While shopping for food supplies for my dogs at a pet store, I came across a lot of Senior Dog Food options. This got me thinking about what makes senior poodle food different from the rest.
So, I did a little research and found out that there are a lot of reasons to switch your senior poodle’s diet. The most obvious reason is that your ageing poodle has a lot of different nutritional needs than a poodle puppy or an adult poodle does. Their range of motion gets limited with time, and your old pooch may not require all the extra nutrients it once did.
Now you’re probably wondering about a few things – is it really necessary – homemade senior poodle diet or store-bought- how much to feed – the price and which senior poodle food to buy in the first place.
If you’re already familiar with the WHY part of Senior Poodle Nutrition, you can skip to our Senior Poodle Food Recommendation section by clicking here.
Is Senior Dog Food Necessary For My Old Poodle?
This is probably the first question that comes to mind when you read the label “Senior Dog Food” on the packaging.
At first glance, it may seem like another strategy from dog food brands to get more money out of the pockets of dog owners like you and me.
But after all the research I did, I can confidently say that even if these dog food companies would love to get more money out of your pocket, senior dog food is still necessary for your old poodle’s health and well being.
Unless you’re willing to create homemade dog food for your old poodle pup, senior dog food will be a viable option for most.
As your poodle crosses the seven-year mark, their bodies go through a lot of changes, both external and internal. Hence, the different nutritional requirements to function.
To make up for all the changes your senior pup is going through, you will need to make adjustments to their diet.
When To Make The Diet Switch
Okay so now that I have explained to you why you may want to switch your senior poodle’s diet. But how do you know when to make the diet change?
There are some signs you need to watch out for to identify a poodle that is entering their golden years. It usually happens around the sever year mark for most poodles.
With proper feeding and enough exercise, owners may see these signs much later.
So, what are these signs that I’m talking about? Okay, let me tell you more about it.
Some of the most common signs of ageing poodle are as follows:
- Graying of the muzzle (Completely or partially)
- Loss of hearing
- Loss of vision
- Weight gain
- Noticeable decline in energy levels
When is a poodle considered to be old?
|Poodle Size||Life Expectancy||Senior Poodle Age|
|Standard Poodle||11 – 13 Years||8 – 9 Years Onward|
|Medium or Moyen Poodle||12 – 15 Years||8 – 9 Years Onward|
|Miniature Poodle||14 – 16 Years||7 Years Onward|
|Toy Poodle||14 – 16 Years||7 Years Onward|
Since this article will be all about the nutritional needs of a Senior Poodle, I will not be going into further detail. I highly recommend checking out this article to learn more: Senior Poodle: What’s the Best Way to Care for Your Old Poodle?
Senior Poodle Food Vs. Regular Poodle Food
Now, that I have explained why and when you need to change your senior poodle’s diet, let me highlight some of the key differences between Senior dog food, “All life stages” dog food, and regular adult dog food.
So, is there a difference between all these food options?
Well, mostly Yes, but also No. Let me explain.
Most dog food companies re-market products and sell them under different names and re-designed packaging.
To avoid getting “out-smarted” into buying the same dog food inside a different packaging, you need to choose carefully.
To help you out, I have curated a list of senior poodle dog food that will have a positive effect on your senior poodle pup. You can jump straight to that section by clicking here.
Here are some key differences between regular dog food and senior dog food are:
- Nutrient Re-adjustments – To help suit your senior poodle’s dietary needs as they age.
- Easy to Digest – The ability to digest food declines as your dog ages which is why you need to give them food that is easy to digest.
- Softer Texture – Makes it more comfortable to chew, swallow, and prevents food from getting stuck in their teeth.
- Joint Supplements – Helps reduce the pain caused by joint issues.
- MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) – Helps enhance cognitive function and slows down the age inducing cognitive function decline.
- Omega – 3 – helps reduce inflammation, improves cognitive function, and neurological development.
- Glucosamine – Help support joint health in senior dogs.
Now that you know what differentiates Senior Poodle Dog Food from Regular Poodle Dog Food. Let us now look at some of the best rated senior poodle dog foods.
My Top 3 Recommended Dog Food for Senior Poodles
As I have mentioned above, there are a lot of dog food brands that sell the same adult dog food under a different name and a re-designed packaging. I will refrain from naming those food brands but know that they are out there.
