Food for older dogs?

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Question:

What am I buying when I pick up dog food labeled “for seniors”?

Answer:

Good question. As far as we can tell, there is no standard definition of senior foods and companies can do whatever they like as long as they meet AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards for adult maintenance.

In theory, these products are supposed to be specially formulated for dogs over age seven, but that seems to mean different things for different brands. They could be higher or lower in calories or protein, depending on the particular approach of the company.

That said, many manufacturers will say right on the packaging what it means by “senior,” be it added vitamins, an adjusted protein to calorie ratio, or increased fiber content. Just read the bag carefully and make sure the nutritional info makes sense for your dog.