Best Dog Food For Weight Loss

The best dog food for losing weight is Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Adult Trim Dry Dog 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!

#1 Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Adult Trim Dry Dog Food

If you only buy one dog food for losing weight, it should be this one. The Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Adult Trim dry 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, this dog food product 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.

Made with a low carbohydrate formulation, the Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Adult Trim dry 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.


  • The low amount of carbohydrates and glycemic ingredients present in the Nulo Freestyle Adult Trim recipe promotes the formation of lean muscle mass in dogs.
  • Nulo’s freestyle recipe contains L-carnitine to assist dogs with the metabolism and conversion of fatty acids into energy which helps a pooch burn excess weight.
  • The grain-free recipe of this Nulo dog food product, which is devoid of ingredients such as corn, wheat, soy, and white potatoes, makes it suitable for consumption by dogs with food allergies.
  • This Nulo recipe contains natural sources of calcium and phosphorus that aid the development and maintenance of stronger bones and joints in dogs.
  • This adult trim dry dog food contains the patented BC30 probiotics that provide support to the healthy flora residing in a pooch’s guts, thereby facilitating convenient digestion.


  • There have been several feedbacks about pooches developing diarrhea and gastric upset after eating this Nulo grain-free dog food.

This is our top pick for feeding overweight dogs on diet because of its well-balanced formula containing L-carnitine to aid the body in converting fats into energy, and the BC30 Probiotic component to support a healthier gut flora to maintain good digestion health.

#2 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 its counterparts!

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.

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.


  • Natural Balance’s weight management diet is a low-calorie dog food that features a protein blend that is formulated to help pooches develop lean muscle mass and maintain optimal weight.
  • The controlled levels of L-carnitine present in this weight management diet help a dog to burn excess fat and stay physically in shape.
  • This dry food recipe contains sources of vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc, all of which help to strengthen and fortify the canine immune system and reduce a pooch’s susceptibility to diseases.
  • The inclusion of wholesome grain ingredients, which boast a high fiber level, in this Natural Balance recipe provides fiber that supports healthy digestion and nutrient absorption in pooches.
  • This Natural Balance recipe contains balanced levels of essential fatty acids to ensure that a dog’s coat doesn’t lose its luster.


  • This Natural Balance product has a strong smell that some dogs don’t find to be appealing, thereby resulting in their refusal to eat the kibble.
  • The kibbles of this Natural Balance product tend to easily break down into crumbs that are difficult for pooches to consume.

#3 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 for every pound, it is more expensive than our budget pick but cheaper as compared to our top pick. You can consider getting the 28.5-lb option, which pushes the price down to $2.14 for every 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!

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 to 4 lbs per year.


  • Hill’s Science dry dog food utilizes real chicken as the main source of animal-based protein, thereby providing nutrients that work to ensure the formation of lean muscle mass in dogs.
  • This dry dog food product from Hill’s Science is specifically formulated with a blend of ingredients that are designed to facilitate weight loss in overweight pooches and assist dogs to maintain a healthy weight.
  • This dog food recipe is devoid of artificial preservatives, coloring and flavors that can be detrimental to a pooch’s health and overall well-being.
  • Hill’s Science diet dry dog food is manufactured in a U.S.-based facility with natural ingredients that are gotten from reputable suppliers around the world.
  • The medium kibble size of the Hill Science diet is designed to provide convenient chewing for pooches of different breeds and sizes.


  • This Hill’s Science product is considerably more expensive, compared to other canine weight management diets that are available on the market.
  • Several customers claim to have found dangerous foreign objects mixed with the Hill’s Science kibbles, thereby indicating poor quality control measures.

#4 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% to 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% to12% 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 health. 

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.


  • Wellness Core’s dog food contains minimal levels of fat – between 10% to 12% – to prevent pooches from gaining excess weight and becoming obese.
  • The high-protein content of this Wellness Core recipe, which is mainly gotten from deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal, helps dogs develop and maintain lean body mass and stay in shape.
  • Turkey and chicken meals, which are major ingredients in this Wellness Core recipe, are rich sources of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate that assist with the formation of strong bones and joints in pooches.
  • The guaranteed level of fatty acids in this Wellness Core recipe, which is provided by ingredients such as flaxseed oil and salmon oil, ensures the maintenance of the healthy appearance of a pooch’s coat and skin.
  • This reduced fat recipe is formulated with a blend of prebiotics and probiotics to promote canine digestive health.


  • This dog food isn’t made for picky eaters, as several customers have claimed that their pooches weren’t enticed to eat by the flavor of the kibbles.
  • The large size of the Wellness Core kibbles isn’t convenient for chewing and consumption by small dogs.

#5 Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Dog Food

When it comes to adult dog weight management, few canine food products are as optimized to achieve this as the Purina Pro Plan weight management adult dog food.

The use of chicken as the first major ingredient of the Purina Pro Plan dog food provides much-needed protein, which helps with the maintenance of muscle mass and proper functioning of the pooch’s heart. This dog food also features an optimized fat-to-protein ratio to maintain an ideal muscle mass while a dog is shedding excess weight.

The inclusion of antioxidants, probiotic fibers, and vitamins in the ingredient list of the Purina Pro Plan dog food helps ensure that the pooch’s immune and digestive systems and skin and coat quality are adequately catered for. This product is available as both a wet and dry diet, which helps eradicate pickiness among dogs.

