best weight loss dog food

10 Best Diet (Low Calorie) Dog Foods For Weight Loss & Control

Not only is obesity a huge problem in humans, but it affects up to 30% of dogs. Excess body fat is just as dangerous for dogs as it is for people, leading to a shortened life span and an increased risk for a wide variety of health problems.

When it comes to weight loss, dogs don’t know whether they are overweight or not. It’s your responsibility as a dog owner to take proper care of your dog and that means helping him maintain a healthy bodyweight. If he is overweight or obese, take action sooner rather than later to remedy the problem for your dog’s sake.

In this article, we’ll explore the subject of weight loss in dogs and tackle questions like, “how fast should a dog lose weight?” We’ll talk about simple ways to help your dog lose weight and you’ll see our top picks for the best dog food to lose weight.

What Are the Dangers of Obesity for Dogs?

As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to provide a healthy and nutritious diet for your dog. It is also your job to keep your dog happy and, unfortunately, many dog owners do so by overindulging their dog in treats and high-calorie snacks. Overweight and obesity are just as dangerous for humans as for dogs, but what are those dangers?

Here are some of the risks associated with canine obesity:

  • Increased risk for developing canine diabetes mellitus
  • Chronic widespread inflammation that may contribute to other diseases
  • High blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease
  • Increased strain on the joints and early arthritis or other joint problems
  • Higher risk for urinary bladder stones
  • Reduced tolerance for heat and exercise, increased risk for respiratory problems

If you look at your dog one day and realize that he’s overweight, don’t fall into the trap of thinking there’s simply more of him to love. You need to put your dog’s health and welfare first, and that means helping him achieve and maintain a healthy bodyweight. Keep reading to learn some helpful tips to help your dog lose a few pounds.

Tips for Helping Your Dog Lose Weight

Before you make any changes to your dog’s diet, you should consult your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to confirm whether your dog needs to lose weight and, if so, how much. It is extremely important that you do not just cut your dog’s daily food intake too severely because this could lead to a dangerous condition called hyperlipidemia or fatty liver disease. Instead, make small changes over time to reduce your dog’s fat and lower calorie intake so he loses weight at a healthy pace.

Here are some simple tips for helping your dog lose weight:

  • Start by determining how much weight your dog needs to lose and how quickly he needs to lose it. Aim for about 3% to 5% of your dog’s body weight per month, or about 1% per week.
  • Check your dog’s weight frequently and make adjustments – as his body weight decreases, you’ll need to adjust his feeding, so he isn’t losing weight too quickly.
  • If you’re not sure how to adjust your dog’s intake, try feeding him the amount recommended for his ideal bodyweight rather than his current weight (as long as it isn’t drastically lower).
  • Start feeding your dog smaller, structured meals throughout the day instead of free-feeding or feeding two large meals.
  • Switch your dog from commercial treats to things like carrots or slices of sweet potato – they are low calorie but more filling.
  • Encourage your dog to be more active by taking him for several quick walks throughout the day and by engaging him in active play time.
  • Try switching to a weight control formula that is lower in calories and fat but will still be roughly the same amount of food your dog is eating.
Your dog’s health and nutrition should always be your highest priority, so don’t take any shortcuts. It might seem easy to just cut your dog’s daily intake in half, but that is not the best way to go. You’ll be lowering his calorie intake, but you’ll also be reducing his intake of essential nutrients which could lead to other health problems down the line. Instead, talk to your veterinarian about the best course of action or switch your dog to a weight control dry food or wet food.

What to Look for in a Dog Food for Weight Loss

Your dog’s basic nutritional needs won’t change with his body weight. He’ll need more protein and fat as a puppy than as an adult, but throughout his life his minimum requirements remain largely the same. This means that you’ll need to be extra careful when shopping for weight loss dog food to make sure you’re reducing your dog’s total calorie intake without negatively affecting his nutrition.

