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Petaluma Senior Baked Dog Food Review 2023: Pros, Cons & Verdict

James Davis

By James Davis

Petaluma Senior Baked Dog Food Review

Our Final Verdict

We give Petaluma Senior Dog food a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Petaluma Senior Baked dog food has a few claims to fame: The formulation is meatless, packed with the nutrients your dog needs, and is baked instead of pressure-cooked like most dog kibble. They state their ingredient quality and preparation process make the final kibble healthier and better for your dogs. Glance through, read through, or pick your favorite heading and skim to find out what my dogs think about Petaluma, and learn a few things about this dog food along the way!Divider-Dog bone- New

The Petaluma Senior Baked Dog Food Recipe

petaluma baked dog foods

Petaluma packs a lot into their kibble: Chickpeas, potato protein, organic oats, pea protein, organic flaxseeds, roasted peanut oil, and more. The ingredients listed are all high quality in nature, and very noticeably all plants. That’s right: Petaluma dog foods are non-meat.

Petaluma cites several studies looking at basing a dog’s entire diet on plants and their products have been tested and formulated to give the proper amounts of macro and micronutrients to your dog, and can be used as a primary dog kibble. However, you should always have your vet approve a meatless diet for your dog before making the switch.

The senior formulation differs from the main formulation as appropriate for older dogs:

  • Fewer calories
  • Less fat
  • More DHA Omega-3 Fat
  • Differences in the micronutrients provided based on a dog’s needs as they get older

Petaluma is also very outspoken and proud of their attention to ethics. Their plant and process rely heavily on solar power, and they’ve worked to avoid waste and pollution in their manufacturing process. Compared to the stench-belching dog kibble plant a few miles from my house, their methods sound pretty great!

petaluma baked pumpkin & peanut butter flavor

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About Petaluma

Who makes Petaluma products and where is it produced?

Petaluma is based in Illinois in the United States. They were founded by Garrett Wymore and Caroline Buck. Garrett has a history in R&D in pet food development and Caroline is an expert in marketing.

Dr. Blake Hawley is their Veterinary Nutritionist and Dr. Deena Krestel-Rickert has decades of experience in research and development of dog foods.

All are dog lovers, as you might expect!

Which Types of Dogs is Petaluma Senior Baked Dog Food Best Suited For?

Petaluma Senior Baked Dog Food is best suited for older dogs. Petaluma recommends switching to their senior formulation (or starting it if you don’t already use Petaluma feed) based on the following guidelines:

  • Small (<20 lbs), use senior formulation at age 10+ years
  • Medium (20 lbs to 60 lbs), use senior formulation at age 9+ years
  • Large (60 lbs to 90 lbs), use senior formulation at age 7+ years
  • Extra Large (90+ lbs), use senior formulation at age 5+ years

The senior formulation contains some specifics to help dogs as they age, including anti-inflammatory ingredients like curcumin and fiber to keep your dog’s digestive tract running as it should.

petaluma two dogs eating treats from hand

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Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

Vegetarian Dogs?

Yes, it can be done! Whether or not it should is a hot button issue with many dog owners. As mentioned, the American Kennel Club and British Veterinary Association come down (the BVA much moreso) on the “dogs are omnivores, they prefer meat, meat is good for them, use meat” side. The AKC says plant only is an option, but that the dog will need more medical observation and labs to avoid malnutrition.

However, the good people at VCA Hospitals mention that the most common dog food allergies are aggravated by beef, dairy, chicken, chicken eggs, soy, or wheat gluten.

Earlier I mentioned chickpeas, potato protein, organic oats, pea protein, etc. The ingredient list is too long and complicated for deep discussion, but minerals like zinc amino acid complex, sodium selenite, and vitamin supplements (A, B12, D3, and E) provide a solid foundation for meeting nutritional needs.

Petaluma states that their formulation will meet all your dog’s needs without meat. Meatless meeting, if you will. Is it true? Looking over the ingredients, I’d say “yes”, but as dogs can vary this is a great question for your vet. For me, personally, I won’t cut my dogs over to a plant-only diet because they’re more expensive and I’ve watched my dogs hunt, kill, and eat things when they’re running loose on the homestead. Given the choice they are very aggressive non-vegetarians!

