7 Best Senior Dog Food For Your Aging Canine

Just like puppies, overweight dogs, and small breeds, your dog requires different nutrition when he’s older. While his muzzle and fur might turn grey, we sure want that to be the only thing to change as your dog ages. A great way to maintain your dog’s physical condition is with the right diet. Age-related medical problems include hip dysplasia, cataracts, arthritis, and even obesity. What goes into good senior dog food would be a higher than average amount of protein, sufficient fat content, average or below-average calories (depending on breed), and of course no dangerous ingredients.

Unfortunately, a dog’s physical functions deteriorate as they age, and that’s a fact that we all must face too. The best we can do is to slow down the aging process. We can do that with a few brands that formulate adequate nutrition for senior dogs.

Top 7 Senior Dog Food – Comparison & Reviews

1 – Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult 7+ for Senior Dogs – Youthful Vitality

A dog is usually considered a senior when he passes the age of 7 threshold. Depending on the breed, some could be sooner and others later.  

This Amazon’s Choice product aims to restore your pup’s youthful vitality. It does so with ingredients from a balanced meal that aims to fight aging effects.

Made with natural ingredients, the chicken and rice or chicken and vegetable stew flavors will help support brain function to help fight canine dementia, energy, and vitality in aging pups.

The ingredients are easy to digest and easy on the stomach. Better digestion means regular bowel movements and less risk of bloating (which could be fatal).

Made in the USA with trusted ingredients, Hill’s Science diet is the number one vet recommended brand. No artificial coloring, flavors or preservatives are added.

The added vitamins and minerals, as well as boosted antioxidant levels, will make sure your older dog doesn’t lose his colorful personality. Just because they are aging doesn’t mean they are out of the game.

PROS:
  • Precise ingredients and formula tailored to your senior dog’s needs.
  • Restores health, energy and vitality in older pups.
  • Made in the USA with trusted ingredients.
  • The youthful vitality mix also supports brain function.
  • The number 1 vet recommended brand.
  • As a dog ages it shows on his coat. The omega fatty acids included will keep it shiny and luxurious.
  • A balanced formula for a well-rounded diet.

CONS:
  • Your dog may not like the flavor.
  • Hill’s has had recalls.

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2 – Nulo Senior Grain Free Dog Food With Glucosamine and Chondroitin

You are probably asking yourself what levels of glucosamine and chondroitin do in your senior dog’s food. The answer is, they support your dog’s joints. They are anti-inflammatory and help lubricate your old dog’s joints and relieve them from pain. If taken earlier, they even have some preventative properties.

Older dogs are more sensitive than most, so the grain-free recipe that doesn’t contain any corn, soy or wheat and anything artificial won’t trigger allergies and other unwanted effects.

Made in the USA, Nulo only uses safe ingredients with 80% animal-based protein. The high meat and low carb ratio also benefit senior dogs. 

The new concept is that the ancestral diet (a diet that mirrors that of wolves) is the way to go. Nulo adopts this idea and tailors this dry dog food to reduce sensitivities.

The patented BC30 probiotics support a healthy gut and digestive system.

PROS:
  • Levels of L-Carnitine (which helps burn fat) will keep your dog at a healthy weight.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin levels help protect joints and prevent against such issues.
  • The added probiotics promote healthy gut flora to aid in digestion for seniors.
  • Grain-free means less of a chance for allergies.
  • The high meat and low carb ratio are beneficial to keep a senior dog’s energy up.
  • Closely resembles the ancestral diet.
  • No preservatives and artificial additives can be found in this USA made recipe.

CONS:
  • Your dog may not like the flavors.
  • May not sit well with some dogs.

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3 – Purina Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND Senior 7+ Adult Dog Food

This Amazon’s Choice product comes in wet, dry or both options. There are also tons of flavor choices to satisfy even the pickiest of dogs. 

The bright mind formula slows down the deterioration of your dog’s mind as he or she ages. Botanical oils improve your dog’s mental sharpness, and this is especially important for dogs aged 7 and above.

With real meat as the first ingredient and EPA and omega fatty acids will supply your dog with the steady and consistent amount of nutrition he needs. For older dogs, joint support is very important. You might see your dog wincing in pain or not willing to move if his hip or elbow dysplasia flares up, and the levels of glucosamine will soothe the pain.

Around 7 years of age is when your dog’s body starts to metabolize glucose differently, which affects the sharpness of his mind. Enhanced botanical oils along with certain vitamins and minerals will counteract this effect.

