Do Senior Dogs Need Senior Dog Food?
The decision on what to feed and whether to change to senior dog food should be based on many factors—your veterinarian can help make recommendations based on your dog’s health status, disease risk, and lifestyle.
The goals for feeding a senior dog are twofold:
If your dog has been diagnosed with a condition that’s known to be influenced by nutrition, it may be time for a switch. This is one of the main factors to take into account when deciding if your dog needs a senior food.
When Does a Dog Need to Switch to Senior Dog Food?
Dog life-stage classifications can help you know when your dog is considered a senior. Depending on their breed and size, most dogs are considered to be “mature adults” between 6 and 8 years old. In most cases, a dog older than 8 years will move into the senior category.
While these age classifications can be helpful in guiding food choices, it’s important to remember that animals are individuals. Just because they reach a certain age does not mean they are necessarily old on a physiologic scale.
The aging process differs for each dog, and just like with people, it may look, feel, and affect them all differently. If your senior dog is healthy and maintaining a good weight, a new dog food may not be needed.
Your veterinarian is your best ally in determining when your dog is ready to transition to a senior diet.
Use the Senior Version of Their Current Food
If your canine companion is ready for a senior food, you can start by trying the senior version of what they already eat (same brand, variety, and texture). Many brands offer a senior version of most mature adult foods. This may help avoid digestive upset associated with diet change.
Does my dog need a senior food?
As your dog gets older, his dietary needs will start to change, and you may want to consider switching him to a dog food for senior dogs to meet his unique nutritional requirements. Whether your dog is just starting to enter his golden years or whether he’s been sporting grey hair for a while now, here’s what you need to know about senior dog food: