As your dog ages, its mannerisms begin to slow and the way it interacts with you and the world changes. Much like humans, senior dogs become slower and they may need changes to their environment. Apart from the daily amount of physical activity, diet is one of the most drastic things to change.
Dogs are very good at hiding what is wrong with them. A key thing that lets you know that they are experiencing changes from aging is when they avoid their food. Be mindful of your dog’s change in mood and mannerisms so that you are able to help keep them happy and healthy.
- Small Breed Dogs
- Tips When Adjusting Your Senior Dog’s Diet
- 10 Best Senior Dog Foods for Small
- 1. Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food
- 2. Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food
- 3. Holistic Select Senior Health Dog Food
- 4. CANDIDAE All Life Stages Less Active Formula Dry Dog Food
- 5. Age-Defying Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food for Adults 11+ by Hill’s Science Diet
- 6. BLUE Homestyle Recipe Wet Dog Food by Blue Buffalo
- 7. Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Senior Dogs
- 8. Annamaet Grain-Free Re-juvenate
- 9. Proactive Health Senior and Mature Adult Dry Dog Food by IAMS
- 10. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Senior Dog Food, Chicken & Barley
Small Breed Dogs
Small breeds, in particular, have different nutritional needs than larger dogs. Even though dogs don’t need a wide range of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals dogs, they are also not strictly carnivores. For a complete balanced diet, many domestic dogs require grains, fruits, and vegetables. These needs can be met with high-quality dog food.
Small dogs are different in many different ways – their diet is just one of them. Because these dogs are considered small breeds or even teacup sized, they do have a higher metabolic rate than larger dogs. As these dogs grow older, their metabolism slows down and they need something completely different for their diet.
Small breed dogs typically live longer than larger breeds. For a senior small breed dog, allow them to have a diet rich in antioxidants. Having smaller kibble or even wet, canned foods is also beneficial because it allows your dog to chew food easier. As they age, their teeth may begin to decay so making it easier for your dog to eat is super beneficial in the long run.
When it comes to your dog’s nutrition, dog food for senior dogs are often low in fat and high in fiber with a suitable amount of protein. They eat a smaller portion that has everything they need while still offering a feeling of fullness.
Tips When Adjusting Your Senior Dog’s Diet
Get foods that have a lower caloric intake which allows dogs to feel lighter and helps their digestive system. You want your dogs to get the best nutrition possible so consulting with a vet is your best bet. Some things to look for in high-quality dog food are:
- High in antioxidants. Strengthen your dog’s immune system by feeding it foods with a high number of antioxidants that can boost their immune system and also help prevent disease or sickness.
- Digestion. Focus on your dog’s digestion and how they react to the food. Foods too high in fiber can result in low performance and reaction from your dog. This type of food takes longer for your dog to digest. This makes it difficult for them to go on with everyday activities because their bodies have not yet absorbed the necessary nutrients.
- Well-balanced. Ensure that the dog food you choose is well-balanced. Decreased fiber means that there should be more of something else. Remember, dogs need fruits and vegetables, too, because they can’t get all of their nutrients from meat. A lot of dog food for senior dogs is balanced with proteins, fruits, vegetables, and vitamins to strengthen your dog’s body. Do right by your dog to make sure they are getting everything they need in the formula you give them.
10 Best Senior Dog Foods for Small Breeds
Senior dogs often times have difficulty eating foods that are too heavy. Veterinarians are always there to help your dog and tell you what food is best for your pet to keep them healthy. Here are the 10 best senior dog food items for small breeds 2019.
Nutro’s formula contains real chicken as its number one ingredient and is high in protein. Salmon and lamb are also included as well as 15 superfoods, including coconut, blueberries, kale, and chia. This formula is also rich in fiber which allows your dog to get all their nutrients in one small serving. With no added preservatives or colors, you can be sure that Nutro is one of the best options for your little animal friend!
- Rich in antioxidants
- High source of protein from three different types of meat
- 15 superfoods rich in vitamins
Instinct created this particular dog food to focus on raw ingredients. Made with real animal ingredients, this mix also contains a variety of oils, vitamins, and proteins that boost your dog’s diet. It contains real chicken and is an excellent source of protein plus it’s grain-free, allowing for lighter caloric intake. This formula also contains healthy ingredients like chickpeas, salmon meal, and turkey meal. It’s packed with minerals and vitamins that keep your pet going and promote a better and healthy lifestyle.
- High in protein
- Made with 70% real animal ingredients and nutrients
- Made with 30% fruits and vegetables
Holistic’s formula is designed to suit the needs of your dog’s slowing metabolism. It’s a grain-free, well-balanced blend of protein, fiber, and fat. Grain-free animal foods are great because your dog’s metabolic rate slows with age. Grain-free foods are easier to digest and contain lower-carbohydrates. This formula contains enzymes and probiotics that aid in digestion as well as nutrients that boost your dog’s immune system.
