In a rush and just want my recommendation? I think the Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food is a great choice.
Obesity isn’t a disease that only affects humans. Overfed pups are also liable to become overweight and potentially obese. Without intervention, overfeeding could significantly shorten a dog’s lifespan and lead to severe health conditions, including joint pain and cardiovascular disease.
Avoiding this issue may be as simple as changing your dog’s diet. Today, I’ll be exploring the best dog food for weight loss in an attempt to showcase a diverse set of options that could work for any hound.
In this article, I’m reviewing the following best dog foods for weight loss.
- Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie
- Diamond Naturals Light Dry Dog Food
- Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food
- Acana Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Nutro Ultra Weight Management Adult Dry Dog Food
How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Weight Loss
Choosing the best dog food for weight loss doesn’t have to be a challenge. If you take a moment to consider a few food factors, you may find that the best option leaps out at you.
When attempting to find the best dog food for weight loss, it’s essential to:
- Avoid High-Fat Kibble
- Choose Low-Calorie Options
- Invest in Protein
- Aim for Moderate Grains
- Experiment Gradually
Following these basic rules can help you save time and locate the healthiest option for your pup. Helping your dog get back into excellent shape could be as simple as considering a handful of issues, and making some concrete culinary decisions.
Let’s jump right in and explore the above factors. We’ll start with fat content. Naturally, a weight-loss dog food formula needs to skimp on the crude or excess fat.
Avoid High-Fat Kibble
A shocking majority of store-bought dog kibbles contain a whopping amount of animal fat. This trend only becomes more relevant when you’re purchasing budget-friendly brands or off-brand varieties.
Feeding your dog suspect or high-fat kibble can make them ill or cause them to gain weight rapidly. It is far better to serve your pup regular, measured meals throughout the day consisting of low-fat, low-calorie vegetables, fruits, and proteins.
Large and small breeds can benefit from high-protein, low-calorie options, though owners of smaller dogs should be extra careful about their pup’s fat intake. Equally, those who own larger dogs should ensure that their furry buddy is getting plenty of nutrients to sustain their big bones and hard-working muscles.
It’s essential to avoid eliminating fat completely, as canines of all types and sizes need at least a little fat in their diet to survive.
Choose Low-Calorie Options
While low-calorie snacks are a common thing in the world of humans, they’re still a relatively novel invention in terms of dog food. However, low-calorie dog diets do exist. You only have to know how to look for them.
If you’re unfamiliar with reading labels, this step can be a frustrating one. However, with a little practice, you can become a label-reading guru. If your chosen dog food option doesn’t feature a nutrition and ingredient label, you should probably ditch it and choose a more transparent dry food brand.
To find the caloric content of any particular dog food, you’ll want to look for the list of ingredients. In most cases, the calorie content information is posted near this list. Still, the average cup of dog food is 350 kcal/cup.
An extremely low-calorie option might total about 200 kcal/cup. Alternatively, a high-calorie dry dog food could contain upwards of 500 or 600 kcal/cup. In terms of switching to a safe but low-calorie option, anywhere between 300 kcal/cup and 400 kcal/cup seems to work.
Still, a dog food calculator may help you discern your pup’s precise nutritional requirements. This tool could help you choose the highest-quality, most affordable, and most nutritious weight-loss promoting dog food.
Invest in Protein
One of the best ways to keep dogs full during a weight loss regimen is to replace their typical fat and carb intake with protein. This protein could come in the form of meat, whole grains, or protein-rich vegetables.
Be sure to vary your protein sources to help your dog enjoy a wide range of nutrients. If you’re determined to avoid dry good altogether, you may want to begin adopting a DIY dog food meal plan. Still, you’ll need extra time and patience to make your dog food, in addition to a food processor.
When purchasing a store-bought option, it’s worthwhile to scan the macro nutrient percentages near the ingredients list. This area should give you an easy-to-read breakdown of your chosen food’s protein, fat, and carbohydrate content.
Aim for Moderate Grains
Unless your dog is allergic to grains or gluten, there’s no reason to avoid partial-grain dog food. Whole grains are a fantastic source of iron, healthy carbohydrates, and life-sustaining nutrients. However, everything in excess can be harmful.
When choosing the best dog food for weight loss, it’s vital to maximize protein intake, minimize fat consumption, and moderate grains sources. Eliminating it could be an unwise move unless it’s medically necessary, so don’t be afraid to embrace dry food that lists a whole grain as their fourth or fifth primary ingredient.
Switching to a new food can be upsetting for both your dog’s taste buds and digestive system. It’s crucial to introduce fresh dog foods in a gradual way to help prevent vomiting, diarrhea, or outright refusal to eat the stuff. You’ll be thankful you were patient. Believe me on this one.
Best Dog Foods For Weight Loss
Now that you have a better idea of what ingredients to look for (and which to avoid), you can begin your dog food search in earnest. However, there are hundreds of unique brands, flavors, and ingredient combinations to choose from. Browsing through these options can prove tedious.
