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13 Best Senior Dog Food in 2023 for Each Type & Diet

Table of Contents

Getting older can be ruff, simply put.


It’s just as impactful for our dogs. They experience changes to their body’s systems, general dog health, and ability to get up and get going. They can also encounter age-related conditions and diseases like arthritis.

All of these things are natural, and unless you have access to a fountain of youth we don’t know about, you’ll have to alter your pup’s diet and wellness routine as they age.

A proper diet can help reduce some of the age-specific problems and symptoms your dog can experience.

In this post, we get into the details on the fundamentals of an old dog diet, as well as the differences between senior dog food vs. regular dog food, and finally share our picks for the best dog food for senior dogs.

Senior Dog Diet Explained

It’s important to change and adapt your pup’s diet and wellness routines as they get older, including finding the best senior dog food for their needs.

That’s because senior dogs have unique needs they didn’t have as puppies and young adults.

Specifically, senior dog foods can help address common issues our ageing pups face, including those outlined in the table below.

Common Issues of Senior Dogs


Dental issues

  • Dental issues include bad breath, bleeding and shrinking gums, and loose teeth
  • Can be hard to eat a proper diet when your dog cannot chew


  • Dogs need less energy as they age, so it can be easier to overeat
  • Carrying around extra weight puts them at risk for diseases like arthritis and diabetes


  • Often caused by a high-fat diet and prolonged obesity
  • Can cause a laundry list of symptoms for your dog from incontinence to poor vision


  • Dog arthritis is a degenerative condition that causes pain and reduced movement thanks to inflammation and changes in the joints
  • Supporting the health of joints and cartilage with ingredients like glucosamine for dogs can be helpful in reducing symptoms

Heart Disease

  • Ageing causes valves, especially the mitral valve which keeps the blood moving forwards through the heart, to deteriorate and leak backwards into the left atrium
  • Causes extra strain on your dog's heart and needs to be supported by lifestyle and dietary changes

Kidney Problems

  • As dogs age, their kidneys tend to lose their function
  • A diet low protein, low phosphorus, and not acidified helps kidney disease

But when exactly do you need to start thinking about these issues, and how that can necessitate a dietary change?

A dog who reaches the last 25% of its life (on average) is considered a senior. A general rule of thumb is—small-breed dogs live longer:

  • Small breeds: are considered seniors when they reach the age of 11 to 12
  • Medium breeds: are considered seniors at 10 years of age
  • Large breeds: are considered seniors when they reach the age of 8 to 10
  • Giant breeds: are considered seniors by age 7

Another important note is that dogs deemed ‘geriatric’ have lived longer than the average lifespan for their breed and size.

Once you know your dog is in their senior years or approaching them, it’s time to talk to your vet about what changes need to be made to support them. Your vet will best know how to approach your dog’s needs and spot potential deficiencies.

Senior Dog Feeding Chart

As your dog ages, his feeding schedule will change slightly. The amount of food you’ll need to give your dog as he ages will depend on the food itself plus its activity level, size, weight, and breed. The chart below breaks this down in more detail to help you figure out how much you should be feeding your dog.



Dog food Serving


3-10 lb

⅓ cup - ¾ cup


10-30 lb

¾ cup - 1 ¾ cup


30 - 60 lb

1 ¾ cup - 3 cups


60 - 100 lb

3 cups to 4 ½ cups

Extra Large

100 - 175 lb

4 ½ cups to 6 ¾ cups

But be sure to consult with your pet food directions and your vet so your old boy remains healthy as they can be.

Types of Senior Dog Food

Types of Senior Dog Food

Picky eaters rejoice! Just because your senior pup needs special nutrition doesn’t mean they will be limited in their food choices.

In fact, there are a wide array of senior dog food options for your ageing pup to choose from, including:

  1. Dry kibbles
  2. Wet and semi-moist foods
  3. Dietary supplements and treats
  4. Specialized diets, including the raw food diet

Curious about what they can each do for your dog? Read on to find out!

Dry Food

There is no doubt that dry food is the most affordable type of commercial dog food, and that's why many dog owners choose it for pups young and old. It's also easy to store and doesn't need to be refrigerated.

