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Best Food For Senior Dogs

As your dog ages, their dietary requirements change. If you're pondering their optimal food, rely on our vets in Pittsboro. They'll provide insights into the most suitable nutrition for geriatric dogs, elucidating the advantages of each food type.

When is My Dog Considered a Senior & What Food Should They Eat?

This question lacks a universal answer, as the lifespan of a dog is contingent on its size and breed. Small dogs typically live longer, reaching 15-20 years, whereas larger dogs have a 12-15 years lifespan. Larger dogs age more rapidly, being perceived as "older" by age 6, whereas smaller dogs are considered middle-aged at around 8.

Are There Any Nutritional Concerns To Consider For Senior Dog Food?

To discover the optimal dog food for senior dogs, consider two key factors. First, ensure the food contains fewer calories to prevent weight gain, as a dog's metabolism slows with age. Second, prioritize a diet with high-fiber options to avoid constipation and other gastrointestinal issues. The ideal dog food for senior dogs keeps them healthy and regular with ample fiber.

Will my Senior Pet Be Healthier if I Change Their Food?

Senior dogs with diabetes, kidney failure, or liver disease require special diets to manage their conditions. To ensure your dog's well-being, consult a vet if you're concerned about their diet. Opt for low-calorie senior dog foods with low sodium content for dogs with heart disease or those at risk. If your dog has diabetes or pre-diabetes, choose food that slows down food absorption.

This diabetic diet is exceptionally low in fat and rich in fiber, which is crucial for preventing health complications. Discuss dietary recommendations for your senior or diabetic dog with your vet. Some senior dog food brands feature higher-quality protein sources, aiding older dogs in maintaining a healthy weight without straining their kidneys. Combat constipation in older dogs with the high fiber content found in the best dog food for seniors, promoting regular bowel movements. 

Should I Be Concerned if My Senior Dog Does Not Eat Their Food?

Older dogs commonly eat less. If your senior dog abruptly loses appetite, consult your vet immediately to eliminate severe potential health issues such as dental disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or cancer. If your dog is healthy but bored with their food, enhance their dry kibble by adding chicken broth, water, or canned food. Alternatively, prepare a straightforward meal of cooked chicken and barley or cooked lamb and rice. These meals are both nutritious and gentle on the stomach if your older dog feels unwell.

Is a Prescription Diet Best for My Senior Dog?

It all depends on your dog's specific situation. Sometimes, a prescription dog food may be the best choice for your senior dog. Other times, just changing to a healthy alternative could be enough.

Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs

Our team at Hope Crossing Animal Hospital made a list of the top dog food brands for senior dogs that you can buy from our online store and pharmacy. It's always best to ask your vet which senior dog food is ideal for your furry friend.

Hill's® Science Diet® Dog Senior 11+ Adult Small Paws™

Hill's® Science Diet® Dog Senior 11+ Adult Small Paws™ Dry dog food provides precisely balanced, easy-to-digest nutrition tailored to older small & toy breed dogs. 

It is recommended for senior dogs 11+ years of age. This diet contains 4.6 cups of food per pound.

Active Ingredients

Chicken Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brown Rice, Soybean Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Corn Gluten Meal, Fish Oil, Lactic Acid, Flaxseed, Pork Liver Flavor, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Calcium Carbonate, Iodized Salt, L-Lysine, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Oat Fiber, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, L-Carnitine, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas.

Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets Dog DH Dental Health Diet Dry

Contains a patented kibble texture, with added antioxidants plus a natural source of glucosamine. Perfect nutrition for adult and senior dogs. Awarded the VOHC ® Seal of Acceptance

Purina Veterinary Diets® DH® Dental Health Canine Formula and DH® Small Bites Canine Formula have been formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition for adult and senior dogs while providing the following characteristics: Optimal kibble size, Patented kibble texture, Added antioxidants A and E, Natural source of glucosamine, Moderate calories, Exceptional palatability, and Perfect solution for everyday feeding of adult and senior dogs.

Active Ingredients

Standard: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Ground Yellow Corn, Ground Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Dried Beet Pulp, Brewers Dried Yeast, Powdered Cellulose, Dried Egg Product, Animal Liver Flavor, Glycerin, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Phosphoric Acid, Tetra Sodium Pyrophosphate, Mono and Dicalcium Phosphate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Potassium Sorbate (a Preservative), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Copper Sulfate, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Garlic Oil, Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7), Sodium Selenite.

Small Bites: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Ground Yellow Corn, Ground Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Dried Beet Pulp, Powdered Cellulose, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Egg Product, Animal Liver Flavor, Glycerin, Salt, Potassium Chloride, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Calcium Carbonate, Tetra Sodium Pyrophosphate, Phosphoric Acid, Vitamin E Supplement, Mono and Dicalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Manganese Sulfate, Niacin, (Vitamin B-3), Potassium Sorbate (a Preservative), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Copper Sulfate, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Garlic Oil, Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Calcium Iodate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin Vitamin B-7), Sodium Selenite.
 

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition MEDIUM Aging 10+ Dry

Medium-sized dogs are famous for their seemingly endless energy, but as they grow into their senior years, they've probably slowed down a bit, and so have their body. With age comes the probability of a dulling coat and a decrease in energy—sometimes even in appetite. But with a right-sized diet tailor-made for the nutritional needs of senior dogs, your dog can thrive. This Royal Canin Medium Aging Adult 10+ senior dry dog food is made to support your older dog's vitality. An exclusive blend of antioxidants supports healthy aging and overall cellular health. And because older medium-breed dogs may put stress on their bones and joints as they age, key nutrients are included to help keep them playing. Omega-3 fatty acids promote your dog's skin and coat health to help maintain their youthful shine. A specially designed rehydratable kibble is adapted for a senior medium breed dog's jaw, with a highly palatable formula for a meal they'll love. Add Royal Canin Mature 8+ wet dog food to their bowl for variety in texture.

