What’s the Best Dog Food for Every Stage of Life?: From Puppy to Senior Dog

What’s the Best Dog Food for Every Stage of Life?: From Puppy to Senior Dog

How does nutrition change for different life stages?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between puppy food, adult dog food, and senior dog food? It’s all just dog food… right? Let's take a deeper look into this. Why? Because "puppy" food is often considered “all life stages” food under AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials).

At Open Farm, we actually offer some "all life stage" options that are suitable for small and medium breed dogs from puppy to senior.

But our pup's dietary needs can change as they go through the various stages of life. And using targeted recipes for their current life stage can be beneficial in their journey. Selecting a food that is formulated to be complete and balanced for their age is the best way to ensure they get what they need.

What do puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs need?

What do dogs need at each life stage? To help us out, here’s a quote from our in-house veterinarian, Angie Krause, DVM:

Growing puppies require more calories, amino acids, certain vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus and calcium. Diets that are designed for puppies are more nutritionally dense. Small breed dogs are considered adults around 9-12 months, and large/giant breeds may not be fully grown until 18 months of age. At this time, they can be fed a diet that was designed for adults.

Senior dogs may benefit from diets that have more functional nutrition (glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, probiotics, omega fatty acids) to help with aging joints and increasing inflammation. Some senior dogs develop a more sensitive digestive tract and may benefit from more fiber and ingredients that improve digestion like probiotics.


When you first bring home a new puppy, you are immediately filled with joy! But it can also be overwhelming as you try to figure out the things your new dog needs. To make sure your sweet puppy is getting the right nutrition from premium ingredients, try feeding them one of the Puppy Foods from Open Farm. These premium ingredients will give your puppy high protein and support healthy brain development.

And if you really want to go above and beyond with your puppy’s complete and balanced nutrition, you can try out the Puppy Essentials Pack that includes healthy puppy food—both dry dog food and freeze dried raw dog food—plus two different types of healthy puppy treats that your dog will love!

Adult dogs:

Once your puppy is now a full grown adult dog, it’s time to switch their food. Remember that small dogs become adults around 9-12 months old, and large or giant breed dogs are full grown at about 18 months. You’ve already used Open Farm’s puppy food, so why not continue with the pet food you can trust.

To ensure that your pup grows into a healthy adult dog, try one of Open Farm’s many flavorful recipes for adult dogs that will support your dog’s health. You’ll find options of both dry dog food and freeze dried raw dog food. And all of Open Farm’s recipes only use premium ingredients that are ethically and sustainably-sourced and humanely-raised. You can try out recipes based around beef, chicken, turkey, or wild-caught salmon. And don’t forget to add some healthy adult dog treats too.

Senior dogs:

Eventually all pups become senior dogs. It’s time to switch their food again when your large or giant breed dog becomes 5-8 years old, and when your small dog becomes 8-10 years old. For proper senior support, try the Senior Recipe from Open Farm. This recipe will help support your senior dog’s hips and joints as well as provide them with a little more fiber, and ingredients that act as an anti-inflammatory.

Or just go straight for the Senior Bundle for Dogs that includes the senior dog food, a harvest chicken liquid meal topper, and three packages of the wild-caught salmon meal mixer. And of course, don’t forget to add a little extra hip and joint support with Open Farm’s supplements.

Pet food you can trust

If you’re looking for the healthiest dog food possible for every stage of life, from a pet food company you can trust, look no further. At Open Farm, we pride ourselves in having the highest ethical, sustainable, and humane standards for all of our dog and cat food, treat, and supplement recipes.

From ethical sourcing to premium ingredients, we value your pet’s nutrition just as much as you do. Give Open Farm a try and start feeding your pup the healthiest dog food on the market.

For other informative articles about pet health and nutrition, check out the Open Farm blog.

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