The Purina Pro Plan Weight Management dog food is perfect for dog owners that are eager for their canine buddies to shed excess weight without losing muscle mass, and the rich nutrient list of this product also provides a host of additional health benefits to pooches.


  • Purina’s Pro Plan diet contains an optimal protein-to-fat ratio that is designed to ensure that pooches maintain healthy muscle mass during periods of weight loss.
  • This Purina recipe contains natural prebiotic fiber and guaranteed live probiotics that help to nourish specific intestinal bacteria that promote canine digestive health.
  • Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamins contained in this Purina Pro Plan recipe help dogs maintain shiny and well-polished coats.
  • The high-protein formula of this Purina Pro Plan recipe, which utilizes real chicken as the major ingredient, provides the nutritional building blocks needed to ensure that dogs develop as expected.
  • This Purina Pro Plan recipe is produced in the United States to ensure proper quality control and compliance with best manufacturing practices.


  • It was noted that the Purina brand had a tendency to switch up the ingredients of its Pro Plan diet, resulting in pooches refusing to eat the new kibbles and customers left with wasted food bags.

#6 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 low-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.

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


  • The high protein and low-fat content of this Annamaet diet, which is complemented by the inclusion of L-carnitine for easy metabolism of fat, helps dogs develop and maintain lean muscle mass.
  • Annamaet’s dry dog food contains a significant amount of DHA that helps to keep a pooch’s brain sharp and alert.
  • This grain-free recipe is supplemented with taurine to aid dogs in maintaining proper cardiac functions.
  • The inclusion of prebiotics and probiotics in this Annamaet recipe helps to promote canine microbiome gut health and provide additional gastrointestinal support for a pooch, thereby ensuring convenient digestion of ingested kibbles and proper nutrient absorption.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, present in fish oil and chelated minerals, are found in this Annamaet recipe, and they help dogs to maintain healthier skin and coat appearance.


  • The kibbles of this Annamaet product tend to crumble and disintegrate into smaller pieces, thereby making it difficult for pooches to pick up and chew these kibbles.
  • Similarly, some customers have also commented that the kibbles of this Annamaet product are considerably hard and difficult for their small dogs to chew.

#7 Canidae PURE Petite Dog Food

The Canidae PURE Petite limited ingredient dry dog food features protein sources, such as real lamb, chicken, salmon, raw coated lamb, or raw coated chicken as the first ingredient. And the addition of extra ingredients such as antioxidants, probiotics, and vitamins and minerals also provides a host of nutritional benefits.

This grain-free dry dog food is formulated using eight or fewer key food ingredients, thereby making it safe and healthy for dogs with allergies and sensitive stomachs to eat. This food package is typically available in two bag sizes – one pack of either 4 lbs or 10 lbs of dry dog food.

The Canidae PURE Petite dry dog food is formulated from high-quality, wholesome ingredients that provide dogs with much-needed nutrition. The absence of grains and fillers makes this food product perfect for dogs with allergies, and the small kibble size is ideal for picky small dogs.


  • The high-quality real lamb protein formulation of this petite dog food product promotes lean muscle mass formation and ensures that small pooches don’t gain excess, unhealthy weight.
  • Canidae’s PURE dog food features small kibbles that are specifically prepared for consumption by small-sized pooches.
  • The grain-free kibbles of this Canidae PURE recipe are freeze-dried and raw coated with real lamb to provide a flavor that most pooches will find appealing.
  • The limited ingredient list of this Canidae PURE recipe, which is formulated with 8 or less key ingredients, is ideal for pooches that have a history of food sensitivity.
  • This dog food product is manufactured with a blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that work to strengthen the canine immune system and promote canine skin health.


  • Multiple customers have reportedly received Canidae food bags with a high percentage of crumbled kibbles that couldn’t be chewed by dogs.
  • This petite dog food has a strong odor that tends to linger on a dog’s breath.

#8 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-around 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.

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.


  • This AvoDerm weight control solution features a low-fat formulation and reduced calorie content that prevents less active dogs from gaining excess, unhealthy weight.
  • This dog food product features omega-rich, vitamin-rich avocados and avocado oil to provide the fatty acids needed for pooches to maintain healthy skins and lustrous coats.
  • This AvoDerm product is pressure cooked to guarantee the retention of essential nutrients and ensure that pooches receive optimal nutrition from consumption of the kibbles.
  • AvoDerm products are prepared and packaged in the company’s California manufacturing plant, with major ingredients gotten from reputable sources in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and France.
  • This Natural Health recipe from AvoDerm is devoid of grains, by-product meals, and other ingredients that typically facilitate unhealthy weight gain in pooches.


  • Several customers have reported being on the unfortunate receiving end of dented AvoDerm food cans that were considered difficult to open.
  • There have been several reports of dogs developing loose stools after being placed on this AvoDerm natural health diet.

Dog Food For Losing Weight Buyer’s 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 make 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 and lead to deteriorating skin and fur health, poorer dental health, poorer 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.

Image from ChomChom Roller

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.

Image from Healthybud

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 Fatty Acid

One of the very best ingredients to look out for in any dog food is the 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-around health booster that can even help your canine companion mood.

Related: Best Omega-3 Supplements For Dogs


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


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.

Final Thoughts

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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Pete Decker