The importance of adequate nutrition for senior dogs is very important. Whether opting for canned dog food, grain-free dog food, or any other type of high-quality dog food, it is wise to invest in a quality food that meets the life stage needs.
There is no special rule of thumb for classifying dogs as “senior” or “old”. This is because giant dog breeds age very fast compared to their smaller peers. However, professionals state that they consider a dog is a “senior” when it has reached half of its life expectancy. If we are to use this as the base for our measurement, larger dogs are considered as senior dogs when they are around six years old while smaller dogs are regarded as senior dogs when they are around 8–9 years old.
Why Your Senior Dog Needs a Special Dog’s Diet
Senior dogs grow older, and their bodies undergo some psychological changes. This leads to a decline in their energy levels. This can be as a result of changes in how glucose is metabolism in his brain. These changes usually affect attention, train-ability, and memory. The low energy levels are not as a result of laziness on your older dog’s part but due to the fact that the organs responsible for mobility function slower. Some of the disorders associated with aging in dogs are joint problems and arthritis, which makes it difficult for your dog to walk around freely. Senior dogs who have such health challenges are likely to lie down all through the day. When your dog becomes sedentary, it is important to cut down on the number of carbs given to your pet as this can contribute to weight gain and sluggish behavior.
Senior dogs require lower carbohydrates and fats to reduce accumulation of excess energy which can cause obesity. Protein intake also needs to be monitored as too much can put strain on their kidneys. It is also important to give your dog diets that are low in sodium.
Experts recommend high fiber diets because fiber helps to facilitate easy digestion and bowel movement. It is also necessary to improve the fluid intake of dogs by giving water or moisture-rich dog food. This is because they are usually at risk for dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. As a dog parent, you should feed your dog with an adequate protein diet to promote lean muscle mass.
When shopping for the best food for your senior dog, look out for food that has compounds like chondroitin and glucosamine on their labels as they help to maintain healthy joints.
We have chosen our best senior dog foods that are readily available on the market today.
Orijen Senior Biologically Appropriate Dog Food
Our top choice of senior dog food is Orijen Senior Biologically Appropriate Dog Food. This product contains 38% rich protein to meet the nutritional needs of your senior dog and it is free of any form of rendered poultry meals. One-third of the meat used in the blend are sourced from turkey and chicken that has undergone dehydration to make them more concentrated.
About 75% of the meat is sourced fresh and preserved in a refrigerator so you can rest assured that your dog food is free of any form of preservatives. This superior blend contains a mixture of fresh meat, cartilage, organs, bones, fresh whole eggs, and fresh whole fish to give your pooch the maximum level of protein it needs. The meat and fish in the blend are natural sources of chondroitin and glucosamine, and there are no synthetic forms of the compounds in the meal.
If your dog is a fussy eater, you will be happy to know that the flavor of this dog food is one of a kind-loved by virtually all dogs. The first five ingredients on the product label are deboned chicken, deboned turkey, Atlantic flounder, whole eggs, and an entire Atlantic mackerel. Additionally, this canine chow is moderate in animal fat.
Available sizes: 12 oz., 4.5lbs., 13lbs., and 25lbs.
Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food by Nutro
Dog parents who own elder dogs will find Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food by Nutro very healthy, and nutrient-packed. The protein sources come from a mixture of salmon, chicken, and lamb. Additionally, they are then blended with 12 superfoods, including kale, spinach, apples, egg, pumpkin, carrots, tomatoes, flaxseed, chia seeds, sunflower oil, blueberries, and coconut.
In the bid to maintain an all-natural meal, the manufacturers did not add synthetic sources of glucosamine and chondroitin as the protein meal is already an excellent source of both compounds. Also, if your pet is allergic to grains like soy, gluten, wheat or corn, this mix should be your go-to choice as it does not contain any form of grains. It is also free of any artificial flavors or colors.
The fish oil in this senior dog food contains EPA, which helps to bring down the level of cholesterol and reduce inflammation. The formula has also been enriched with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which helps to augment the immune system to fight infections. No doubts, Ultra Senior Dog Dry Dog Food is one of the best options of elderly canine nutrition. The main five ingredients are chicken, whole brown rice, chicken meal (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), lamb meal, and brewers’ rice.
30 lbs. costs $57.99
Blue Life Protection Formula Senior Dog Chicken & Brown Rice by Blue Buffalo
The senior dog formula by Blue Buffalo is specially prepared to supply your senior canine enough nutrients to help support biological activities in his system as he ages. The main ingredients are brown rice and chicken to serve as healthy sources of carbohydrates and protein respectively. This special formula has a unique blend—the LifeSource Bits blend. The formula combines seven essentials vitamins and mineral into dry kibble that is easy to digest.