- Boosts immune system
- Balance blend of protein, fiber, and fat
- Glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate to support healthy hips and joints
This formula is made specifically for low-activity dogs who are slowing down with age. Inactive dogs often need food that is packed with vitamins to give them the energy boost they need to get through the day. This formula is meant to provide all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and additional sustenance they need to remain healthy. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin to help support hips and joints, making it easier for your furry friend to get around! Plus, it is free of allergens including wheat, corn, and soy which is also beneficial to your aging pup.
- Wide variety of fiber, protein, and fat
- Contains glucosamine and chondroitin to help support hips and joints
- Additional vitamins such as vitamin E and vitamin C
Hill Science’s formula is targeted to small dogs with small-sized kibble that makes chewing easier. It also contains prebiotic fiber for help with healthy digestion which is important for dogs with a lower metabolic rate. This formula uses ingredients filled with vitamins and nutrients that help vital organs such as the kidney, bladder, and heart as well as minerals that help strengthen these organs allowing for better performance. They carefully source minerals and proteins to give your dog a well-balanced blend that suits its needs perfectly.
- Omega-3s from fish oil
- Contains a special blend of antioxidants
- Balanced minerals for heart, kidney, and bladder
Blue’s senior dog food formula is made without wheat to aid your dog’s digestion. Wheat is difficult for your dog to digest, especially with a slower metabolism due to aging. In place of wheat, Blue Buffalo uses a blend of carbohydrates, like brown rice and barley, that gives your dog the energy they need without slowing down their digestion. All ingredients are natural and the proteins come from real meat like chicken, not animal by-products.
- Protein is chicken with no animal by-products
- Natural ingredients
Diamond senior dog food formula made with chicken, egg, and oatmeal provides your dog with digestive support through a variety of natural ingredients. This formula is rich in antioxidants from fruits and vegetables like blueberries, spinach, carrots, and oranges that help strengthen your dog’s immune system. In addition to antioxidants, the formula uses K9 Strain Probiotics, beneficial bacteria that support immune and digestive health allowing your dog to have a healthier lifestyle. For additional digestive support, they include a blend of soluble and insoluble fibers from various seeds which helps with bowel movements and digestion.
- Cage-free Chicken
- Probiotic Technology
This formula is specifically designed for senior dogs to support their muscles and encourage a healthy body weight. Your dog’s body weight becomes increasingly important as they age because if they are overweight, it increases the risk of developing harmful diseases such as pancreatitis. This formula is made with high levels of protein to sustain and create muscle mass and promote lean body mass and structure. The high amount of protein helps your dog during daily exercise and playtime. The formula is also grain-free to prevent any sensitivities your dog may have while also helping with digestion.
- Enriched with probiotics
- High protein levels to support muscles
Iams formula is enriched with antioxidants that help your senior dog develop a strong immune system. This formula is also formulated with L-carnitine to maintain a good metabolism and burn fat. As a senior dog, it can be difficult for your pet to eat multiple times a day but with help from increased metabolism and digestion, it alleviates some of the burdens your dog’s body might have to endure. This formula is also meant to help strengthen your dog’s joints which helps them be more active.
- No added preservatives
- Real Chicken
- Helps with metabolism
Wellness’s formula uses a blend of authentic ingredients to help strengthen your senior dog. This food is meant to provide whole-body nutritional support to create a well-balanced diet. It also strengthens your dog’s entire body where they may be lacking nutrients. Wellness includes various proteins, vitamins, and minerals which help with hip and joint support and weight control. Using high proteins maintains a better metabolism as well as a leaner body weight.
- Hip and joint support
- Whole-body nutritional support
- High protein
I grew up in a household that was filled with animals. I believe that my fate as a dog-loving person was sealed in early childhood since my parents owned several dogs of varying sizes and breeds. There was no choice but to take care of and learn about dog habits and the best animal care practices — otherwise, I’d be clueless about how to go about the creatures I was surrounded by day and night.
As a life-long puppy lover, I know a thing or two about dogs and how to go about caring for them in the best way possible. Although I’m not a professionally trained dog behaviorist, trainer, or veterinarian, all of my knowledge and experience with canines comes from a place of love and a deep-rooted passion for dogs and animals in general.
Seeing as dogs kept me company throughout every stage of my life, I decided to follow a different path in my academic life and obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Marketing Management and Digital Advertising, which ultimately allowed me to combine my professional training and personal experience by creating the ultimate dog lover’s resource website! Along with my husband, Dave, I run MySweetPuppy for like-minded dog lovers who want to have a single, clear, and reliable information source about anything and everything related to dogs and their well-being.