Dogs are not immune to weight gain and they can start piling on the extra pounds without us even realizing it. And even though there is nothing more adorable than a plump pooch, this added weight is far from healthy and can lead to serious health issues down the road. If your pooch weighs more than he should or if you want him to maintain his ideal weight, then the best choice is to transition him to a healthy weight dog food. There are plenty of options available when it comes to diet dog food , so we have rounded up an eclectic selection of premium products that will put your pooch on the right track when it comes to his health and weight.
The Best Dog Food for Weight Loss
Blue Buffalo Wilderness high protein dry food is made with all natural ingredients that were carefully selected to provide a premium source of protein and balanced nutrition for adult dogs. Inspired by the diet of wolves, this weight loss diet for dogs is made with deboned chicken and chicken meal so your pooch gets his needed dose of protein during mealtimes. Complex carbohydrates in the form of potatoes, sweet potatoes and peas are filling ingredients that mesh well with the cranberries and carrots, making this product a source of antioxidants that help support the immune system. This wholesome recipe was formulated to help your pooch maintain his ideal weight. It is also suitable for dogs who need to shed those extra pounds so they can run and play without having to take a break every five minutes.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness does not contain corn, wheat or soy, making it a grain-free product. It is also devoid of by-product meals and supplemented with a special cocktail of minerals and vitamins that are cold formed to maintain their potency. This means that they were processed at a low temperature than the rest of the ingredients. Moreover, this formula is made without adding any artificial flavors or preservatives, making it a safe and tasty choice for your pooch.
Protein supplied by deboned chicken and chicken meal
Infused with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins
Formulated to help dogs achieve or maintain ideal weight
Does not contain any artificial flavors and preservatives
Reduced calories from fat
Grain and gluten free
- BrandBlue Buffalo
- Weight24 pounds
The Merrick Grain Free Healthy Weight control dog food is another great source of fiber and protein. The ratio of 55% meat and 45% fresh produce gives your pooch the best of both worlds thanks to the combination of deboned meat, chicken meal, sweat potatoes and peas found in every packet. These locally sourced, fresh ingredients fulfill the nutritional needs of adult dogs, allowing them to enjoy a balanced meal that will help keep their weight in check. Merrick uses meat and fish produce that have undergone inspection by the United States Department of Agriculture. Furthermore, the protein, glucosamine and chondroitin levels found in their recipes match industry levels. This means that your dog will receive the daily doses of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants needed to maintain the health of his skin, bones and joints.
Offers optimal levels of fiber and protein
No added fat or calories
Made with easily digestible carbohydrates
Contains 55% meat poultry – 45% fresh produce
The Wellness Core natural grain free dry dog food is low on fat but high on essential nutrients, and specially formulated to meet the needs of adult sterilized dogs. This product is made with deboned turkey, chicken meal as well as turkey meal with 80% more meat than traditional dog food. It is also loaded with super foods such as broccoli, spinach and kale in addition to salmon oil and blueberries. This mix of fruits, vegetables and oils offers your pooch a wealth of health benefits, and the probiotic coated kibble also plays a role in maintaining the health of the digestive tract. Reduced fat means your pooch will receive more fiber and 25 % less fat than the original Core recipe. He will also feel full longer and this will help him maintain a healthy, desirable weight. The Wellness Core diet dog food is both gluten and grain free and does not contain any animal by-products.
Reduced fat formula
All natural premium ingredients
80% more meat than traditional dog food
Suitable for adult sterilized dogs
No meat by products, artificial flavors, fillers or preservatives
- BrandWellness Core
- Weight4 pounds
Weruva Caloric Harmony dry food is made with chicken and pumpkin in addition to other responsibly sourced ingredients that provide a complete and balanced diet for dogs and puppies alike. This product is 80% animal based and does not contain any genetically modified organisms. It does, however, contain digestion friendly ingredients such as pumpkin and seaweed, in addition to salmon oil and linoleic acid. The protein, fat and fiber found in this kibble supply your pooch with his daily energy requirements and the fatty acids contribute to a more shiny and healthy coat. Taurine is another element on the list that plays an important role when it comes to the most vital organ inside the body, the heart.
