8 Best Dog Foods For Losing Weight (September 2019) | TheGoodyPet
Best Weight Loss Foods For Dogs

Best Weight Loss Foods For Dogs

PETE DECKER / JANUARY 1, 2019 / DOGS

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 brand for weight loss is the best? In this post, we'll explore the options and attempt to find the answer. Well also discuss what makes a good canine food, and help you to be able to spot the best products simply by looking at the ingredients.

TheGoodyPet Top Pick - Nulo Adult Weight Management Cod Grain Free Dry Food - Editors' Pick

Top Pick - Nulo Adult Weight Management Cod Grain Free Dry Food


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If you only buy one dog food product, it should be this one. This is a canine food 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 food include a great ratio of protein to carbohydrates, with 74% of the product 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.

Likewise, the 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.

Key Features

  • High meat/carb ratio
  • No soy, artificial flavors etc.
  • Packed with amino acids
  • L-carnitine and other metabolism boosters

What do we like about it?

While there are a lot of other products on this list, this one is our top pick simply because it has the best range of features. There is no glaring omission or poor choice here – it is a dog food that simply provides healthy energy and nutrition with no junk.

TheGoodyPet Budget Conscious Pick - Natural Balance Fat Dogs Dry Dog Food - Budget Conscious Pick

Budget Conscious Pick - Natural Balance Fat Dogs Dry Dog Food


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While Nulo makes a 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.

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. Natural Balance for ‘Fat Dogs' is a product that does a lot right, and that is affordable to feed on the regular.

Key Features

  • Low calorie
  • Provides complete and balanced nutrition
  • Improves digestion
  • Affordable

What do we like about it?

This product might not come with all the expensive added superfoods and nutrients like those found in Nulo. There's no omega 3 here, no l-carnitine… but it's just a normal, low-calorie, very well-made canine food. And really, that's all you need.

3

Royal Canin Canine Gastrointestinal Low-Fat Dry Dog Food


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This dog food does a few different things that others on the list just don't.

For one, it is designed for pooches with gastrointestinal problems in mind. That probably accounts for more pups than you might expect, and it can be a common cause of all kinds of issues including unexplained weight gain or loss. It's also low-fat, which can help lower the calories but also the digestive stress.

This product is designed specifically for a certain type of problem and isn't just a weight loss product. In fact, lowering fat can increase the jolt of sugar and glucose that a dog receives when eating, which might actually run counter to the weight loss you intend. Not only that, but the lower fiber content can likewise be a negative for a dog that is otherwise healthy but just trying to lose weight. Things to consider when choosing this brand over another dog food for weight loss.

Key Features

  • Easily digestible
  • Low fiber
  • Low fat
  • Easily absorbed

What do we like about it?

There's a lot to like about this product, but keep in mind that it won't be suitable for every situation and every dog.

This is why it's so important to do your research, and to choose the right canine product for the right dog.

4

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Reduced Fat


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This is another reduced fat dog product. 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.

But with that said, bad added fats (trans fats and omega 6) can be a problem. And fat is calorific. Plus, there is a lot else to like about this dog food. And fortunately, the type of fat being removed here is the type we don't want – and is accomplished in a healthy and natural way.

Key Features

  • 100% grain free
  • Reduced fat
  • Great sources of natural protein
  • Salmon, chicken, and turkey

What do we like about it?

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

5

Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food Pork Chicken & Fish Reduced Fat


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This is the less effective way to reduce fat – by actually removing it from fattier meats like pork. This does lose the Eagle pack some points, but in other ways 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.

Key Features

  • No corn, wheat, or by-products
  • Made in the USA
  • Reduced fat
  • Low calorie

What do we like about it?

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 none-the-less.

6

Annamaet Grain Free Lean Reduced Fat Formula Dog Food


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Being free from grains means a dog food is free from one of the main ‘fillers' that are often used to pad out canine 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).

The dog food 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 canine 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.

Key Features

  • Grain free
  • Reduced fat
  • Added omega 3 fatty acid

What do we like about it?

As well as being grain free and low in fat, this dog food also ticks a few other key boxes thanks to its 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 product for the right age.

Do keep in mind though, that this means your 4-legged furry friend will be getting a little less specialist support for its age and less of a tailored energy supply.

7

Bil-Jac Reduced Fat Dry Food For Dogs


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This is another reduced fat canine food, but the good kind. It is made with a lean protein (chicken) and that comes from real fresh chicken. In fact, this chicken is so fresh that it actually retains the flavor of the chicken, which makes a world of difference for your dog. It also has some other very positive selling points, such as high omega 3 and 6 fatty acid.

That said, there are some warning signs here. The lower protein is a strange choice given that dogs are carnivores, as is the ‘quality carbohydrates'.

Lot of pooches love this formula, which is something you should always keep in mind. The manufacturers also promise that after feeding your doggie Bil-Jac for a few weeks, you will be able to see the difference in their coat and their weight.

Key Features

  • Reduced fat
  • Fresh chicken
  • Added omega 3

What do we like about it?

As we reach the lower end of this list, this isn't our favorite product. That's due to the low protein and high carbs. What we do really like though is the use of fresh chicken, which goes a long way to making up for it.

8

AvoDerm Natural Health Solutions for Weight Control


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As you have likely guessed from the not-so-catchy name, this canine product 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.

Key Features

  • Low calorie
  • Low fat
  • Supports healthy coat and immunity

What do we like about it?

Again, it's a matter of finding the right canine product 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 products 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 product by a long margin.

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 weight problems 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 idea of how to solve it.

What Works & What Doesn't?

Here's what the answer isn't:

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

Here's what the answer is:

  • Helping your dog to get more exercise
  • Removing unhealthy processed foods
  • 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.

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 products – will only upset their metabolism and reduce the amount 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 products 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 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 leads 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 like 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.

L-Carnitine

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

Mix of Proteins

When you get the protein in any canine 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!

Free-From

Dog foods that claim to be free from grains, soy, wheat and more are generally superior products. 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 then, 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.


The Review

Best Dog Foods For Losing Weight