You may see senior foods on the dog food shelves but think “My dog is far too spritely for a senior food!”.

When is my dog senior?

A dog is generally classed as a senior dog once they reach seven years old. This is the age where our dog’s nutritional requirements are changing from that during adulthood. A dog’s size affects the speed at which they age. Large breed dogs age more quickly than small breeds, so if you have a small dog they may not show signs of becoming senior until closer to ten years of age. 

As dogs reach their senior years, they maybe beginning to show signs of slowing down. Sometimes they aren’t slowing down at all in their activity, but their metabolism is. Which is why they may start carrying more weight than they have before or show other age-related changes like becoming calmer and spending more time resting.

Features of Senior Dog Foods

The aim of senior dog foods is to suit the nutritional requirements of the dog as their nutritional needs change. Having nutrition which suits them can delay the onset of age-related health issues and prolong their quality of life. 

Senior foods are often similar to adult varieties. A key difference is the lower energy content of senior dog foods. This helps to avoid over supplying calories to senior dogs as their metabolism slows down. Often higher fibre contents are a feature of senior dog foods to aid digestion and promote a feeling of fullness. To support joints omega 3 oils, glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM may be added. 

Senior and Light dog foods are often grouped together. This is because the nutritional requirements of a senior pet and those requiring a lighter diet can be similar.

You now know some of the main differences between adult and senior foods. Senior foods can vary greatly in their features, but now you have a starting point for your decision when it is time for your pet to graduate to senior food.


Want to learn more about what diet suits your dog best? Check out our webinar here! It’s recorded so you can get started straight away.