8 Best Dog Foods for Weight Loss in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks!


Most dogs love to eat, and we love to feed them! Giving them food and treats that we know they enjoy makes us happy. The downside is that dogs can gain weight if we aren’t careful with their diets. Too many calories and not enough exercise will make them pack on the pounds quickly.

The good news is that the right dog food can help your pup lose weight. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is important since obesity can lead to health problems. Consuming fewer calories and moving around more will help them shed the extra pounds. There are various options for weight control dog food and it can be hard to know which one is best.

To help narrow down your search, we’ve rounded up the best dog foods for weight loss with reviews so you can find the one that is right for you.

divider-pawA Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022

The 8 Best Dog Foods for Weight Loss

1. Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight Chicken Dinner – Best Overall

Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight Chicken Dinner (1)

Primary Protein Source: Chicken
Calories: 354 per can
First Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver

Our best overall choice of dog food to help with weight loss is Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight Chicken Dinner. As with all Blue Buffalo products, this recipe contains no by-products, artificial flavors, corn, wheat, or soy. This pate food uses chicken as the first ingredient for quality protein without any excess calories.

Chicken liver is added for iron and vitamin A. Added blueberries and cranberries are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. The flaxseed in this food provides omega-3 fatty acids for coat and skin health while also promoting healthy digestion. L-carnitine is included in the recipe. This is an amino acid that helps convert fat into energy. In addition to this being a healthy food to feed your dog, you can trust that the calories are kept to a minimum at just 354 per can. This food combined with increased exercise can help them shed extra weight even faster.

The biggest issue with these cans is that they often seem to arrive dented, having been damaged during shipping. Also, the texture of the pate is thick and difficult to get out of the can.

Pros

  • Low-calorie food
  • Chicken is the primary protein source and ingredient
  • No by-products or artificial flavors

Cons

  • Cans may arrive dented
  • Thick texture

2. Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Weight Dog Food – Best Value

Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Weight Dog Food (1)

Primary Protein Source: Turkey
Calories: 320 per cup
First Ingredients:  Turkey, rice flour, soybean meal

Real turkey is the first ingredient in Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Weight Dog Food, making it our best value choice of weight loss dog food for the money. While this food does contain chicken by-products, it’s full of protein to help build lean muscle while burning fat. Each cup is 27% protein and 8% fat, combined with vitamins and minerals for healthy weight management. Peas and carrots are added for healthy fiber to help your dog feel full for longer periods. Natural sources of glucosamine are in this recipe to promote joint health in dogs that are carrying extra weight. There are many claims of dogs having fewer digestive issues while eating this food.

The worst problem with this product is that some of the kibble pieces are smashed. This leads to crushed kibble dust at the bottoms of the bags instead of intact pieces, upsetting some dog owners.

Pros

  • Real turkey is the first ingredient
  • Low calories per cup
  • High protein

Cons

  • Contains by-products
  • Kibble is crushed in the bag

3. Halo Holistic Healthy Weight Dog Food – Premium Choice

Halo Holistic Healthy Weight Dog Food (1)

Primary Protein Source: Turkey
Calories: 380 per cup
First Ingredients: Turkey, dried peas, dried chickpeas

This Halo Holistic Healthy Weight Dog Food is made with a turkey, turkey liver, and duck recipe that is packed with protein from sustainably sourced ingredients. While it’s a little higher in calories per serving than some other brands, there is nothing artificial added to this food. Your dog can absorb the nutrients easily and effectively. It’s a good choice for its easy digestibility. The addition of L-carnitine helps dogs burn fat and increase their metabolisms to maintain a healthy weight. Since there are no meat meals in this recipe and only whole meats, the high-protein content helps muscles stay strong while fat melts away. We like that the produce in this food is grown by farmers that refuse to use GMOs.

Some dog owners dislike the smell of this food, saying it’s overwhelming and unappealing.

Pros

  • Easy digestibility
  • High protein from whole meat sources
  • No GMOs used

4. Evanger’s Classic Recipes Canned Dog Food

Evanger’s Classic Recipes Canned Dog Food (1)

Primary Protein Source: Chicken
Calories: 301 per can
First Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, brown rice

The low-calorie, high-protein recipe in Evanger’s Classic Recipes Canned Dog Food is formulated to help dogs lose weight and help senior dogs get the nutrition they need without anything extra. This food is designed for less-active dogs who may need to lose a few pounds but can’t tolerate much exercise.

Chicken and brown rice are the primary ingredients. This formula is preservative-free and contains no fillers. Chelated minerals and vitamins are added as part of a healthy diet.

Don’t be surprised to find pieces of bone in this can. Evanger’s uses a special slow-cook and pressure-cook process to soften bones until they easily collapse. They are soft a pliable, easily digestible, and small, about the size of a grain of rice. There’s no danger in your dog eating these because they are completely splinter-free. They’re added for flavor, texture, and nutrients.

There is no added glucosamine or chondroitin, which some senior dogs need. This is important to know if your dog requires these things in their diet.

Pros

  • Low calories per cup
  • Includes nutrient-rich, edible bones
  • Chicken is the first ingredient

Cons

  • No glucosamine or chondroitin

5. Canidae PURE Healthy Weight Chicken & Pea Dog Food

Canidae PURE Healthy Weight Chicken & Pea Dog Food (1)

Primary Protein Source: Chicken
Calories: 409 per cup
First Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal

Real chicken is the first ingredient in Canidae PURE Healthy Weight Chicken & Pea Dog Food. This recipe is an efficient weight loss solution for dogs who have food allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients. Nine of the ingredients in this recipe are wholesome, non-allergenic, and easily digestible. Your dog will get the nutrients they need instead of filling up on grains, corn, and artificial additives. This will promote healthy weight loss by only giving them usable calories.

