrients the dog needs.

When choosing a senior dog food, look for a low calorie product that is lower in phosphorus and higher in fiber than conventional dog food.

These are the main adaptations in senior dog food to account for the changes that come with aging.

How much food should I feed my senior dog?

There are two methods of calculating the amount of food your senior dog requires:

  • Weight of Food Method
  • Calories Method

Weight of Food Method

For most elderly dogs, the amount of food they need each day should equal 2 percent of their body weight. Here is an example to help you work out your own dog’s requirements:

A 35-pound dog x 16 ounces = 560 ounces, which is the dog’s total body weight in ounces. 560 ounces x 0.02 (2 percent) = 11.2 ounces, which is the total weight of food to feed your senior dog each day.

Calorie Method

on average, senior dogs need but 22 calories per pound of bodyweight per day to maintain health. Keep in mind that this is an average only.

There is a range between 12 and 35 calories per day. Senior dogs who weigh less than 20 pounds usually need 35 calories per pound of bodyweight.

So, if your pooch weighs 15 pounds, then he needs 525 calories each day.

Senior dogs at the other end of the weight scale require fewer calories per pound of bodyweight – around 12 calories per pound.

So, if your bullmastiff weighs 125 pounds, then he requires 1500 calories per day.

How much fat does my senior dog need?

Fats are important because they provide the most concentrated form of energy for your dog.

Senior dogs are less active than their younger counterparts and so require fewer calories through fats.

As a general guide, your senior dog should take in 10-15 percent of his daily calories as fats.

Of course, not all fats are healthy for your senior dog.

You should concentrate on those that contain such fat-soluble vitamins as vitamins A, D, E and K. They should also contain the essential fatty acids, omega-3, and omega-6.

These are called essential because your dog cannot make them himself and so must come from the diet.

What ailments are senior dogs susceptible to?

senior dog eating food

Two of the most common conditions that affect older dogs are arthritis and doggie dementia.

Arthritis is an inflammatory disease characterized by inflamed joints, swelling, stiffness, and pain.

The two most common types in dogs as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The joints that are most affected in elderly dogs are the hips, but the knees, shoulders, elbows, and ankles are also involved.

A less common type of arthritis, called spondylosis, can occur in the joints between the vertebrae of the spine, but fortunately, this form of arthritis rarely causes symptoms.

The signs of arthritis in senior dogs are difficulty in standing or sitting, increased sleep time, movements that suggest stiff or sore joints, weight gain, favoring one limb, decreased activity level, lameness, and declining alertness.

Dementia is just as common in aging dogs as it is in humans. This cognitive decline is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Doggie dementia is the gradual decline of cognitive functioning and is associated with the accumulation of substances in the brain called beta-amyloid peptide.

These deposits, along with oxidative damage to brain cells, which progressively increase with age, can contribute to dementia.

As in human medicine, improvements in nutrition and medical care have allowed dogs to live longer, so they are more likely to experience the breakdown in brain functioning that accompanies aging.

The signs of doggie dementia are disorientation, changes in family interaction (the dog no longer greets you at the door), pacing, loss of housetraining, loss of appetite, barking and increased sleep time.

Some of these symptoms may be due to diseases or other medical conditions, such as side effects of drugs, organ failure, cancer, or the presence of an infection, so it is important for your dog to be examined for these and other possible causes of your dog’s dementia-like behavior.

It is possible that your dog could have dementia along with other physical problems that could be aggravating the mental decline.

Should I feed my senior dog table scraps?

No, it is not a good idea to enhance your senior dog’s diet with table scraps. This goes for dogs at any age.

If you are adding table scraps to his kibble, you are probably overfeeding him.

This will predispose your dog to obesity at a time when he is likely to be less active than in his younger years.

You are also putting the dog at risk of nutritional deficiencies and possibly more serious health problems.

What medical supplies should I have on hand to help my senior dog in an emergency?

cleaning dogs ears with q tips

The following is a pretty long list and you will not be expected to have all of them. If you can gather half of these items, you will be doing well:

  • A glass thermometer: These are the most accurate
  • Vaseline: For taking temps – lubrication for the thermometer. You will be taking their temperature rectally. Use plenty of Vaseline!
  • Antibiotic ointment: For any sort of cut or bite
  • Gauze pads: For cuts or bites
  • Ace bandage wrap: Get the disposable kind that sticks to itself, it’s worth the extra money
  • Saline solution: For foreign objects in the eye
  • Iodine: For sterilizing a wound
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: For making your dog vomit if they happen to eat something they shouldn’t
  • Pepcid: For stomach issues or dogs taking boat-loads of meds
  • Benadryl: In case of insect or spider bites or bee stings
  • Dog aspirin: For minor pain issues
  • Cotton balls: For cleaning ears
  • Q-tips: For cleaning eyes and ears
  • Ear cleaner: For the obvious reason
  • Artificial tears: For dry eye
  • Electric clippers: So you can shave the hair from around wounds or if your dog gets matted or has a messy butt
  • Flour or styptic powder: To stop a bleeding toenail if you cut the quick
  • Heating pad: To warm up your dog
  • Ice pack: In case of heatstroke
  • Karo syrup: For low blood sugar

Conclusion

Your senior dog deserves the best care and attention that you can provide.

That includes dishing up the healthiest, yummiest, most cost-effective senior dog food possible.

The best dog food for senior dogs on the market right now is Purina Beneful Simple Goodness Adult Dry Dog Food.

Coming in a close second is the Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food with Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison.

The best wet dog food for senior dogs is Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Small Breed Wet Dog Food.


Best Senior Dog Food - A Complete Buyer's Guide 1

Thomas Wilson

Thomas Wilson always grew up around dogs, from the first moment he was born. It wasn’t until he settled into his own life away from home that he realized something was missing. Thomas found Buster, and together, they’ve been combating his diabetes for four years with the help of science-backed research and food companies that make better choices for dogs. From puppyhood up until their senior years, Thomas finds your pups the best food and information to manage diabetes and the effects of aging.