The Best Wet Food for Senior Dogs for 2022

Written by Kirstin Opal
Updated: September 4, 2022

This post may contain affiliate links to our partners like Chewy, Amazon, and others. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to educate about the world's species..

Key Points

  • Wet food has many great benefits for senior dogs.
  • Protein-rich food is essential for senior dogs since they need more protein than puppies and adults.
  • Fiber helps your dog with digestion and bowel movements. Look for senior food high in fiber.
  • Obesity is common in older dogs, so your veterinarian may suggest monitoring calorie intake.
  • Fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 promote healthy hearts among other things, so you should certainly find senior dog food to support her ticker.
  • Natural ingredients are healthier than additives.
  • Wet food is high in moisture, which helps keep your elderly pup hydrated.
  • If your senior dog has trouble chewing kibble, wet food will be easy to chew and swallow.

As our precious pups age, similarly to humans, they start to experience some physical and mental changes. Pet parents may not be aware of what they need to do as their dog gets older. 

There may be a need to change the environment but more importantly, a focus on older dogs’ diets is essential. Man’s best friend usually eats kibble the majority of his life and as they get older switched to wet food. 

Wet food has plenty of benefits. It’s often easier for older dogs to eat, it has lower calories to prevent obesity, and protein, vitamins, and minerals to keep your senior pup in good health. Because soft food has a high water density, you won’t have to worry about dehydration either. 

Whether you’re considering switching to wet food because of the additional fiber or you just need to hide your old dog’s medication, we’ve found the four best options available. There’s something for everyone and we’re sure your dog will love the taste of our picks! 

To make it easy for you, there’s a handy buyer’s guide that tells you about the importance of certain factors, such as your dog’s age, that play a role when choosing one food over another. Let’s get started with our top choice from Blue Buffalo

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Wet Food for Senior Dogs

  1. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior Chicken Dinner
  2. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior Chicken Dinner
    • Has real deboned chicken as the top ingredient
    • No animal by-products
    • Formulated for dogs of all ages
    • Easy to chew and swallow
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Beef & Barley
  4. Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Beef & Barley
    • High-quality ingredients
    • Made in the USA with ingredients from around the world
    • Contains a powerful blend of antioxidants
    • Recommended by veterinarians
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Puppy & Senior Wet Dog Food
  6. IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Puppy & Senior Wet Dog Food
    • Perfect budget-friendly option
    •  Senior dogs find this food easy to chew and swallow
    • Contains omega fatty acids
    • Comes in multiple flavors
    Check Amazon
  7. Purina Pro Plan Senior Beef & Rice Entree
  8. Purina Pro Plan Senior Beef & Rice Entree
    • Designed for dogs that are at least seven years of age
    • Available in several different flavors
    • Contains real beef and high-quality grains
    • Easily digestible
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

Let’s have a look at a few things to think about before you pick a wet dog food for your older dog. This isn’t a decision to be made lightly, as the dog food you pick can have a significant impact on your dog’s attitude, wellness, and overall quality of life. While comparing different brands of dog food, keep the following considerations in mind.

Protein

Because dogs are mostly carnivores, they need a lot of protein to meet their nutritional needs. Senior dogs, on the other hand, require even more protein than adult dogs. Your pup needs protein to build and repair compromised tissue in the body.

Amino acids are a form of protein that helps the muscles repair themselves when the dog is not utilizing them. Senior dogs ingest more protein than pups or adult dogs, implying that they require more protein to function in daily life. The more protein your senior dog consumes, the better his or her body can heal.

Fiber 

Fiber will aid to manage your senior dog’s digestive tract and bowel motions, making potty outings more consistent and less unpleasant. Changes in this area might be concerning for dogs who aren’t aware of what’s going on, so increasing their fiber intake is essential when choosing a wet food for your older dog. 

