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Best Dog Food For Weight Loss

The best dog food for losing weight is Nulo Adult Weight Management Cod Grain Free Dry Food.

Dogs are just as prone to obesity as their human companions. Studies show that about 23% of American dogs are overweight. That’s a high number, and it can lead to serious health problems for your dog if you don’t do something about it.

While most of us want to appease our pets’ every whim and ensure they are as happy as possible – and while putting a dog on a ‘diet’ might seem a little unnatural – it sometimes is necessary to help a dog to shed a few pounds. And fortunately, that will generally just mean switching to a dog food brand designed for weight loss.

The only question – Which dog food for weight loss is the best?

We are here to help with a list of the best dog food for losing weight, so your pooch can have a happy and healthy life!

Budget Conscious Pick

Natural Balance Fat Dogs Dry Dog Food

Our Top Pick

Nulo Adult Weight Management Grain Free Dry Food

NUTRITIOUS PICK

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food

01 Nulo Adult Weight Management Grain Free Dry Food

If you only buy one dog food for losing weight, it should be this one. The Nulo Adult Weight Management Dog Food is a grain-free option that is free from all the stuff your pooch absolutely doesn't need, but that is packed with a ton of nutrients and superfoods to help assist your canine companion with their weight loss.

Features of this dog food include a great ratio of protein to carbohydrates, with 74% of the dog food being made up of protein. That's a very important win considering that in the wild, dogs and wolves would not eat a lot of carbohydrates. When was the last time you saw a wolf eating a sandwich? Canines are carnivores and their diet should reflect that.

Eventually, such a low carb dog food will do wonders in maintaining a healthy weight in your dog.

Likewise, the dog food has a low glycemic index, meaning that it will release sugars slowly into the body, and is packed with extras such as probiotics and l-carnitine to increase metabolism.

Pros
  • Made with a low carbohydrate formulation, the Nulo Weight Management dog food satisfies your dogs' appetite and keeps them full for a longer period of time. L-carnitine is also added to this dog food, which helps to boost metabolism and aids with weight loss.

02 Natural Balance Weight Management Dry Dog Food

While Nulo makes fantastic dog food, not everyone has the budget to choose the most premium brand for their pets. That's nothing to feel guilty about: dogs are expensive hobbies and especially when they gulp down their food at an alarming rate.

Measured on a pound by pound basis, the Natural Balance Weight Management Dog Food is at least 33% cheaper as compared to comparable options! 

The good news is that you don't have to break the bank in order to look after your pooch and ensure they are getting everything they need to maintain a healthy weight. Natural Balance for ‘Fat Dogs' is a dog food that does a lot right, and that is affordable to feed on a regular basis.

It comes with L-carnitine, which is known as a metabolic fat burner and helps to convert more fat into energy - hence losing more weight in the process.

 

Pros
  • This dog food might not come with all the expensive added superfoods and nutrients like those found in Nulo. There's no omega 3 here, no BC30 Probiotics… but it's just a normal, low-calorie, very well-made affordably priced dog food.

03 Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food Adult is a tasty and healthy way to maintain your or your dog's health. With protein for lean muscle maintenance, this dog food also contains clinically proven results to lose weight in just 10 weeks of being on a calorie-restricted diet. 

According to them, 70% of dogs on this diet saw weight loss in just 10 short weeks! 

Priced at around $2.67/pound, it is more expensive than our budget pick but cheaper as compared to our top pick. You can consider getting the 28.5lb option, which pushes the price down to $2.14/pound. 

It is also considered a natural dog food, as it is not artificially preserved, contains no synthetic colors or artificial flavors. 

The best part? It comes with a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee! 

Pros
  • With a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee, there's no downside to trying this dog food from Hill's Science. From our research, many dog owners have noticed a weight loss in their dogs of between 2-4 pounds per year.

04 Wellness Core Natural Reduced Fat Grain Free Dry Dog Food

The Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dog Food is another low-fat dog food for weight control.

Keep in mind that reducing fat alone is not always a recommended diet strategy for dogs. Fat actually slows down the absorption of sugar, while aiding with the absorption of nutrients. Healthy fat is a positive part of a canine's diet, and this dog food has what it take to help your pooches keep a healthy weight.

It has a composition of 33% Crude Protein, 10%-12% Crude Fat, and 8.5% Fiber content. According to some studies, the average fat content in most dog food is around 18%. So having a 10%-12% crude fat content is a great start for helping your overweight pooch lose weight. 

This weight loss dog food is also supported by superfoods, which include flaxseed and salmon oil. This provides essential Omega 3 fatty acids that promote healthier-looking skin and coat. 

Pros
  • The choice of using salmon, chicken, and turkey as the protein sources is excellent. These are naturally low fat and low calorie while providing good fats such as omega 3. A balanced ingredient list also ensures a complete amino acid profile.