This nutritious meal is packed with adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids to promote a healthy-looking skin and coat while boosting its immune function. This dog food has the perfect balance of nutrients to support the day-to-day activities of an elderly canine. Natural sources of joint-friendly nutrients, chondroitin,and glucosamine are sourced from the chicken used in formulating the canine chow.
30 lbs. costs $46.99.
Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Senior Dogs 8+ by Diamond Pet Foods
The Diamond Naturals Dry senior dog food is rich in probiotics and it is suitable for dogs that are over eight years of age. The gut-friendly probiotics facilities the absorption of all the nutrients in the digestive tract of your elderly pooch. This blend is enriched with minerals and vitamins form different vibrant superfoods which help to optimize your canine’s health. Also, this chow contains joint-friendly nutrients that help to facilitate easy movement.
This senior dog food has been formulated with chicken, chia seeds. and quinoa. These are meant to supply your dog with all the amino acids that it needs. Other essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables,and fruits, are also in the mix. One other distinguishing factor about this formula is that it is filled with powerful compounds that help fight against oxidative stress which gets worsened as your pet grows old.
Blue Homestyle Recipe Wet Dog Food by Blue Buffalo
This unique blend is formulated for senior dogs where their appetite for food and water has been compromised by an illness. The Blue Homestyle Wet Dog Food contains 78% water which helps your older dog remain hydrated. The protein in wet dog food comprises protein sources like chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, and fish. Every one of these protein sources helps to supply your senior dogs with nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin. This helps to maintain the health of their joints while preventing disorders like arthritis. This mixture contains whole grains and fruits which are very rich in antioxidants for an adequate nutrition. It is important to know that it does not contain grains which can cause allergies. One factor that might pose a challenge for dog owners who want to purchase this dog meal is the high cost. Other than that, this wet dog food comes highly recommended.
30 lbs. cost $46.99.
Proactive Health Senior and Mature Adult Dry Dog Food by IAMS
For senior dogs that are above nine years of age, the Proactive Health Senior and Mature Adult Dry Dog Food by IAMS are the best for optimum nutrition. Each kibble in the formula is enriched with the required amount of nutrients. Everything needed by elderly dogs for the maintenance of their health is in the mix. Each kibble contains chicken for protein supply and beet pulp for easy digestion. This dog chow is without wheat and other grains that cause allergies, it only has safer options. This blend is one of the best for senior canines because it contains just the right amount of carbs, proteins, and fats that meets the nutrient requirements of aging dogs.
This dry dog food also contains nutrients like glucosamine that helps to maintain the normal functioning of the joints. One thing we also love about this mix is that it is cheaper than its counterparts.
26.2 lbs. costs $38.90.
Age Defying Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food for Adults 11+ by Hill’s Science Diet
Hill’s Science Diet is one of the renowned dog food brands in the market today. Their Age Defying Dry Dog Food is one of the most suitable meals for senior dogs. This dog food meets the nutritional needs of elderly canines. This exact one is for dogs that are 11+ and weigh less than 25pounds. The blend is formulated with high-quality amino acids which are important for maintaining the organs of the body.
Further, the vitamins and minerals help to regulate physiological processes. The two main vitamins in the Age Defying dog food are vitamin E and vitamin C. These vitamins serve as antioxidants to slow down aging while improving its immune system. It is also free from toxic substances that might have negative side effects on the health of your dog.
Dog parents can always depend on this top-of-the-range formula from the stables of Hill’s Science Diet. The only downside is that it can be a bit pricey. But, rest assured that you are getting your money’s worth for your pet.
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Senior Dog Senior Dog Food, Chicken & Barley
The superior quality dog food by Wellness is one of the most iconic meals for your aging canine. The nutrient-packed kibble is formulated using the finest ingredients which include chicken. Chicken is a rich source of protein and other ingredients. Additionally, blueberries which are very rich in antioxidants augment the benefits of the chicken. Flaxseed ,which is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, is also in the formula, as well as spinach, rich in iron. Each kibble comprises 22% protein minimum and 10% fat minimum.
Regarding fortification, this dog food has been fortified with nutrients like taurine to help boost your pet’s cognitive functions. These nutrients primarily target aging dogs that demonstrate cognitive functions that have declined over time. Also, the vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids work together to boost the elderly dog’s cognitive function. It will amaze you to know that this product is 100% natural; it contains no form of artificial or synthetic ingredients, nor does it contain allergy-causing grains.
In a nutshell, senior dogs require a diet that is high in protein. Additionally, it needs to be high in fluids and fiber, and high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. On the other hand, their fat and carbohydrate supply should be low at all times.
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