The vitamin A and linoleic acid in this recipe help with healthy skin and coat, rather than the traditional omega fatty acids.

PROS:
  • Nourishes a senior dog’s mind with enhanced botanical oils.
  • Aids and relieves elbow and hip dysplasia with added glucosamine.
  • Vitamin A, linoleic acid and omega fatty acids will help with skin and coat health.
  • The wide range of flavors will satisfy any dog’s taste buds.

CONS:
  • Your dog may not like the flavor.
  • It may not sit well with some dogs.

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4 – Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Senior Dry Dog Food

With the Blue Buffalo chicken for senior dogs recipe, the real protein maintains and supports lean muscle growth. Your dog’s body after years of wear will deteriorate, and needs more protein to counteract this effect.

To keep him at the optimal weight and not aggravate any potential allergies, the grain-free formula is easy to digest. 

With added amounts of omega fatty acids, your dog’s coat and skill will be healthy and vibrant like they were when he was younger.

The LifeSource bits added are small sources of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that boost your older dog’s immune system. 

Natural ingredients are important and you won’t find any artificial additives or preservatives along with corn, wheat or soy in this recipe.

For older dogs, a balanced diet is imperative, and the healthy ratio of protein to carbs will give your older dog the energy he needs to thrive.

PROS:
  • The LifeSource bits pack the dry dog food with enough added vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for a healthy immune system.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin levels help lubricate your dog’s joints and have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • With real chicken as the first ingredient, your dog will maintain healthy and lean muscles.
  • All-natural, no traces of artificial additives and preservatives can be found.
  • Grain-free dog food is easy to digest and lower the risk of developing allergies.

CONS:
  • When buying dog food, it is always possible it may not sit well with your dog.
  • Your dog may not like the flavor.
  • Blue Buffalo suffered through a scandal about false advertising of ingredients.

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5 – Orijen Senior High-Protein Senior Dog Food

Orijen tailors all their recipes to fit the needs of individual dogs in different life stages. You get a recipe jam-packed with whole ingredients, making up 85% of the entire recipe. 

Not only does your pup get red meat, but there is also a mix of cartilage, organs, and bone to give them as close to a natural diet as they can get from fresh and natural ingredients.

Nothing beats seeing your frail older dog regain his vitality. They can maintain your dog’s muscle mass from this high protein diet and receive all the nutrients he needs in this biologically appropriate diet.

Fresh ingredients from trusted sources are taken and made in Orijen’s state-of-the-art kitchens. No part of the process is outsourced, as Orijen likes to have complete control over what happens in the creation of their products. 

There are no plant proteins, artificial additives or other ingredients that your dog isn’t capable of digesting.

PROS:
  • Orijen also follows the concept of the ancestral diet, only providing your dog with what nature intended.
  • All of the whole ingredients are sourced regionally and are minimally processed.
  • Orijen is 100% involved in the production of their dog food with no step being outsourced.
  • Nothing artificial or harmful is included in the formula.
  • The fresh and raw protein used makes up 85% of the recipe, guaranteeing strong muscles and sufficient energy.
  • Grain-free and easy to digest.
  • Each recipe of Orijen is biologically appropriate.

CONS:
  • When buying dog food, it is always possible it may not sit well with your dog.
  • Your dog may not like the flavor.

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6 – Diamond Naturals Senior Dog Food

The free-range chicken used will support muscle strength for senior dogs. The added levels of chondroitin and glucosamine are necessary for a senior dog’s food to help with their joint issues (even more so for large breeds).

The superfood blend with extra antioxidants and added vitamins and minerals boost your dog’s immune system so they don’t get sick as frequently when they’re older.

Omega fatty acids help your senior dog maintain a long and luscious coat even at an older age.

It’s also important for a senior dog to eat easily digestible food. You don’t want to burden their system with lots of grains, and the added probiotics only help with healthy digestion.

Diamond naturals is a family-owned and run company in the USA that prides itself in producing food from trusted and sustainable ingredients.

You won’t find any traces of corn, wheat, filler or anything artificial in the food, only quality ingredients produced adhering to food safety protocols.

PROS:
  • High-quality protein from the free-range chicken will support lean muscles.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin added will help lubricate joints.
  • A superfood blend of veggies and fruits will boost your pup’s immune system.
  • A family-owned and run company making food right in the USA.
  • Only trusted and sustainable ingredients are used.
  • Highly digestible recipe, great for older dogs.
  • Nothing artificial or harmful is involved in the making of this dog food.

