Pitbulls need nutritious food on every life stage. But as your Pittie gets older, it will require a specific diet that matches its aging body. This is why you should invest in the best dog food for senior Pitbulls that packs a punch in terms of nutrients and flavors.
In this post, I review eight of the best picks that match the nutritional needs of your Pitbull. See which one will impress the taste buds of your aging pooch.
When is a Pitbull considered senior?
Pitbulls have an approximate lifespan of 12 to 14 years. With this, they will be considered senior dogs once they reach the age of 8 or 9. Still, some Pitbulls will enter seniorhood at the age of 7.
Aging will impact a Pitbull’s health in many ways. They will start to become less active, and their muscles may waste away. This is why you need to provide them with the best nutrition and ample exercise.
The following are signs that your Pitbull is entering the senior stage:
- Memory loss
- Reduced activities
- Loss of muscle mass
- Behavioral changes
- Loss of or impaired hearing
- Disrupted sleeping patterns
- Unchecked weight gain or weight loss
- Faded coat
It’s important to focus on your senior dog’s nutrition because old age will affect their eyesight, metabolism, and overall wellness. Without the right food, your Pitbull may suffer from the onset of various health problems.
8 Best Dog Food For Senior Pitbulls
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: Purina ONE SmartBlend Maturity Senior Dog Food
Product Name: Purina ONE SmartBlend Maturity Senior Dog Food
Product Description: When it comes to the best dog food for senior Pitbulls, I highly recommend the Purina ONE SmartBlend Maturity Dog Food. This is formulated for dogs that are 7 years old and above. It has real chicken as the #1 ingredient, but beware that this has corn. While it’s not really a bad thing, make sure that your Pitbull isn’t allergic to it. Overall, this dog food product is made to boost an old dog’s immune system while providing healthy energy. It’s also blended with fatty acids that will keep your aging pet’s coat radiant.
Offer price: $$$
Value for Money
Each serving of the Purina ONE Smart Blend for Senior Dogs has 28% protein, 13% fat, and 4.5% fiber. This is also a good source of glucosamine that supports the aging joints of Pitbulls. Moreover, I like that there are actual chicken morsels that keep the kibble tasty. If your Pittie is a picky eater, this Purina blend might be the dog food you’re looking for. However, since this comes with real meat morsels, you have to keep it in a sealed container. The meat chunks are prone to molds if you don’t transfer the food to an airtight container.
- Made with real chicken
- Blended with glucosamine for joint health
- The kibble is mixed with chicken chunks
- No artificial flavors or coloring
- It contains corn, which can be an issue to some Pitbulls.
- It’s prone to molds, so you need to use an airtight container.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Dry Dog Food
If the first Purina dog food doesn’t appeal to your senior Pitbull, you should try the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Dog Food. This kibble is made of deboned chicken, brown rice, oatmeal, barley, and more for a wholesome meal.
This dog food has 18% protein, 7% fiber, and 10% fat. The lower protein level is perfect for senior Pitbulls who experienced a massive decline in physical activities. It’s also a good choice if your Pittie has weakening kidneys.
Moreover, this dog food is rich in chondroitin and glucosamine, known as ‘joint vitamins’. It also has Omega fatty acids for coat health and a dose of Vitamin C to boost immunity. Aside from the kibble, this food also has LifeSource Bits packed with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
The Blue Buffalo Senior Dog Food is free from poultry by-products, corn, soy, and wheat. As a result, it’s unlikely to trigger irritations while staying easy to digest.
My only gripe over this food is that picky Pitbulls won’t eat the LifeSource Bits. But if your old dog still has a ravenous appetite, this food would be a perfect choice.
IAMS Mature Adult Senior Dog Food
The IAMS Mature Adult Senior Dog Food is blended for medium breeds like Pitbulls. It has real chicken as the main ingredient, together with a blend of various grains. Note that this has corn, so if your Pittie has an allergy to this ingredient, please browse the other options here.
Moreover, this dog food has prebiotics that promotes better digestion. It’s also blended with DHA to support your old dog’s aging cognition as well as antioxidants for better immunity.
Every serving of the IAMS Mature Adult Senior Dog Food contains 24% protein, 5% fiber, and 10.5% fat. It’s also a source of L-carnitine, Omega fatty acids, Vitamin E, and Beta carotene. I wish they added glucosamine, but this can be easily augmented with a joint supplement.