Chewing crunchy dry kibble can also reduce tartar buildup in your dog's mouth, helping keep their teeth healthy and strong. Be careful, though, as especially geriatric or older senior dogs may have trouble breaking this kibble down due to loose teeth or sensitive spots in their mouth. You can add a little bit of water to their dry food to make it easier to eat and to ensure your pup can safely chew their kibble.

You should read the label carefully before choosing a specific brand of dry food, and choose one that uses high protein and whole foods as its primary ingredients, free from fillers, preservatives, artificial flavouring, and artificial colours.

Here are our picks for the best Canadian natural dog foods.

Canned or Wet Food Canned or Wet Food

With a higher moisture content and with a variety of flavours available, it's no surprise that dogs love the palatability of wet food. And as they age, the soft, easy-to-eat consistency of this food is also easier on their teeth.

Other benefits of using wet senior dog foods include:

  1. Promote weight loss or weight maintenance in obese senior dogs
  2. Easy to digest for sensitive stomachs
  3. Higher moisture content is beneficial for avoiding dehydration
  4. Easy to eat for senior dogs with damaged or missing teeth

Additionally, wet senior dog foods are great as they have a long shelf life and are easy to find in any supermarket. The major caveat of these foods is that they don’t always include the protein your pup needs. You need to ensure, especially in a senior dog diet, that the food you choose provides enough digestible protein. Proteins that can't be digested will pass through your dog's system without becoming absorbable nutrients, rendering the food they consume less than useful.

Specialty Diets

Everything from tummy troubles to arthritis, diabetes, and kidney problems can lead dog owners to pursue a special diet for their little furball.

Non-traditional pet diets, such as the raw dog food diet, have become more mainstream and stem from the rising interest in pet wellness that has exploded in the last decade. Pet parents want to ensure their furry family member isn’t getting a diet packed full of preservatives and artificial flavours and that they can better control their dog’s health.

And while the science is out on the real benefits of these alternatives, many pet parents see success in modifying their senior dogs' diets. Especially when working closely with veterinarians, a specialty or alternative diet may be one way for your senior dog to get the nutrients they need to feel good in their golden years.

The table below outlines a few of the most pup-ular alternative diet options and what they may look like for your senior dog.

Specialty Senior Dog Diet Food


Raw Food Diet

  • A typically homemade (though some store-bought options exist) dog food diet that contains only uncooked meats, fruits, and vegetables
  • Can be customized to the needs of the dog, and help those with allergies and food sensitivities avoid commercial mixes containing wheat
  • Not always a safe option for both humans and dogs due to the higher risk of bacteria exposure and development
  • Can be both expensive and inaccessible to many pet owners due to the rigour of sourcing quality ingredients. Your vet must be consulted before you try this senior dog diet

Vegetarian or Vegan Diet

  • Like in human diets, dog vegan and vegetarian diets do not use animal products to varying degrees
  • Involves homemade or store-bought meals that contain no animal products
  • Minimal research has been done, and vets warn a dog’s digestive tract is not designed for a diet like this

Freeze Dried Foods

  • By removing moisture, freeze-dried dog food has a long shelf life
  • Comes in a number of types and varieties for different dog diets
  • Incorporating freeze-dried food into a dog's diet can be done on its own, in the form of treats or mixed with food
  • Can be convenient and safe way to try a raw food diet for senior dogs

Packaged Fresh Meals (Refrigerated Pet Food)

  • Often contains human-grade ingredients, free from artificial flavours, colours, and preservatives
  • Meat, fruits and vegetables, rice, and eggs are common ingredients in this ready to serve meal format
  • Requires refrigeration
  • Available in subscription formats, in coolers at pet and big-box stores

Keep in mind that these diets have not often been studied by professionals nor recommended by vets, and may not be the best option for every senior dog diet.

Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

At different times in our lives and in our pets’, an extra boost from a nutritional supplement can mean the difference between being healthy or being ill.

Senior dogs often need more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. And as they age, supplements are designed to support these changing needs and can fill in any gaps in nutrition that aren’t being provided in their senior dog food alone.

