We all know that our pets have a shorter lifespan than humans do, so their transition from puppy to adult goes by rather quickly. Their needs and demands throughout their life change just as fast. Of course we want to do right by them, so what do we do as they age and we want to keep them in the best of health? A proper senior dog food is a key component to keeping your dog healthy in their golden years. Let’s take a look at canine health and how the right dog food can help.
Keep Up with Vet Visits
Not unlike people, and especially as they age, dogs are prone to all sorts of issues. Everything from digestive problems and arthritis to more serious illnesses can afflict your dog. It’s important to communicate with your vet on a regular basis to come up with solutions to any problems your pet might face. Whether they need to be on a special diet or given medication, it’s our job to take care of our furry best friend.
Arthritis? Dogs Get It, Too
A common condition ageing canines suffer from is arthritis. In fact, research shows that over 60% of dogs will develop the disease by the time they reach age seven. That’s a lot of dogs!
If your dog is overweight, the chances of developing arthritis increases. The extra pounds puts a strain on their skeletal frame, that includes his joints and ligaments. If your dog has a predisposition to the disease, perhaps due to the type of breed he is, being overweight will double their risk and the severity of the disease later on.
Another issue some pets face is lack of exercise. It’s easy for younger dogs to get plenty of time outside to run since they possess a ton of energy and playfulness, but older dogs might be lacking in that department. His bones and muscles might not be as strong as they used to be, which can potentially lead to injuries and weight gain.
If you suspect your pup might be suffering from Osteoarthritis, look out for these symptoms:
- Decreased interest in walking/running
- Difficulty getting up or down from furniture
- Struggles to get up
There’s hope for preventing this disease, believe it or not! However, one method that would work for one dog might not necessarily work for another; while there isn’t a 100% foolproof way of eliminating their risk, there are certain things you can do to help them decrease their chances of developing arthritis.
- Provide your dog with a healthy, nutritious diet and avoid feeding them human food and unhealthy snacks.
- Be mindful of his weight
- Make sure he gets plenty of exercise
- If he suffers from an injury, get him the vet right away to prevent any further issues
Not All Food Is Created Equal
As dogs age, their nutritional needs change, as does the type of food they need. What once worked for them as a growing puppy is no longer ideal for them. A dog’s diet should consist of well-balanced meals that are moderate in fat and protein but high in fiber.
To prevent any stomach problems, gradually switch your dog from their current food to a food that is more suitable for them. It can take a week up to 10 days for your dog’s body to become accustomed to the new food, but speak with your veterinarian about his dietary needs.
Some of the best senior dog food on the market helps combat many ailments such as constipation, weight gain, and proper digestion. Most food manufactured for senior dogs are packed full of vitamins they need now that their body has changed and are made to assist with a number of health problems related to their kidneys, liver and the heart.
With the right type of food, you’ll not only help prevent your pet from gaining weight, you’ll also decrease the stress other food that are high in fat place on their organs.
What Food Is Best for Older Dogs?
A dog’s diet is a key factor that assures a long life and well-being. It might seem overwhelming to think about all the brands of food out there and how exactly you’re going to choose the right one for your dog. If they suffer from medical problems, the choice might be even more difficult.
Things to consider when deciding what food is best is weigh the pros and cons, take your vet’s recommendations to heart, and balance between wet and dry food. If your dog does have any ailments, use that information when taking a trip to the store. What ingredients are going to cause problems for him? Which ingredients will he ultimately benefit from?
The type of food you’ll feed your dog depends on what issues he’s having, his age, and what type of breed he is, but there are plenty out there that will appeal to all dog owners.
Here are 10 of the best senior dog food brands that any older dog will be sure to benefit from:
1. Wellness Complete Health Senior Dog Food
- ENJOY A LIFETIME OF WELLBEING: High quality proteins and wholesome grains are expertly balanced to...
- OPTIMAL ENERGY AND HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEMS: Antioxidant rich ingredients support strong immune systems,...
- WHOLE BODY HEALTH: Supported by omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics and taurine for...
Wellness is a good choice to ensure balanced nutrition for older dogs. Not only will it improve your dog’s physical fitness, but the taste will please even the most finicky dog.
Formulated with a healthy, natural recipe that includes ingredients like chicken, brown price, oatmeal and veggies, it provides adequate nutrition for senior dogs. Wellness Senior Dog Food contains glucosamine and calcium that dogs who are suffering from joint damage or arthritis will surely benefit from. It also promotes a healthy body weight and enhances nutritional absorption.
- Contains all-natural ingredients
- Helps control healthy body weight
- Provides balanced levels of glucosamine and calcium to strengthen bones
- No artificial flavors or preservatives
- No wheat, corn or soy
- Certain side-effects such as itching and diarrhea might affect some dogs
2. Hill’s Science Diet 7+
- This dry dog food provides easy-to-digest ingredients to support the energy & activity levels in adult...