CONS:
  • When buying dog food, it is always possible it may not sit well with your dog.
  • Your dog may not like the flavor.

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7 – AvoDerm Natural Senior Dry Dog Food

As a dog ages, one of the first things to go is his joints. You start to slowly notice deterioration in his energy levels as well as overall health. The natural chondroitin and glucosamine can help with joint pain.

The natural fats from avocadoes used in the recipe can promote healthy skin, coat and support his overall immune system.

The all-natural ingredients are free of any by-products, artificial additives, corn, soy or wheat. Nothing but the best and most savory for your fur baby.

Not only will muscles and your dog’s overall immune system deteriorate, but he also needs support in terms of eye and brain health. The DHA levels will keep your dog’s mind sharp and eyesight clear.

Made with premium ingredients, it’s your dog’s best bet when he gets to a certain age to switch to Avoderm.

PROS:
  • Added chondroitin and glucosamine levels help soothe your dog’s joints.
  • Boost your dog’s overall health with this well-balanced diet.
  • The natural essential fats derived from avocadoes will keep your dog looking young.
  • All ingredients are healthy and free of harmful substances.
  • DHA levels will keep your dog’s brain sharp and eyesight clear.

CONS:
  • When buying dog food, it is always possible it may not sit well with your dog.
  • Your dog may not like the flavor.
  • Not hypoallergenic

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Our Top Pick: AvoDerm Natural Senior Dry Dog Food

After much consideration and mulling over, we chose Avoderm as our top pick. While dog parents need to keep in mind that each dog has different preferences, you might find a flavor your dog likes but is hated by another dog. Some food may not sit right with your pup and cause him discomfort. However, that doesn’t entirely mean the brand produces low-quality food. 

We feel Avoderm gives your dog the best protection in terms of joints, organs, overall immune system and health, coat, brain, and eyesight. They create a healthy recipe that is free of harmful ingredients and unwanted additives.

The Diamond Naturals dog food is a close second with its sustainable and regionally sourced ingredients that are made right in the USA. Both are highly digestible and full of all the quality ingredients your older dog needs to thrive.

What to Look for When Buying the Best Senior Dog Food?

Your dog’s health can decline unexpectedly as he nears his later years. It’s important to provide him with the necessary nutrition he needs to age well. Depending on each dog, these factors are different. Let’s take a look at some of the most important things to look for.

What Does Your Dog Need?

Getting a health test and assessing what your dog needs is very important before you look into the type of senior dog food. This can be done with one visit to your trusted vet. The vet will consider your dog’s breed, size, age, and their natural disposition to formulate the best answer for you. He or she will be able to give you a clear picture of what to feed your dog and his specific needs.

High Protein Levels

An older dog needs more protein to sustain healthy muscle growth. They need more to replace and repair damaged muscles or tissue. Adequate protein levels can slow down the physical effects of aging.

Nothing Artificial

This is a pretty big no-brainer. For any dog, you do not want to feed him or her food that is packed full of processed ingredients and artificial additives. Make sure your senior dog’s food is free of it or contains only minimal amounts. Look for natural and organic ingredients.

Easily Digestible

Fiber helps with digestion, as do probiotics and prebiotics. As your dog ages, he will have a harder time combating illnesses and functioning compared to his younger self. If your dog is allergic to grains or has higher sensitivity, look for adequate amounts of fiber from vegetables such as carrots, peas, and pumpkins.

DHA

This boosts cognitive senses. Your dog’s mind will decline as will his body. But with levels of DHA, it could slow down the process.

Omega Fatty Acids

Omega fatty acids (omega 3 and 6) or otherwise known as essential fats can boost skin and coat health. This allows your dog to still look young and have a glossy coat. It also helps to prevent skin rashes and allergies.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Although these chemicals are naturally produced, they are by no means in a sufficient amount. As they age, the production also decreases which leads to hip and elbow dysplasia. This could hurt your dog and cause his or her bones to become brittle. Both glucosamine and chondroitin strengthen joints and bones and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Conclusion

It can be sad to see your dog age, but on the bright side, you got to share in his long life with him. Senior dog food can greatly improve the symptoms of an aging dog, however, it requires time. There is no magic concoction that solves all bodily pain. Choose the food wisely and remember to identify your dog’s needs. Each breed has illnesses and dispositions they are more prone to, so doing some research on your dog’s breed could give you a better insight. Remember the flavor is just as important, pick one your dog finds irresistible.

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