Commonly added nutrients to a senior dog diet include:

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • MSM
  • Antioxidants
  • DHA
  • Vitamin D
  • Probiotics

The thing is, even senior dog foods that contain some of the nutrients listed above don’t always contain enough of them to be truly valuable to your dog.

That's why many pet parents choose to incorporate a supplement like TRI-ACTA H.A. into their senior dog diet.

TRI-ACTA works to support your senior pup’s joints, bones, and tissues using key ingredients, including two types of glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid. Each ingredient plays an important role in reducing inflammation, repairing and protecting cartilage, and, most importantly to your achy arthritic pup, reducing pain.

A joint supplement like Integricare’s line of TRI-ACTA can mean the difference between a bouncy, happy pup and a slow, sore senior. And with pharmaceutical-grade components that have been third-party lab tested, you know that what you’re putting into your dog’s dinner bowl daily is safe, effective, and therapeutic.

We recommend proactively starting your younger pups with regular strength TRI-ACTA and switching to TRI-ACTA H.A. (which offers them extra mobility boost thanks to hyaluronic acid) as they reach senior status.

TRI-ACTA H.A. for Pets

Our maximum strength formula is optimally designed to accelerate the formation of cartilage, minimize inflammation, expedite the healing process, and improve joint conditions.


Consult your veterinarian if you think your pet may be deficient in any vitamin or nutrient before you start adding supplements to your senior dog diet.

Senior Dog Food vs Regular Dog Food

Like many pet parents, you may be wondering, “Does my furball really need special food as they age? Or can I keep feeding them the same food they have had for years?”

The short answer is no, you don’t have to change anything about what you’re feeding them unless your dog or your vet indicates their food simply isn’t working for them anymore.

Sometimes that is due to dental issues, where your pup can no longer chow down like they used to and are losing weight due to the lack of caloric intake. Other times, your adult dog food is too calorie-rich, creating an obesity problem for your dog.

When these needs need to be addressed, you know it’s time to change your dog’s food.

In the table below, we have gathered the information you need about the differences between senior dog food and regular dog food.

Key Difference in Senior Dog Food


Adjustments in Nutrient Profiles

  • Protein amounts may need to increase for senior dogs as a senior dog's protein stores turn over more rapidly
  • Struggling to keep weight is a common issue in senior dogs, and adding fat to their diet can help. Reducing fat in the diets of overweight seniors is also a consideration
  • Fibre, particularly mixed fibres like psyllium, can be added to help ease common gastrointestinal issues in senior dogs like constipation
  • Giving older dogs less calories is often needed,as they are less active, though those struggling to maintain weight may need more calories instead

More Easily Digestible

  • Dogs may develop difficulty in digestion as they age due to common conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and colitis
  • Other changes in your dog’s digestive system due to age, includingtheir intestines, colon and gut bacteria, may impact digestion
  • Senior dog foods often contain added fats and prebiotics to help remedy these problems

Easier on Teeth

  • Due to loss of teeth, or other dental issues, senior dogs may not be able to chew kibble as effectively
  • Soft foods, such as canned, wet or semi-moist foods, can be easier to chew
  • Other additives to senior dog food are focused on reducing plaque and tartar to stop teeth from falling out or becoming damaged

Addition of Joint Health Supplement

  • All senior dogs are at risk of developing arthritis, though overweight or obese dogs are more likely to develop it as they age.
  • Ingredients like chondroitin and glucosamine have been shown to help reduce the effects of arthritis on senior dogs’ bodies over time
  • Many dog foods contain these ingredients, but a dog joint supplement is the best way to help combat arthritis symptoms

Added Brain Health Ingredients

  • Memory and learning abilities may diminish as dog's age
  • Ingredients like MCTs (a type of fat), antioxidants like beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acid may help improve brain health in senior dogs and are often included in senior dog foods

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

13 Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs (By Type)

Alright, it’s time to get to the meat of this matter — pardon the pun.

There are so many choices out there today for your senior dog diet. You can choose from many different formats, as we mentioned earlier, and many brands out there claim a long list of benefits.