Overall, this dog food is worth its price. However, it seems to have given my Pitbull smelly farts. But since it made his coat better, I can endure a few smelly ‘air biscuits’. Overall, no digestive issues whatsoever, which is more than enough for me as a pet owner.
Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials Shredded Blend
If the Purina ONE SmartBlend didn’t work its charm for your Pitbull, you could try the Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials. This dog food is made for dogs, age 7 years and up. It’s a blend of kibble and chicken morsels for flavorful meals.
This dog food is also fortified with probiotics for easy digestion and better immunity. It also has added glucosamine for joint health and Omega fatty acids for a shinier coat.
Take note that this dog food is formerly known as SAVOR Shredded Blend. It’s the same formula but a different name.
Moreover, the Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials has 29% protein, 3% fiber, and 14% fat. It’s also loaded with DHA, EPA, minerals, and vitamins for balanced nutrition. Overall, this new formula has a tad higher protein content but is not that far from the original version.
I also want to mention that this dog food has corn and soy. So if your Pitbull has a sensitive stomach and a slew of allergies, this may not be your top food choice.
Hill’s Science Adult 7+ Dry Dog Food
The Hill’s Science Adult 7+ Dry Dog Food is made with a chicken meal to provide optimal protein levels to senior dogs. Overall, this is formulated to promote healthy kidneys and heart.
This chicken and barley recipe boasts of a synergistic blend that promises to restore your senior Pitbull’s vitality in just a month. It’s also packed with antioxidants to improve your pet’s immunity as it ages.
Aside from that, Hill’s Science Dog Food has 15.5% protein, 10.5% fat, and 4% fiber. It’s also rich in Omega fatty acids and Vitamin E to boost your Pitbull’s coat.
I also like that they made the kibble small, so it will be easier for senior dogs to chew and swallow. However, you should know that this food has soy and corn, which can be a make-or-break part for Pitties with food allergies.
Overall, this dog food seems pretty tasty, and my friend’s Pitties devour it like mad dogs. Unfortunately, it also stinks a lot, which is good for your dog, but not much for your nose.
NUTRO Natural Choice Senior Dog Food
If you’re looking for corn and soy-free food for your senior Pitbull, you should consider the NUTRO Natural Choice Dog Food. This is made for dogs 7 years old and up. This has non-GMO ingredients for wholesome nourishment without allergies and irritations.
This dog food is made with real chicken as the #1 ingredient. It also contains a chicken meal for a dose of chondroitin and glucosamine. Aside from that, NUTRO Natural Choice has barley, split peas, brown rice, and other whole grains.
With that, each serving of this dog food has 24% protein, 12% fat, and 4% fiber. It’s also fortified with glucosamine, Omega fatty acids, and a blend of minerals. It’s perfect for aging dogs, though the slightly higher protein levels may not be suitable for old Pitties with weak kidneys.
Moreover, Pitbull owners like that this food results in more formed and regular stools. It’s also a good choice for doggos with allergies.
However, if you have a finicky eater, the dog may easily get tired of this food if you don’t mix it with other formulas.
ORIJEN Senior Dry Dog Food
If budget isn’t an issue, I highly recommend the ORIJEN Senior Dry Dog Food. Its first five ingredients are a combination of poultry and fish. For this one, your dog will get a yummy blend of chicken, Atlantic flounder, turkey, whole Atlantic mackerel, and animal giblets.
Overall, 85% of this dog food is made from real meat. It’s also blended with lentils, chicken fat, beans, and herbs. All of it will give your senior Pitbull its much-needed nutrition. The ORIJEN Senior Dry Dog Food is also a grain-free formula, perfect for Pitbulls with the worst allergies.
Aside from that, ORIJEN boasts of the WholePrey diet formula of this dog food. It aims to provide dogs with the natural diet of canines in the wild. So aside from its nutritious taste, it’s also good-smelling.
However, you should know that this is quite high in protein at 38%. So unless your senior Pitbull has good kidneys, you should consider another food product reviewed here.
On the other hand, this dog food contains probiotics to support digestion, glucosamine for joint health, and Omega fatty acids for a vibrant coat.
Victor Purpose Senior Healthy Weight Dog Food
My final pick for this review is the Victor Purpose Senior Dog Food. It’s a recipe made of real beef, brown rice, chicken fat, and more. Overall, it’s made with senior and less active canines in mind.
