Like humans, dogs need special care once they have passed a certain age. As owners of senior dogs, it’s our responsibility to do what we can to help them stay healthy and active.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Our Choices for the Best Senior Dog Food:
- 9. Nutrients Every Best Senior Dog Foods Should Have
- 1. Alpha Lipoic Acid and other antioxidants
- 2. Glucosamine and Chondroitin
- 3. Digestive enzymes and Probiotics
- 4. L-Carnitine
- 5. L-lysine and Taurine
- 6. Healthy fats and oils
- 7. Whole grains loaded with fiber
- 8. Whole animal products (preferably raised hormone and antibiotic free, free-range)
- 9. Essential vitamins and minerals
- Best Senior Dog Food for Small Breeds (Under 20 Pounds)
- Best Senior Dog Food for Medium Breeds (20-50 pounds)
- Best Senior Dog Food for Large/Giant Breeds (Over 50 Pounds)
Our Choices for the Best Senior Dog Food:
Last update on 2018-03-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
9. Nutrients Every Best Senior Dog Foods Should Have
Senior dogs are less active and thus, more prone to chronic health problems. Here are a few important ingredients you should keep an eye out for that will help them get a balanced diet and stay healthy.
1. Alpha Lipoic Acid and other antioxidants
Antioxidants help your dog fight cancer and improve metabolism. They also improve eye and brain functions.
2. Glucosamine and Chondroitin
They help strengthen bones and joints. They are essential for older dogs which tend to be prone to various joint problems.
3. Digestive enzymes and Probiotics
Older dogs have sensitive stomachs, so these digestive enzymes and probiotics ensure healthy digestion and regular bowel movements.
There are different enzymes, like Protease—which breaks down protein—and Amylase, which aids in the digestion of carbohydrates. Lipase breaks down fat, Cellulase aids in digesting fiber—all of them are essential for every senior dog.
Unnecessary weight gain is harmful to dogs; this amino acid prevents that.
5. L-lysine and Taurine
Another set of amino acids that keep the bones and muscles strong and healthy.
6. Healthy fats and oils
A healthy amount of fat and oil will regulate your senior dog’s metabolism.They will also keep his coat shiny!
7. Whole grains loaded with fiber
There is no alternative for a smooth digestion—your dog needs that fibers. The probiotics (healthy bacteria) feed on the fiber in the whole grains and aid the process.
8. Whole animal products (preferably raised hormone and antibiotic free, free-range)
Whole animal products are composed of various parts of an animal and provide a balanced nutrition which your senior dog needs to stay healthy. They are not animal by-products, don’t be confused.
9. Essential vitamins and minerals
These boost your dog’s immune system and keeps them disease free.
Before you buy any dog food, browse the ingredient list and make sure these elements are included in the food.
Important Read: Dog Vaccination Guide: The Right Vaccination & Schedule
Best Senior Dog Food for Small Breeds (Under 20 Pounds)
As stated before, different dogs have different nutritional needs. The nutritional needs also vary with size for the dog.
Small breed dogs tend to metabolize their food faster than other breeds. That is why they need dense energy-filled, high-calorie food. Look for products that have over 30% protein and 15% fat. Small breed dogs also need extra fiber to regulate their blood sugar and smaller kibble that will fit in their mouths.
#1 Wellness Complete Health Natural Senior
Wellness Complete Health Natural, Small Breed Senior makes our list because of their superior digestive benefits. They have glucosamine and chondroitin to promote healthy joints and their all natural small kibble contains no fillers or by-products.
Wellness uses deboned turkey, chicken meal, ground brown rice, and peas as their main ingredients. Their 25% protein, 12% fat and 5% fiber makes an excellent choice as the best senior dog food for small breeds.
#2 Holistic Select Natural
Holistic Natural’s special blend is formulated to give your senior dog the unique digestive support it needs. It also adds prebiotics, probiotics, natural fibers, and essential digestive enzymes to ensure a balanced nutrient diet.
They use anchovy and Sardine Meal, ground brown and white rice, chicken fat, and dried beet pulp as their main ingredients. With 28% protein, 18% fat and only 3% fiber, and tasty bite-sized chicken kibble, it’s just what your senior small breed dog needs.
Best Senior Dog Food for Medium Breeds (20-50 pounds)
For medium-breed dogs, you need a different nutrient composition than that of a small breed. Look for kibble that has at least 25% protein and at least 12% fat in the ingredients.
Important Read: Diabetes In Dogs: Causes, Treatments & Everything in Between
#1 Merrick Grain-Free Senior
Merrick Grain-Free Senior provides only the best for your senior dog in terms of quality, nutrition, and taste. It contains high protein, healthy fat and omega 3 & 6 for healthy skin and coat.
They use deboned chicken, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, and peas in their formula along with essential vitamins and minerals. They blend 32% protein, 12% fat and only 3.5% fiber, making this an excellent choice for an active senior dog.
#2 Holistic Select Senior
Holistic is already an established brand that promotes excellent digestive support with probiotics, prebiotics, and enzymes. The grain-free chicken kibble contains no by-products, gluten or artificial colors or flavors.
Holistic uses a chicken meal, ground brown and white rice, and oatmeal in their recipe. They meet the nutritional requirements of a medium-sized senior dog with 26% protein, 10% fat, and 3.5% fiber in the formula. Their quality assurance program maintains strict standards which are just a bonus.
Best Senior Dog Food for Large/Giant Breeds (Over 50 Pounds)
Large breed dogs are prone to obesity—that’s why they need low-calorie kibble to manage their weight. Make sure you look for a kibble that’s suited for large breed dogs with a minimum 20% protein and 10% fat. As large breed dogs tend to have shortened lifespans, selecting the right food is essential if you want them to have a healthy long life.
#1 Now Fresh Large Breed Senior
Now Fresh will satisfy your large breed senior dog’s needs with their special blend of formula. They add L-Carnitine amino acid into the mix to help your dog’s weight stays in control.
Now uses deboned turkey, potatoes, and peas as their main ingredient with 100% fresh omega 3 & 6 oils from coconuts and canola. Their 25% protein, 11% fat and 4.5% fiber blend makes it an ideal choice for the best senior dog food for large and giant breed dogs.
#2 Nutro Max Natural Adult
Nutro Max Natural Adult provides a balanced nutrition for your senior large breed dog at a very affordable price. Their recipe contains no by-products or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
Nutro Mix uses a chicken meal, sorghum, brewers’ rice, and oatmeal as their main ingredients which are carefully sourced and quality controlled. Their blend of 22% protein, 13% fat and 3.5% fiber along with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients ensures a tasty kibble for your dog enjoys, while maintaining the balanced diet your dog needs.
Important Read: Understanding Allergies In Dogs: Types, Causes & Treatments
Whether small or large, no matter the breed, your senior dog deserves the best. As your pet friend ages, he will need all the love and care in the world (along with nutritious food and balanced diet of course!).
Hopefully, this guide will help you choose the best senior dog food so that he can age healthy and strong.