But how do you see past the claims and choose the right one for your special senior?

Not to worry! We’ve compiled a list of the best dog food for senior dogs plus the best mobility supplement for senior dogs you can use as a mix-in for all of the round-up options.

Best Senior Dog Food Topper: Mobility Dog Supplement

Best Senior Dog Food Topper

A 'hip and joint' food or 'mobility' food isn’t enough to keep your dog moving well in their golden years. Most mobility kibble will indicate between 1000 - 1500mg of glucosamine on the nutrition label. However, this is per kg of food. Consequently, you have to feed several kgs of food to have any therapeutic value. Additionally, much of the efficacy of glucosamine is lost in the cooking and processing of the food.

Offering you an easy-to-serve powder format, Integricare’s mobility supplement TRI-ACTA H.A. is perfect for supplementing a senior dog’s diet with 1000 mg of glucosamine per 1 gram of active ingredient.

This formula contains four key joint health ingredients ideal for a senior dog diet:

  1. Glucosamine to repair cartilage in joints
  2. Chondroitin to prevent further cartilage degradation
  3. MSM to relieve joint pain and inflammation
  4. Hyaluronic Acid improves overall mobility as well as the viscosity of synovial fluid

In addition to containing those powerful ingredients, TRI-ACTA H.A. is 100% active ingredients and no filler, so you can rest assured your special senior is getting exactly what they need, and no yucky fillers to irritate sensitive stomachs. Plus, TRI-ACTA is a Health Canada-approved product, containing pharmaceutical-grade ingredients in a small, but therapeutic dosage. That way, your senior is more likely to accept the supplement, get the mobility results to keep them happy, and save you money in the process.

TRI-ACTA H.A. for Pets

Our maximum strength formula is optimally designed to accelerate the formation of cartilage, minimize inflammation, expedite the healing process, and improve joint conditions.


* Priced $27.99 – $79.99 CAD as of June 2023

Best Senior Dry Dog Food

Best Senior Dry Dog Food


First up on our list of best senior dog foods, we’ve got a classic dry kibble option. Hill's Science Diet Senior Vitality Adult Senior 7+ Dry Dog Food is perfect for ageing pups who like to chow down on dry kibble but want the health benefits of senior dog food.

In addition to being easy to digest, this dry food is high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to promote the health of your dog's coat during its senior years. Senior dogs can benefit from improved brain function, improved social interaction with others, and increased energy throughout the day using this combination of ingredients.

Just be careful to ensure your pup can handle the hard kibble and has no dental issues that could get in the way of their dining experience.

* Starts at $29.99 CAD (for 3.5lb bag) as of June 2023

Best Large Breed Senior Dog Food

Best Large Breed


Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Senior Dog is a senior dog food formulated for the health and well-being of ageing dogs, containing natural and wholesome ingredients that are specifically targeted at seniors' nutritional needs.

It’s one of our picks for the best senior dog food thanks to its ingredient list, or should we say what isn’t on the list. It touts an ingredient list that has no artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, corn, wheat, soy, or meat by-product meals. It does also contain glucosamine and chondroitin to maximize the health of joints in large-breed seniors. Reviewers note large breed dogs enjoyed the blend, though some did note digestive challenges and tummy troubles for sensitive seniors.

* Priced $59.99 CAD as of June 2023

Best Senior Dog Food Small Breeds

Best Senior Dog Food Small Breeds


If you’re after the best senior dog food small breeds can eat, Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is a good pick. This particular pet food is designed for small and extra small breeds in particular and makes sure they get all the nutrients they need.

This food is a non-GMO dry food that also contains no chicken by-product, wheat, soy, or corn. The protein it does contain is real chicken, and it includes calcium to help keep senior pups' joints in check. This particular food is aimed at small pups ages 8 and up.

* Priced 28.01$ CAD as of June 2023

Best Senior Wet Dog Food

Best Senior Wet Dog Food


Next up on the list of Best Senior Dog Foods, we have Simply Nourish’s Pate Senior Wet Dog Food. If you’re looking for soft, easy-to-eat senior dog food, then this may be perfect for you!