Suitable for all dog breeds and life stages
Made with responsibly sourced ingredients
Easy to digest pumpkin and chicken recipe
Infused with taurine for a healthy heart
Grain and potato free
- Weight1 pounds
The Natural Ultramix Grain Free adult wet food from Castor & Pollux offers generous portions of natural venison, carrots and white potatoes mixed with minced chicken and bacon. This tasty, moisture rich formula uses real pieces of fruits and vegetables to provide a complete and balanced diet for adult dogs. Hearty cuts of all natural meat make this product drool worthy and appetizing for your pooch. It is also grain free and formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Minimally processed fruits and vegetables
Made with hearty chunks of chicken, bacon and tomatoes
No corn, soy or wheat added
No artificial colors, preservatives or flavors
Available in 13.2 oz cans
- BrandNatural Ultramix
- Weight1 pounds
The Wellness Complete Health natural dog food is ideal for small breeds and senior dogs who suffer from slow metabolism due to old age. If you have a pooch with a small frame and a big personality who is in desperate need of losing weight, this product will help him achieve ideal weight with 25% less fat and 10% fewer calories than the original Complete Health Turkey recipe. When it comes to size, this kibble was made especially for small dogs and their tiny jaws. The natural ingredients also reflect the health aspect of this weight management dog food and they include protein rich turkey, blueberries, flaxseed as well as spinach. Both the blueberries and spinach provide your pooch with his daily dose of antioxidants while the minerals and vitamins offer their support to the hips and joints.
Small kibble size
Balanced nutrition for small dog breeds
Deboned turkey and brown rice recipe
26% less fat than original formula
Does not contain fillers or artificial preservatives
Free from meat by-products
- Weight12 pounds
Earthborn Holistic Natural Food for pet weight control was formulated to reduce fat and calories without depriving your dog of essential nutrients. The recipe is made with low calorie chicken and a cocktail of fibers, fruits and vegetables such as carrots, spinach, blueberries, apples and cranberries. This product is also fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to help maintain healthy joints, and L-carnitine that helps burn fat and maintain lean muscle mass.
Grain and gluten free
Low calorie formula for weight management
Wholesome nutrient rich vegetables
Balanced ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids
Rich with glucosamine and chondroitin
BPA free, resealable packaging
- BrandEarthborn Holistic
- Weight28 pounds
Victor Senior healthy weight dry dog food was formulated to meet the needs of older dogs who tend to be less active and need less calories when compared to their younger and more energetic counterparts. This senior formula contains 72% meat protein and is enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin. Probiotics, complex minerals and selenium yeast are also included in the list of ingredients and their goal is to support the digestive and immune systems. The formula is also infused with L-carnitine, an amino acid that allows dogs losing weight to burn additional fat. If your old pooch is in need of a weight loss diet, then you can get him started on this specially formulated kibble. Victor Senior is available in 6 different, tasty recipes including ocean fish with salmon and lamb meal with brown rice.
Ideal for senior dogs
Grain and gluten free
Enriched with vitamins and minerals
Contains 72% meat protein
Free from fillers such as soy and rice bran
- Weight30 pounds
Labeled as America’s first holistic pet food, the Solid Gold brand produces weight control dog food that is made with natural ingredients and a low calorie recipe that includes 20 super foods. Blueberries, pumpkin, almond oil and carrots are combined with real chicken and sweet potatoes to create a low fat meal for your pooch. The fiber rich green beans and potatoes are filling and the chicken is a lean source of protein that your dog needs on a daily basis. Balanced omega fatty acids support the skin and hair and the probiotics in this recipe support the digestive system and help the body absorb nutrients as well.
Blended with 20 super foods
High in fiber and lean protein
Low fat -low calorie recipe
Grain and gluten free
No artificial preservatives
No corn, wheat or soy
- BrandSolid Gold
- Weight4 pounds
Annamaet Grain free lean dog food for overweight dogs is made with three different sources of protein and is ideal for large breeds, puppies and even adult dogs who suffer from certain health conditions like pancreatitis. The trio of chicken, duck and herring are mixed with an assortment of vegetables and other ingredients to deliver a nutritious diet for dogs. Furthermore, this product is supplemented with vitamins and chelated minerals in order to strengthen the immune system. DHA is also included in the long list of ingredients due to its importance in the development of the brain and nervous system. Annamaet weight loss dog food is formulated to meet all the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO food nutrient profiles for all life stages.
