5 Best Wet Dog Food For Senior Dogs The Easy Choice 2020

KRISTIE LEE

Here’s our Quick vote: Our Number One Choice Of The Best wet dog food for senior dogs 2020! 

A round of applause for Wellness CORE Natural Weight Management Formula!

 As integrated family members, we all want our older dogs to live as long as possible. Nutrition plays an important role in helping them thrive. In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about the special needs of aging dogs and how to choose the best wet dog food for senior dogs.

 Our Quick Top 5 Picks!

1.Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Dog Food- Weight Management Formula OUR RATING 5 stars Click for price on Amazon / Click for price on Chewy

2. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Real Meat Recipe Premium Wet Canned Stew Dog Food OUR RATING 4 3/4 stars Click for price on Amazon / Click for price on Chewy

3.Hill’s Science Diet Canned Wet Dog Food, Adult 7+ for Senior Dogs – OUR RATING 4 1/2 stars Click for price on Amazon / Click for price on Chewy 

4. DOGSWELL Vitality Wet Dog Food with Vitamins & Essential Fatty Acids – OUR RATING 3 1/2 stars Click for price on Amazon / Click for price on Chewy 

5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Senior Wet Dog Food – OUR RATING 3 1/2 stars Click for price on Amazon / Click for price on Chewy

How Old is “Old”

You’ve probably heard the saying that dogs age seven years for every one human year. This is not entirely accurate. It’s much more complex than that. 

A dog’s size and breed largely determine the rate of aging. 

DID YOU KNOW?

“The quality of care a dog has received, and whether or not they’ve suffered from any chronic illness over the course of their life counts towards a rate of aging”. 


senior dog sitting on grass

HEALTH TIP:

You should start switching to a senior diet once your dog passes the threshold for “middle-aged.”

Guidelines for aging

There are a few general rules you can use to guide you in determining at what age your dog would be considered senior. 

  • Very large dogs have the shortest lifespans – 
  • Followed by medium-sized dogs. 
  • Small dogs tend to live the longest. 

A bit too cuddly?

  • Weight plays an important role too! 
  • Obese dogs will age more rapidly and experience symptoms sooner than their slimmer friends. 
  • If you want to get a rough estimate of what your dog’s age in human years would be, you can use the calculator found here.

Aging Happens On the Inside

Aging is the result of a decline in how well your dog’s body systems function. This happens on a cellular level. You won’t notice the changes in your dog until it becomes apparent on the outside.

The Golden Years

Dogs will experience many of the same signs that humans do during their golden years- only at a much faster rate.

Veterinary medicine has lagged behind human medicine in both research and treatment of older patients. Only very recently, within the last decade, has the science of geriatric medicine in pets become more widespread. 

Some of the most common concerns that can be addressed through diet include:

A slower metabolic rate

A slower metabolic rate causes older pets to gain weight more easily. Since they don’t expend as much energy as younger dogs, they don’t need as many calories. 

They also don’t digest food as well. 

“WHAT DOES POOR DIGESTION IN OLDER DOGS MEAN? 

THE BODY IS NOT ABLE TO ASSIMILATE NUTRITION FROM FOOD LIKE IT USED TO”. 

This causes two problems: 

  • It leads to obesity 
  • Dogs may not absorb enough nutrients to support body functions. 
  • Both of these issues contribute to a shortened lifespan and nutritional deficiency.

Move that booty!

Movement becomes much more challenging for senior dogs. Arthritis can develop in virtually any bone or joint, including the spine. This leads to older dogs having more difficulty getting up and down.

HEALTH TIP:

“Supplements that help with arthritic changes include glucosamine, chondroitin, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and omega-3 fatty acids. Green Lipped Mussels have also been shown to reduce joint inflammation”.

Having a Senior Moment?

Old man holding a dog

Mental deterioration occurs in much the same way as it does in humans. They may become confused or disoriented easily, use the bathroom inside your house, sleep a lot more than before and bark for seemingly no reason.

A scratch behind the ears 

Skin conditions become more common at this stage of life. It may be more fragile than before making sores, wounds and bruising more prevalent. 

