Best Dog Food for Weight Loss | Reviews and Comparisons

Last Updated on by Gail Ramirez

Keeping your dog at a healthy weight requires a subtle balance of exercise and diet. When it comes to managing the weight of a dog, even the most careful dog owners get it wrong sometimes and end up with an overweight dog.

Nevertheless, it can be tough to feed your pet smaller portions of food to help it lose weight; this will only leave your pet feeling hungry. The best way to manage the weight of your dog is by feeding it with the best dog food for weight loss.

There are dog foods formulated for weight loss and they contain fewer calories and fat than regular dog foods. This would help your pet slim down or/and maintain a healthy weight without depriving your pet of food. Here are some of our top recommendations for the best dog foods for overweight dogs.

Our top pick is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food . It is one of the best dog food for weight loss, as it contains high protein, low calories, and low fat. It boasts of a great weight control formula, with support for lean muscle development, healthy immune system, coat, and skin.

The Best Dog Foods for Weight Loss Are:

ProductDetails
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Weight Control, no corn, no wheat, no soy
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2. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Digestive health, low fat, whole grains
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3. Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit Digestive, Weight, Glucose, Urinary Management Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Weight control, digestive health, glucose, and urinary management
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4. Nulo Freestyle Cod & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free Adult Trim Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Grain-free, weight control, gluten-free, low glycemic, high-protein
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5. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Weight control
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6. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Weight control, grain-free, gluten-free, no corn, no soy, no wheat
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7. Natural Balance Fat Dogs Chicken & Salmon Formula Low Calorie Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Weight control
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8. Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Shredded Blend Weight Management Formula Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Weight control
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9. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Healthy Weight Real Chicken & Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Sensitive digestion, weight control, grain-free, gluten-free, limited ingredients, no corn, no soy, no wheat
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1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food — Best Dog Food for Overweight Dogs

Blue Buffalo is one of the most popular and trusted brands in the pet food market. This Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight from Blue Buffalo is one of the best weight management dog food for large breeds.

This dog food has no wheat, soy, and corn. It contains L-carnitine which builds muscle and helps burn fat. The top five ingredients of this food are deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, and pea fiber.

The omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in this dog food for weight management are awesome at making coat shine and keeping skin. This food features protein-rich, delicious deboned chicken and it is made without excess calories from fat to help your dog achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

It also contains phosphorus, calcium, and essential vitamins for healthy and strong teeth and bones. This food also supports healthy joints and mobility, thanks to the chondroitin and glucosamine content. 

The antioxidants, chelated minerals, and vitamins in this food help to support a healthy immune system. It does not contain any chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

The protein and fat counts of this food are moderate, making it ideal for overweight dogs. The protein content of this food is 20 percent while the fat content is just 9 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 10 percent and a caloric content of 326 kilocalories per cup. This food is available in 3, 6, 15, 24, and 30-pound bags.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Weight Control, no corn, no wheat, no soy

Pros

  • High-quality protein
  • Reduced calories from fat
  • Supports lean muscle development
  • Supports a healthy immune system, coat, and skin

Cons

  • It is not completely grain-free

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2. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food

If you are looking for a pocket-friendly dog food that is low in fat, then the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food is one option you should consider.

As stated in the name, this food also caters to dogs with gastrointestinal issues. Hence, if your dog has such an issue and you still want to manage its weight, then this is the best option you have.

This is one of the best weight management dog food out there because of its highly digestible, balanced, and tasty formula. The top five ingredients of this food are brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, wheat, barley, and natural flavors. This food contains whole grains and great protein from chicken meal to provide your dog with the right amount of protein it needs.

It also contains EPA, DHA, and prebiotics to provide your dog with a healthy digestive system, which is very important in weight management.

Dogs with pancreatitis or hyperlipidemia will also greatly benefit from this low-fat concentrated formula. If your dog has hyperglycemia, you should avoid this food, as it contains grains. However, the grains are wholesome grains.

In addition, this food helps with digestive issues including diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. It contains a precise blend of antioxidants to support a healthy immune system.

The omega fatty acids in this food help to soothe the GI tract. The protein content of this food is 20 percent, the minimum crude fat is 4.5 percent, the caloric content is 240 kcal/cup, and the maximum crude fiber is 3.6 percent.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Digestive health, low fat, whole grains

Pros

  • Low-fat for adequate weight management
  • Helps with digestive health
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Low in calories

Cons

  • It is a bit expensive

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3. Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit Digestive, Weight, Glucose, Urinary Management Dry Dog Food

This dry dog food from Hill’s Science Diet is another great option if you are looking for something to feed your overweight dog. This dog food will help your pup metabolize fat and maintain lean muscle.

It is high in fiber, low in fat, and high in L-carnitine, which helps to increase metabolism and energy. If you have a dog with diabetic needs and overweight at the same time, then this is the perfect dog food for it.