Do Dogs Like Plant-Only Kibble?

They like this plant-only kibble! My dogs absolutely loved this stuff, and even though it’s “regular dog food”, they clearly considered it treat-level and got competitive in trying to chomp it!

Is It Cost-Effective?

When looking at top-notch products like this one, I like to tilt the balance in their favor. Unlike big dog food companies, they aren’t ever going to try to save money by sourcing shady ingredients from overseas that include toxins. Yes, it really happened.

Since we know you’re going to need a steady supply of dog food for your dog, let’s consider the most cost effective bag Petaluma sells (18 lbs) at the subscription price ($70.46).

I have no doubt Petaluma would say their food is much, much better than what I usually feed my dogs. Now, I’ve raised many dogs on that feed and they’ve all lived to or beyond their average life spans. To be fair, I’d say Petaluma is in the expected range for a premium dog food.

Dog smiling with Petaluma baked dog food

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Petaluma Senior Baked Dog Food Reviewed

Petaluma Senior Baked Dog Food is a premium meatless dog kibble that provides complete nutrition for your canine companion. It’s available in multiple pack sizes and discounted if you subscribe to regular purchases shipped to your door. The quality of the kibbles in terms of appearance and ingredients are top-notch, and your dogs will devour them with joy!

  • Fantastic product presentation—these kibbles could be featured in an art show
  • Kibbles are well-loved by dogs
  • Top-shelf ingredients and formulated by a veterinarian with relevant background
  • Company is clearly ethically-minded
  • Price
  • Really, nothing else. This is an excellent product.

Ingredients Analysis

Crude Protein: 29.7%
Crude Fat: 11.4%
Crude Fiber: 4.49%
Carbohydrates: 39.76%
Ash: 6.05%
Moisture: 8.60%
Vitamin E: 207 IU/kg

Calorie Breakdown

½ cup: 401.5 calories
1 cup: 803 calories
2 cups: 1606 calories

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Our Experience With Petaluma Senior Baked Dog Food

petaluma two dogs one dog eating food from hand

The resealable packages I received were attractive, decent quality, and well-packed for the product they contained.

I received a hand-written note from one of the founders letting me know she hoped I had a good experience testing the product with my dogs which included my dogs’ names. I found this to be a heartwarming and very sincere touch.

The kibbles are much nicer than the ones from the dog kibble I usually buy. They are hard, well-formed, distinct, do not clump, do not stink, do not powder easily, and are absolutely delightful from a product design perspective. I’m a pharmacist and compound custom products, and these are just exquisitely well done for what they are. Big props to the R&D and quality teams at Petaluma!

My dogs love these kibbles. Love them. More than their usual kibble? Very much yes. They think these are treats, and they’re regular dog kibble!

Luka, my Aussie, will eat rope, bits of stick, dog toys, small weeds, small animals, and shoes if he can get them. I always feed him first because I know if he won’t eat it, it shouldn’t be marketed as food for dogs (or anything else either). Penny, my Catahoula mix, is much more prim and reluctant to eat anything beneath her standards. She did smell the kibble first, (Luka tried to eat my hand with the kibble), but immediately found it to her liking.

If Penny and Luka were writing this article, their rating would read, “10/10, would insist on having it again, as frequently as possible, right now, seriously, I’m ignoring a squirrel to write this and you have NO idea how hard that is.”

I am actually considering incorporating Petaluma into my dogs’ diets. If I do it, I’ll use it for variety to their main kibble.

a dog getting petaluma baked food

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Petaluma Senior Baked Dog Food is truly a cream-of-the-crop pet food. It’s priced like that, too – but, it’s worth the expense. I am considering incorporating it into my dogs’ diets as part of a food rotation cycle I like to do to keep meal time fresh and exciting. I do believe it will help flesh out their diet and give them a good variety of nutrients.

Some people may not like the meatless diet for their dogs, and for those folks it’s pretty easy to solve – mix some meat in! If they do want to try a meatless diet and ensure their dogs get enough nutrients, this feed is one of the best I’ve seen for meeting requirements that can be pretty tough if a dog isn’t getting any meat.

If you want a Cadillac of dog food, you won’t go wrong getting it from Petaluma!

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