best dry dog food for senior pugs

5 Of The Best Dry Dog Food For Senior Pugs: Buyers Guide

As your Pug ages, you’ll start to wonder if the food you’re feeding them is enough. Dogs have different nutritional requirements as they age. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the best dry dog food for senior Pugs.

What Is The Best Dry Dog Food For Senior Pugs

Complete senior dog food is created with your pet’s life stage in mind to ensure they receive all the nutrients their body requires, without worrying about excess weight gain.

As your Pug ages, their nutritional requirements may change, therefore it’s important to make the switch from regular dog food to senior/mature food.

Related: What Should I Feed My Pug?

If you’ve been feeding your Pug a specific food such as Royal Canin, it may be as easy as switching to the senior dry dog food version. I’ve put together this guide to help you care for an older Pug.

Other dog owners may have to consider other factors when choosing the right food for a senior Pug, especially, if they are a picky eater.

Recommended Product

If you’re in a hurry, you check out our top pick that will provide your mature dog with the nutrients they require.


Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Dog Food – Natural Dry Dog Food for Senior Dogs – Chicken & Brown Rice – 30 Lb Bag
  • REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as the first ingredient. High-quality protein from real chicken helps your dog build and maintain healthy muscles. Plus, they contain...
  • FOR SENIOR DOGS: BLUE Life Protection Formula? Senior dog food contains Glucosamine and chondroitin to help support joint health and overall mobility with essential proteins and carbohydrates to help...


5 Of The Best Dog Foods For Older Pugs



#1 Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula For Senior Dogs

The Chicken & Brown Rice Blue Buffalo Life Protection dog food is formulated for geriatric dogs. It is made with the finest ingredients to improve the health and well-being of your pooch. Read our full review on the Blue Buffalo dog food for Pugs.

Bags can be purchased in different sizes from 6 lbs, 15 lbs, and 30 lbs.

Exclusive LifeSource Bits™ that helps support your canine’s immune system, life stage requirements, and help provide a healthy oxidative balance.


  • Lifesource Bits: A precise blend of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that have been carefully selected by animal nutritionists and holistic veterinarians.
  • Protein: High-quality protein from Chicken Meal and Deboned Chicken, and L-Carnitine to help maintain strong muscles.
  • Healthy Coat and Skin: Balance of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids to maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat.
  • Joint Health: Contains important supplements for older dogs such as Chondroitin and Glucosamine to help support hip and joint functions and improve overall mobility.
  • Strong Bones and Teeth: Essential vitamins, and a precise blend of Phosphorus and Calcium to maintain strong bones and teeth.
  • Natural Dog Food: Made with real meat first, whole grains, and healthy fruits and vegetables.
  • No: Artificial flavors or preservatives, corn, soy, or wheat, chicken (or poultry) by-product meals.


  • Kibble Size: Some people have complained that the kibbe is really small.


Brown Rice, Blueberries, Deboned Chicken, Barley Grass, Cranberries, Barley, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Pea Starch, Tumeric, Dried Enterococcus, Parsley, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Fish oil, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Dried Chicory Root, Sweet Potatoes, Garlic, L-Carnitine, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation, Potatoes, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, L-Lysine, Dried Kelp.

*I may have missed some of the ingredients, so make sure you read the label before buying.

Make sure you read the ingredients on the label as it may differ from bag to bag, however, here are some of the ingredients you’ll find in the Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe for senior dogs.

Calories: 357 kcal/cup



#2 Nutro Ultra Dry Dog Food For Seniors

Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food is specially formulated to meet the needs of geriatric canines. The Superfood plate of holistic foods is made from a trio of protein from salmon, lamb, and chicken.

It contains a perfect blend of antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits, lean protein, healthy oils, and whole grains to nourish and satisfy your pet.


  • Nutro Feed Clean™ philosophy: Working and partnering with trusted suppliers and farmers to source the highest quality ingredients.
  • #1 Ingredient: Chicken is the number one ingredient.
  • Complete Balanced Nutrition: specifically designed for senior dogs.
  • Contains NO: Corn, Wheat, Soy, Artificial Flavors, Preservatives, Colors, or chicken by-product meal.
  • Superfoods: Contains a blend of 15 Superfoods.
  • Ingredients: Made from Non-GMO ingredients.
  • Recipe Specifics: Designed to meet your dog’s breed, size, and life stage.