Reduced fat formula
Made with chicken, duck and herring meal
DHA for brain development
Freshly made – slow cooked in small batches
Enriched with fatty acids, vitamins and minerals
Best Dog Food for Weight Loss Buying Guide
What to Look for in Weight Loss Dog Food
Nowadays, paying attention to the ingredients found in pet food is a must. One of the key ingredients that makes a difference when it comes to weight loss is fiber. Potatoes, brown rice and whole grain oats are three examples of complex carbohydrates that double as a good source of fiber. Vegetables such as broccoli and green beans are sometimes added to the mix to boost the fiber content of diet food. However, it should be noted that there are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber gives your pooch the desired feeling of fullness and is easy to digest when compared to the poorly digestible insoluble fiber. The latter is also capable of causing diarrhea so you need to check the formula before buying a weight loss food with too many insoluble fiber ingredients.
Dogs who need to slim down or maintain their current weight need to cut back on fat simply because it carries the largest number of calories per gram of food when compared to proteins and carbohydrates. Opting for a low fat diet is ideal for dogs who want to shed those extra pounds, however, just because a certain product is labeled ‘low in fat’ does not mean that it is also low in calories. It is also important to note that some fats are beneficial to the body and even facilitate the absorption of certain vitamins.
Adding more protein to a dog’s diet while simultaneously decreasing carbohydrates has been shown to have a positive impact on weight loss. This increased dosage of protein helps your pooch feel full and more satisfied. It also allows the body to burn the calories necessary for digesting food as well as absorbing and storing nutrients. The best weight management dog foods on the market rely on protein because it uses up more energy and calories when compared to fats and carbohydrates.
The same feeling of fullness can be achieved by feeding your pooch wet food. This moisture rich formula has high water content and low calorie density when compared to dry food.
This amino acid helps carry fats to a cell powerhouse where they are broken down to generate energy. Studies have shown that the rate of weight loss increases when pets are placed on a diet that is fortified with L-carnitine.
Why Diet Dog Food is the Best Option for Your Pooch
The best weight control dog food is one that provides the same nutritious value as regular food but with fewer calories and fat. Diet formulas usually accomplish that by increasing the fiber content in their recipes. More fiber means that your dog will feel satiated and content after finishing his meal. Diet foods also focus on providing your pooch with more protein and less quantities of fat. This, in turn, will lower the calorie intake without depriving the body of the essential nutrients needed to keep your dog healthy.
What Causes Obesity in Dogs?
Having too much body fat is the very definition of obesity. This nutrition based disease can be caused by a number of things:
Dog owners who go overboard when it comes to feeding their dog may end up with an obese pooch. This habit of overfeeding pets can be further exacerbated if the dog consumes foods that are high in fat or if he is spoiled with too many treats.
- Not Enough Exercise
If your dog spends too much time indoors then he might not be getting his fair share of physical exercise. This will put him at a higher risk of obesity.
Dogs who are over the age of five are naturally less prone to moving and playing and burn less calories as a result.
Dog breeds such as beagles, Labrador retrievers, terriers and dachshunds are genetically disposed to obesity.
Dogs who are spayed or neutered have bigger appetites due to hormonal changes that occur after surgery. This decrease in sex hormones also brings forth a change in the energy levels of dogs.
Dogs who suffer from seizures are treated with a medicine called phenobarbital. One of the side effects attached to this medication is excessive eating and drinking, and this can lead to obesity as well. Steroids or glucocorticoids can cause similar side effects that eventually result in weight gain and abnormal fat deposits in the body.
Diseases also cause their fair share of damage and unfortunately, our pets are not immune to them. Weight gain can be brought on by diseases such as insulinoma, which is a tumor that grows in the pancreas. Crushing’s disease that generally affects middle aged and senior dogs can also cause obesity.
Dogs Prone to Obesity
- Older Dogs
Old age means less activity and a slower metabolism and this causes senior dogs to gain weight and become obese.