This food will help to keep the glucose levels of your dog down to avoid further complications in its health. It is also formulated to build lean muscle and burn fat, which is exactly what every dog needs.

This food contains clinical nutrition formulated specifically to provide balanced and complete nutrition to manage dogs susceptible to weight gain. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, this food also promotes urinary tract health and an overall healthy immune system.

The moderately high fiber levels offer a feeling of fullness and may help reduce begging. This food has the S+OXSHIELD seal, which means it is formulated to help promote a urinary environment that reduces the risk of developing struvite and calcium oxalate crystals.

The minimum crude protein content of this food is 15 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 6 percent, which is pretty great for weight management. The caloric content of this food is 255 kilocalories per cup while the maximum crude fiber content is 20 percent.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Weight control, digestive health, glucose, and urinary management

Pros

  • It helps burn fat and keeps muscles lean
  • Maintains healthy urinary tract
  • Promotes healthy immune system
  • Maintains healthy weight
  • Normalize blood glucose levels

Cons

  • It is expensive

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4. Nulo Freestyle Cod & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free Adult Trim Dry Dog Food

The next on our list is the Nulo Freestyle Cod & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free Adult Trim Dry Dog Food. Nulo is not one of the most popular dog food brands in the market, but this brand does make great dog foods. This cod and lentil dry dog food from Nulo is 100 percent grain-free and 74 percent of this food consists of animal-based proteins.

It contains L-carnitine, which helps in burning fat. It also contains probiotics for a healthy digestive system. This food contains plenty of wholesome veggies and fruits to provide your pet with all the nutrition it needs. It is free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. This reduced-fat, grain-free formula will help to normalize the weight of your dog.

It is suitable for dogs of all breeds and sizes. This dog food has a great track record of keeping dogs fit and trim. The protein content of this food is 30 percent, while the minimum fat content is only 7 percent, which is great for maintaining a healthy weight. The maximum crude fiber content of this food is 9 percent while the caloric content is 368 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Grain-free, weight control, gluten-free, low glycemic, high-protein

Pros

  • Grain-free formula
  • It is made from 74 percent of animal-based proteins
  • Low glycemic ingredients
  • It contains L-carnitine for the metabolism of fat
  • Support healthy digestion

Cons

  • The protein content is a bit high

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5. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

The Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food is one of the best dog food for weight loss. This dry dog food uses chicken as the number one protein source. The first five ingredients of this food are chicken, cracked pearled barley, brown rice, pea fiber, and corn gluten meal.

If your dog is not allergic to gluten or peas, then this is a great food to feed it. This weight loss dog food contains wholesome grains and it helps to enhance the nervous system of your dog with vitamins C and E.

It contains high-quality, natural ingredients and few calories, which is what is needed for weight loss over time. It features a proprietary ingredient blend to support healthy weight loss.

It also supports a healthy immune system, thanks to its clinically proven antioxidant blend with vitamins E and vitamins C. It contains easily digestible ingredients with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

This is the ideal dog food for adult dogs that require fewer calories, less active, neutered, or susceptible to weight grain. This food contains 24 percent protein while the minimum fat content is 9 percent. It has a minimum fiber content of 5 percent and a maximum of 13 percent. The calorie content of this food is 291 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Weight control

Pros

  • Supports healthy weight loss
  • Easily digestible ingredients
  • No additives
  • High-quality protein

Cons

  • It contains grains

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6. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food — Best Dry Dog Food for Weight Loss

If you are looking for a high-quality, natural dry dog food that will help your pup lose some pounds, then the Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food is one of the best options to consider.

This food features fewer calories and less fat than the standard formula, making it a great tool for dog weight loss. This formula is 100 percent grain-free and it is an excellent choice for dogs with grain intolerances and allergies.

Even if you have a dog that can tolerate grains, there is no problem, as the absence of grains in this food helps to reduce the calories. The first five ingredients of this food are deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, potatoes, and peas. It also contains dried ground potatoes, pea fiber, and plenty of veggies and fruits.

This food contains only natural ingredients, and it is free of all artificial flavorings, colorings, and preservatives. In addition to the blend of fruits, veggies, and meats, this food contains a wide range of minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids to keep your dog healthy.

It also contains salmon oil, which is a great source of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. This food contains 33 percent protein, 10 percent minimum crude fat, 12 percent maximum crude fiber, and a calorie content of 360 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Weight control, grain-free, gluten-free, no corn, no soy, no wheat

Pros

  • Grain-free, gluten-free
  • Made with real turkey, chicken, and salmon oil
  • Suitable for dogs for with sensitive stomachs
  • Supports a healthy heart
  • Ideal for dogs carrying excess weight

Cons

  • It is a bit pricey

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7. Natural Balance Fat Dogs Chicken & Salmon Formula Low Calorie Dry Dog Food

If your furry friend is in need of weight loss food, search no more, as the Natural Balance Fat Dogs Chicken & Salmon Formula Low Calorie Dry Dog Food is what it needs.