You also might notice that their skin has an odor to it, they scratch and lick more and develop bald spots. 

HEALTH TIP: 

Additional vitamin C and the omega family of fatty acids support good skin health.

Night Vision Goggles Anyone?

(OK we couldn’t resist putting that link in, sorry… )

Eyesight declines in senior dogs for many reasons. 

  • Almost all older pets will have night blindness and some will have difficulty seeing anything at all, regardless of the lighting conditions. 
  • This is because specialized cells die off inside the retina. This is the part of the eye that transmits information to the brain. 
  • The older a dog gets, the more important it becomes to support eye health through nutrition. 

HEALTH TIP:

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) and antioxidants are two important ingredients for protecting an older dog’s eyesight.

At a gut level

Heart, kidney and liver functioning are a big category to cover in detail and encompass many things. 

Most of what you need to know about how diet affects these organs can be summarized with a few hard rules. 

senior golden labrador

Sodium the Evil Baddie?

  • The first is that high sodium can contribute to problems in all three of these systems. 
  • While some amount of salt is necessary and good, you’ll want to choose a food formulated specifically for older dogs to keep sodium intake balanced
  • You also want to avoid giving dogs salty treats, such as hotdogs and deli meats.

Quality Protein vs Quantity

DID YOU KNOW?

“High protein in senior dogs causes kidneys and liver to work harder. These organs are not as efficient in older pets.  So this can lead to organ overload and failure”. 

Contrary to what you hear advertised, older dogs do not need higher protein than younger dogs. 

They need high quality protein and the distinction is critical. Too little protein may also cause problems. 

HEALTH TIP:

You should never allow your dog to eat cat food, which is protein-dense.

What to Look For In a Wet Food for Senior Dogs

A diet as close to nature as possible!

  • In the wild, dogs consumed raw food. 
  • Studies have shown that staying as close to this principle as possible will prevent- and in some cases even treat- chronic disease in pets.
  • Fewer calories per serving.

HEALTH TIP:

These supplements are vital for brain function & eyesight etc in older pets: antioxidants, vitamin E and C, selenium, flavonoids, omega-3s, and carnitine. 

Wet dog food

  • Wet formulas with higher water content. 
  • It’s not uncommon for older dogs to have a decreased appetite. 
  • Wet dog food encourages them to eat because they like the taste and smell of it more than dry kibble. 
  • The higher water content ensures they are getting some hydration along with every meal. 
  • It is also easier to eat and digest, especially if they have any dental problems.

Formulas specifically for Seniors

  • Formulated specifically for the needs of older dogs.
  • Reputable pet food manufacturers utilize the most up to date nutrition information. They create food that conforms to the unique requirements of this life stage.

Whole foods

Keep in mind that the actual food items used to make the formula matter a great deal. 

How to determine actual quality of food

Bioavailability, the ability of a nutrient to be absorbed from a specific food item, is how quality is determined. 

A first-of-its-kind study published in 2019 demonstrated that foods produced with whole, human-grade ingredients provide the most benefit. 

With these factors in mind, here are five of the best wet dog food for senior dogs!

 FULL REVIEWS

OUR REVIEWS OF THE BEST WET DOG FOOD FOR SENIOR DOGS

Here are the results of our extensive research to help you find the best for your faithful companion!

1.Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Dog Food- Weight Management Formula OUR RATING 5 stars Click for price on Amazon / Click for price on Chewy

 Wellness CORE is a great brand for older dogs that tend to be overweight. It stays close to the ideals of a natural diet. Their product is grain-free, which reduces allergens.

Wellness CORE is packed with antioxidants and essential fatty acids. They also add probiotics to help with digestive health.

Pros:

  • Wellness CORE is grain-free and hypoallergenic
  • This recipe is formulated with high quality protein
  • It is lower calorie to promote good weight management
  • Wellness CORE contains added antioxidants, vitamins, fatty acids and probiotics
  • Ingredients include herbal supplements (chicory, alfalfa, yucca and kelp), for health benefits.

Cons:

  • It may cause diarrhea if it is introduced suddenly, without getting your dog used to it.
  • The consistency and texture can vary between batches. Sometimes it will be thin and other times, more chunky.

2. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Real Meat Recipe Premium Wet Canned Stew Dog Food OUR RATING 4 3/4 stars Click for price on Amazon / Click for price on Chewy

Taste of the Wild is a top pick if you’re looking for an alternative to the traditional chicken, beef and pork found in most dog food. Optional formulas include roasted duck, venison and bison, lamb, wild boar and salmon. 

Although it isn’t specifically labeled for senior dogs, it does meet all of their nutritional needs!

Pros:

  • Taste of the Wild contains nutrient rich, natural, and bioavailable foods
  • It has added yucca to benefit mental function, immunity, arthritis etc
  • Taste of the Wild has added essential fatty acids from flaxseed and fish
  • The different meat varieties are high quality protein alternatives for dogs with allergies
  • Added biotin for coat conditioning

Cons:

  • The label does not indicate the amount of sodium in their formula, which could be a problem for older dogs prone to developing heart problems.
  • It contains potatoes and eggs, both of which can be a problem for dogs with food allergies.
  • While it does contain added vitamin supplements, there’s not as many as similar brands.

3.Hill’s Science Diet Canned Wet Dog Food, Adult 7+ for Senior Dogs – OUR RATING 4 1/2 stars Click for price on Amazon / Click for price on Chewy  

Hills brand has been a veterinary trusted manufacturer for decades. They have an entire department invested in conducting their own research and developing formulations. 

Because of this, you can generally be sure that their food is high quality. The senior diet is no exception.

Pros: 

  • The Hill’s reputation stands behind every can
  • It is a meat based diet, with most formulas having a chicken, lamb or salmon base
  • Hills Science Diet meets every criteria, and to some extent sets the standard for, of senior dog nutritional support
  • It has added fat and ground flaxseed for essential fatty acid support
  • Hills Science Diet is low sodium to prevent heart and kidney problems.

Cons:

  • Hills processes all of their dog food using high heat methods, which destroys some of the naturally occurring nutrients found in whole foods.
  • It contains potato starch, which may not be as beneficial as other types of carbohydrates.
  • It lacks added supplements for joint health and immune support.

4. DOGSWELL Vitality Wet Dog Food with Vitamins & Essential Fatty Acids – OUR RATING 3 1/2 stars Click for price on Amazon / Click for price on Chewy 

Dogswell makes a variety of foods with added supplements. It is a good choice if you don’t want to add additional products to the food. 

It is grain and gluten-free.

Pros:

  • Dogswell is loaded with essential fatty acid and antioxidant support
  • It’s available in chicken, duck or lamb Vitality formula.
  • It contains garlic for added immune support and flavor
  • Dogswell has multiple added protein sources, including egg, salmon and peas
  • The chunky, stew-like texture is appealing to most dogs.

Cons:

  • It lacks joint support. 
  • They do offer a food with added glucosamine for joint health, but it’s not available in the Vitality formula.
  • For some reason, the cans seem to dent more during shipment than other brands.

5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Senior Wet Dog Food – OUR RATING 3 1/2 stars Click for price on Amazon / Click for price on Chewy

Blue Buffalo is the best choice for dogs needing additional joint support. It has added glucosamine and chondroitin. It’s also grain-free and contains all-natural ingredients.

Pros:

  • Blue Buffalohas glucosamine and chondroitin
  • The main protein source is high-quality chicken and turkey
  • It contains flaxseed as a source for omega-3 vitamins
  • Blue Buffalo has limited ingredients- chicken, turkey, peas, potatoes, flaxseed and vitamins
  • There’s no added artificial flavoring or preservatives.

Cons:

  • The formula may be too rich for some dogs, causing an upset stomach.
  • It is calorie dense, which may not be the best choice for overweight dogs.

  So here’s our Winner!

Our Number One Pick of the best wet dog food for senior dogs is…

 Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Dog Food- Weight Management Formula OUR RATING 5 stars Click for price on Amazon / Click for price on Chewy

THE TAIL END…

While all of these brands offer some of the best commercially available products you’ll find, Wellness CORE Weight Management stands out from the crowd. Round of Applause!

So let’s find the best for our old friend! May he Live Long and Prosper.

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