Jun 24, 2021

As dogs get older, their dietary needs change. Senior dogs are less energetic and thus need food with fewer calories, more fiber, and the addition of glucosamine, which can help reduce joint pain. Here are some dry and canned dog foods to help keep your senior dog happy and healthy.

Dry Senior Dog Food

Compared to canned, or wet, food, dry food can be less expensive and more convenient. Dog owners who choose dry food must also make sure that their dogs are properly hydrated. Dry food can also be used in combination with wet food, but it’s best to avoid mixing brands.

Best Overall
Our Score 9.8 Out of 10
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Best Mid Range
Our Score 9.6 Out of 10
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Cheaper Choice
Our Score 9.4 Out of 10
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Our Score 9.2 Out of 10
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Our Score 9.2 Out of 10
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Our Score 9.0 Out of 10
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Our Score 8.7 Out of 10
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Our Score 8.4 Out of 10
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The Best Dry Senior Dog Food

We chose the best dry senior dog foods based on the quality of their protein sources and the presence of supplements such as glucosamine, as well as their value and reviews. Here are the best dry foods for your senior dog.

Canidae Grain-Free Senior Dry Dog Food

Our Score 9.8 out of 10
CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Senior Limited Ingredient Chicken, Sweet Potato & Garbanzo Bean Recipe Dry Dog Food
CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Senior Limited Ingredient Chicken, Sweet Potato & Garbanzo Bean Recipe Dry Dog Food chewy.com Check price

Help older buddies age grr-acefully with CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Senior Limited Ingredient Chicken, Sweet Potato & Garbanzo Bean Recipe Dry Dog Food. Formulated with just nine wholesome ingredients...

With an astonishingly high crude protein content of at least 30.0% and a budget-friendly price tag, Canidae Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is an excellent choice for anyone with a senior dog looking for a dry dog food that’s inexpensive without sacrificing quality.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior

Our Score 9.6 out of 10
NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Senior Dry Dog Food, Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dog Kibble, 30 lb. Bag
NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Senior Dry Dog Food, Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dog Kibble, 30 lb. Bag amazon.com Check price

Contains one (1) 30 lb; bag of NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Senior Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe for senior dogs ages 7 and older; real chicken is the #1 ingredient
Made with non-GMO ingredie...

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior dog food features a high protein content, with high-quality chicken meal providing protein as well as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Although the fiber content is slightly lower than those of other foods, overall, this excellent dog food offers tremendous value for money.

Vetdiet Super Premium Dog Food Adult Chicken and Rice

Our Score 9.4 out of 10
Vetdiet Super Premium Dog Food Adult Chicken and Rice (6lb)

Vetdiet is known for its high-quality, nutritionist-developed dog foods, and this is no exception. With a omega-3 and omega-6, fish oil folic acid, this senior dog food is sure to keep your dog healthy for years to come.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Food

Our Score 9.2 out of 10
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food chewy.com Check price

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula was created for the health and well-being of dogs. All formulas start with real meat, whole grains, garden veggies and fruit, plus added LifeSource Bits, a prec...

This Blue Buffalo dog food features deboned chicken and a high fiber content, as well as glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega fatty acids, which can improve your dog’s skin and coat. The high protein content is good for your dog’s health and can also help prevent digestive issues.

Dry Senior Dog Food Feeding Guide

When feeding dry food to their dog, owners must keep an eye on how many calories their dog is eating and how much water they’re consuming. Dry food can become difficult for senior dogs to enjoy. Here are some common issues senior dogs face with dry food.

Too Much Food

Dog owners can face difficulties in trying to portion out healthy servings of dry food for their senior dogs. Canned food is often easier to portion out than dry kibble.

Hard, Crunchy Kibble

Senior dogs often have dental problems that can become exacerbated by eating dry kibble. Try adding some warm water to dry kibble to soften it for senior dogs.

Dehydration

Dry senior dog food does not provide senior dogs with the hydration they need. Supplement your senior dog’s dry food with fresh water or canned food to ensure that they are hydrating properly.

Lack of Appetite

Because dry food’s flavors and aromas are trapped inside kibble, some senior dogs experiencing a loss of appetite will be even less inclined to eat their food when given dry kibble. Adding some warm water to your dog’s kibble can help release some of its aromas, making it more enticing to them.

Canned Senior Dog Food

Although wet food is often more expensive than dry food, it provides much more hydration than dry food, and it typically contains fewer preservatives and additives. A diet comprising a mixture of dry and wet foods is an easy and economical way to meet your senior dog’s dietary needs.

The Best Canned Senior Dog Food

These canned senior dog foods represent the best, most nutritious wet foods for your senior dog.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Canned

Our Score 9.2 out of 10
Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken & Barley Entree Canned Dog Food, 13-oz, case of 12
Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken & Barley Entree Canned Dog Food, 13-oz, case of 12 chewy.com Check price

Description
Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken & Barley Entree Canned Dog Food has precisely balanced nutrition to sustain mobility and muscle mass. This delicious formula contains high-quality p...

