The Best Diets For Aging Pets

How To Buy The Best Senior Dog Food, According To Veterinarians |

As they age, dogs’ digestive systems change, not reducing their ability to process essential nutrients. Talk with your vet about specific supplements that might benefit your older pet.

For example, glucosamine and chondroitin are beneficial in maintaining joint health; MCTs promote proper digestion. Your veterinarian can suggest foods that include these ingredients.

High-Quality Meat

Quality pet food will contain high-grade animal proteins and healthy fats to promote muscle strength and well-being.

Carbs are essential energy sources for healthy dogs, but low-quality carbohydrates such as corn and rice are often used as fillers in lower-quality pet foods to lower production costs. Quality diets for aging pets should include whole grains with rich nutrition, like fiber-rich whole grains, and fruits or vegetables for complete balance and balanced nutrition.

As pets age, their activity levels decrease, and calories should be reduced accordingly to prevent unhealthy weight gain. A veterinary-approved senior diet that meets your dog’s nutritional requirements could help alleviate symptoms such as arthritis and hip issues; Core Senior from Open Farm offers such a premium recipe with chicken meal, green-lipped mussels, and omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturates for brain health benefits.


Seniors prone to muscle atrophy due to decreased activity levels or disease need more protein for fueling their bodies and require 20-50% fewer calories than adult dogs due to reduced activity levels, so senior diets for aging pets typically contain 20-50% fewer calories than typical adult maintenance formulas.

Pudge’s older dogs may experience loss of appetite due to illness or disease; to encourage them to eat again, try warming food or adding water or chicken broth as a tempter.

Senior pets require special dietary considerations and should avoid fatty foods. Their portion sizes may also need to decrease. A quality diet typically contains glucosamine and chondroitin to aid joint health and antioxidants to combat inflammation.


Since 2007, grains have received a negative reputation due to the tainted pet food melamine incident, leading many pet owners to choose grain-free diets for their dogs and cats. Unfortunately, senior pets require high-quality carbohydrates for energy; thus making Science Diet Senior Vitality suitable as it contains high animal proteins while limiting fat to help manage body weight while providing carbohydrates from brown rice, oatmeal, and barley sources.

Grain-free diets eliminate pro-inflammatory foods that cause inflammation while strengthening immunity and improving overall health. Raw diets may also be appropriate, as they require less processing than their processed counterparts and can cater to all life stages of pets.

Wet Food

If your senior pet eats less frequently, this could indicate an illness or health problem. Eating less can cause weight loss, dehydration, and nutritional deficiencies; wet food should contain high levels of protein (and thus amino acids) while also being low in fiber.

Additionally, wet food has more palatability and aroma than dry food, helping older pets with a loss of sense of smell and picky eaters to increase appetites and encourage eating habits. Furthermore, they contain more moisture than kibble, protecting pets from dental problems while increasing pet hydration levels.


Decreased muscle mass can result in mobility issues for older pets, so their diet must contain high-quality proteins like chicken, lamb, or fish to preserve muscle mass.

Fiber provides bulk and helps maintain regular digestion, making it an essential addition to senior dog foods. Look for foods containing soluble and insoluble fibers and mixed-fiber ingredients like psyllium for regularity benefits.

Providing your senior pet with canned food may be the easiest and best way to ensure they receive all the required nutrition. Choose foods containing an abundance of nutrient-rich veggies, fruits, and other sources. Also, look for foods that include joint supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin for maximum effectiveness.