Fortunately, I’m here to help. After several hours of research and comparison, I’ve narrowed my dog food selection to a top five.
Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie Dry Dog Food is an attractive option primarily due to its whopping protein content. Each cup is 32% crude protein from buffalo, pork, and whole grains. However, this option is also 18% crude fat per cup.
Chicken fat is one of the top five ingredients in this particular Taste of the Wild recipe. This option fails the low-fat and low-calorie criteria while satisfying the protein and grain requirements. After about a week of this stuff, my medium-sized hound began to put on a little weight.
Overall, this option may be adequate food for larger adult breeds, particularly when given in carefully measured amounts throughout the day. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out as well for me, but this may have been due to some sneaky food bowl sharing.
- Delicious meat ingredients are bound to attract hungry dogs
- Provides a substantial amount of protein
- Could be appropriate for pups of all breeds and ages
- Contains a high amount of crude fat
- One of the highest calorie options
If you’re looking for a balanced weight loss dog food for your big adult puppy, then you might want to consider Diamond Naturals Light Dry Dog Food. Of course, if you own a small breed, you may want to continue looking at the other options included here.
This dog food contains chicken, whole brown rice, and oatmeal. It is 335 kcal/cup, nearly a full 100 kcal/cup less than the Taste of the Wild dry food. However, at only 23% protein per cup, it could be more impressive. My bigger dogs seemed to get hungry sooner after enjoying this particular dry food.
Diamond Natural Light may suffer from an over-reliance on grains. But the 4% fiber per cup speaks to a different issue going on behind the scenes. Trial and error may yield better results for you and your dogs.
- Relatively low-calorie and low-fat
- The primary ingredient is chicken
- Contains an abundance of grains, breaking the grain moderation rule
- Doesn’t contain an impressive amount of protein or fiber
More massive, active breeds may need a little extra protein and fat to stay healthy. I know my hefty, furry family members do. This dry food by Nutro packs a punch in terms of protein and provides slightly less crude fat than the Taste of the Wild option.
That said, this dry food is 392 kcal/cup, making it a relatively high-calorie option. But breeds with longer coats and faster metabolisms may rely on this fat and energy to stay healthy and fit.
Besides, this dry food contains chicken, turkey, and catfish. My long-haired pups went nuts and looked terrific after enjoying several meals of this stuff.
It provides an exciting combination that’s worthy of a little investigation. Additionally, this dog food is approved for all breeds and all age stages. This saves time in multi-dog households like mine.
- Dogs of all breeds and ages may enjoy this dry food
- Contains plenty of protein
- Primary ingredients are sourced from whole meats and seafood
- May contain ingredients that some dogs are allergic to
- Not a low-calorie or low-fat option
Acana Grain-Free Dry Dog Food features an impressive blend of protein, cat, and fiber, resulting in a health-forward weight loss food for pups. This option is made of chicken, rice, and lentils and could be equally great for dogs with grain allergies or intolerance and those with zero allergies. My puppers fell in love with these dried bits of delight.
It is 24% protein per cup, about 9% crude fat per cup, and 11% percent fiber per cup. That’s a staggering amount of fiber, especially when you consider the competitor’s percentages. Dietary fiber is a crucial but often component of excellent overall health. If your dog doesn’t have regular bowel movements, there may be an underlying health problem that needs to be addressed.
Adding more fiber to a dog’s diet could help them stay fuller longer while also keeping their digestive system in tip-top shape. But sadly, this recipe may be inappropriate for puppies due to the kibble size and the number of nutrients within these chicken-flavored nuggets.
But my adult dogs seemed to be exceptionally happy and satisfied after enjoying breakfast and dinner of this particular dry food.
- Offers a unique balance of macronutrients
- A worthwhile source of dietary fiber
- Contains non-GMO ingredients
- A very low-calorie dry dog food (225 kcal/cup)
- Not appropriate for pups of all ages
Like the Diamond Naturals Premium dry food, this option is best suited for large adult dogs. And like the dog food mentioned above, this one is kind of a middle-of-the-road meal. While it is only 320 kcal/cup, it’s also only 22% protein per cup.
The 12% per cup fat ration and lackluster fiber content make this dry food a low-calorie option that may not keep pups feeling satisfied throughout the day. On the plus side, rumor has it that this chow tastes like lamb and rice, two things dogs are known to adore.
Personally, I was a little unimpressed with this offering by Nutro. Sure, it may help some dogs shed weight more quickly, but it seems to sacrifice comprehensive nutrition to meet that goal.
- Surprisingly low in calories
- A non-GMO option
- Too many grains
- A lack of wholesome meat sources
Now that we’ve reviewed some of the best dog foods for weight loss, I can confidently discuss my top pick. Though each of the above options offered something valuable and exciting, there could be only one winner in my eyes. That dog food is Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food.
This food was the lowest-calorie option that also managed to be one of the lowest-fat choices. The ingredients are non-GMO, and each cup packs an impressive amount of dietary fiber to keep doggy digestive systems healthy. This dry food also contains a moderate variety of whole grains and plenty of protein. What could be better?