Royal Canin Medium Aging 10+ dry dog food is precise nutrition specifically made for senior medium-sized dogs 10 years and older weighing 23–55 lbs. Supports healthy aging with an exclusive blend of antioxidants for overall vitality. It helps support bones and joint health in medium-breed dogs. Nourishes with Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA for healthy skin and coat. Easy to eat, rehydratable kibble is explicitly designed for senior medium-sized dogs' jaws.

Size Health Nutrition Medium Aging 10+ is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.

Active Ingredients

Brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, wheat, chicken fat, natural flavors, dried plain beet pulp, brown rice, corn, wheat gluten, fish oil, dried tomato pomace, vegetable oil, psyllium seed husk, potassium chloride, salt, calcium carbonate, fructooligosaccharides, vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), niacin supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), D-calcium pantothenate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], hydrolyzed yeast, choline chloride, L-tryptophan, glucosamine hydrochloride, taurine, trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, manganese proteinate, ferrous sulfate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate], magnesium oxide, GLA safflower oil, marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), green tea extract, L-carnitine, L-tyrosine, chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid. Crude Protein (min.) 24.0%, Crude Fat (min.) 12.0%, Crude Fiber (max.) 3.6%, Moisture (max.) 10.0%, Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) (min.) 0.17%, Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) (min.) 0.07%, Glucosamine* (min.) 371 mg/kg, Chondroitin sulfate* (min.) 4 mg/kg. *Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. This diet contains 3668 kilocalories of metabolizable energy (ME) per kilogram or 290 kilocalories of ME per cup on an as-fed basis (calculated).

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition LARGE Adult 8+ Dry for Dogs

 Large breed dogs are treasured for being hard-working animals and loyal family companions. But as they age, their nutritional needs change. Their large bodies can benefit from an age- and size-specific diet that can help keep them happy and healthy. Royal Canin Large Aging 8+ dry dog food (formerly Maxi Aging 8+) is tailored to support your big senior dog's vitality. An exclusive complex of antioxidants supports cellular health to help reduce the signs of aging. Precise nutrients keep large bones and joints healthy and strong to help your dog stay active. And high-quality proteins and a balance of fibers help your dog digest food easily for digestive health. This highly palatable kibble is rehydratable: Mix in warm water for an easy-to-chew meal your dog will love to eat. Add some variety to their bowl with Royal Canin Mature 8+ wet dog food.

Royal Canin Large Aging 8+ dry dog food (formerly Maxi Aging 8+) is precise nutrition specifically made for large dogs 8 years and older weighing 56–100 lbs. Supports long-life vitality with an exclusive blend of antioxidants made for healthy aging. Helps support bones and joint health in senior large-breed dogs. Promotes healthy digestion with easy-to-digest proteins and a balanced supply of fiber. Large-sized rehydratable kibble is easy to chew and ideal for senior dogs' jaws.

Size Health Nutrition Large Aging 8+ is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.

Active Ingredients

Chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, wheat, corn gluten meal, chicken fat, corn, brown rice, natural flavors, dried plain beet pulp, wheat gluten, fish oil, pea fiber, dried tomato pomace, vegetable oil, sodium silico aluminate, potassium chloride, psyllium seed husk, calcium carbonate, salt, fructooligosaccharides, vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), niacin supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), D-calcium pantothenate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], choline chloride, L-tryptophan, glucosamine hydrochloride, taurine, trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, manganese proteinate, ferrous sulfate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate], GLA safflower oil, marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), green tea extract, L-carnitine, chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid. Crude Protein (min.) 25.0%, Crude Fat (min.) 15.0%, Crude Fiber (max.) 4.3%, Moisture (max.) 10.0%, Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) (min.) 0.17%, Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) (min.) 0.07%, Glucosamine* (min.) 743 mg/kg, Chondroitin sulfate* (min.) 7 mg/kg. *Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. This diet contains 3762 kilocalories of metabolizable energy (ME) per kilogram or 308 kilocalories of ME per cup on an as-fed basis (calculated).

Hill's® Science Diet® Dog Mature Adult Canned

Hill's Science Diet Mature Adult, canned dog food has all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and calories your senior dog needs to help him stay fit and healthy throughout his senior years. Made in the USA with global ingredients you can trust, these foods also use clinically proven antioxidants for a healthy immune system. Open up a can and serve either one of these mouthwatering entrées as a balanced meal or try dry dog food on top of Science Diet.

Active Ingredients

Beef & Barley: Water, Beef, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Corn, Pork Liver, Corn Gluten Meal, Dried Whey, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), L-Lysine, Iron Oxide color, minerals (Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate), Taurine, Beta-Carotene.

Chicken & Barley and Small Paws Chicken & Barley: Water, Chicken, Pork Liver, Whole Grain Corn, Cracked Pearled Barley, Beef By-Products, Soybean Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dried Whey, Soybean Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid), Iron Oxide color, Potassium Chloride, minerals (Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate), Magnesium Oxide, Beta-Carotene.

Turkey & Barley: Water, Turkey, Whole Grain Corn, Cracked Pearled Barley, Pork Liver, Soybean Oil, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Liver Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Iodized Salt, minerals (Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate), Taurine, Beta-Carotene.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your aging dog or cat in need of a new diet? Contact our veterinarians at Hope Crossing Animal Hospital in Pittsboro today to schedule a consultation and ensure your senior pet receives the essential nutrients they require.

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