05 Eagle Pack Natural Weight Management Dry Dog Food

This is the less effective way to reduce fat – by actually removing it from fattier meats like pork. Reducing fats intake will gradually put your pooch on course to a healthy weight.

However, this does lose the Eagle pack some points in terms of taste as fats add flavor to the dog food, at least to a certain extent.

Nonetheless, there's a lot of good here. The recipe is once again made from a variety of different meats, and is free from things like corn, soy, and other 'filler'.

No 'meat by-products' also means that this is real meat, and not the cheap left-over stuff that goes into lesser brands.

Pros
  • Reducing fat to lose weight is not our favorite strategy, but the strong list of natural proteins and the lack of unwanted additives make this a great choice for helping dogs to lose weight nonetheless.

06 Annamaet Grain-Free Lean Reduced Fat Dry Dog Food

Being free from grains means a dog food is free from one of the main ‘fillers' that are often used to pad out dog food and increase the weight and satiating qualities without providing any actual goodness. It also means that you'll be reducing gluten, which can in some cases cause complications (though not always).

This reduced fat dog food from Annamaet is tasty, popular with dogs, and is also low fat. In fact, it claims to contain half the amount of fat as other grain-free dog foods.

And on top of that, it also contains a lot of desirable added nutrients, such as the amazing omega 3 fatty acid which can aid with brain health, blood vessel strength, absorption, joint issues, immune support, and much more.

Pros
  • As well as being grain-free and low in fat, this dog food also ticks a few other key boxes thanks to the high number of minerals and the fact that it is designed specifically for dogs at all life stages. That means you can feed this formula to puppies and older dogs – without needing to stress about finding the right dog food for the right age

07 CANIDAE PURE Weight Management Dry Dog Food

CANIDAE PURE Weight Management Dry Dog Food is the right choice for your pup who needs to be able to maintain a healthy weight. With grain-free, 10 key ingredients or less and supported by Omega 6 & 3 fatty acids, this dog food provides beautiful skin & coat without irritating sensitive stomachs.

It’s also packed with the goodness of premium, clean proteins like real meat, poultry, or fish as well as antioxidants for a healthier immune system!

Pros
  • Your dog will feel healthier and lose weight with this wholesome, no-grain dog food. With a limited number of ingredients that are easily recognizable (like sweet potatoes), you'll know exactly what goes into their food.

08 AvoDerm Natural Health Solutions For Weight Control

As you have likely guessed from the not-so-catchy name, this dog food is designed not only for weight control but also to help with joint support and all-round health as your pooch ages.

This makes a lot of sense though, given that your dog is also likely to struggle with joint pain if it is overweight – especially as it ages. For dogs that are generally slowing down, this can be a good choice.

That said, the ingredients list is not the very best all-round, and that makes this an inferior choice for those younger, healthier canines.

Pros
  • Again, it's a matter of finding the right dog food for the right dog. In this case, this is a great food for those older dogs, but there are some questionable choices that prevent it from being an instant recommendation.

    For one – the use of chicken meal is not ideal. This is the ‘left over' stuff that humans don't want to eat. Likewise, the decision to add rice – and list it as though that is a selling point (whereas many other dog foods actually brag that they don't include rice) is a strange one.

    All in all, this is a useful option if your pooch is getting on in years, but it's not the best general weight loss dog food by a long margin.

Buyers Guide

Dog Food For Losing Weight Buyers' Guide

We don't like to think of our dogs as needing to go on diets. That's surely one of those silly ‘human behaviors' that the rest of the animal kingdom is a bit above.

Dogs don't need to fit into dresses, and they likewise aren't faced with pictures of beautifully slim, airbrushed celebrity dogs every day. And seeing as dogs don't eat half the amount of junk food that humans do, surely we can just let them be rather than making them stress about this very human problem?

Unfortunately, though, the reality is that some dogs really do need to shed some pounds. Dogs can struggle with maintaining a healthy weight in just the same way that humans can, and the causes are actually very similar in many ways.

For one, dogs are often forced to eat unnatural diets. Dog foods vary drastically in terms of quality, calories, and nutritional value, which is a problem when that's all your dog eats.

Pet dogs are also far less active than their wolf ancestors – mainly because their owners aren't fit enough to walk them for more than an hour a day tops.

And then there are all the same issues such as metabolic problems (some of which are caused by the previous two factors) that can cause snowballing weight gain.

Fortunately, awareness is increasing regarding this problem and we now have more and more ideas of how to solve it.