So, to avoid poodle owners such as yourself purchasing those re-branded food products I have taken the time and done a lot of research to find out which dog foods are helpful for your senior dog’s health and wellbeing.
The Maturity Senior Dog Food from Purina is an excellent choice for your senior poodle.
It is one of the best-rated food products with excellent reviews on Amazon.
This Dog food protein-rich and contains real meat, poultry or fish to maintain the muscle mass for your senior dog.
It also contains glucosamine which helps support joint health for your senior dog.
Purina claims that within 28 days of using this food product, you will start to notice changes in your dog such as bright eyes, shiny coat, elevated energy levels and a robust immune system.
Natural’s senior dog food formula consists of high-quality ingredients and contains guaranteed probiotics that are good for an ageing poodle.
This is the dog food I have been giving Alex my senior black poodle for the past two years and have no complaints.
The reason I chose this option is that firstly it’s affordable and most importantly, it contains almost all of the necessary ingredients that make great dog food for a senior poodle.
Blue Buffalo’s high protein dog food is ideal for senior poodles that need to gain some quality muscle mass.
It has high-quality chicken as it’s first ingredient, healthy complex carbohydrates and antioxidant-rich blueberries and cranberries.
This dog food is protein-rich and is grand and gluten-free.
What Supplements Should I Give My Senior Poodle
Supplements for your senior poodle can help your ageing poodle in a lot of ways.
As they enter their golden years, their joints and hips may not be as functional and robust as they once were.
That is why you might want to consider purchasing a functional supplement for your senior poodle.
Dog Multivitamins (Click to check price on Amazon) are essential as they contain a lot of nutrients that dog foods may not or at least not in the quantity your dog may require.
Multivitamins helps your senior poodle in 5 key areas:
- Hip and Joint
- Immune System
- Skin and Coat
- & Heart Health
Strawfiled’s Dog Multivitamin comes in 120-grain free chicken flavoured treat form that is easy to feed.
Guide To Choosing The Right Senior Poodle Dog Food
If you’re not satisfied with our recommendations and would like to learn how to pick good dog food for your senior poodle pup, then this is the guide fo you.
I have covered all the nutrients and added contents a good senior dog food should have.
Make sure you read the label of the dog food to determine which option is best for you.
Nutrient Re – Adjustments
With labels like “Vital Nutrient Formula” and “Special Nutrients For Senior Dogs”, nutrient adjustment is probably the most common marketing tactic when it comes to promoting senior dog food.
So you need to understand what nutrients are vital for your senior poodle. Let me explain to you what makes an excellent senior poodle food option and how you can better decide.
- Protein – In a survey done by Tufts Cummins School of Veterinary Medicine, 1309 adults were asked about specific nutrient modifications in senior dog diets as compared to adult dogs.665 (50.8%) of the participants reported that protein is lower in senior diets. It should be noted that 16.7% did not know how much protein was present in their senior dog’s diet.
Still, that is more than 50% of the participants, reporting that protein is less in senior diets as compared to adult dog diets.”
If that many people have reported, then it must be that maybe protein isn’t as essential to senior dogs?”
Well, it is essential. Let’s understand why.
Just like humans, dogs usually start to lose muscle mass as they age and giving them less protein in their diet certainly doesn’t help regain that lost muscle mass.
Senior poodles need more protein in their diet to make up for all the muscle mass they lose as they grow old.
Now the question arises “How much protein should I give my senior poodle?“
75 grams of protein per 1000 calories is ideal.
It should be noted that Phosphorus content may increase with the amount of protein. If your senior poodle suffers from kidney diseases, then you must consult your vet before deciding what old dog food to give.
- Fat – Getting a senior poodle dog food with low-fat content or high-fat content depends solely on your dog’s body.
If your old poodle is losing weight, you may want to switch their diet that is high in fat.
If your old poodle pup is obese then you may want to change their diet to one with low-fat content.
However, if your poodle is neither obese not seems to be losing weight then you may want to switch their dog food that has fat contents in the 40 – 60 grams per 1000 calorie range.
- Calorie – “How many calories should I be giving my senior poodle?”
The answer to this commonly asked question is, It depends. It depends on your senior poodle’s body.
If they need to lose weight, give them a diet that has a low-calorie count. If they need to gain weight, then you need to switch up their diet to include more calories.
Ideally, food with lower calories is the way to go since your senior poodle won’t move around as much as they once would.
