5 Best Dog Food For Weight Loss (Diet Dog Foods) in 2019

You want to pamper your pooch and give them the best life you can. But is it possible to love your dog too much? When it comes to feeding, you absolutely can go overboard.

If your dog needs to shed a few pounds, keep reading for our selection of the best dog food for weight loss as well as some helpful tips on picking out the right diet food for your pup.

How Do You Know if Your Dog Needs to Lose Weight?

Pet obesity is a growing problem around the globe. But how do you know if your dog is among those that can stand to shed a few pounds?

According to petmd.com and Dr. Jim Dobies the easiest way to tell if your dog is overweight is to stand over them. If you can’t see the ribs near their waist, they may be overweight.

For long or thick coated dogs, you may have to run your hands down the side of their ribcage instead. If you can’t feel the ribs without pushing down, they are likely overweight.

Want more information on determining if your dog is overweight and the issues associated with obesity? Check out this video.

What to Look for When Picking a Dog Food for Weight Loss

The first characteristic a good weight loss dog food should have is a lower than average calorie count per cup. The average dry dog food has about 400 kcalories per cup so look for something closer to the 300 kcalories range.

Dr. Donna Spector, vet and diet specialist, also recommends looking for foods that are high in protein and low in fat. If your dog has additional health concerns that require a low-fat diet, you’ll want to check out this list.

Because canines evolved to eat diets primarily made up of meat and some fibery vegetables, high starch diets can lead to problems such as weight gain and other systemic issues. Choosing foods with quality ingredients, especially those that are grain free will help you avoid these unnecessary starches.

How Much to Feed

All dog foods come with serving size suggestions on the packaging. But be aware, these servings are usually based on intact dogs’ needs.

Most neutered companion dogs have lower calorie requirements than intact pets. Thus, they will need far less food than what is listed on the bag.

Instead of looking on the bag, we suggest using a dog food calculator to find the optimal amount of calories to serve your pet at each meal. Once you know how many calories to serve, you can reference the bag to find out how many calories that food has per cup and calculate serving size from there.

Reviews of The Best Dog Foods for Weight Loss

#1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

Best Overall

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Healthy Weight
Score: (5/5)

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High protein, low fat, low-calorie food for all sizes of dogs with quality ingredients
Pros

Lower than average fat

Higher than average protein

Quality ingredients

Cons

More expensive than other foods on this list

If you’re looking for the best weight reduction dog food for a normal adult dog, Blue Buffalo’s weight loss formula is a great option.

This food contains a higher than average amount of protein and a lower than average fat content, making it one of the best weight loss dog foods and one of the best diet dog foods on the market. It contains 353 Kcalories per cup, which is lower than typical dog foods.

The extra high protein content also makes it one of the best low carb dog foods on the list.

Best of all, this food contains quality ingredients, including chicken and chicken meal as the first two ingredients. It is also grain free, making it a great choice for both sensitive dogs and for owners trying to avoid higher starch diets.

Because of the high-quality ingredients, this food can be fed long term, making it one of the best weight management dog foods for dogs that continuously struggle with weight gain.

Customers like this food because it is moderately priced while still containing quality ingredients. Many also enjoy that their pups have lost weight while still being allowed decent sized portions.

#2. Solid Gold – Fit & Fabulous – Grain-Free Natural Chicken, Sweet Potato & Green Bean – Holistic Weight Control Canned Food

Best Canned Food

Solid Gold – Fit & Fabulous Canned Food
Score: (5/5)

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Low fat, low-calorie, quality ingredient canned food for all breeds and sizes of dogs
Pros

Low calorie

Very palatable

Quality ingredients

Cons

Higher priced than many dry dog foods

Solid Gold is known for its quality ingredients, and with a calorie count of only 355 per cup, this is one of the best canned dog foods for weight loss.

The first four ingredients in this wet food formula are animal proteins, making it the best low-calorie dog food on our list as well.

With quality ingredients and a less processed formula common to canned diets, this food is an excellent choice to owners hoping to help their dog shed a few pounds. This wet food is especially helpful for smaller breeds and one of the best diet dog foods for small dogs.

Because wet foods often contain higher protein ratios than their dry counterparts, they often make the best dog foods for overweight dogs. And, even the pickiest of dogs tend to enjoy canned diets because of the moisture content and smell.

Like our first choice food, this one is moderately priced. If the expense is an issue, you can always add this food as a supplement to one of the cheaper foods on our list.

#3. Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

Best Senior Food

Victor Senior Healthy Weight
Score: (5/5)

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Low-calorie food made for senior dogs with quality ingredients and budget-friendly price.
Pros

High animal protein content

Quality ingredients

Low price point

Cons

Higher calories than others on the list

While this product has slightly less protein than the first two foods on our list, a higher percentage of that protein comes from animal sources. This along with the lower than average fat makes this one of the best foods for overweight dogs, especially those who are sensitive to plant-based ingredients.