This dog food features lower calories, and it puts weight loss to the forefront, making it a great option for overweight dogs. It also features a specially formulated balance of fiber and protein, and it helps to keep your dog feeling full between meals, regardless of its low-calorie content.

This high-protein formula also helps your dog maintain muscle mass as it loses weight. However, you need to make sure that your dog is getting plenty of exercise. The top five ingredients of this food are chicken meal, salmon meal, garbanzo beans, peas, and barley.

Other notable ingredients in this food include oats, pea fiber, and egg. It also comes with plenty of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, and they all work together to promote the optimum health of your dog.

This food also boasts of adequate levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which helps in promoting healthy skin and a shiny coat. It is highly palatable for increased satisfaction even fussy eaters cannot resist it.

The great protein blend helps your dog to preserve lean muscle and maintain a healthy weight. This food contains 26 percent protein, 7.5 percent minimum fat, 10.5 percent maximum crude fiber, and 300 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Weight control

Pros

  • Ideal for picky eaters
  • Preserves lean muscle
  • Prevents excessive begging
  • A low-calorie formula

Cons

  • It may take some dogs a long time to transit

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8. Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Shredded Blend Weight Management Formula Dry Dog Food

This weight management formula from Purina is one of the best dog food for weight loss in the market. Purina added a natural probiotic to this formula to help keep the digestive system of your dog healthy.

The top five ingredients of this food are chicken, rice flour, whole grain corn, corn germ meal, and chicken meal. This dog food from Purina works best with mildly overweight dogs that need to lose only a few pounds.

It boasts of 25 percent less fat than other Purina Pro Plan formulas, making it an excellent choice for overweight dogs. Tender shredded chicken and crunchy chicken provide the taste and texture that your dog craves. It also comes with a powerful blend of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, which supports a strong immune system.

The omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in this food help to maintain a shiny coat and healthy skin. Whereas, the natural prebiotic fiber, which is sourced from wheat fiber, helps to support a healthy digestive system.

The protein content of this food is 25 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 8 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 5.5 percent with a caloric content of 334 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Weight control

Pros

  • 25 percent less fat than the average dog food
  • Live probiotics
  • Real meat as a protein source
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • It may cause gas

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9. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Healthy Weight Real Chicken & Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food

CANIDAE is another highly reputable brand in the dog food manufacturing industry. This dog food from CANIDAE focuses on limited ingredients in a grain-free formula to minimize the chances of triggering allergies.

This dog food contains chicken as the number one ingredient. While chicken is not considered a lean protein source, many pooches do just fine with it. The second protein source in this food is turkey.

This weight management dry dog food contains only nine major ingredients, which are chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, peas, and sun-cured alfalfa. It also contains a powerful mix of antioxidants, probiotics, minerals, and vitamins. This food is formulated for overweight and less active dogs and it is also suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies.

It is free of common food allergens such as wheat, corn, soy, and grains. It is made with whole foods for gentle digestion. The calorie content of this food is 409 kilocalories per cup.

It contains a minimum crude protein of 28 percent, minimum crude fat of 9 percent, and the maximum crude fiber content is 5 percent. It is also free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. It is suitable for dogs of all breeds and sizes.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • All breed sizes
  • Sensitive digestion, weight control, grain-free, gluten-free, limited ingredients, no corn, no soy, no wheat

Pros

  • Limited ingredients
  • Grain-free, gluten-free
  • Inexpensive
  • Free of common allergens

Cons

  • Bag sizes are slightly smaller than average

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Best Dog Food for Weight Loss Buying Guide

Choosing the right dog food to help your dog lose or manage a healthy weight can sometimes be tricky. While you can easily pick a low-fat, low-calorie dog food, there are still many things you need to consider.

Here is a guide on how to buy the best dog food for weight loss:

Breed

When looking for the right dog food for your dog, you need to consider the breed of the dog. For instance, some dogs such as Golden Retrievers can suffer from joint disease from high-calorie food.

Some breeds have a higher chance of being overweight, such as Beagles or Yorkies, unlike their counterparts, German Shepherd and Greyhounds, who are susceptible to remaining quite slim all through their life.

As such, you need to know the unique needs of your dog’s breed so you will be able to get dog food that will ensure your dog lives a fit, healthy life. Fortunately, all the dog foods for weight management and loss on our list are suitable for all dog breeds.

Below-Average Calories

Reducing the calorie intake of your dog helps to minimize the chance of the body to store the excess calories as fat. Dog foods can contain anywhere between 250 and 400 calories per cup.