A great-tasting wet food made with fresh real chicken, this food helps meet your senior dog's nutritional needs by providing a delicious taste that's as nutritious as it is tasty. It features carrots, peas, brown rice flour, barley, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes, among other ingredients, and reviewers say even picky eaters enjoyed this meal.

Be aware that this is a single-serve can and may end up becoming a costly choice for you and your senior pup in the long run.

* Priced $3.49 CAD per can as of June 2023

Best Soft Food For Senior Dogs

Best Soft Food For Senior Dogs


Some senior dogs have trouble chewing hard, crunchy foods. In that case, you can help them out by giving them soft, wet foods. One great soft food for senior dogs is IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Healthy Aging Wet Dog Food Classic Ground with Slow Cooked Chicken and Rice.

This dog food’s main benefit, besides being soft, wet, and easy to chew, is that it contains Omega-3 fatty acids. These acids help promote joint health and keep your aging pup limber. Additionally, this is a lower-calorie food that’s designed with aging dogs in mind.

* Priced $42.61 CAD for a case of 12 cans as of June 2023

Best Diet Dog Food for Seniors


A good diet dog food choice for the best senior dog foods is this weight management kibble from Nutrience. If your senior dog needs to shed a few extra pounds, then this option could be right for you!

The low-fat formula helps limit weight gain in older dogs. It contains the body compound L-Carnitine to aid in fat conversion and help maintain lean muscle mass and a triple fibre blend to increase your pup's satiety. It also offers a specialized digestive aid and is a totally gluten-free formula for pet owners trying to avoid wheat in their senior dogs' diet.

* Priced $31.99 CAD as of June 2023

Best Senior Dog Food For Weight Loss

Best Senior Dog Food For Weight Loss


Managing your aging dog’s weight is an important part of keeping him healthy. One dog food that can help with that is ORIJEN Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. This dog food is lower in calories to help support your dog’s nutritional needs without going overboard.

In terms of the ingredients, this food contains chicken, herring, salmon, and a number of other types of protein. Additionally, the first five ingredients in the food are fresh or raw, making it extra-healthy for your pup. The one downside is that it’s quite expensive, so it can be a bit inconvenient for those on a budget.

* Starts at $31.99CAD for a 4.4lb bag as of June 2023

Best Senior Dog Food For Weight Gain

Best Senior Dog Food For Weight Gain


Just like how some senior pups need to lose a little weight to avoid becoming a fat dog, other senior pups struggle to keep their weight up. If you’ve got one of these dogs on your hands, you might want to consider New Zealand Beef Dog Food by Ziwi.

This is a wet dog food that’s packed with protein and superfoods, like New Zealand Green Mussels to help your dog stop losing weight. It’s also free of GMOs and filler ingredients, making it a healthy pick not just for seniors, but for any life stage.

* Priced $42.49 CAD as of June 2023

Best Food For Senior Dogs With Bad Teeth

Best Food For Senior Dogs With Bad Teeth


Just like humans, as dogs age their teeth can become soft, loose, and make it hard to chew. If you need dog food for senior dogs with bad teeth, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Senior Canned Dog Food is a good pick.

This wet food is ultra-soft, meaning that you won’t have to worry about your dog breaking or losing a tooth as he chews. It’s also a natural dog food, so you can ensure you’re not getting unwanted fillers or additives in your dog’s meal. Finally, it comes in chicken and turkey flavors or in red meat with no chicken flavor.

Whatever your dog enjoys, there’s sure to be one flavor that suits his taste buds!

* Priced $4.99 CAD per can as of June 2023

Best Senior Dog Food Grain Free

Best Senior Dog Food Grain Free


GO! Solutions Carnivore grain-free dog food makes it on our list as the best senior dog food because of its value in terms of real ingredients versus price. The first six ingredients in this food consist of all protein, including fish and poultry, giving you great value for your money and providing high-quality food for your dog. Aside from the protein and containing no grains, this food also has probiotic and prebiotic fibre to promote healthy gut bacteria and aid with digestion.

