Senior dogs have special nutritional needs, but sometimes pet parents need a bit of a reminder to that fact. Mature dogs often develop age-related health conditions that can be improved by supplying them with the right nutrients. Conditions such as arthritis, obesity, cataracts, and other medical problems can usually be improved, or at least controlled, by supplying the senior dog with the right combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Unfortunately, too many mature dog foods may market themselves as senior canine foods, but they don’t offer the nutritional support that older dogs need. That’s why we’ve done our research and have come with ten of the best senior dog foods that are nutritionally balanced and are designed to improve the quality of life for senior dogs.
Here are our top 10 picks for the best Senior Dog Foods:
#10 Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
This high-quality senior dog food is not only made with meat as its primary ingredient but is also made with a variety of other wholesome ingredients including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This creates a formula that’s nutritionally complete and one that dogs mostly love to eat. We say mostly because the product’s “Lifesource Bits” is a bit hard, and some dogs with chewing problems tend to avoid them. And unfortunately, this can lead to the mature dog missing out on essential antioxidants.
Pros: Contains real meat as its first ingredient
It’s a nutritionally compleat formula
Cons: Dogs are reluctant to eat the hard Lifesource bits
#9 Nulo Senior Grain-Free Formula
This senior dog food is lovingly manufactured in the United States and is a grain-free formula that doesn’t contain any white potatoes, soy, wheat, corn or tapioca. This makes it a better solution for diabetic dogs or for dogs who need to eat fewer carbohydrates to maintain a healthy weight. This food also is made without artificial colors or preservatives. The wholesome ingredients that can be found in it are real meat, amino acids, and probiotics that help to support healthy intestinal flora.
Pros: It’s a low-glycemic formula
May reduce the dog’s food allergy symptoms
Cons: Grain-free diets might not benefit some older dogs
#8 Nutro Max Natural Senior Recipe
Even though this mature dog food is a bit more expensive than a lot of comparable brands, it is made with quality ingredients and has a nutritionally complete formula. This product is made without using chicken by-product meals, artificial colors, artificial flavors or preservatives. It’s also made without using corn, soy or wheat proteins either. And because of its high meat content, mature dogs love to eat this formula. And if the older dog is eating it, then they’re getting the nutrition they need.
Pros: It’s a nutritionally complete formula
Doesn’t contain artificial flavors or preservatives
Cons: Food is a bit expensive
#7 Pro Plan Bright Mind Senior Formula
This quality dog food contains a blend of 29% protein and 14% fat that help older dogs maintain the correct bodyweight and also helps to maintain lean muscle tissue in the dog. Chicken is its first ingredient and its made with Omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine that help dogs maintain healthy joint health. It’s a formula specifically made to help address the needs of larger dogs. Overall, it’s a formula that older dogs also love to eat, and it’s easy for them to chew.
Pros: Supports proper joint health
Helps maintain a lean body weight
Cons: Not suitable for smaller dogs
#6 Purina One Smart Blend Vibrant Maturity
This protein-rich formula is made with real chicken as its number one ingredient, so it not only supports a senior dog’s healthy weight but also helps to support their muscles and heart, too. It’s a veterinarian-recommended formula that contains chewy morsels that older dogs can chew and simply love. It’s also a formula that does a good well helping the dog maintain proper metabolism and also helps them maintain their mental sharpness. Although not all dogs love its flavor, it’s a nutritionally complete formula that will maintain the senior dog’s health well into old age.
Pros: Chicken is its primary ingredient
It’s nutritionally complete
Cons: Some dogs might not like the taste of it
#5 IAMS Proactive Health Mature Dog Food
This veterinarian recommended formula is designed to address the needs of many older dogs, although not all dogs love to eat it. This formula is made with chicken as its primary ingredient and also includes a strong blend of antioxidants that help to promote digestive and intestinal health as well as a healthy immune system. It also has ingredients that help to maintain proper bone and joint health as well. And its made without using fillers or preservatives, so it’s a healthier option for many dogs.
Pros: Chicken is the first ingredient
Is easy for older dogs to digest
Maintains bone and joint health
Cons: Not all dogs like it
#4 Royal Canin Small-Breed Senior Dog Food
Although this formula doesn’t use real meat as its primary ingredient and contains chicken by-products meal, it is an inexpensive solution for many people. It’s made with high-quality brown rice, brewer’s rice, chicken fat, and fish oil to give small mature dogs a nutritionally complete diet. This formula will support proper kidney health and helps the dogs vision, joint health, and brain health thanks to a unique blend of Omega-3’s and antioxidants. Despite its flaws, this is a product that’s capable of supporting the health of small senior dog breeds quite well.
Pros: It’s an inexpensive formula
Promotes kidney and coat health
Dogs love to eat it
Ideal for smaller dogs
Cons: Not designed for medium to large-size breeds
Brown rice is its main ingredient
#3 Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Food
Even though this formula is made for small breed dogs so it might not be suitable for medium or large size breeds, it’s capable of providing smaller dogs with a nutritionally complete formula. Deboned turkey is its number one ingredient, and that’s followed by other quality ingredients including brown rice, peas, oats, chicken fat, apples, sweet potatoes, and blueberries. This product is manufactured in the United States, contains no wheat or corn, and is also free of soy, artificial colors, artificial flavors, and even artificial preservatives.
Pros: Deboned turkey is its main ingredient
It’s a nutritionally complete formula
Contains no wheat, soy or corn
Ideal for small dogs
Cons: Not suitable for medium or large breed dogs
#2 Eukanuba Senior Dry Food
Eukanuba Senior Dog Food is designed to meet the nutritional needs of older dogs. It does this by adding DHA and antioxidants for brain health, optimal carbohydrate and fat levels to maintain a healthy daily activity level, and 50% more glucosamine for improved joint health. It also has lamb as its main ingredient, which gives dogs muscles the protein they need. And since older dogs love this formula, there’s little risk of them skipping meals, so they can consume all of the nutrients they need every day.
Pros: Lamb is the primary ingredient
Contains 50% more glucosamine than standard dog foods
Has antioxidants for immune health
Promotes healthy brain function in older dogs
Cons: More expensive than some other brands
#1 Hill’s Science Diet Dry Small-Breed Dog Food
This senior dog food is designed to meet the nutritional needs of small breed senior dogs. It does this using Omega-3s sourced from fish oil to promote joint health; a balanced blend of different minerals that help support bladder, kidney and heart health; Omega-6s to promote healthy skin and shiny fur; and a special antioxidant blend that helps to support the dog’s immune system. It’s also an American made dog food that’s made with quality natural ingredients and has a flavor that small dogs love.
Pros: Supports dog’s joint health
Maintains healthy skin & fur
Made using all-natural ingredients
Maintains bladder health
Cons: Made for small breed senior dogs