Having said that, you should continue to keep an eye on your dog while altering its fiber intake. If you increase the volume of fiber in their diet and they start to have digestive problems or loose stools, you should gradually reduce the amount of fiber until you achieve the proper balance. 

Calories

Obesity is common in senior dogs because they become tired faster and do not move as much. It’s usual for senior dogs to rest more and want to take a break from racing after a ball. As a result, calorie tracking is another responsibility for older dog owners. 

In addition, the number of calories your elderly dog needs to sustain its weight is determined by their present weight and the level of exercise they get. When in doubt, look for help from your veterinarian. As a general guideline, give your dog half a can of for every ten pounds they weigh.   

Fatty Acids

Omega 3s and Omega 6s are fatty acids that can support your older dog when it comes to preventing cardiac issues, which is one of the primary things people want to avoid. Fatty acids will function in tandem with the antioxidants in senior dog food to maintain their minds sharp and active. 

Maintaining your dog’s mental activity can help them avoid the indications of aging and cherish their golden years. No one wants to see their pet’s mental health degrade over time, so check for fatty acids and antioxidants in the ingredient list.

Ingredients

Natural ingredients are always the safest for dogs, regardless of their age. This usually means fewer calories and no unnecessary filler items for your dog’s diet. Dogs, like people, should eat a diverse diet in order to receive the most benefits from it. 

Natural ingredients will provide your dog with more minerals and vitamins, which will make them feel more energetic, improve their cognition and brain function, and avoid health concerns that will damage their quality of life. Grains like rice are frequently included in dog food to thicken the consistency and virtually always increase the number of carbs in each serving. 

Moisture Content

Canned wet food contains 75% moisture and is the most costly type of cat food. Canned food is the most appetizing senior dog food for canines since it resembles fresh meats the most. The greatest shelf life is found in unopened canned foods, however, any opened cans must be chilled to extend their life.

Texture

If your elderly dog’s gums and teeth are bothering him, he may require a softer wet dog food than usual. This might be in the shape of a mousse, pâté, or little meat bits. All of the canned foods described above have textures that are easy to consume and digest.

The Different Types of Wet Food for Senior Dogs: Pros and Cons Compared

Though there aren’t necessarily different types of wet senior dog food, we still wanted to let you in on some of the benefits (and downfalls) of feeding your older dog this type of food instead of kibble. Let’s take a look at the important information below. 

Wet Dog Food

ProsCons
More water contentExpensive
Higher in proteinQuickly goes bad once opened
fewer carbsLess energy-dense
Long shelf life when left unopened
Easier for older dogs to eat
You can hide medication in it
Can be given to dogs with dental issues

Our Criteria: How We Chose the Best

As our dogs age, we feel nutrition is very important for quality of life. That’s why we have chosen senior wet food chocked full of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, healthy fats, and high-quality protein. We want our dogs to enjoy the flavor of every meal while soaking in all the good stuff for ease of digestion, muscle and bone support, energy, and healthy organs.

We all know how important reviews are when trying a new product; that’s probably why you’re reading this in the first place! Our senior can’t get enough of our top Blue Buffalo choice. They love the flavor and no longer have loose stools or upset stomachs, which can be a problem with senior dogs.

Some dog foods can take a while to get your pup to warm up to. Thankfully, dogs tend to like the tasty flavor of wet food more than kibble. For our IAMS choice, our senior pups regained strength and energy. They took to it immediately!

#1 Overall Best Wet Food for Senior Dogs: Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural

When it comes to the overall best food for older dogs, Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Senior Wet Dog Food is our favorite. You can give it to your dog as a tasty treat, mix it in with their dry food, or feed it as a standalone meal. 

One reason we chose this Blue Buffalo recipe as the best of the best is that it has real deboned chicken as the top ingredient. The order of ingredients is of major importance when choosing dog food and choosing an option with protein from a real source is key. 

Your pooch will love the taste of the chicken and appreciate that there aren’t any animal by-products. It’s formulated for dogs of all ages and designed in a pat-style to make it easy to chew and swallow. 