- Inactive Dogs
The body needs to move in order to burn enough calories, so dogs who prefer to lounge indoors instead of spending their energy and calories playing outdoors will eventually gain weight.
- Dogs Recovering from Injury or Illness
Injured dogs or those recovering from illness need enough time to rest and recuperate. This period of relaxation and inactivity will deprive them of the daily dose of exercise needed to maintain their healthy weight, therefore, the body will not burn enough calories to remain in shape.
- Dogs with Other Health Conditions
Sometimes, certain medical conditions can interfere or change the metabolic rate of the body and this can negatively impact the way it deals with energy and calories. Hypothyroidism for instance causes the thyroid gland to generate less hormones and this, in turn, triggers a number of symptoms including appetite changes, intolerance to exercise and obesity.
- Dogs Fed Too Many Calories
Dogs who are allowed to feast on their food all day with zero supervision and limitations, or those who are spoiled rotten and given plenty of high calorie treats will usually pack on the pounds and become lazy couch potatoes.
- Dogs Taking Some Medications
Dogs who need to take certain medications are at risk of suffering from harmful side effects that can alter the way the body burns calories. An increased appetite is one example of such a weight altering side effect. When the metabolic rate is effected, the way the body handles the additional calories in the cells is also impacted and these calories are then stored as fat. As previously mentioned, steroids can lead to unwanted fat deposits since they encourage dogs to eat more and play less.
- Altered Dogs
When dogs are altered, their metabolism slows down as well and this can cause them to gain weight.
Best Dog Food for Weight Loss FAQ:
Q: What is the ideal diet for a dog?
A: Not all dogs have the same dietary requirements. Therefore, the ideal diet needs to be tailormade to fit the daily needs of the dog in question. Balanced ingredients play a very important role here and so having the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, moisture content, fats, vitamins and minerals is necessary in order to achieve this balance. Some people advocate for raw food while others argue that a grain-free formula is the best choice for dogs. When it comes to choosing the ideal diet for your dog, experimenting with different brands and formulas can help you find the best food for your pooch. Just make sure that the ingredients are safe, wholesome and natural.
Q: How do I get my dog to lose weight?
A: First of all, if your dog needs to lose a substantial amount of weight, putting him on a vet recommended long term health and wellness program is the way to go. This program involves feeding your pooch high quality diet and sticking to a meal schedule while cutting back on doggie treats. Your dog will need to be weighed regularly in order to monitor his progress. Exercise also plays a major role in shedding those extra pounds and this is achieved through regular walks and fun filled playtime.
Q: How many calories does my dog need?
A: The number of calories your dog needs depends on many factors including his age, lifestyle and how active he is during the day. His metabolic rate also affects his energy requirements. Some vets use a mathematical equation to come up with an estimate rather than an exact number for the dog in question. Regular dog owners can read the feeding guidelines written on the package and use them as reference. Keeping an eye on your dog’s weight and overall wellbeing will help you decide whether to adjust this recommended amount or leave it unchanged.
Q: What should be in a dog’s diet?
A: A complete and balanced diet is commercially available in kibble form and as canned wet food. Both options can be used to feed your pooch. A nutritious diet has all the necessary nutrients and supplements that were added for maintenance and weight management purposes. These commercial foods are made with fruits and vegetables, so they were tailormade for omnivorous pets. If your goal is to help your dog shed his extra pounds, cutting back on treats is the way to go. You can also attempt to feed him either fruits or vegetables. Banana slices and baby carrots double as great snacks for your pooch. You can also opt for low calorie treats such as rice cakes or unsalted popcorn.
Our Top Pick
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness takes weight loss diet for dogs to a whole new level of quality with its focus on all natural ingredients and a comprehensive recipe that combines premium protein with complex carbohydrates. Chicken and potatoes are not the only nutritious items on the menu. Antioxidants in the form of cranberries and carrots are also added to the mix alongside a group of vitamins and minerals that support the immune system and help keep the skin and bones in mint condition. It is also devoid of by-product meals and supplemented with a special cocktail of minerals and vitamins that are cold formed to maintain their potency. This means that they were processed at a low temperature than the rest of the ingredients. Moreover, this formula is made without adding any artificial flavors or preservatives, making it a safe and tasty choice for your pooch.
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