A guide to feeding your older dog

As our dogs reach their twilight years, we want them to remain as happy and healthy as possible. Nutrition is a key element of helping older dogs keep that spring in their step (and a wag in their tail!), so we recommend making a few diet adjustments to support their changing needs.

If you’ve got a golden oldie, and are looking for some feeding tips, here’s a short guide from Autarky’s expert team of canine nutritionists.

What is a mature feed for dogs?

The benefit of age-specific feeds is that you can ensure your dog is getting all the right nutrients they need to support their bodily requirements at that time in their life.

Mature feeds tend to have fewer calories than standard feeds, as older dogs usually have reduced activity levels as they grow older. In addition, they will contain all the right vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support ageing joints and keep their immune system healthy.

Autarky has two mature feeds: Mature Lite Chicken and Mature Lite Salmon. Both are lower calorie options, containing the right balance of minerals, energy, protein and trace nutrients to support older dogs. Both also contain functional fibres and prebiotic to support a healthy digestive system.

We also recognise that dogs’ senses reduce as they grow older. That’s why we formulate the recipes to have strong flavour profiles, so that senior dogs can continue to be excited by their food — even if their sniffing ability isn’t quite what it used to be!

When should I transition my dog onto a mature diet?

Generally, a dog is considered senior at seven years old — or when they reach half their expected lifespan. No two dogs are the same, however, so a variety of factors should be considered when choosing whether to transition to a mature diet, including size and breed.

Here are some other factors you should consider and how a mature feed will help:


While it’s important for your dog to stay active as a senior, it’s natural that their exercise levels will reduce. This, coupled with a slowing metabolism, means that it’s often difficult for dogs to fight the flab as they grow older.

Autarky’s Mature Lite range has been formulated with a lower calorie content to ensure that older dogs can maintain a healthy weight as their daily habits change. If your dog is still eating the same amount of food they always have, but starting to gain weight with age, then it may be time to switch to a mature diet.

On the other hand, if your dog is still very active and naturally very lean, then it may be best to stick with their normal adult diet. Autarky’s Grain Free range is a good option in this case, as it includes added joint support.


Much like humans, dogs can suffer from the odd aches and pains as they grow older, and stiff joints can be a common problem. Autarky’s Mature Lite range has added joint care, meaning your dog’s mobility can be well-supported without having to supplement separately.

The added joint-care package comes in the form of glucosamine, which helps to lubricate joints and support cartilage formation. If you’ve noticed your dog is having mobility issues, or looks uncomfortable when doing their usual activities, then it may be time to switch to a mature feed for some extra help.

In addition, Mature Lite contains natural antioxidants and herbs to keep the immune system healthy, which can help ward off any mobility-related diseases, such as arthritis.

Our friendly, experienced team are always happy to provide advice on feeding your dog, whatever their age, on our Nutritional Helpline 01832 737 300, Monday – Friday 8.30am–5pm.

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