  • Sensitivity: May not be the best food for dogs with sensitive stomach issues. Other dog owners said that their dog was a picky eater and suffered from sensitive digestive issues and had NO issues.


Salmon Meal, Chicken, Whole Brown Rice, Rice Bran, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Whole Chia Seed, Brewers Rice, Lamb Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate, DL-Methionine, Vitamin A Supplement, Tomato Pomace, Whole Grain Oatmeal, Pea Protein, Whole Flaxseed, Dried Coconut, Dried Spinach, Dried Egg Product, Dried Kale, Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Pumpkin, Dried Apples, Dried Blueberries, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Dried Carrots, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Oil, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Chicken Fat, Salt, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Rosemary Extract, Vitamin E Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Selenium Yeast, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamine Folic Acid, B12 Supplement.

Calories: 316 kcal/cup



#3 Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food For Seniors

Diamonds Natural Chicken, Egg, and Oatmeal Formula is formulated with optimal protein and fat to help meet the nutritional requirements of aging dogs.


  • Digestive Health Support: Made with a nutrient-rich and highly digestible recipe with a probiotic blend to support your dog’s digestive health.
  • Made With: Real Chicken and a healthy source of vitamins, fats, carbs, and protein.
  • It contains NO: Soy, Wheat, Corn, Filler products, artificial Flavors, Preservatives, or Colors.
  • High-Quality Ingredients: Made in the USA and partnered with a limited number of vetted suppliers to bring you the best and safest product.
  • Life Stage Formulas: You’ll find small and large dog breed formulas.


  • Upset Tummy: Some people have said that the food caused their dog to have large stools. Make sure that you learn how to properly switch your dog’s food so you don’t upset their tummy.


Chicken Meal, Chicken, Ground White Rice, DL-Methionine, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Natural Flavor, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Egg, Spinach, Coconut, Dried Chicory Root, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed, L-Carnitine, Chia Seed, Carrots, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin E Supplement, Potassium Chloride, Rice Bran, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Copper Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Kale, Papaya, Oranges, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Quinoa Dried Kelp, Beta Carotene, Copper Sulfate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Niacin, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite, Manganous Oxide, Chondroitin Sulfate, Taurine, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid, Contains a Source of Live (Viable) Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.

*I may have missed some of the ingredients, so make sure you read the label before buying.

Calories: 318 kcal/cup



#4 Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Dry Dog Food For Seniors

The Chicken + Sweet Potatoe Recipe Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free products are made with real deboned meat, and real whole foods to provide your pooch complete and well-balanced nutrition.

Formulated for small breed senior dogs. It contains optimal levels of chondroitin and glucosamine to keep your pet’s hips and joints healthy.

Related: Is Merrick Good For Pugs?


  • Made In The USA: All Merrick recipes are carefully crafted in the Hereford, TX facility.
  • FDA: Upholds strict FDA guidelines
  • Gluten-Free: Includes prebiotic and probiotic fiber to help with digestion.
  • Healthy Weight: Formulated with less fat and fewer calories to help prevent weight gain.
  • L-Carnitine: Helps support a healthy metabolism.
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids: A vital nutrient to help maintain your canine’s healthy skin and coat.
  • Recipes: You’ll find a range of recipes that are specifically crafted for all types of dogs.
  • Real Whole Foods: Only real foods and NO fillers, wheat, gluten, soy, corn, preservatives.


  • Caloric: Some people said that their small Dachshund gained 4 pounds in one month. Make sure that you follow the feeding guidelines to prevent weight gain.


Deboned Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Pea Protein, Salmon Oil, Chicken Meal, Peas, Salmon Meal, Natural Flavor, Salt, Apples, Blueberries, Potatoes, Organic Dried Alfalfa Meal, Sodium Selenite, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, L-Carnitine, Potato Protein, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Choline Chloride, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Copper Amino Acid Complex, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Gelatin Minerals (Cobalt Carbonate, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Cobalt Proteinate), Vitamin A Acetate, Inulin (from chicory root).

*I may have missed some of the ingredients, so make sure you read the label before buying.



#5 Hills Science Senior Dry Dog Food For 7+ Senior Dogs, Youthful Vitality

Hills Science Youthful Vitality is designed to help keep your senior dog acting and feeling young.