Here are some things to look for in a dog food for weight control:

  • Above average protein. Protein is the most important nutrient for any dog, regardless of size, but extra protein will help him build and maintain lean muscle mass so look for a higher protein recipe that contains about 30% protein or more.
  • Low-to-moderate fat content. Your dog needs a minimum of 8% fat in his diet, but the average dry dog food contains about 16% and the average canned food is 23% – aim for something between 10% and 15% to help your dog lose weight.
  • Below average calorie content. The average calorie content for dog food is about 400 calories per cup, so look for something with below average calorie content.
  • Wholesome, natural ingredients. Whole-food ingredients are the most digestible for your dog, so look for real animal proteins rather than by-products, whole-grains or grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, and real animal-based fats.
  • High digestibility and fiber. It won’t do your dog any good to feed him a diet that his body can’t digest. Choose a recipe made with high-quality ingredients and look for digestion-boosting supplements like prebiotic fibers and probiotics.
  • Nutritionally complete and balanced. We’ll say it again that your dog’s nutrition is of the utmost importance, so make sure any weight control dog food you pick is still complete and nutritionally balanced according to your dog’s life stage.

Now that you have a better understanding of your dog’s minimum nutritional needs and how to meet them while also helping him lose weight, you’re ready to start shopping! If you’re still not sure where to start, check out our top picks for the best dog foods for weight loss below.

best weight control dog food

The 10 Best Dog Foods for Weight Loss

The best dog food for weight loss is one made from wholesome, natural ingredients in a nutritionally balanced formula. The food should be made with lean sources of animal protein, digestible carbohydrates, and limited calorie and fat content. You’ll need to choose the right recipe for your dog based on his preferences and any existing food sensitivities, but there are plenty of options.

Here’s our top pick for the best dog food for weight loss:

NomNomNow Fresh Food Delivery

Overall Best Weight Control Dog Food:  When it comes to weight loss, many dog owners turn to fresh food because it is the highest in nutritional value. If you’re looking for a great fresh food to feed your dog, consider NomNomNow fresh food delivery. This is a service that sends you pre-portioned packages of fresh dog food right to your door once a month. You simply fill out a profile online to provide your dog’s age and weight information, then you can choose from several protein-rich recipes. Each recipe is made with wholesome, natural ingredients and cooked in small batches to ensure nutritional quality. Before choosing a recipe, you can view the calorie and fat content so you can make the right choice for your dog. You can also work with a company representative to choose the right portion to help your dog lose weight.

  • Pros: Fresh wholesome meals, natural ingredients, choose from several recipes, pre-portioned packages sent to your door, cooked in small batches, high nutritional value
  • Cons: Expensive to feed as a staple diet

Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Most Popular Dog Food for Weight Loss: Though not specifically designed for weight loss, this Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is still an affordable option from a popular brand. It contains nearly 30% protein with 15% fat and 360 calories per cup. While it may not be the lowest in fat and calories, it is rich in protein and provides high-quality sources of digestible carbohydrates including fresh fruits and vegetables. This recipe contains a blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, plus plenty of fiber to support your dog’s digestion. It contains fresh fruits and veggies as natural sources for key nutrients with chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutrient absorption.

  • Pros: High in protein, moderate fat and calories, digestible carbohydrates, several animal proteins, blend of omega fatty acids, fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, probiotics
  • Cons: Some dogs may be sensitive to beef ingredients, may be too high in fat for some dogs

American Journey Healthy Weight Chicken & Brown Rice Protein First Recipe Dry Food

Most Affordable Weight Loss Dog Food: Not all high-quality dog foods cost a fortune. This American Journey Healthy Weight Chicken & Brown Rice Protein First Recipe Dry Food is an affordable option from the Chewy in-house brand. Not only is this recipe formulated for weight control, but it features real chicken as the first ingredient and a lean source of high-quality protein. This formula contains just over 300 calories per cup and provides 25% protein with just 9% fat. It contains brown rice as a digestible source of carbohydrates with peas and barley for support. It is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, plus plenty of supplemental fiber to support your dog’s healthy digestion. It contains fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources of key nutrients with vitamin supplements and chelated minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition for your dog.

  • Pros: Low in calories and fat, real chicken as main ingredient, digestible carbohydrates, rich in fiber for digestion, fresh fruits and vegetables, blend of omega fatty acids, chelated minerals
  • Cons: Could be higher in protein content, not a grain-free recipe (some dogs may be sensitive)

Solid Gold Fit and Fabulous Weight Control Canned Food

Best Wet Dog Food for Weight Loss: Many dog owners wonder whether it is better to feed wet or dry dog food for weight loss. There are arguments for both sides, but when it comes to wet food, you’ll find that most recipes are higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than dry food. Be careful, however, because many wet foods are also higher in fat, so you may want to choose a weight control formula like this Solid Gold Fit and Fabulous Weight Control Canned Food. Specifically designed for weight control, this canned food recipe is low in both calories and fat but plentiful in protein. It features fresh chicken, chicken liver, and ocean whitefish as premium sources of lean protein with limited healthy fat content for the skin and coat benefits. This recipe also contains low-calorie fresh fruits and veggies like spinach, carrots, and apples to provide natural sources for key nutrients with chelated minerals for balance.