* Starts at $17.99 CAD for a 3.5lb bag CAD as of June 2023

Best Senior Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach

Best Senior Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach


Finding a good senior dog food for pups with sensitive tummies can be tricky. However, Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Senior fits the bill. This formula is designed specifically for older dogs ages 7 and up, this turkey and potato flavor is sure to keep your dogs happy.

The food contains a number of different ingredients, including turkey and turkey meal, peas, oatmeal, and brown rice. Additionally, it contains key vitamins for your aging dog, such as vitamin B, vitamin D, vitamin A, and more. The one downside to this pet food is that it’s quite pricey, so it may not be accessible to some pet owners.

* Priced $86.99 CAD as of June 2023

Best Senior Dog Food For Allergies

Best Senior Dog Food For Allergies


For senior dogs that struggle with allergies, such as sensitive skin or tummies, Hill's Prescription Diet Z/D Skin Food Sensitivities is a great choice.

This dog food requires vet approval, however, so you’ll need to consult your pet’s veterinarian before you purchase this food.

Hill’s senior allergy blend contains ingredients like chicken liver, cornstarch, soy, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin D. It’s dry dog food and can be purchased in a number of different sizes depending on how much your pup eats.

Just keep in mind that while this dog food definitely does the trick, it’s also quite expensive. If you’re on a budget, this might not be the best choice for your pooch.

* Starts at $117.02.53 CAD for a 3kg bag as of June 2023


We’ve gone over quite a few different types of senior dog food. However, if you’ve still got some questions related to senior dog food and how it works, we’ve got your back. Here are a couple of frequently asked questions about senior dog food and aging pups.

Which Age Should You Switch To Senior Dog Food?

In most cases, you should switch to senior dog food around age seven. However, keep in mind that your dog’s specific breed may require you to switch to senior dog food sooner or later. It’s always best to speak to your vet to determine when to switch to senior dog food.

How Many Meals A Day Should A Senior Dog Have?

Senior dogs don’t need as much food as younger pups since they’re no longer running around and expending as much energy. As a result, two times a day is typically frequently enough to feed a senior pup.

What Do Senior Dogs Need More Of In Their Diet?

Senior dogs need additional nutrients in their diets, including fat, phosphorous, and protein. They also need extra hydration. Finally, they may need additional ingredients such as glucosamine and hyaluronic acid to help support aging joints and help them retain their mobility. Old dog supplements can be a great way to incorporate all these nutrients into your pup’s diet.

Which Meat Is Best For Old Dogs?

Because calorie intake needs to be monitored more in aging dogs, lean meats are the best type of meat for older dogs. This could include lean chicken, heart, eggs, and low-fat options such as curd and cottage cheese.

Is Senior Dog Food Worth It?

Yes, senior dog food is worth it. Regular dog food, while appropriate for younger pups, may not be appropriate for older dogs as it doesn’t contain the same levels and types of nutrients. To help ensure the health of your aging pup and put any dog mobility concerns to rest, senior dog food is the best choice for your pup’s diet.

What Is The Healthiest Dog Food For Senior Dogs?

There are a number of great healthy dog foods for senior dogs, and the healthiest pick will usually depend on your dog’s age, size, breed, and whether he eats wet or dry food. You can also look into raw dog food to incorporate everything your dog needs into his diet. Consult with your vet to choose the best dog food for your senior dog.

Support Your Senior Dog’s Diet Today

Support Your Senior Dog’s Diet Today

You know you want your dog to be as healthy and happy as they can be, for as long as possible. After all, dogs are an important part of the family and deserve to have the comforts and support that make their senior years enjoyable.

And the best comfort and support you can give your ageing pup? Joint supplements like Integricare’s TRI-ACTA for pets. With pure, therapeutic ingredients that you can trust backed by over two decades of experience, Integricare is the best choice for supporting a senior dog diet.

TRI-ACTA H.A. for Pets

Our maximum strength formula is optimally designed to accelerate the formation of cartilage, minimize inflammation, expedite the healing process, and improve joint conditions.


Find out more about our products by checking out our dog resources on our blog, and if those don’t answer your questions, we would be happy to help if you would like to contact us.