Trim A Pound: The Best Dog Food for Weight Loss

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Who doesn't love a bit of extra food to munch-in? With all the delicious options available, it is challenging to find the right balance!

Dogs, just like humans, tend to gain weight and end up suffering from bulging seams. 

Overweight dogs are at higher risk of suffering from serious health complications such as diabetes, arthritis, or heart disease. These health problems can reduce their quality of life and potentially lower the lifespan of your pet.

Is it hard to help your dog shed a few pounds? 

It's pretty simple! Just help your fat dogs burn the calories that were taken. To do so, allow them to move around and exercise more frequently. Also, switch them to diet food for dogs or those designed for weight loss.

Finding dog foods is vital for pets who are at risk of weight gain. Here are the top picks of the best dog food for weight loss. Keep on reading for more details!


Top 7 Dog Foods for Weight Loss - The Most Detailed Review

Editor's Picks

Product​​​​ Name


Best Choices

Canidae Pure Healthy Weight Dog Food

The Runner-up

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Dog Food

Best Wet Food for Weight Loss

Purina One Smart Blend Healthy Weight Dog Food

Dog Food for Healthy Weight Management

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight Dog Food

Holistic Adult Dog Food for Weight Management

Purina Pro Plan Savor Weight Management Dog Food

Best Weight Loss Food for Small Breeds

Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Dog Food

Best Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Dog Food

Along with wellness care, a proper diet can protect your dog against obesity and its complications.

The following foods are some of the delicious and nutritious options that can help your dog to lose a little pound.

Canidae Pure Healthy Weight Management Premium Dry Dog Food - Ultimate Choice Dry Dog Food for Weight Loss

Canidae Pure Healthy Weight Dog Food is a simple recipe made with pure whole foods and real ingredients to ensure wellness, even with sensitive dogs. 

Being a limited ingredient diet, it is crafted from seven to 10 key ingredients of real foods, thus giving a complete and well-rounded meal. Also, it is grain-free and lacks any wheat, corn, or soy, which is best for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Every bite of Canidae Pure Healthy Weight Dog Food guarantees high-protein ingredients for lean and strong muscles. Also, it is rich in probiotics for proper digestion, antioxidants for a healthy immune system, and fatty acids for beautiful skin and coat. 

With the different flavors of real meat and fish paired with whole foods such as lentils and sweet potatoes, every bite is a delight to your pet. Plus, it's formulations are created for all life stages and sizes that's perfect for your furry friend.

Feeding your dogs with Canidae Pure Healthy Weight Dog Food ensures easy and uncomplicated procedures, yet excellent results.

  • Simple formulation using limited ingredient meal
  • High-protein meal
  • Rich in probiotics and antioxidants
  • A bit pricey

 Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food - Runner-Up Dry Dog Food for Weight Loss

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Dog Food comes with the freshest and finest ingredients to guarantee a wholesome and healthy diet for adult dogs. 

The real meat from chicken is combined with supplemental ingredients such as whole grains, garden vegetables, and fruits. Thus, producing a high-quality protein meal for healthy built and strong muscles.

As a support to the immune system, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Dog Food is formulated with essential vitamins and minerals. It also comes with antioxidants and an exclusive Lifesource Bits technology, which carefully selects the ingredients for better oxidative balance at all life stages.

Additionally, this meal formula contains the essential proteins needed by your pet to meet their energy demands. The omega fatty acids present in the formulation aids for shinier and healthier skin.

Lastly, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Dog Food is made without any chicken by-products, wheat, corn, soy, artificial flavorings, and preservatives for a more holistic approach.

  • All-natural and holistic ingredients
  • Comes with Lifesource Bits technology
  • No added preservatives and by-products
  • Contains traces of peas

Purina One Smart Blend Healthy Weight Adult Wet Dog Food - Best Wet Food for Weight Loss

Purina One Smart Blend Healthy Weight Dog Food is a unique formula that provides targeted nutrition to ensure your dog's needs at every age.

It is made with real and tender cuts of lamb as its first ingredient and combined with other protein sources to support a healthy heart and strong muscles. Lamb, being tastefully rich in protein, mixes well with grains and other ingredients, thus creating a meal with a complete protein profile.

To ensure its dual defense system, Purina One Smart Blend Healthy Weight Dog Food is formulated with Vitamin A and E. This is reinforced with a rich amount of zinc and selenium to promote a healthy immune system.

