Aging is an inevitable part of life for our beloved dogs, even though most of us wish they could stay young forever. As dogs get older and more senior, their bodies change — and so do their dietary needs and preferences.
Their energy levels drop, health problems like dental and digestion issues pop up, and their interest in dry food and water goes down.
One of the key pillars to a healthy, happy life for aging dogs is a nutritionally complete and balanced senior wet dog food.
It’s so important to make sure you choose the best wet dog food for a senior dog. It’s even more important if your senior dog has a sensitive stomach, arthritis, no teeth, kidney problems, or needs to gain weight.
Best wet dog foods for senior dogs
To help you make an informed choice, I’ve compiled mty top picks of the best wet dog foods for seniors on the market today. As a rule, always consult your vet before putting your dog on any senior-specific diet.
1. Best wet dog food for senior dogs overall
Your senior dog’s wet food must be specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of elderly dogs. It should contain all the essential vitamins and minerals that support healthy aging.
We recommend: Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior Chicken Dinner
This wet dog food contains a high-quality digestible protein as the top ingredient — chicken. The protein content will help your dog maintain muscle mass throughout their senior years. Dogs tend to lose muscle mass as they age.
It has a low-calorie formulation, which is a great thing since senior dogs are less active and can gain weight if they eat foods with high-calorie content. This food’s perfect balance of proteins and fats makes it ideal for aging dogs.
Blue Buffalo’s wet dog food also contains a delicious blend of nutritious veggies like carrots, fiber-rich wholesome grains such as brown rice, antioxidant-rich fruits like blueberries, and enhanced with essential minerals and vitamins.
This powerful combination will improve your senior dog’s digestion, add a youthful shine to their coat, and boost their heart health and immune system.
The food is packed with glucosamine and chondroitin supplements to help your aging dog maintain healthy bones and joints. It lacks artificial additives for the sake of senior dogs’ sensitive stomachs.
2. Best wet dog food for senior dog who are fussy eaters
It’s common for senior dogs to get finicky during meal times, especially if the food in question is dry food. One good reason for this is that their sense of smell and taste declines as they age.
A high-quality senior wet dog food with flavorful ingredients and a savory aroma will rekindle your senior dog’s interest in food while providing them with the nutrients they need to stay healthy in their golden years.
We recommend: Nutro Ultra Senior Grain-Free Soft Wet Dog Food
This grain-free wet dog food features the perfect pairing of lamb, chicken, and fish to stimulate the appetite of the pickiest eaters.
Besides the rich meaty flavors served in gravy, this food also contains real pieces of veggies and fruits like dried apples and dried carrots to make it more appetizing.
It’s loaded with essential minerals and vitamins to ensure your senior dog gets maximum nutritional value from this mouthwatering meal.
In addition, this wet food doesn’t have any artificial flavors, preservatives, or allergy-triggering ingredients like soy or wheat, so it’s great for fussy senior dogs with food sensitivities.
3. Best wet dog food for a senior dog that needs to gain weight
Senior dogs are more prone to adding weight because of their slowed metabolism and less activity. But it’s not unusual for some to experience the opposite — losing weight.
If your aging dog is underweight, a high-quality wet food that’s higher in protein will help them pack on pounds the healthy way.
We recommend: Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Senior Wet Dog Food
This wet dog food is ideal for underweight seniors as it’s specially formulated to support lean muscle development in aging dogs.
It contains a healthy amount of fats and a more generous amount of protein derived from real turkey and chicken to promote healthy weight gain.
This chicken and turkey recipe is also enriched with veggies and fruits loaded with essential nutrients and antioxidants to ensure your senior dog’s nutritional needs are met even as they gain some pounds.
It’s important to involve your vet before making any diet changes to help bulk up your aging dog.
Weight loss in older dogs can be due to several reasons, including medical issues. If there’s an underlying health problem behind your aging dog’s weight loss, putting them on a weight gain-friendly senior diet may not yield results if the health issue isn’t addressed.
4. Best wet dog food for a senior dog with a sensitive stomach
Most dogs develop sensitive stomachs when they reach their senior years. This happens because of the natural age-related body changes that occur when dogs get older.
For instance, the muscles in their digestive tract tire more quickly, so food breakdown may not always be a smooth process.
Old age interferes with many bodily functions in dogs, including digestion. Your senior dog’s digestive system won’t digest foods as efficiently as it did when your dog was much younger.
Because of these digestive system changes, upset stomach issues are often common in aging dogs. If your senior dog is down with a stomachache, there are certain home-cooked foods that will help settle the discomfort.
We recommend: A bland diet.
A bland diet will help calm your senior dog’s irritated tummy and give it a chance to heal. This diet is a temporary fix — it’s only meant to replace your senior dog’s regular diet temporarily until they start to get better.
A bland diet consists of foods such as:
- Plain bone broth
- Plain white rice boiled to a mushy consistency
- Plain pureed pumpkin
- Mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes
- Mashed bananas
- Boiled shredded chicken breast (with no skin) combined with overcooked rice
- Overcooked oatmeal
- Boiled plain ground beef
These bland foods are great for upset stomachs because they are low in fat and won’t irritate your senior dog’s already distressed stomach.
Some, like plain pureed pumpkin, contain fiber to help restore your dog’s bowel movement to normal (if they have diarrhea alongside stomach discomfort).
Also, the mushy consistency of these foods makes them highly digestible and easy for your aging dog to chew and swallow.
These foods also provide your senior dog with a much-needed nutritional boost. You shouldn’t add any salt, butter, or seasoning to these bland foods — they should be plain.
5. Best wet dog food for a senior dog with allergies
A senior dog suffering from allergies will do well with wet dog food that has a few ingredients and contains no grains.
By settling for a grain-free wet dog food containing a low number of ingredients, you’ll avoid exposing your senior dog to common allergy triggers.
This limited-ingredient wet food is specially formulated for allergy-prone senior dogs. It’s made of a single protein source (turkey) and therefore lacks proteins such as beef or chicken, which are often considered potential triggers of allergic reactions.
It contains a few nutritious ingredients (only seven) to minimize food allergies — turkey, potatoes, pumpkin, flaxseed, cranberries, fish oil, and blueberries. The presence of easily digestible carbohydrates like potatoes helps promote gentle digestion.
The ingredients in this wet food are rich in omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and essential minerals to support your aging dog’s immune system, skin health, and heart health.
Finally, this wet food is free from common food allergens such as soy protein, gluten, corn, and artificial flavors.
In conclusion, wet food’s strong aroma appeals to a senior dog’s sense of smell, reviving their enthusiasm for food. The high moisture content in wet food helps keep our gray-muzzled companions hydrated, and the food’s softness makes chewing and digestion less of a nightmare.
The best senior wet dog food should have a nutrient composition crafted to cater to the unique dietary and health needs of dogs in their senior life stage.
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Image in header via https://pixabay.com/photos/dog-domestic-animal-animal-2554559/