- Uses a balanced set of minerals to promote a strong heart and kidney health
- This dry dog food provides omega-6s & vitamin E for healthy skin & coat
When a dog ages, they are likely to become lethargic. Choosing the wrong food might cause this and other conditions to become worse over time, but Hill’s Science is specially prepared for dogs who are more than seven years old. It will improve their energy and their overall quality of life.
Formulated with all-natural ingredients, vitamins and minerals, your dog will get total and complete nourishment. It provides canines with a healthy immune system and maintains a diet for kidney function and renal conditions.
- It works great for dogs older than seven
- Contains all-natural, nutritious ingredients
- Easily digested for dogs with stomach issues
- Complete nourishment for senior dogs
- Some dogs might suffer from bad breath after eating this food
3. Eukanuba Senior Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
- Eukanuba Senior Lamb 1st Ingredient dry dog food is complete and balanced nutrition for small and medium...
- Helps keep joints mobile and supports lean muscles in active seniors with chondroitin sulfate and 50%...
- Supports healthy brain function in senior dogs with DHA and antioxidants
This food was developed with concept that dogs are true carnivores, so their diet should match that of a dog out in the wild. The main source of protein that Eukanuba uses is animal protein and caters to those with special dietary needs and food sensitivities.
- Helps keep joints mobile and supports lean muscles
- Supports healthy brain function in senior dogs
- Maintains a dog’s natural defenses
- Has optimal levels of fats and carbohydrates
- Contains some additives
4. Diamond Naturals Senior Dog Food
This formula is rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and supports your dog’s healthy skin and coat. Probiotics have been added to support easy digestion in senior dogs and is also free of potential allergens such as corn and wheat.
Carefully selected fruits and vegetables combined with protein addresses all aspects of your older pet’s health. This includes minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that will boost your dog’s immune system and metabolism.
- Made with real chicken for lean nutrition
- Contains vitamins and powerful antioxidants
- Rich in nutrients and easily digestible
- Contains no corn, wheat or other fillers
- Contains rice bran
- Included Components: Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Trout & Sweet Potato Recipe 11Lb
Your senior dog will appreciate the superior nutrition that keeps them feeling fit and healthy. It contains all the benefits of animal meal and is grain free. The senior formula includes glucosamine and chondroitin to support hip and joint health and helps boost metabolism for dogs that aren’t as active as they once were.
- Low in carbs
- Grain free
- 82% protein from animal sources like trout and turkey
- Contains amino acids
- Powered by a probiotic strain that suppers gastrointestinal health
- Not as available to dog owners as other leading brands
6. Blue Buffalo Senior dog food
- REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as the first ingredient; High-quality...
- FOR SENIOR DOGS: BLUE Life Protection Formula senior dog food contains glucosamine and chondroitin to...
- ANTIOXIDANT-RICH LIFESOURCE BITS: A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully...
Blue Buffalo ensures the best health and overall well being of your older dog. It’s made with real meat, vegetables and fruit that any dog will be happy to chow down on. It’s chock full of proteins and grains for proper digestion. Free from any artificial preservatives, this food is both nutritious and delicious and is recommended by veterinarians.
- Formulated with all-natural ingredients
- Easy to digest for senior dogs
- No wheat, corn or soy
- No artificial preservatives or flavors
- Be mindful if your dog suffers from allergies
7. Instinct by Nature’s Variety Raw Boost
- GRAIN FREE SENIOR DOG FOOD WITH FREEZE DRIED RAW CAGE FREE CHICKEN: Instinct Raw Boost dry dog food...
- SENIOR DOG FOOD PLUS FREEZE DRIED RAW PIECES: Made with natural DHA for brain and eye health, plus...
- THE FIRST RAW BOOSTED SENIOR KIBBLE: Raw Boost mixes natural, high protein, grain free dog food with our...
Nature Variety is made with real chicken and vegetables, along with probiotics, natural omegas and antioxidants. Well-balanced and high in the proteins your dog needs, it’s a great choice to keep them healthy. Like other natural brands, it’s free of any preservatives and other fillers.
- Contains a minimum of 15% protein
- Made from raw ingredients
- Comprised of 95% animal ingredients
- Does not contain vitamin premixes
• Might come with a minimal amount of “raw bites”
We all want our pets to stick around for as long as possible and as you’ve probably guessed by now, a dog’s diet is one of the key factors that can assure us that our dog has a healthy and happy life. When you find the right dog food, you might notice the benefits almost immediately. Your dog might have more energy, maybe he’ll be sporting a shinier coat. He might even start running around or become the playful dog he once was during his puppy days. Not only will he be happy, you will be too, knowing you’ve done all you can to give him the best life possible!