Additionally, it comes with omega fatty acids to help support clear skin and radiant-looking coats. The natural source of glucosamine in this dog food helps in supporting stronger joints and bones. 

To top it all, Purina One Smart Blend Healthy Weight Dog Food comes with delightful gravy flavor and highly-digestible ingredients to promote balanced nutrition, proper digestion, and healthy weight.

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Rich in optimal nutrients
  • Delightful taste and highly-digestible
  • Contains corn and poultry by-products

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food - Dog Food for Healthy Weight Management

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight Dog Food is a tailored-made meal formula that is rich in essential nutrients and full of outstanding flavors.

As a healthy meal, it contains a blend of protein and fiber to support proper weight loss. The farm-raised chicken offers a nutritionally complete and low-calorie diet while the natural fiber aids for healthy digestion.

This recipe contains several antioxidant-rich ingredients such as dried blueberries, dried carrots, and dried apples to ensure a healthy immune system. Moreover, Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight Dog Food comes with vitamin and mineral supplements to support proper nutrition and growth.

As a flexible formula, this dog food is made for all dog sizes. Big or small, it offers the nutrition needed by your pet, including the energy required towards an active lifestyle.

To top it all, the manufacturer of Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight Dog Food follows the "Nutro Feed Clean" philosophy. This guarantees that all their products are made with non-GMO ingredients. No amount of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives are present.

  • Rich in protein and other macronutrients
  • No artificial additives
  • Made from non-GMO products
  • Contains potential allergens

Purina Pro Plan Savor Weight Management Dry Dog Food - Holistic Adult Dog Food for Weight Management

Purina Pro Plan Savor Weight Management Dog Food is a high-quality diet that is formulated with outstanding nutrition and savory flavor for your dogs. 

Every holistic bag ensures 100% balanced nutrition with its real chicken ingredient. This delivers high-quality protein and enticing flavor due to the combination of hard kibble and tender shredded pieces.

With the presence of less fat and carbohydrates in Purina Pro Plan Savor Weight Management Dog Food, this premium formulation gives a perfect meal for losing weight. Also, the addition of amino acid components aid in building and maintaining lean muscle mass. 

Additionally, it is fortified with live probiotics to support digestion and improve immune health. It's natural prebiotic fibers, which are sourced from wheat bran, work well to maintain the presence of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract.

With the complete and balanced nutrition offered by Purina Pro Plan Savor Weight Management Dog Food, adult dogs are guaranteed to have a mouthwatering meal to support their overall wellness.

  • Balanced nutrition
  • High-quality protein
  • Comes with live probiotics
  • For adult dog only

Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Adult 7+ Dry Dog Food - Best Weight Loss Food for Small Breeds

Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Dog Food contains the nutritional requirements needed by small-breed dogs and older small dogs to ensure graceful aging.

Its formula comes with balanced minerals to support the heart, bladder, and kidney health. Each of the small kibble sizes contains a synergistic blend of nutrients for energy and vigor. Also, the formula offers easy-to-digest features to ensure proper stomach functioning, even on small breeds.

A nourishing blend of omega-6 and Vitamin E in Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Dog Food aids for healthier skin and luxurious coats. The unique blend of proprietary antioxidants supports the dog's immune system.

To ensure the quality, the manufacturer uses only high-quality ingredients from real meats and natural ingredients. Plus, it never contains any artificial additives, colors, flavors, and preservatives that can harm dogs, especially the sensitive ones.

Lastly, Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Dog Food is made using only the best procedures approved by international standards.

  • Contains balanced nutrients
  • Comes with a unique blend of antioxidants
  • No artificial flavors and additives

Taste of the Wild Premium Wet Canned Dog Food - Best Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Dog Food is a balanced diet made to provide all the proper ingredients and nutrition needed to live healthy and strong. 

This tasty stew is formulated using real salmon as its main ingredient, thus giving an optimal amino acid profile and protein-rich diet for leaner and stronger muscles. It is blended with premium ingredients with added vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids.

The formula of Taste of the Wild Dog Food also comes with blueberries, raspberries, and sweet potatoes. Thus, giving this meal a unique prebiotic blend, highly digestible, and nutrient-rich fibrous characteristics. 

To make it more nutritious, this dog food contains no grain, gluten, corn, wheat, fillers, artificial preservatives, or flavorings. Instead, it's ingredients came from trusted and sustainable sources from around the world.