Additionally, this formula is specially made with older dogs in mind, making it one of the best senior dog foods for weight loss.

This product has a higher calorie count than some of the others on the list at 370 kcalories per cup. This can be a plus for seniors who are prone to muscle loss, but those prone to weight gain may need slightly smaller serving sizes.

Like all Victor foods, this one contains quality ingredients including beef, fish, chicken, and pork. Like many senior formulas, this one includes added glucosamine to help aging joints.

It has a lower price point than our first two dog foods, but do keep in mind this is a formula meant for senior dogs and may not be the best choice for overweight adults.

Customers who use this food can’t say enough about how much it has helped their senior pets mobility and weight.

#4. Nutro Lite And Weight Management Adult Dry Dog Food

Lowest Calories

Nutro Lite And Weight Management Large Breed
Score: (4.5/5)

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Very low-calorie, low fat, budget-friendly dog food made for large breeds.
Pros

Budget friendly

Made for large breeds

Low fat

Cons

Lower protein content

Contains multiple grains

At 227 kcalories per cup, this food is by far the best low-calorie dog food on our list. In addition to being ultra-low-calorie, this food was specially designed for larger breeds making it one of the best weight management dog foods for large breed dogs that we reviewed.

This food has a lower protein profile than the first three foods on the list. But it also has a lower fat content, making it one of the best weight control dog foods for dogs that don’t need as much protein in their diets.

The first two ingredients in this food are chicken and chicken meal. While this product does contain a high amount of grains and other plant-derived ingredients, these products are non-GMO.

This food is available at a lower price point than many of the foods on our list and is a great option for those on a budget. This is an important feature in a large breed food as you will go through the bags much faster than with a smaller dog.

Customers love this food for how easily it helped their pets drop weight. While they note that the transformation won’t happen overnight, the effect does seem to be consistent across different breeds and circumstances.

#5. Earthborn Holistic Natural Food For Pet Weight Control

Best Holistic

Earthborn Holistic Weight Control
Score: (4.5/5)

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Low fat, low-calorie food with quality, holistic ingredients.
Pros

Low fat

Holistic ingredients

Added glucosamine and probiotics

Cons

Many plant-based ingredients

Average calories per cup

Like our first choice, Blue Buffalo, this food is made for all breeds and ages of dogs. It has a lower protein content than Blue, but also a lower fat, which still makes it one of the best healthy weight dog foods.

While the first ingredient in this formula is chicken meal, the brand appears lower on our list due to a high percentage of plant-based ingredients.

However, this food does contain a high-nutrient profile. The ingredients are also all-natural, which makes this one of the best weight management dry dog foods for long term use.

This food is moderately priced, but in our opinion, well worth it for the nutrient density and added glucosamine and probiotics.

Customers rave about the quality ingredients in this food and the positive effect it seems to have on their pooches. Many note that the weight loss takes time and that you may need to cut the serving size at first to see faster results.

What is the Best Dog Food for Weight Loss?

After reviewing many great low-calorie dog foods, we have found Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food to be the best dog food for weight loss.

This food has a high protein, low-fat profile and low-calorie content. These factors make it one of the best dog foods to lose weight.

The price tag on this food is higher than others on the list, but it is still a great choice for those searching for a solution to their pet’s obesity problems. It can also be fed long term for dogs who continually struggle to keep weight off.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I continue to feed a low-calorie food after my dog loses weight?
Many dogs are able to be more active once they return to a healthy weight and can be switched to normal calorie food at that point. Others, however, will continue to struggle with weight gain and will do best on diet food for the long haul.
Is it better to feed canned or dry food for weight loss?
Because canned food naturally has less fat than dry, it is often the best dog food for weight loss. However, canned food can be pricier than dry, so you may consider feeding a mix of the two or just a low-calorie dry food
How do I know when my dog has reached a healthy weight?
You will be able to feel your dogs ribs easily once they have reached an ideal weight. You shouldn’t have to press too hard and you shouldn’t be able to see their ribs and other bones too easily. Talk with your vet about healthy weight goals for your dog.

Summary of the Best Dog Foods for Weight Loss

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Healthy WeightSolid Gold – Fit & Fabulous Canned FoodVictor Senior Healthy WeightNutro Lite And Weight Management Large BreedEarthborn Holistic Weight Control
Weight Loss FeaturesHigh protein, low fat, low calorieLow fat, low calorieLow calorie, made for senior dog weight lossLow fat, very low calorie, made for large breed weight lossLow calorie, low fat
Ingredient Quality5/55/55/54.5/54/5
Price$$$$$$$$

Source

  1. Amanda Baltazar. “How Can You Tell Your Pet is Overweight?” petmd.com.
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