Foods with lower calories are better for dogs that want to lose or manage weight, as well as those that are less active. Whereas, more active dogs need a slightly higher calorie content to maintain a healthy weight as well as to lose a little bit of weight.

Hence, your dog should consume fewer calories than it burns. When it does that, the body will use the excess fat as energy. For our recommendation, anything under 400 kilocalories per cup should work well.

Ingredient

The quality of the ingredients used to make dog food will determine the overall quality of the food. You should opt for dog foods that contain named meats and meat meals instead of those with unidentifiable meat sources. The food should also contain whole grains or other healthy carb sources, vegetables, fruits, minerals, and vitamins.

You need to make sure that the food has the right ingredients to help your dog develop muscle and lose fat. Nevertheless, you also need to consider the tastes of your dog.

Hence, when picking based on ingredients, ensure you consider things that your dog likes and dislikes. If your dog has grain intolerance or allergies, you also need to put that into consideration when making a choice.

Low-Fat Content

Too much fat in the diet of your dog will end up being added to the fat that the body converts and stores from excess glucose. Since the issue with high-calorie diets is that there is a chance that the body will convert and store excess glucose as fat, taking in too much fat will only increase the amount of fat being stored. 

As a result, it is very important that you keep the fat intake of your dog low. We recommend you go for low to below-average fat. Dog foods usually have a fat content of about 12 percent. Nevertheless, good dog food for weight loss should contain about 8 to 10 percent protein.

High Protein Diet

Protein also contains calories. Nevertheless, since they are unusually large molecules, the system of your dog will have to burn more calories just to process proteins and break them down into amino acids.

Your pooch needs something to fulfill its energy requirements, and with a limitation on the fat intake, the protein level needs to be increased. Hence, you should make sure that the food contains high-quality protein sources and protein counts.

Age

You can find senior dog foods that are specifically formulated with the needs of senior dogs in mind. Note that you should not feed your puppy a low-fat or low-calorie diet as they need all the nutrients and calories they can get as they grow.

If you think your puppy is overweight, you should consult your veterinarian. You need to make sure the food you want to buy is ideal for the size of your dog.

Avoid Artificial Foods

We would generally recommend that you stay away from food that contains artificial ingredients such as colorings, flavorings, and preservatives. These additives are not necessary in the diet of your dog.

Some of them can also be harmful to the health of your dog, resulting in severe issues such as allergies, upset stomach, and more.

As such, when buying dog food, you need to take your time and go through its ingredient list to see if it contains artificial ingredients. All the dog foods on our list are free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Easy and Quick Digestion

Like other dog foods, dog foods for weight loss/control should be easily digestible. With healthy fiber added to the formula, the best weight control dog foods facilitates facilitate good motility in the digestive tract, sweep away obstructions, and help nurture the bacterial flora. So do check those labels and look for highly digestible ingredients.

Optimal Nutrients

Reducing or managing the weight of your dog is not only about the percentage of fat in its diet or about how many calories the dog consumes.

You should also make sure that your dog is getting enough fiber, a balanced proportion of water, and healthy fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6. All these nutrients play a part in helping your dog to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

By-Product Meals

Some dog food brands use poultry by-product meals as meat concentrates. There is nothing wrong with having something like a lamb meal or chicken meal in the ingredient list. However, not all by-product meals are nutritional to dogs; some of them even take a longer time to digest.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the ideal dog food for weight management?

The best dog food for weight loss and healthy weight management contains plenty of amino acids to build up their immune system, lean protein to build and maintain muscle, superfoods to maximize health benefits, and fatty acids to protect their coat and skin.

What can happen if my dog is obese or overweight?

Millions of dogs all over the world are obese or overweight. If your dog remains overweight, things such as arthritis, diabetics, high blood pressure, lung disorders, immune dysfunction, and heart disease can happen to it. Obesity also usually leads to decreased lifespan.

How much does my dog need to eat?

The quantity of food your dog needs to eat depends on its weight and size. It also depends on how active the dog is, the amount of calories in the food, and whether the dog wants to maintain or lose weight.

The packaging of the food you choose will come with a guideline on how much you need to feed your dog depending on its size and weight.

Nevertheless, these are only guidelines, so you need to monitor the weight of your dog a couple of weeks after switching foods. You may discover that you need to feed slightly more or slightly less than the amount in the guideline.

Final Thoughts

Helping your dog to maintain a healthy weight will work wonders not just for their physical health, but will positively affect their mood and activity level too. If your dog seems to be getting chubby, up the exercise and switch their food to a weight loss formula.

From the above products, the clear winner is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Dog Food because of its great weight control formula. It is low in calories and it supports lean muscle development, healthy immune system, skin, and coat.

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