As your dog ages, their teeth become more sensitive, and eating regular dog food may cause them discomfort.
Therefore, you must choose a dog food that has a soft texture. There are mainly two advantages of switching to a smoother texture dog food:
- It helps relieve the oral discomfort while eating, as your dog can chew it more easily.
- Dog food with a soft texture mixes well with your dog’s saliva, making it easy to gulp down and helping in the digestion process.
Maintaining Dental Health
While on the hunt for dog food, I also came across a lot of dog food options that claimed to help your dog’s dental health. But, is that the case?
A majority of dog foods that claim to help your dog’s dental health simply have more added moisture, and this added moisture helps the food go down more quickly and avoids getting it stuck to your dog’s teeth.
“But wait, doesn’t your dog’s saliva do the same thing?” I asked myself.
It turns out; I wasn’t wrong.
Merely adding more moisture to a dog food doesn’t help in maintaining their dental health. To achieve this, you need to look out for a couple of things on the label:
- Additives such as Sodium Hexametaphosphate
- Citric Acid
This help prevents the minerals that cause tartar. Tartar also is known as Dental calculus can cause discolouration, which makes it difficult to remove bacteria and plaque, which may lead to cavity formation as well as cause irritation and damage to gums.
Please note that the best way to maintain your dog’s dental health is by taking them to a doctor. If your poodle is suffering from a dental issue then simply changing diets may not eradicate the problem.
Dog probiotics may also play a significant role in your dog’s dental health. Simply put, probiotics are bacteria that are good for your dog.
We recommend using probiotics that are recommended by vets, like the one from ProBioraPet which you can check out on Amazon.
Helping Your Senior Poodle Maintain Weight
Maintaining your dog’s weight in their golden years is essential for their health and wellbeing.
Balance is key, neither them losing weight nor them being obese helps the cause.
How to help senior poodle gain weight?
To help your senior poodle gain weight, choose a diet that is high in calories or high in fat.
If your poodle needs to gain weight, give them a diet that consists of more than 450 calories per cup of kibble or more than 50 grams of fat per 1000 calories.
I highly recommend Diamond Naturals Dry Senior Dog Food Formula.
This is a perfect option if your senior poodle needs to gain some weight. It has chicken as its main ingredient along with glucosamine to help support your poodle’s joint health and promote mobility.
How to help senior poodle lose weight?
To help your senior poodle lose weight you need to make some changes to their diet.
Please give them a diet that consists of less than 350 calories per cup of kibble, or a diet that has less fat.
My top recommendation for a senior poodle that needs to shed some extra pounds is Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food (Click To Check Price On Amazon).
Follow this feeding schedule to achieve the ideal weight for your senior poodle.
|Weight Goals For Senior Poodle||Servings for Weight Loss (in cups)||Servings for Weight Management (in cups)|
|50 lb||2 2/3||3 3/4|
|60 lb||3||4 1/3|
|80 lb||3 3/4||5 1/3|
|90 lb||4 1/4||5 3/4|
|100 lb||4 1/2||6 1/3|
|110 lb||4 3/4||6 3/4|
|120 lb||5 1/4||7 1/4|
|130 lb||5 1/2||7 2/3|
|140 lb||5 3/4||8 1/4|
|160 lb||6 1/2||9|
Senior Poodle Nutrition is vital for your ageing poodle’s health and well being.
Giving them a balanced diet full of nutrients that their changing body needs will help delay the ageing effects as much as possible.
I hope I was able to clarify all your doubts and succeeded in helping you decide an excellent senior poodle food option.
If you have any doubts or further questions, please comment down below.
This concludes ageing poodle nutrition guide, see you on the next one, take care, and I hope you have a wonderful day!
References and Resources For Further Reading
Yuanlong Pan et al. “Efficacy of a Therapeutic Diet on Dogs With Signs of Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS): A Prospective Double-Blinded Placebo-Controlled Clinical Study” Frontiers in Nutrition, 2018
A.M. Oberbauer et al. “Maternal omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on offspring hip joint confirmation“.
Dana Hutchinson et al. “Survey of opinions about nutritional requirements of senior dogs and analysis of nutrient profiles of commercially available diets for senior dogs” Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA, 2011
Cortadellas, O., Palacio, M., Talavera, J., & Bayón, A. “Calcium and Phosphorus Homeostasis in Dogs with Spontaneous Chronic Kidney Disease at Different Stages of Severity.“, 2009