Senior Dog Food: An Educational Guide

Senior Dog Food: An Educational Guide

A healthy diet is the best way to expand your dog's lifespan. However, their diet plan changes as they get older. Senior dogs have a different set of nutritional needs that must be taken care of in order for them to live longer.

Our goal in this article is to teach you how to create a healthy senior dog diet. We'll go into detail about the particular foods that should be consumed to keep your older dog healthy. By the end of this article, you'll have enough information to know how to feed your dog the right way.

When Is A Dog A Senior?

"At what age is a dog considered a senior?" is a question that's commonly asked amongst pet owners.

Senior dogs are dogs that are in their last 50% of their expectancy.

The body weight and breed are the main determinants of how fast your dog will age. Larger dogs tend to age faster than smaller dogs. Small dogs become a senior at the age of eight, and larger dogs at the age of six.

Recommended Nutrients For Senior Dogs

Understanding what food your dog eats is a great way to keep it healthy. Senior dogs need to have low calorie diets to prevent obesity. In fact, foods that are rich in fiber serve to improve the gastrointestinal health of your dog.

If your dog remains to eat adult food properly, then there's no reason to change the food just because they are aging. You can continue to feed them the same food as long as their condition and weight remain reasonable.

Senior dog eating

However, change the food if your dog gains weight off of their regular diet. Reducing the amount of food you feed your dog ensures that your dog receives the perfect amount of calories. You'll want to get food that's at least 25% protein and moderate fat to keep your senior dog healthy.

Senior dog diets should have food consisting:

  • Proteins
  • Low Carbs
  • ​Fiber
  • Fats


Senior dogs are brittle pets that are prone to injury. Their bones are weaker, which makes it harder for them to recover as fast as they used to. Giving your dog the right amount of protein helps to rebuild the lost muscle and keep your dog in good shape.

Low Carbs

While carbs are a good source of energy, you don't want to have too much for your senior dog. Elderly dog food should be low in carbs to prevent your pet from passing their daily calorie intake. High-calorie dog food for senior dogs should be avoided because they don't offer any advantage to your dog's health.


Your dog needs the right amount of fiber to digest their food properly. Older dogs have a higher risk of constipation. Fiber fights off constipation by increasing the intestinal transit time.

This slows down the speed that the food moves throughout their digestive tract. Make sure that your dog's diet is filled with fiber to keep them safe from constipation and diarrhea.


It seems misleading, but fats are an essential nutritional requirement for your senior dog. Fats allow the body to perform muscle work, supply energy and helps absorb nutrients within your dog's body. Get at least 5% of fat daily to keep your senior dog in good condition.

Senior retriever dog eating

Remember, senior dogs have different nutritional requirements than the average dog. Senior dog ingredients such as Proteins, Fiber and Low Carbs will keep your dog remaining healthy and full.

Adjust their daily calorie intake if you notice a change in their weight. Doing this increases your dog's lifespan and their overall health.

Why Are There Specialized Foods For Senior Dogs?

Dog food for older dogs is tailored to suit their nutritional needs. You have to understand that older dogs have weaker stomachs. This means that they are more likely to throw up food their body disagrees with.

Elderly dogs need specialized food. Younger dogs require foods that are high in carbs and protein to help them grow. On the other hand, senior dogs need enough food to prevent obesity. Give them enough nutrients to keep them full and healthy.

To get the right food for your senior dog, keep the calories at an acceptable level. You don't want to have an excessive nor a deficiency in calories. Calculate your dog's daily calorie intake to maintain their recommended body weight.

When To Switch To Senior Dog Food

You have to watch for weight changes. Senior dogs are known for their quick weight fluctuations. This means that a high amount of calories is more likely to affect their weight. Switch to senior dog food when your dog starts to show signs of increased weight gain. After that, lower their daily calories to bring their body back in shape.

Switching to senior dog food is easy. You'll want to increase the amount of proteins. Proteins are a good source of energy and allow for your dog's muscles to rebuild. We suggest using foods such as chicken, beef, and pork to keep your senior dog healthy.

Nutritional benefits are another reason to switch to senior dog food. For instance, senior dog food is tailored to be full of proteins and healthy carbs. This gives your dog a sufficient amount of energy to remain playful and rebuild their muscles.

Can Adult Dogs Eat Puppy Food?

On some rare occasions, owners notice their adult dogs eating puppy foods. This is not a good nutritional choice because it is high in carbs. Keep your puppy food separate and away from your adult dog. An excessive amount of puppy food can cause for an adult dog to become sick and lose out on their daily nutrition.