Related: Best Low-Calorie Dog Food

Strategies To Help Your Dog Lose Weight

By switching to a weight management dog food, you are able to:

  • Restricting calories to a large extent
  • Removing fats
  • Using ‘fat burner' dog foods

However, just using a weight management dog food alone might not be enough. Here's more that you should do:

  • Helping your dog to get more exercise
  • Removing unhealthy processed foods, such as unhealthy dog treats 
  • Adding more natural sources of nutrition

Reducing your pooch's intake of calories or fat is essentially the same strategy as many people misguidedly use themselves to lose weight. It makes sense on the face of it: if you consume fewer calories, your body will be forced to burn fat for energy. And seeing as the fat we get from our diet is highly calorific, it makes sense that reducing fat will help to encourage that weight loss.

Related: Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowls

The Problem With Low Calorie and Low Fat

The thing to recognize though is that when you reduce caloric intake, you actually just make the person or dog cranky and tired. They therefore actually move less and they, therefore, remain roughly the same weight. Plus they'll be grumpy and unhealthy.

What's more, is that providing dogs with unnatural foods – heavily processed, cheap dog foods – will only upset their metabolism and reduce the number of calories they burn at rest. It will do this as well as leading to worse skin and fur, worse teeth, poor sleep, and a host of other issues.

Many dog foods that strip away the fat, or that are very low calorie, will only be less natural.

When you eat meat, what normally happens is that the natural saturated fat content will aid with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, and will sit in the stomach taking longer to break down. This makes you feel fuller, and it means that you will be less likely to crave other foods (because you're getting what your body needs). Moreover, it means that the carbs in that food will also take longer to digest, avoiding a blood sugar spike.

Now What Happens When You Eat ‘Low Fat' Food?

You get the dog food but because it is stripped of fat, it is immediately also going to have lost some nutritional value. The vitamins and minerals in there will be less easily absorbed. That includes amino acids like l-carnitine, which are useful for increasing cellular energy and metabolism. Others like lutein can also only be absorbed with fat.

What's more, is that the ‘light' food is going to get broken down almost immediately by the body, leading to a rush of sugar which is converted to glucose in the blood. That spike in glucose is then further accompanied by a spike in insulin, which tells the body to absorb the aforementioned glucose. This is what you call a sugar rush, and it's why kids go all hyper when they have too much candy.

It's also one of the things that lead to insulin resistance and diabetes. And diabetes is as big a problem for dogs as it is for humans.

What Should A Good Dog Food Look Like?

This is why good dog food is dog food that includes lots of natural protein, a lower number of carbs, and added nutrients in the form of fortified vitamins and minerals and/or vegetables and other non-protein ingredients.

This way, your pooch is eating the kind of diet that it evolved to eat. That way, it is going to be filling itself up on protein that it can use to build strong muscles, bones, and tissue. They will feel satiated, meaning they'll be less ravenous, and the healthy energy will help them to run, jump, and play as they should.

These dog foods should be naturally lower in carbs, in filler ingredients like soy and wheat, and in unhealthy fats like trans fats. This way, they are able to lower calories in a healthy way – and more importantly, lower sugar. Because dogs would have eaten barely any sugar in the wild.

Things to Look Out For

This is what a good dog food looks like, but there are some added ingredients and features to look out for if you want the absolute cream of the crop.

Here are some signs that a doggie food is above and beyond:

Omega 3

One of the very best ingredients to look out for in any dog food is omega 3 fatty acid. This essential fatty acid can help to increase brain function, improve the absorption of other nutrients, strengthen the immune system, prevent joint pain, and more. It's a great all-round health booster that can even help your canine companion mood.

Related: Best Omega 3 Supplements For Dogs

L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine is a nutrient that has been shown to naturally increase metabolism, thereby helping your furry friends to burn off more calories even while at rest. It's a great inclusion for weight loss dog food in particular.

Mix of Proteins

When you get the protein in any dog food, it should strongly outweigh the carbs – seeing as dogs should eat a diet high in natural protein.

At the same time, that protein should also come from a variety of natural sources. Ideally, these should include things like salmon and chicken which are naturally lean while providing lots of additional powerful nutrients.

Always avoid dog food that says it contains ‘meal' – this means it is made of the leftover bits of protein that humans don't want to eat. Not the best as you can imagine!

Related: Best High Protein Dog Food

Free-From

Dog foods that claim to be free from grains, soy, wheat, and more are generally superior dog foods. Not only are these much healthier in that they aren't padded out with unwanted carbs, but they also might prevent a range of health side effects that can come from those ingredients.

Conclusion

Start With A Healthy Diet!

All in all, there is certainly an art to getting a weight loss dog food right. If you can understand this though, then you will be well suited to start picking diet food for your own dog. And if you get this right, your dog will be happy, healthy, and full of energy.

The good news?

The Nutro Adult Weight Management Dog Food is going to be perfect for your pooch, so make sure to consider your furry friend's unique needs and then go ahead and help them to get into the best shape of their life.

When you step out the way, nature knows how to look after its own.

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