There are wholesome, hearty grains including brown rice and barley that will give your senior pup plenty of energy. The bits of carrots, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and cranberries add a tasty tang that makes each bite packed with flavor. 

Overall Best
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Senior Chicken Dinner
  • Has real deboned chicken as the top ingredient
  • No animal by-products
  • Formulated for dogs of all ages
  • Easy to chew and swallow
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#2 Best US-Made Wet Food for Senior Dogs: Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food

Speaking of wet food for senior dogs, if you’re looking for one of the best foods for older dogs that are packed with high-quality ingredients, consider the Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food, Adult 7+ for Senior Dogs. Pet parents love that it’s made in the USA with ingredients from around the world. 

One reason older dogs can benefit from this wet food from Hill’s Science is because of the powerful blend of antioxidants. All the ingredients in it are natural and even veterinarians recommend it. 

There is high-quality protein to keep your dog full for longer and help build strong muscle mass. Hill’s Science also added Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E to keep your pooches hair, skin, joints, and vision in good health. 

Made with chicken, brown rice, beef, and barely, this food has all the nutrients your dog will need. It’s easily digestible and the taste is unbeatable. 

Best US-Made
Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Beef & Barley
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Made in the USA with ingredients from around the world
  • Contains a powerful blend of antioxidants
  • Recommended by veterinarians
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#3 Best Value Wet Food for Senior Dogs: IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH SENIOR Soft Wet Dog Food Paté

I don’t know about you, but spending more than you need to on wet dog food for your senior dog doesn’t sound necessary. Luckily, we’ve found IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH SENIOR Soft Wet Dog Food Paté to be the perfect budget-friendly option. 

This is one of the best foods for older dogs because the chicken and rice were slow-cooked to bring out all of the scrumptious flavors. Senior dogs find this food and its formula easy to chew and swallow.

Like others on this list, IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH SENIOR Soft Wet Dog Food Paté is made using omega fatty acids that are beneficial to your dog’s coat, skin, eyes, and joints. If you have younger pups as well, you can feed them this IAMS wet food as long as they’re older than a year!

There are multiple flavors to choose from, including chicken, lamb, and beef. There are wholesome grains to keep your dog’s energy high and the added vitamins and minerals support the overall health of your pup. 

Best Value
IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Puppy & Senior Wet Dog Food
  • Perfect budget-friendly option
  •  Senior dogs find this food easy to chew and swallow
  • Contains omega fatty acids
  • Comes in multiple flavors
Check Amazon

#4 Best Wet Food for Senior Dogs in Gravy: Purina Pro Plan High Protein, Senior Wet Dog Food

Who doesn’t love a bit of gravy? When it comes to the best food for older dogs, Purina Pro Plan High Protein, Senior Wet Dog Food takes our fourth and final spot. It’s designed for dogs that are at least seven years of age. 

While it’s available in several different flavors, the senior beef and rice entree seems to be the favorite of most canines. Your dog will benefit from the real beef and high-quality grains to keep them healthy.

It’s not uncommon for senior dogs to struggle with digestion and this food is known for being easily digestible. Pet owners love that there aren’t any added artificial dyes or preservatives. On the other hand, the 23 essential vitamins and minerals are something dog parents can’t get enough of! 

Best Food in Gravy
Purina Pro Plan Senior Beef & Rice Entree
  • Designed for dogs that are at least seven years of age
  • Available in several different flavors
  • Contains real beef and high-quality grains
  • Easily digestible
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Summary of the Best Wet Food for Senior Dogs

RankBest ForProduct
1OverallBlue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural
2U.S. MadeHill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food
3ValueIAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH SENIOR Soft Wet Dog Food Paté
4in GravyPurina Pro Plan High Protein, Senior Wet Dog Food

Products For This Review

Up Next

About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs, her 14-year-old dog, or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.