Senior dog playing

Giving adult dogs puppy food is a common mistake that owners make. Senior dry dog food will do a lot better for your dog than puppy food. This food has nutrients that allow your dog to maintain its shape.

Senior dogs are dogs who have reached their full size. Puppy food is for growth. Your adult dog needs food that will keep its body sustained. If you feed it puppy food, you run the risk of overfeeding your dog. Keep your dog food age appropriate so that your adult dog can receive the most benefits.

Senior Dog Food Vs. Regular Food

Regular food is a popular choice among dog owners. This is because it comes with general amount of nutrition. However, this is not the food you'll want to make for your senior dog. Regular food is packed with too many calories that can fatten your dog up.

Senior dog food has fewer calories than regular dog food. Older dogs need just the right amount of calories to keep their weight. While they are more expensive than regular dog food, they are a good investment if you have a senior dog.

What Health Problems Might Affect My Senior Dog's Diet?

If your pet receives medical problems in their senior years, we suggest getting help from a veterinary nutritionist or a veterinarian. Injuries during this age can severely damage your dog's overall health. Pet's that have diseases such as kidney failure, diarrhea, and respiratory issues needs special diets to treat their conditions.

Take care of your dog's diet to prevent these health issues from occurring. When raising a pup, give them food that's high in carbs to allow them to grow. Foods like this help your dog develop properly and are filled with nutrition to prevent long term health injuries.

How Do I Plan My Senior Dog's Diet?

Now that you know the certain aspects of senior dog nutrition, you need to know how to plan your dog's diet. Planning your dog's diet is the best way to ensure they receive the food they need.

"What is a good dog food for older dogs?" is a question that most users ask.

Your dog needs specific meals made for them in order for them to keep a lean body weight, so it's very important to plan your dog's diet.

Senior retriever dog

Here are some foods you should add to your senior dog's diet.


Protein is necessary for the muscle development of your senior dog. Eggs are a natural protein that helps your dogs retain their memory, fur coat, and general health.

We recommend giving one egg if you have a smaller dog. For larger dogs, feed your dog at least two eggs a day.


Fish consists of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are used to improve the immune system, stop inflammation, and gives your pet a healthier coat. Adding fish to your pet's diet will improve their outer appearance and remain in good condition.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are necessary in a senior dog's diet. They contain antioxidants and Vitamin C that enhances and improves your pet's joints, immune system, and skin. It's filled with carbs, so use it to give your pet an extra jolt of energy.


For breakfast, try giving your dog a bowl of oatmeal. Oatmeal is filled with antioxidants which help protect their bodies from diseases. In addition, it comes with fibers that help your dog digest their food more smoothly. Get oatmeal if you want to have a pet with a healthy internal system.

Big Dog Eats Off The Floor


Berries is a good soft dog food for older dogs. For instance, it comes with fiber. Fiber makes it easier for your dog to maintain their weight and lowers their cholesterol levels. Berries such as raspberries and blueberries have antioxidants that are proven to reduce the rate of cancer.


Greens such as broccoli, brussell sprouts, and cabbage are good at regenerating your pet's skin. They are filled with Vitamin B1, Magnesium, and Iron. Mix a few vegetables with your senior dog's daily diet to achieve the nutritional benefits.

Vegetables work to enhance your dog's skin and keep their coat looking young and vibrant.

Other Tips

There are other important things to keep in mind as well...

Speak To Your Vet

Talking to your vet is a great way to improve your senior dog's lifespan. Your vet can direct you to a veterinary nutritionist who can help you create a well-balanced senior dog diet.

Frequent visits to the veterinarian improve the chance of preventing viruses and diseases from harming your senior dog in the long term.

Additional Nutrients

There are certain nutrients such as Vitamin E, omega-6 fatty acid, and beta-carotene that are good for your senior dog's skin. Incorporate a few of these extra nutrients to see positive results in their overall health.

These nutrients work to improve your dog's overall mental acuity and physical capability.

Senior dog with his owner

Give Your Dog Fruits & Vegetables

Every dog benefits from eating a small amount of fruits and vegetables. We suggest adding at least 2-3 fruits and vegetables a day to maximize your senior dog's health.


To conclude, it's important to know everything about your senior dog's health. Knowing this gives you the proper information needed to fix your dog's diet. Understand that you'll need a lower calorie diet to keep your dog's weight and maintain a healthy standing.

In the future, expect to see more innovations in the pet industry. Senior dog food will be made in higher quality. This makes it easier for older dogs to receive the nutrients they need. Ultimately, senior dog food is a healthy investment that is guaranteed to extend your dog's lifespan and enhance their overall mental judgement.

Have a specialized diet plan for your senior dog?

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