Senior Dog Foods – What’s the difference?

You may see senior foods on the shelves but think that your pet is far too spritely for a senior food! A senior dog is thought of as being over seven years old, or over five years old in giant breeds – which may surprise you! However, this is the age where our dog’s nutritional requirements may begin to change again from adulthood.

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.

The aim of senior foods is to delay the onset of age-related health issues and prolong quality of life of the pet. Senior foods can be similar to the adult variety, but usually with a lower calorie content to avoid over supplying energy in the food as the metabolism slows. They also have higher fibre contents to aid more the more sluggish senior digestion. To support the ageing joints omega 3 oils, glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM may be added. Joint supports can also be fed separately, which gives a greater control of the quantity fed than in a diet, which can vary greatly in the quantities of joint support which are added.

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

So, 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.


As your pet’s nutritional requirements are changing, don’t be left in the dark. Contact us and our pet nutritionist will be happy to help you individually to navigate these changes.