What Is the Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs?

Senior dogs will go through different changes and they may be more prone to some diseases. There are a few "old age" diseases that may occur. The diet of a senior dog may have to be altered. If the dog is healthy, the change may not be major, but if the dog has certain diseases, the diet will be changed. There is no such thing as a "best" food for senior dogs. Each dog may require different nutrients and a diet that may work best in one dog will not be suitable for another.

Seniors Dogs and Amount of Food

A dog after the age of 7 or 8 is regarded as senior. Senior dogs are less active and will require fewer calories, so that they won't become obese. Consequently, the food for senior dogs should contain fewer calories. It is not necessary to switch to a different food that is formulated for senior dogs if your pet is in good health. You may simply reduce the amount of food you give your pet. Your vet can indicate how much you should feed your dog. You may have to cut as much as 50% from the dog's normal portion, depending on how active your pet is.

Dog Food and Health

Take your senior dog to the vet for a general checkup. If he is healthy, you can stick to the same diet as before.

Dry food is only recommended if your dog doesn't have kidney issues. However, the size of the kibble should be smaller, as your dog may have weaker teeth or dental or gum disease, which will make it more difficult to chew on larger sized kibble. If the dog has dental problems, the kibble can be dipped in liquid, soy or tuna sauce.

If the dog has kidney issues, the best food for him should contain fewer proteins (less than 15%) and should be wet. Canned food puts less stress on the kidneys and the digestive system.

A dog with a medical problem such as diabetes or liver problems should get prescription food. The best food will be indicated by the vet, judging by the overall health of the pet.

Nutritional Needs for Senior Dogs

If in good health, senior dogs will have similar nutritional needs as younger dogs, but with fewer fats. The fiber intake may be bigger, as this will help digestion; senior dogs may experience digestion problems more often. Treats that are rich in fibers may be selected.


Senior dogs may require supplements, but these should be decided by the vet. The supplements required will depend on each dog in part, according to the dog's health condition. There may be supplements that will increase appetite, improve functions or make the dog more active. Supplements that support the immune system are beneficial for all dogs, as seniors are more susceptible to diseases.