I Accidentally Bought Senior Dog Food (7 Things To Do With It)

You can’t believe your bad luck! Today is just one of those days where nothing seems to go right…you were already late leaving work because of that ‘important‘ meeting.

You quickly stopped at the pet store to pick up some dog food, and you grabbed a bag off the shelf without giving it much thought.  Then, as soon as you got home you realized your mistake: You accidentally bought senior dog food for your adult dog (or puppy)!

First thing first, stop beating yourself up.  We’ve all made mistakes, yes even somewhat expensive mistakes like buying the wrong 50-pound bag of dog food!

So now what? What should you do with the senior dog food you mistakenly bought? Fortunately, several options can help you handle your predicament. While some things might cost you the price of the food, with a little effort, other options will help you get back to where you want to be. Start with the basics and learn why the senior dog food you purchased is labeled senior dog food and then figure out your next step.

A Tip About Senior Dog Food

First, compare so you know what the differences between the senior dog food you bought and your normal dog food is.

When it comes to senior dog food, it’s important to remember that there is no set standard for what constitutes ‘senior’. This determination is made solely by the manufacturer.  This means, that depending on the brand, senior dog food can be nearly the same as or can vary significantly from regular dog food formulas.

However, senior dog food will typically have different levels of protein, fat, and carbohydrates than regular adult and puppy formulas in order to meet the specific needs of an older dog.

To open up your options of what to do with the senior dog food, you’ll need to figure out what the differences are between your dog food and the senior dog food.

Feed It To Your Dog

When feeding your dog senior food, you may need to supplement it with high-calorie treats or other special supplements. This extra nutrition can give your pup the extra energy and nourishment they need.  Once you have time to get back to the store and buy your regular food, you can mix the two until the senior bag is gone.

If you do decide to feed the senior dog food to your younger dog, make sure to keep an eye on him and monitor how he tolerates the change. If your good boy is a puppy, you’ll want to be extra careful as young pups can be more sensitive to sudden changes in their diet.

Uncomfortable symptoms like gas or diarrhea can make for an unpleasant experience for both of you! Be sure to pay attention to how your dog reacts.

Remember, your dog will eat just about anything, so as long as he doesn’t have an upset stomach, feeding him senior dog food once or twice is better than letting him go hungry!

Donate It

Donating your senior dog food can be a great way to help out those in need. Your local humane society and private shelters and rescues, as well as struggling neighbors, would all appreciate the donation of your unfortunately purchased food. 

No doubt it would provide much-needed nutrients for the animals in their care, especially if they have senior dogs they are currently looking out for.

Trade It

Reach out to your local pet groups and social media channels to see if anyone else has made the opposite mistake. You might find pet owners may have mistakenly bought the wrong food for their older dog.

By engaging in these conversations and networking with like-minded people, you should be able to arrange a mutually beneficial trade so that everyone gets what they need.

Return Or Exchange It

You may be able to exchange your senior dog food for the correct type of puppy food at no additional cost or at least at a reduced rate. Many pet stores will allow customers to return or exchange unopened items within a certain time frame.

However, it is important to check any store’s policies for their return and refund stipulations before going ahead with this plan of action. 

It is also worth contacting the manufacturer of the senior dog food, even if it wasn’t bought directly from them, as some brands have return policies that could allow you to swap out the incorrect product for one that meets your pup’s age requirements. 

Use It As A Treat

I don’t think there’s ever been a dog that doesn’t want a treat.  At least I know I haven’t met one!

If you’re not comfortable giving your pup the senior dog food as their primary source of nutrition, there are other ways to make sure that it doesn’t go to waste. Consider using the senior food as a treat.

If you’re going to give more than a little bit a day, I’d still recommend checking the nutritional label of the senior dog food to make sure that it doesn’t have too much of something your dog doesn’t normally eat.  After all, I’m sure you want to keep your pup healthy.

Give It To A Friend

I talked about donating it earlier.  There’s also a high probability that you have friends with dogs too.  I’ve noticed a lot of us dog owners seem to hang out with each other. If one of your dog buddies has an older dog ask if he wants it.

It’s a nice way of saving your pal some money and knowing that your mistake still went to good use. Remember though, senior dogs may need specific nutrition depending on any health issues, so be sure to ask the owner if their best friend can have your food before you just show up on their doorstep with it.

Sell It

The final option is selling the senior dog food online or off of one of your local bulletin boards (I’m amazed these have survived into our modern times).

Check out websites like Craigslist or eBay where people often like to hunt for good bargains. To avoid a hassle for both you and your potential buyer, be sure you list all relevant information about the product before posting so potential buyers can make an informed decision about their purchase. 

Wrapping it Up: I Accidentally Bought Senior Dog Food! Now What?

If you’ve accidentally bought senior dog food for your pup, don’t worry – there are lots of ways to make sure it doesn’t go to waste. You can mix it with your regular food and feed it to your dog, donate it, trade it with another pet owner, exchange or return it at the store, use it as a treat, give it to a friend or even sell it online. Do some research and find what works best for you and your pup’s needs. No matter what, you can ensure that your mistake will still be put to good use!

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