Being a canned dog food, Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dog Food is an excellent addition to weight training and management diet. It is rich in protein and low in carbohydrates and fat, plus the tasty gravy in the kibbles that your pet will surely love.

  • Protein-rich
  • Low in carbohydrates and fat
  • Nutrient-rich and highly digestible
  • A bit pricey

Overweight Dog: The Signs

Here are some of the signs to tell you whether your dog is on their way to a serious weight problem.

1. Breed's Standard

Different dog breeds have different ideal body weights. Compare the standard of their breed against their body weight. If it exceeds the average weight of their breed, then they are considered overweight. On the other hand, if the dog's body weight is above 10% to 15% of their healthy body weight, then the term obese applies.

Also, consulting a body condition scoring chart helps determine whether your dog is overweight or not.

2. Cannot Feel the Ribs

best dog food for weight loss beagle

When you run your fingers on your dog's chest and can feel their ribs easily, then your dog is not overweight. However, if you find it harder to push with your fingers, then the more likely that your pet is overweight.

3. Lack of Body Form

By just merely looking at your dog, you'll be able to have a clear picture of their body form, including the chest, tummy, and waist

However, if you see your dog's belly protruding from the sides with very obvious distention in the abdomen, then it is a clear sign of overweight in your dog.

4. Difficulty to Move

Dogs with no issues on mobility should be able to move about easily. They can hop and jump without any problems; otherwise, they are likely to be overweight.

5. Inability to Scratch or Groom

Dogs who aren't able to scratch or groom themselves, provided there are no known medical conditions, are more likely to be obese. The presence of extra padding in their body limits their joint's range of motion, thus leading to difficulty even in simple actions.

6. Excessive Panting

While doing walks, observe how long it would take before your dog starts to pant heavily. If it occurs at only a shorter distance, then there is a chance that your dog is overweight.

7. Digestive Problems

While it is not a definitive sign of weight problems. Most overweight dogs tend to produce gas frequently and suffer from constipation as compared to normal-weight dogs.

Causes of Weight Gain

best dog food for weight loss for large dogs

There are several reasons why dogs gain weight. While some are results of chronic health problems, the majority of the reasons are highly preventable

1. Excessive Food

The foods consumed by dogs contain calories in the form of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. Ideally, a balance between energy intake and energy output should be observed.

It is essential to commensurate the number of calories by performing vital functions and other activities. The excess calories are converted into glycogen and fatty acids, which are stored in the dog's body. Dog utilizes these if the next meal is several hours away.

However, when stored energy is not used up, it will lead to excessive amounts of fats, which can cause overweight and obesity.

2. Lesser Exercise

The increase in the dog's weight can be caused by lesser to no wellness core. Being active and engaging in physical activities enable the use of the stored energy in your dog's body.

3. Genetic Predisposition

Some dog breeds are genetically-predestined to gain weight. Breeds who are prone to gain weight over time include Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, Basset Hounds, Rough Collies, and Dachshunds.

Risks of Obesity in Dogs

Being overweight can lead to a variety of health problems as compared to those having normal body weights.

Some of the common risks of canine obesity include:

1. Diabetes Mellitus

Too much fat can increase the risk of diabetes due to the continued carbohydrate intake that can increase the sugar in the blood. The dog's body does not utilize these carbohydrates but instead converted into glycogen and fat, which can also worsen obesity. 

Over time, fat deposition can lead to insulin resistance, which can cause an increase in glucose in the blood, which makes it one of the hallmarks of diabetes.

2. Mobility Issues

best dog food for weight loss and sensitive skin

The unusually heavyweight can put strain and stress on the joints, ligaments, and bones.

This allows the exertion of undue pressure leading to erosion on the ends of the bones, thus causing osteoarthritis and other mobility issues.

3. Cardiovascular Problems

The more amount of calories left unburned by the dog's body results in more fat that is stored.

These can lead to deposition of fatty lesions in the inner walls of the blood vessels, thus causing a stroke, high blood pressure, hypertension, and heart failure.

4. Difficulty Breathing

The accumulated fats on the chest wall of your pet restrict the movement of the muscles involved for respiration.

Since breathing is a passive activity, dogs tend to exert more force to be able to move air from the environment to the lungs.