Despite its name, this Hill’s Science Diet canned dog food is perfect for senior dogs. Your senior dog will enjoy the positive effects of its protein, which is derived from real meat, as well as the addition of biotin to help improve their coat and skin.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 7+ Canned

Our Score 9.0 out of 10
Purina Pro Plan Senior Gravy Wet Dog Food, FOCUS Morsels in Gravy Beef & Rice Entree - (12) 13 oz. Cans
Purina Pro Plan Senior Gravy Wet Dog Food, FOCUS Morsels in Gravy Beef & Rice Entree - (12) 13 oz. Cans amazon.com Check price

Twelve (12) 13 oz. Cans - Purina Pro Plan Senior Gravy Wet Dog Food; FOCUS Morsels in Gravy Beef & Rice Entree
Made with real beef
Formulated for dogs ages 7 and older
Omega-6 fatty acids help to s...

If your senior dog doesn’t mind the texture of chunks of food in gravy, then they’ll love the taste of this Purina Pro Plan senior canned dog food. The impressive 10% crude protein content of this food, along with its great reviews, make it a wonderful option for your senior dog.

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior

Our Score 8.7 out of 10
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Senior Wet Dog Food, Chicken 12.5 Oz can (Pack of 12)
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Senior Wet Dog Food, Chicken 12.5 Oz can (Pack of 12) amazon.com Check price

REAL CHICKEN FIRST: This paté style wet dog food features high-quality protein from real chicken to support healthy muscle maintenance
FEED THREE WAYS: BLUE Homestyle Recipe senior dog food makes a...

This Blue Buffalo wet food is packed with protein and moisture, given that its first two ingredients are chicken and chicken broth. The addition of glucosamine, as well as its terrific value, make it an excellent choice for even the pickiest senior dog.

Royal Canin Mature 8+ Canned

Our Score 8.4 out of 10
Royal Canin Mature 8+ Canned Dog Food, 5.2-oz, case of 24
Royal Canin Mature 8+ Canned Dog Food, 5.2-oz, case of 24 chewy.com Check price

No wonder lots of aging pups get bored with their food...the taste buds want somethin' new! Royal Canin Mature 8+ Canned Dog Food is specially formulated for small breed dogs over 8 years. It's des...

With high-quality ingredients and a high protein content, this Royal Canin canned food can also accompany the Royal Canin dry senior dog food above. Dogs everywhere will love the taste, and you’ll love the incredibly low phosphorus content.

Canned Senior Dog Food Feeding Guide

Although canned food can be more expensive and less convenient than dry food, it contains more moisture and less fat and carbohydrates. Here are some things to consider when selecting a canned senior dog food.

Cost

Although canned foods are more expensive than dry food, they often contain higher-quality ingredients, such as real meat. Additionally, some more expensive foods contain supplements such as glucosamine, which alleviate joint pain.

Portion Sizes

Because senior dogs require fewer calories than younger dogs, it is important to select the correct portion size. Consult your veterinarian to determine how much food your dog needs based on their weight and activity level.

Taste

Many dog food companies add salt to their canned dog foods to improve their taste, which also makes them less healthy. Consider buying a canned dog food, such as the ones listed above, that doesn’t contain added salt.

How to Choose the Best Senior Dog Food

Choosing the best dog food for your senior dog mainly involves consulting your veterinarian, who can help you make a selection that’s right for you. Educating yourself about your dog’s needs and which supplements are ideal for senior dogs will also help you make the best decision possible.

Nutritional Requirements of Senior Dogs

Although all dogs are different, all senior dogs need foods with key characteristics. These include high-quality protein sources, fiber to assist with digestion, more protein than fat and carbohydrates, glucosamine to alleviate joint pain, and L-carnitine to reduce their risk of heart disease. Using foods developed by respected brands is an easy way to ensure your senior dog gets the nutrition and supplements they need.

Adult vs. Senior Dog Food

Compared to adult dogs, senior dogs need fewer calories, more protein and fiber, plenty of water, and supplements such as glucosamine. These changes in food reflect the changes in lifestyle that occur when an adult dog becomes a senior dog.

What Is a High-Quality Protein Source?

Feeding your dog real meat, or meat byproducts from a reliable source, is easier on senior dogs’ digestive tracts. Feeding your senior dog meat from a high-quality protein source makes it easier for dogs to extract the protein while digesting their food.

Changing to a Senior Dog Food

Sudden changes in food can cause upset stomachs in dogs. Transition them to their new food slowly by mixing in a little more into their current food every day. Although the process can take approximately a week, it’s the easiest way to transition to a new food safely.

Final Thoughts

Senior dog food is specially designed for the health and comfort of senior dogs. If you’re considering switching to a senior dog food, consult your veterinarian. Also, remember to transition your dog slowly to their new food. Whether you select dry or canned senior dog food, or a mix of both, you’re ensuring that your senior dog will be happy and healthy for years to come.

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