This dog food has the proprietary VPRO Blend that makes the food easy to digest among senior dogs. It also promotes better immune system function, which is crucial for old Pitbulls.
Moreover, this Victor Purpose dog food has 27% protein, 4.5% fiber, and 11.5% fat. Your Pitbull will also get a dose of glucosamine, chondroitin, L-carnitine, and Vitamin E. This food is also rich in DHA, zinc, and selenium yeast for optimal nourishment.
Although this dog food isn’t grain-free, it’s made of gluten-free grains to reduce the risk of allergies among senior dogs.
However, some pet owners noticed that their dogs become gassy with this food. Also, some report that their picky dogs don’t find this formula appealing. Although this food isn’t a crowd-pleaser, it is still a good choice for non-picky Pitbulls.
How to choose the best food for senior Pitbulls
There are literally hundreds of senior dog food formulas in the market. Aside from checking the life stage, here are a few things you need to consider:
✔️Wet vs. dry
Many Pitbull owners are actually torn whether they will give wet or dry food to their senior dogs. But, to be fair, both types of dog food are good options. You can even blend them to spice up your Pitbull’s meals, especially if you have a picky eater.
In terms of protein level, wet food tends to have a higher concentration if we measure it on a dry matter basis. Still, you can find low-protein wet food to suit senior Pitbulls that no longer have teeth.
Aside from that, wet food usually has a stronger smell and flavor. However, you should know that storing wet food is challenging since it’s prone to spoilage once the can is open.
On the other hand, dry food is the most common option for Pitbulls across life stages. It’s easy to store and can be cheaper than wet food in the long run. However, kibble alone could be a challenge to eat if your senior Pitbull has already lost most of its teeth. In this case, you can add chicken broth to the kibble to soften it up.
Like wet food, kibble is available in a wide range of flavors. You can also get it in small bags or sacks, depending on your budget.
The choice between dry and wet food depends on what your Pitbull needs. You can also consult your dog’s veterinarian to find the right pick.
The most important thing to consider when buying dog food is the ingredients of the product. This will dictate how easy it is to digest, especially for senior Pitbulls. The ingredients will also directly impact the nutritional value of the dog food product.
With that, here are some of the aspects to keep in mind as you read the ingredient list:
Check the protein source
The first thing you should check is the protein source of the dog food. It’s best if the protein source is novel like ocean fish, ostrich, mutton, venison, wild boar, goose, and so on. These are wholesome protein sources that deliver the highest quality amino acids.
Nevertheless, traditional protein sources like beef, chicken, and pork are still nutritious. However, Pitbulls are known for their skin allergies which get worse as they become older. In this case, you should be meticulous with the protein source of the food.
Mind the grains
Grains aren’t always evil when it comes to canine diet. However, senior dogs may find it hard to digest these ingredients.
The likes of corn and soy are just some of the hard-to-digest grains found on dog food products. Nevertheless, a very small amount of these grains wouldn’t hurt. Just make sure that it’s not one of the first ingredients of the product.
Aside from that, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, whole oats, barley, and buckwheat are excellent sources of fiber. These are also packed with minerals that your aging dog needs.
Overall, grains can be an excellent part of your Pitbull’s diet. You just have to keep it at a minimum.
Get the right balance of carbs
Senior dogs don’t need a lot of carbohydrates due to their reduced activity level. You wouldn’t want to indulge your aging Pitbull to too much carbs as it can lead to excessive weight gain.
I also recommend carb sources that are rich in fiber. This will help reduce bouts of diarrhea to which Pitbulls are notorious for.
Know the ingredients to avoid
Most of all, you should know what ingredients to avoid. This applies to all life stages, but most especially for aging canines.
Here are some that you should watch out for:
- Too much by-products. As much as possible, you should never give your senior Pitbull dog food with by-products as the first ingredient.
- Too much sodium. Take note that high levels of sodium is poisonous to canines. Also, senior Pitbulls are at high risk of developing kidney problems, so you should control their sodium intake as much as possible.
- Artificial flavors and dyes. Your senior Pitbull will not benefit from any artificial colors, flavors, and additives. In fact, these ingredients could trigger allergies among Pitbulls. Besides, your dog won’t care much about the color of its food.