5. Fatty Liver Disease

The problem with fatty liver occurs when the liver loses its ability to metabolize the foods and chemicals consumed by dogs.

Over time, the condition can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and end-stage liver failure.

6. Heat Intolerance

Fat is a tissue that helps insulate the body during cold conditions. However, too many fats are not good, especially in a scorching hot environment.

Overweight dogs tend to be more vulnerable to exhaustion and heat stroke, which can lead to the sudden cessation of the nervous system functioning.

Choosing Dog Food for Weight Loss

Choosing the right food to help your dog lose weight can be tricky. Other than its composition, other things should be considered.

Let our comprehensive guide help you pick the best dog food for weight loss to address dog's weight issues effectively.

1. Reduced Caloric Content

The basic weight loss formula - eat fewer calories than what you burn! The reduced amount of calories in dog foods can minimize the tendency of storing excess calories in the body.

Therefore, you should know how much calories your dog is supposed to have to be able to understand the below-average amount that should be given.

2. Low-Fat Diet

Too much fat can add up to the converted, and stored fat in the body brought about by excess glucose.

Take note that the amount of energy from a single molecule fat contains more than the number of calories contained in a similar molecule of protein and carbohydrate combined.

3. High Protein

best dog food for weight loss and sensitive stomach

Dogs need something to fulfill their energy requirements. While protein also contains calories, they are unusually large molecules that break into amino acids.

The increase in protein intake can save amino acids, which is essential in building tissues.

4. Fiber-Rich

The fiber in the dog's diet can provide bulkiness and a feeling of fullness without worrying much about the caloric content.

This contains only a few usable calories, but still takes up plenty of space on the dog's stomach.

5. Probiotics Fortified

Probiotics are helpful bacteria that help in the effective functioning of the intestinal tract of your pet.

Foods enriched with probiotics are less likely to give intestinal upset while improving the digestion and absorption of your pet.

6. Optimal Nutrients

Foods for weight loss should provide the necessary nutrients in appropriate amounts to help dogs remain healthy and strong

Be sure to feed them with foods rich in vitamins, minerals, fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6, and balanced proportions of water.

7. Others

A few other key criteria should be considered when looking for dog foods for weight loss.

To make sure you select the best food, you may also look into the following:

  • Lacks any artificial colors, flavors, and additives
  • Does not contain any unidentified meat meals or by-products
  • Highly palatable and digestible

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Should I Feed My Dog to Lose Weight?

Dogs who consume fewer calories than what they burn are more likely to lose weight. It is essential to know the number of calories present per serving of food as well as the caloric requirement of your dog to adjust them accordingly.

To check the calorie requirement of your dogs, you may take note of the following guidelines:

  • Take the dog's weight in kilograms.
  • Multiply the weight by 70 and then multiply by the Resting Energy Requirement constant of 0.75.
  • Multiply the dog's RER by the appropriate multiplier depending on the Maintenance Energy Requirement of your dog.

It is best to ask and consult your veterinarian to ensure the proper diet and amount of food to be given to dogs who want to lose weight.

Best Dog Food for Weight Loss

How Fast Can a Dog Lose Weight?

Most veterinarians advise for dog owners is to follow a fundamental rule with regards to restricting calories and achieving a desired rate of weight loss.

For dogs, it is highly recommended to lose one to two percent of their total body weight per week. It's also alright to lose less than that per week; however, the weight loss plan will take longer.

Following these guidelines is a must to prevent health problems from arising. Dogs who lose much weight too quickly can suffer from nutritional deficiencies and undesirable behaviors.

best dog food for weight loss and allergies

How to Get Your Dog to Lose Weight?

Switching to weight-loss dog foods is a great way to help your dogs lose some pounds. But, there are other techniques and strategies to help your dog slim down a little more.

  • Increase the amount of exercise and wellness core.
  • Stop giving dogs feeding treats.
  • Never feed dogs with people food.
  • Visit your vet for assistance.

Final Thoughts

Maintaining the ideal weight of your dog has not only a positive impact on their health but also their overall lifestyle. If your dogs are starting to show off some extra pounds, then start resorting to regular exercise and switching to the best dog food for weight loss.

Among the formulas we have reviewed, Canidae Pure Healthy Weight Management Premium Dry Dog Food is our ultimate choice. 

It contains pure and real whole ingredients to ensure the wellness of your dog, especially those having trouble with proper weight management.

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