  • Pros: Holistic natural recipe, lean protein options, low in calories and fat, fresh fruits and vegetables, grain-free digestible carbohydrates, chelated minerals, nutritionally balanced
  • Cons: May be too high in fiber for some dogs, some dogs may be sensitive to chicken ingredients

Halo Holistic Turkey, Turkey Liver & Duck Recipe Grain-Free Healthy Weight Dry Food

Best Low Calorie Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach: If your dog struggles with food allergies or sensitive stomach, you need to be extra careful when choosing the best dog food to lose weight. This Halo Holistic Turkey, Turkey Liver & Duck Recipe Grain-Free Weight Control Dog Food is a great option because it contains only high-quality, natural ingredients in a nutritionally balanced weight loss formula. This recipe features fresh turkey as the main ingredients with turkey liver and duck as supplemental protein sources. It contains digestible grain-free carbohydrates like chickpeas and lentils plus dried fruits and vegetables for natural sources of key nutrients. This recipe is rich in omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat with plenty of beneficial supplements include vitamins, chelated minerals, and probiotics. Plus, it only contains 12% fat.

  • Pros: Holistic natural recipe, rich in animal protein, low in fat and calories, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, high in fiber, rich in omega fatty acids, dried fruits and vegetables, probiotics
  • Cons: Contains some plant protein (pea and soy protein)

5 More Top-Rated Low Calorie Dog Foods

If the weight control dog foods reviewed above don’t seem like the right fit, don’t worry because you have plenty more options to choose from. Here are five other recipes we like:

Dr. Tim’s Metabolite Weight Management Dog Food Formula

Quality nutrition is key, no matter your dog’s body weight. If you’re looking for a formula that is lower in calories and fat than your dog’s current diet but still rich in nutrients, try this Dr. Tim’s Metabolite Weight Management Dog Food Formula. This recipe is uniquely formulated for weight loss, featuring lean sources of premium animal protein with a patented probiotic to support optimal digestion and nutrient absorption. It contains essential amino acids like L-carnitine to promote healthy fat metabolism with under 270 calories per cup, 30% protein, and just 10% fat. Plus, it is very high in fiber (10%) and contains all the beneficial supplements your dog needs for healthy digestion and balanced nutrition.

  • Pros: High in protein (30%), low in fat and calories, lean source of animal protein, digestible whole-grain carbohydrates, rich in omega fatty acids, probiotics for healthy digestion, dried fruits and veggies
  • Cons: Could be too high in fiber for some dogs, not a grain-free recipe (some dogs may be sensitive)

Annamaet Grain-Free Lean Dry Dog Food Formula

Low-fat dog food doesn’t have to be flavorless, and this Annamaet Grain-Free Lean Dry Dog Food Formula is proof of that. It is a lean formula designed to help your dog lose weight without sacrificing the delicious flavor he craves. It contains chicken meal as a concentrated source of lean protein with digestible grain-free carbohydrates like peas, lentils, and potatoes. You’ll find supplemental sources of protein like duck meal and herring meal with plenty of healthy fats form animal-based sources. This recipe is supplemented with chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutrient absorption and it contains plenty of fiber as well as probiotics for healthy digestion. Overall, it contains 30% protein with just 9% fat and only 350 calories per cup.

  • Pros: Chicken meal as main ingredient, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, high in protein, low in calories and fat, rich in omega fatty acids, chelated minerals, probiotics
  • Cons: Some dogs may be sensitive to chicken ingredients, expensive to feed as a staple diet

Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Reduced Fat Dry Dog Food

Reducing the fat in your dog’s food shouldn’t mean sacrificing the flavor. This Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Reduced Fat Dry Dog Food features a tasty combination of chicken and turkey in a nutrient-rich but low-fat formula. It contains fresh, deboned turkey as the main ingredient with supplemental protein from lean sources like turkey meal and chicken meal. This is a grain-free recipe made with digestible carbohydrates like peas and potatoes, supplemented with plenty of fiber and probiotics for healthy digestion. It also contains chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutrient absorption with fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources for key nutrients as well.