It is made with a precise balance of ingredients to provide your pet with balanced nutrition to fight the effects of aging in your Adult 7+ dog.


  • Healthy Shiny Coat: Essential fatty acids to keep your pet’s coat soft and shiny.
  • Powerful Antioxidants: Helps support a healthy brain function.
  • Natural Ingredients: Made with easily digestible ingredients your senior dog will love.
  • Different Varieties: Science Diet Pet food is available in dry form, canned foods, and treats.


  • Not Recommended For Nursing dogs or puppies.


Chicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Chicken Liver Flavor, Chicken Fat, Yellow Peas, Brewers Rice, Pork Liver Flavor, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Corn, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Soybean Oil, Egg Product, Carrots, Fish Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Dried Tomato Pomace, Spinach, Flaxseed, Dried Citrus Pulp, Potassium Chloride, Niacin Supplement, Lactic Acid, Dicalcium Phosphate, Biotin, Natural Flavors, L-Carnitine, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, L-Lysine, Beta-Carotene.

*I may have missed some of the ingredients, so make sure you read the label before buying.



How To Choose The Right Food For An Older Pug

older dog nutritional requirements
Your dog may have different nutritional needs in their golden years.

As your dog enters their golden years, you’ll want to ensure you take the time to read the dog food ingredient labels to ensure your pooch is getting the proper nutrition their bodies require.

Always consult with your veterinarian if you’re unsure what type of dog food to feed your senior Pug.

I’ll share what I looked for when switching Mindy my black Pug to geriatric food, plus what I found out while doing some research online.

Here are 3 signs that it may be time to change your Pugs food.

#1 Weight Gain

Pugs are prone to weight gain, especially, as they age. As your dog ages, their metabolism tends to slow drastically, so it’s not hard to notice those extra inches in their midsection.

If your Pug is starting to gain extra weight, it may be time to switch their food or at least consider some weight management dog food.

#2 Activity Level

Younger Pugs are extremely playful and love going for walks. A geriatric dog is usually less active and just wants to lay around all day and sleep.

If your once active dog no longer wants to do anything except lie around, you may want to consider transitioning to a senior formula that has fewer calories.

#3 Loss of Appetite

As a dog ages, their sense of smell and taste decline. This can lead to them becoming picky eaters or consuming less food.

Pugs generally love eating, consult your veterinarian to ensure their health is not declining.

Once any medical issues have been ruled out, you may want to consider feeding them a senior dry dog food formula which may be more palatable.

#4 Dental Health

Pugs are prone to dental issues, especially, as they age. If your four-legged friend has developed sensitive teeth and gums, it may time to switch to wet food or soften up their kibble to make it easier for them to chew their food.

Senior Pug Dog Food vs. Regular Pug Dog Food

According to a study by Tufts University, neither NRC (National Research Council) or AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) provide any nutritional guidelines for senior dog formulas.

This means that there is no major distinction between adult dog food vs senior dog food. The ingredients used in dog food marketed for senior dogs will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Pet food manufacturers may be increasing or decreasing the protein, fat content, and sodium in the senior dog formulas.

At What Age Should I Start Feeding My Dog Senior Dog Food?

Every dog and breed is different and will differ depending on your dog’s genetics, and health problems. The reality is that a canine’s nutritional requirements should be tailored towards your individual dog, not just based on the age of your pet.

According to a study, over 37 commercial canine food brands started marketing food towards senior dogs that range from the age of 5 – 8 years old.

This doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready for senior food. We started feeding Mindy senior dry dog food when we noticed her gaining weight easily.

As always, if you’re unsure of when to switch their dog food, consult your veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Give My Older Pug Supplements? As your Pug enters the golden years, they will start developing arthritis and joint problems. Look for a senior dog food that contains chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine, which may help address those issues.

If you do decide to give your Pug supplements, make sure you give them the canine version of glucosamine and chondroitin, not the human ones.

Does My Dog Really Need Senior Food? Just like our dietary requirements change as we age, so canines. A dog’s senior diet will usually require fewer calories, more fiber, and supplements specific to this life stage such as joint support and antioxidants.

References and Further Reading

Vetsmall – D.P. Laflamme, DVM, Ph.D. – Nutritional Care For Aging Cats and Dogs

TuftsNow – Wide Variety In Nutritional Content Found In “Senior” Dog Foods

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