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Does Your Dog Need Senior Dog Food?



As dogs start to age, their needs change, and their food should match these changes. For example, some dogs develop arthritis, decreasing their overall ability to exercise and requiring food with lower calories. Other dogs stay active but lose some of their teeth. As a result, they’ll need something that they can easily eat but still give them the calories they need to do all that running, fetching, and rolling. This causes pet parents to ask themselves, “What is the healthiest dog food for senior dogs? Should I switch dog food?”

There are many different types of senior dog food out on the market, but the best senior dog food has all the vitamins, supplements, and nutrients that allow your pup to play all those games of fetch for many years to come.

Is My Dog A Senior Dog?

What’s the best age to feed your pup senior dog food? Is there one? Unfortunately, there is no set age at which a dog is considered a senior; how quickly your dog ages depends on its size, lifestyle, and genetics. Small dogs are considered seniors around 11 years of age, medium-sized dogs around nine years, and large dogs at about eight years old. Keep in mind that these numbers are estimates, and if a small pup is thriving perfectly fine on adult dog food when it turns 11, there may not be a need to switch to senior food just yet. Some signs of aging in a dog include:

  • Loss of vision and hearing
  • Weight gain
  • Lower energy levels
  • Joint problems
  • Loss of teeth
  • Wrinkles
  • Gray hairs
  • Forgetfulness

What Is The Best Senior Dog Food?

Senior dog food is similar to adult dog food but with minor nutritional changes that better suit a senior dog’s lifestyle. The best senior dog food for your pup depends on its activity levels and lifestyle. Generally speaking, senior dog food has a higher carbohydrate content and lower fat content. These macronutrient changes help older dogs keep the pounds off. Carbohydrates are necessary for the body to function, but lower fat and fewer calories can help a sedentary dog stay at a healthy weight.

Other types of senior dog food contain ingredients that can help support and address health issues in your dog as they come up.

  • Glucosamine: For senior dogs with arthritis and aching joints, glucosamine is a supplement found in some senior dog foods that can help with the pain and help your pup regain mobility. An active senior dog can better maintain its body weight and thus, not aggravate arthritic joints.
  • Chondroitin: Chondroitin is a supplement that also supports joint health. This molecule naturally occurs in joint tissue and makes up a large portion of cartilage.
  • Fish oils and omega fatty acids: Senior dogs tend to get dry skin, and fish oils in their food can help combat flakiness and itchiness.
  • L-carnitine: L-carnitine is an amino acid that helps the body turn fat into carbohydrates that cells use for fuel. This supplement in senior dog food helps your pup lose weight and supports a healthy heart, brain, and other organ functions.

Thrive From The CORE 

CORE Senior is one of the best dry dog foods for senior dogs. It contains supplements, antioxidants, and vitamins to help support your senior dog’s health. Glucosamine and chondroitin help give your dog’s achy joints a boost. Omega fatty acids help maintain skin and fur health so that even with a gray muzzle, your pup still sports a shiny coat. This senior dry food is also fortified with minerals and vitamins for immune support. CORE Senior is packed with the nutrients your senior dog needs to thrive in its golden years. 

Get Complete Health 

For senior dogs that are still bouncing around like puppies, Complete Health Senior provides them with all the nutrition their body needs to thrive. This dry food contains premium proteins and whole grains that support your dog’s immune systema boost and gives them optimal energy. Complete Health also comes with a pate or wet food option, because while your senior dog may have boundless energy, his teeth might not be as sturdy as they once were. 

Go With That Gut Feeling 

Recent research has shown that wellbeing is tied closely with good gut health. The CORE® Digestive Health dry food not only has all the joint-health and immune-boosting supplements a senior dog could want, but each kibble is also coated with probiotics. The prebiotic fibers support your pup’s gut microbiome and the wholesome ingredients make this food easy to digest. 

Switching To Senior Dog Food 

Are you wondering when to switch to senior dog food? Before you do, it’s a good idea to speak to your veterinarian to ensure this change won’t interfere with your dog's current health plan. Sometimes, a vet might suggest a new type of food or change your pup’s feeding schedule. Once you get the green light, here are some tips for making the switch to senior dog food. 

  • Stick to the same brand of food: Switching dog foods can be stressful for your pup, especially a senior. Look for senior versions of your current dog food to make this transition easier on your dog and their digestive system. 
  • Use food with similar ingredients: If your current brand of dog food doesn’t have a senior version, look for brands with similar ingredients and choose the senior option. 
  • Try specialized food: A small-size senior dog would have trouble eating the large kibbles of large-breed dog food. If available, look for breed or size-specific senior foods so your dog can continue chowing down happily. 
  • Make the transition slowly: Sudden changes in diet can cause all sorts of unpleasant GI problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, and flatulence. These symptoms are unpleasant both for dog and pet parents. Instead, add the new food into your pup’s daily dog food a little bit at a time, replacing more of the original food every few days. It might take a week or more to make the transition, but it’s worth it! 

Whether your pup needs senior dog food now or in the future, Wellness Pet Food has the options to make sure that your fur friend stays happy and healthy for many more years to come! 


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