  • Pros: Fresh turkey as main ingredients, provides 33% protein, low in fat and calories, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, rich in omega fatty acids, fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, probiotics
  • Cons: May be too high in fiber for some dogs, some dogs may be sensitive to chicken ingredients

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight Adult Pasture Fed Lamb & Rice Recipe

If your dog isn’t sensitive to grains, this Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight Adult Pasture Fed Lamb & Rice Recipe could be a great option. It features real pasture-fed lamb as the main ingredient and a premium source of protein with digestible whole-grain brown rice for carbohydrate energy. It is rich in fiber from numerous sources with a blend of omega fatty acids for skin and coat support. This recipe could be higher in protein, but it is very low in calories and fat compared to even other weight control recipes. It contains vitamin supplements and chelated minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition and is completely free from low-quality fillers and artificial additives.

  • Pros: Very low in calories and fat, real lamb as first ingredient, whole-grain digestible carbohydrates, vitamin supplements and chelated minerals, rich in fiber
  • Cons: Could be higher in protein, may be too high in fiber for some dogs

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dry Food

If you want to feed your dog the quality nutrition associated with raw food but don’t want to pay a premium price tag, consider this Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dry Food. This formula consists of protein-rich kibble infused with freeze-dried raw bites to provide a boost of flavor and nutrition. It is still a healthy weight formula, made with 15% fewer calories and 25% less fat than the original recipe, but it still provides your dog with a quality source of balanced nutrition. This recipe features fresh chicken as the main ingredient with supplemental protein from turkey meal, chicken meal, and menhaden fish meal. It is balanced in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids with plenty of fiber to support your dog’s healthy and regular digestion.

  • Pros: High-protein kibble with freeze-dried raw bites, lower in calories and fat, rich in fiber, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, blend of omega fatty acids, chelated minerals probiotics
  • Cons: Expensive to feed as a staple diet, some dogs may be sensitive to chicken ingredients

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How fast should a dog lose weight? – When it comes to how quickly your dog can safely lose weight, you should aim for about 3% to 5% of your dog’s body weight per month, or about 1% per week. Most dogs achieve their ideal weight within six to eight months, but you’ll need to be consistent about monitoring your dog’s intake and withholding extra food and treats during that time. Some dogs will lose weight more quickly than others, however, so monitor your dog’s weight as you go to keep track of things.
  • How do I get my fat dog to lose weight? – Weight loss in dogs is two-fold – it should involve dietary changes as well as an increase in activity. To increase your dog’s activity you can take him for several short walks throughout the day to keep him active and engage him in playtime as well. In terms of dietary changes, you want to reduce his total calorie intake and reducing his fat intake is one way to do that. Try one of the weight control dry dog food options we’ve reviewed above or follow the tips above to choose your own.
  • How much should I feed my dog for weight loss? – The amount you feed your dog each day depends on his age, current weight, and ideal weight. You’ll need to talk to your veterinarian about how much weight your dog needs to lose and then adjust his calorie intake accordingly. In some cases where your dog only needs to lose a little bit of weight, you may be able to simply start feeding him the amount recommended for his ideal weight rather than his current weight. Make sure he gets enough to meet his nutritional needs without going overboard.
  • How often should I feed my dog for weight loss? – When helping your dog lose weight, you want to strike the right balance between reducing his intake and not making him feel too deprived. One way you can do this is to reduce the total amount you feed him each day but divide it into several smaller meals fed more often, rather than two large meals.
  • How many calories should a dog eat in a day? – Different dogs have different calorie needs, but most dogs need about 25 to 30 calories per pound of bodyweight to maintain a healthy bodyweight. Small breeds and active dogs may require anywhere from 30 to 40 calories per pound of bodyweight while large, giant, and sedentary breeds may only need 20 calories per pound. If your dog is overweight, you’ll need to reduce his caloric intake without putting his health at risk.

Weight loss is never easy or fun, especially for a dog who doesn’t understand why you’re not feeding him treats anymore. It’s important to remember your motivation, however, and that motivation is doing what’s best for your dog. You are your dog’s guardian and it’s your job to take care of him.

If your dog needs to lose weight, take the tips you’ve learned here and put them into action. If you’re thinking about switching to a lower calorie diet, try one of the best dog foods to lose weight that we’ve reviewed above.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *