What makes the best senior dog food?

As dogs enter their senior years, food makes such a difference to quality of life. A great senior dog food will help them manage their weight as their metabolism slows down, support their joints and their immune system.

Scratch is full of good energy and immune-boosting Australian ingredients – perfect for older dogs.

Senior Dog

Cartoon of an old dog with a walking cane

Scratch is the best senior dog food to get more out of life

Dog

Food is the #1 impact on energy – feed whole ingredients

Old dogs don’t have to act like old dogs. It’s amazing what a difference food can do to an old fella’s energy and happiness.

By using whole ingredients and avoiding those that more easily turn to fat (we’re looking at you starches & grains), many dogs can wind back the clock on a food like Scratch.

Dog Food Meat

Not all protein is created equal

Dogs do better with plenty of high-quality animal protein. The best senior dog foods have a specific animal protein as the first ingredient – for example ‘Turkey’, not ‘poultry’ which can suggest a mix of human food chain leftovers.

Scratch only uses premium, Australian specific animal protein from human-grade abattoirs.

Asset 3

Prevent weight gain as your senior dog ages

If your senior dog is overweight or obese, the most important thing you can do for them is getting their weight back to normal. Dogs that are overweight or obese die on average two years earlier than dogs at a healthy weight. That is a lot of time you miss out on together.

Scratch is very good as a weight loss dog food, with a personalized feeding guide as they age, allowing you to prevent guesswork and overfeeding.

Asset 9

Food can be preventative – look after their immune system

Most of the immune system is generated from the gut, so feeding a better senior dog food will build gut resilience to fight infection, deal with stress and protect from cancers later in life. Scratch builds gut health for resilient dogs.

You’ll be able to judge for yourself when picking up after them with our biodegradable poop bags.

Store-bought kibble

Scratch Dog Food
Dog Food Bag
Scratch dog food box
  • Mostly powdered stuff from overseas
  • 'Meat' that changes batch to batch
  • 95% owned by big multinationals
  • Unregulated & with misleading labelling
  • Made in bulk, marked up by nearly 50%
  • Good luck getting quick service
  • 🥕 Whole Aussie produce
  • 🥩 Premium Aussie meat (& more of it)
  • 🇦🇺 100% independent & Australian-owned
  • 📦 Fully transparent labelling
  • 🐶 Fresher food, direct for your dogs
  • 💬 You're talking to the people who make it

All 3 of our recipes are suitable foods for senior dogs

Look after them with one of our three super-premium recipes. Scratch avoids ingredients that are tough to process and turn to fat (we’re looking at you grains and starches), and use higher quantities of Australian superfoods and sustainable meats.

It’s fine to mix-feed with wet food if you like to give them variety, or 100% nutritionally complete and suitable to feed as their whole diet.

Our grain-free kangaroo recipe even includes Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Collagen for extra joint support.

Grain-free
Dog food bag: Turkey, Beef & Lamb

Turkey, Beef & Lamb

Our most popular option for dogs of all ages - even large breed pups.

$77 PER 8kg
Dog food bag: Kangaroo

Sensitive Kangaroo

For any woofer that can't seem to shake tummy, skin or joint issues.

$87 PER 8kg
With Grains
Dog food bag: Lamb

Pasture-raised Lamb

Delicious new recipe with plenty of hypoallergenic lamb and some nutritious ancient whole-grains.

$84 PER 8kg
Chihuahua sitting on top of a Scratch dog food box
Pugalier

My pugalier is 16 this year… but was sleeping a lot, generally just slowing down. Since feasting on Scratch she has seemed to lose years!

Cattle Dog

Paw pumps all round. So happy we found you Scratch. Thanks for taking on the giants!

4.9/5 Average Rating from
over 10,000 Aussie dogs

  1. PLENTY of lean, high-quality protein from the best possible Australian meat
  2. ENERGY from animal fats, not carbs.
  3. NO preservatives and no added colours or flavours
  4. NO processed soy, corn, cellulose, wheat and low starches
  5. WHOLE ingredients as much as possible
  6. NOTHING grouped, disguised or hidden
  7. PLENTY of healthy oils with a variety of Omega-3 sources
  8. EVERYTHING your woofer needs not just to sustain them, but to help them thrive
See How Long a Box Would Last Your Pup

Common questions about senior dog food

There are officially only different nutritional requirements for puppies and adult dogs, not a specific profile for senior dogs. Most dog foods specially designed for seniors are more about weight management and marketing. A great senior dog food can also be great for adults and puppies. This is how we have designed Scratch.

Whether your dog is a “Senior” or not depends a lot on their size and breed. Giant breeds like Great Danes, Dogue de Bordeaux, Saint Bernards and Bernese Mountain dogs are senior dogs from 5 or 6 years old. Small dogs like Jack Russells and Chihuahua live the longest and are not seniors until they are over 10. Most dogs are seniors by around 8-9 years. This includes breeds like Labradors, Staffys & Border Collies and Beagles.

If your dog has had pancreatitis, they will generally be prescribed a low-fat diet. Scratch has 15% fat which usually is a great energy source. Vets often suggest a diet below 8% fat(on a dry basis) to avoid getting pancreatitis again.

Processing high amounts of protein is thought to put too much stress on diseased kidneys. Most vets will suggest a diet lower in protein than Scratch’s 28% if your senior dog has kidney disease. It is important to get specific advice from your dog’s vet if they have Kidney problems as they still need all the essential amino acids from protein to stay healthy.

After obesity, dental diseases is the most common health problem for the modern senior dog. Mature dogs that have not been getting raw bones and dental treats or toys to chew on – or regular tooth brushing and cleaning are likely to have dental disease. often making their mouth sensitive. They may also have missing or removed teeth that make it harder to chew.

If your senior dog is not enjoying their dry food anymore as it hurts their mouth, you can still use a great dry senior dog food – just add some water to it to soften it.

Older dogs will benefit from a dog food focused on supporting their immune system which weakens as they age. The immune system is very complex, but the keys to this are good quality sources of animal protein, zinc and vitamin C. Protein is crucial as it provides the essential building blocks for muscles, organs and the immune system.

A healthy senior dog food will also have good levels of omega 3 fatty acids (from cold water fish) to help reduce inflammation. Scratch uses Tasmanian Salmon Oil as the primary source of omega 3 as well as Turmeric to combat inflammation.

Our sustainable kangaroo dog food is supplemented with glucosamine, hydrolised collagen & chondroitin to protect and support damaged joints in senior dogs.

There is evidence that Green-Lipped Muscles help. The issue with including this as an ingredient in senior dog food is that it is very temperature sensitive and easily de-activated. It is best to use freeze-dried Green-Lipped Muscles as a treat or powder instead. This way you also know exactly how much your dog is getting.

Most commercial dog foods designed for weight management just include more fillers to make you feel like you are still feeding them enough. This can even be by adding sawdust! (appears as “Powdered Cellulose” on labels).

We take a different approach. If your dog needs to reduce weight, we personalise their feeding plan, provide you with a scoop and make sure that we make the best senior dog food with ingredients that the body can get the most out of.

It’s best to feed older dogs twice a day.

Senior dogs don’t necessarily need supplements, but many will benefit from them. Many dogs (particularly active and larger breeds) suffer from joint and cartilage damage over time. Too many zoomies ey!

Our sensitive kangaroo recipe already includes Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Collagen to strengthen damaged joint cartilage and treat and prevent joint disorders such as osteoarthritis.

For sure – as long as they’re not too salty, too sugary or fed too often (regardless of how many sad looks they give you).

Natural body parts are the best treat for most senior dogs, such as our kangaroo dog treats and lamb dog treats.

Wet dog food can be easier on dogs with severe dental disease, but much of it does them little good as wet dog food is often filled with a lot of gelatins and poor quality meat.

An Australian-made dry dog food like Scratch usually contains more meat, helps to control dental health and produces significantly less packaging waste.

Scratch is made fresher and with whole Aussie produce rather than the processed ingredients that goes into many dry dog foods.

Learn why we focused on improving dry dog food.

Grains themselves aren’t bad, but the majority of the grains used in dog foods are, and they’re used in way too high quantities.

At the end of the day, a senior dog needs a food that is easy to digest, is balanced so as to not overload particular organs, provides nutritious energy and limits inflammation.

In our view, there are many unhealthy grain-free dog foods, just as there are many unhealthy grain-inclusive dog foods.

Our 3 Scratch recipes (2 of which are grain-free) have all been designed under this ethos, helping to give senior dogs a quality (and longer) end to life.

We don’t have a recipe that is only suitable for older dogs. All 3 Scratch recipes are designed to exceed AAFCO standards for all life stages and are suitable from pup through to old fella.

How do we do it? Without the store mark-ups, we can afford to include better ingredients from the get-go – ingredients that build up gut health, offer protein from high-quality meat, skip fillers and support with various supplements.

See our dog kibble range.

Your large breed dog will be better off with a dog food suited to their reduced energy output and ageing joints, and would not benefit from a large breed dog food like they would earlier in life. Stick with a food such as our Kangaroo dog food with joint support.

See the change
in your dogs

Get Started

Build your dog's personalised
feeding plan.

CLOSE

Stocked up but interested?
Set a reminder

Enter your email address and we'll send a simple reminder email when you're running low on food.