- Artificial sweeteners. Legitimate dog food manufacturers know that xylitol is a no-no. This artificial sweetener us toxic to dogs, even on a very small amount.
These are just some of the ingredients you need to avoid in general. It’s important to consider your Pitbull’s sensitivities and allergies to know which other ingredients shouldn’t be on its food.
Aside from the ingredients, the nutritional profile is the make-or-break part when buying dog food products. Make sure that it has the right balance of protein, carbs, fats, and calories. This way, your Pitbull will receive the nutrients it needs based on the dog’s overall health.
If possible, look for dog food with chondroitin and glucosamine. These two substances help ease arthritis and joint pain in aging Pitbulls. A dose of Omega fatty acids is also a must to keep the canine’s coat shiny and healthy.
Pitbulls can be picky eaters, especially senior ones. You may need to try several food products to find the one that impresses the taste buds of your doggo.
This is why I always recommend dog food with real meat as the first ingredient. This is guaranteed to be flavorful and smelly enough to entice the appetite of an old Pittie.
But no matter how much you want to get your dog to eat, you should never resort to artificial flavorings.
When it comes to dog food, I always trust established brands. While brand alone isn’t the sole basis of quality, established brands like Purina, Blue Buffalo, Hill’s Science, and so on are proven by thousands of pet owners. Also, these brands observe extensive quality control.
How to encourage your senior Pitbull to eat
Is your senior Pitbull a picky eater? If so, here’s my advice to entice the canine’s appetite:
- Top it with treats. Some old Pitbulls just need a nudge when it comes to eating. This nudge can be a smelly treat that you can place on top of their kibble or wet food.
- Mix it up. You can try mixing two dog food products or cycling them to keep mealtimes interesting. However, make sure that the dog food products won’t cause irritation or stomach upset on your canine.
- Add some warm broth. Senior dogs may not like eating crispy kibble. Instead, you can add some warm chicken broth into it to make it soupy. Just make sure that it’s not burning hot and that the broth should be low in sodium.
- Keep them company. Senior Pitbulls get confused and scared easily. It will help to keep them company while they finish their meals. Your presence might be the only thing missing on their mealtime.
- Feed them on a calm area. Senior Pitbulls can get stressed easily when they are fed on a noisy and busy area. This is why you should pick a quiet area like a corner of your kitchen or a room with the door closed.
- Switch to new food. If all else fails, it might be time to switch to a new food product. Make sure that you do the switch slowly as Pitbulls have sensitive stomachs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does a senior dog food make a difference?
A: Senior dog foods make a difference, especially in terms of nutrition. It has lower protein levels and fewer carbohydrates to keep your Pitbull in shape. Since old Pitbulls aren’t as active as younger ones, they don’t need too much protein. Besides, excessive protein among old dogs can cause kidney problems. This is why senior formulas are made, so pet owners no longer have to go through the guesswork of homemade senior dog food.
Q: Can a 5-year-old Pitbull eat a senior dog food?
A: Senior dog food has low levels of protein. While it won’t harm younger dogs, it won’t provide ample nutrition that matches their life stage. Aside from that, many senior dog food formulas have lower calorie levels, which means your younger Pitbull will have lower energy.
Q: How many times in a day should you feed a senior Pitbull?
A: Senior Pitbulls can be fed twice a day, the same with adult Pitbulls. If your dog has digestion problems, you can break them down into three meals. You can also consult the vet about the best diet schedule for your senior dog.
Q: What do you feed a senior Pitbull with bad teeth?
A: Senior dogs with bad teeth can be fed with kibble soaked in chicken broth. The broth will soften the kibble, so it will be easier for your senior dog to eat it. You can also try formulas made for dogs with no teeth to make mealtimes easier for your Pitbull.
Q: How long can a senior dog go without eating?
A: You should never starve a senior Pitbull because they are prone to a lot of illnesses and health problems. It’s best to schedule feeding times and make sure that someone’s home to provide the food to your dog. Also, just because your Pitbull doesn’t experience harsh side effects doesn’t mean it’s totally fine to starve.
A lot of physical changes accompany old age among Pitbulls. So while your doggo is aging, you should keep up with its nutritional needs. The best dog food for senior Pitbulls will guarantee that your Pittie is receiving topnotch nourishment formulated specifically for its life stage. This way, your doggo will enjoy its golden years with yummy food and a healthy body.