Sweet potatoes add healthy carbs to this recipe. It’s also loaded with probiotics, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids. Many of these come from real vegetables and animal sources.

The biggest issue with this food is the recipe seems to have changed and it’s now a darker color. It can also be too rich for some dogs’ digestive systems.

Pros

  • Nine wholesome, non-allergenic ingredients
  • No corn, grains, or other fillers

Cons

  • Higher in calories than other brands
  • New recipe

6. Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Dog Food

Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Dog Food (1)

Primary Protein Source: Chicken
Calories: 291 per cup
First Ingredients: Chicken, cracked pearled barley, brown rice

The high-quality ingredients and low calories per serving in Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Dog Food will encourage healthy weight loss over time. This recipe is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for muscle maintenance.

L-carnitine is added to help maintain a healthy and speedy metabolism. Apples, broccoli, cranberries, and green peas offer antioxidants and fiber to keep your pup feeling satisfied. According to the manufacturer, 70% of dogs fed this diet lose weight within 10 weeks.

Dog owners are least impressed with this food’s smell. The odor is said to linger throughout the house. This doesn’t stop some dogs from eating it, though.

Pros

  • Made with real fruit and vegetables
  • Promotes healthy weight loss with L-carnitine

7. Merrick Healthy Weight Recipe Dog Food

Merrick Healthy Weight Recipe Dog Food (1)

Primary Protein Source: Beef
Calories: 354 per cup
First Ingredients: Deboned beef, chicken meal, sweet potatoes

A little more than half of the recipe in Merrick Healthy Weight Recipe Dog Food is made of protein and healthy fat. Deboned beef is the primary protein source and helps dogs maintain healthy energy levels and muscles. The remaining ingredients provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals for a balanced diet.

This formula is grain and gluten-free with added omega fatty acids for healthy coats. Glucosamine and chondroitin are added for joint health.

Merrick uses no corn, wheat, soy, or artificial preservatives. With 80% of the protein in this food coming from animal sources, you can trust that your dog is getting the nutrition they need without fillers.

The biggest complaint about this food is that the size of the bag got smaller but the price stayed the same.

Pros

  • Half of the recipe is protein and healthy fat
  • Added glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Deboned beef is the first ingredient

Cons

  • The bag decreased in size but not price

8. Natural Balance Fat Dogs Low-Calorie Dog Food

Natural Balance Fat Dogs Low-Calorie Dog Food (1)

Primary Protein Source: Chicken
Calories: 315 per cup
First Ingredients: Chicken meal, salmon meal, chickpeas

Natural Balance Fat Dogs Low-Calorie Dog Food is designed to provide a nutritionally balanced diet even though it contains fewer calories. It combines protein and fiber to help your dog healthily lose weight.

Dogs stay fuller longer eating this food while it supports healthy digestion. Added omegas give your dog a healthy, shiny coat. This recipe also includes L-carnitine for a healthy metabolism to promote weight loss.

If your dog is switching to this food from one that is lower in fiber, be sure to make the change slowly. This fiber content can make dogs poop a lot more than they used to. Introducing the food over time can help their digestive systems get used to it.

Pros

  • Low calories and high fiber
  • Added L-carnitine
  • Keeps dogs full

Cons

  • The high fiber can cause frequent pooping

divider-pawBuyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Dog Foods for Weight Loss

When choosing dog food for weight loss, there are certain things to watch for that make it the best for your pup.

chihuahua dog breed eating human food
Image Credit: Bhitakbongse Leesothikul, Shutterstock

Low Calories

There are calories to maintain weight and calories to lose weight. To find the number of calories your dog needs per day, use an online calculator or talk to your vet. If you’re feeding your dog the calories they need to maintain, they won’t shed any pounds. At the same time, it’s important to not underfeed your dog. Losing weight slowly is the healthiest way for them to do it.

Low-calorie dog food is helpful because it enables you to still feed your dog a significant amount of food without adding unnecessary calories.

Low Fat

Dogs don’t need excess fat in their diets. High-calorie dog food leads to excess glucose that will be stored in the body and turned into fat. Low-fat dog food will cut back on their fat intake and help them fill up on healthier ingredients instead.

High Protein

Protein contains calories, but dogs burn more calories digesting it. Increasing their protein intake will force their bodies to use more energy.

Wholesome Ingredients

The best ingredients in dog food are quality protein, produce, and healthy fats. Artificial flavors, colors, and ingredients are all things your dog doesn’t need in their diet. Their bodies can have trouble breaking these things down. Wholesome ingredients are easier to digest and help to give your dog the energy and protein they need to stay healthy.

labrador retriever eating dog food
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

How Can I Tell If My Dog Is Overweight?

It can be hard to tell if your dog needs to lose weight because different people have different ideas about what a healthy dog looks like. To get an idea, look up the breed standard for your dog. If you have a dog who is supposed to weigh, on average, 35 pounds, and your dog weighs 45, they may need to lose some.

You should be able to feel your dog’s ribs without pushing. The ribs shouldn’t be well-defined through the skin, but you should be able to feel them when you run your hands along their sides without working too hard to find them.

There should be a significant definition of your dog’s body. You should see their chest, stomach, and waist. If your dog’s abdomen distends past their sides or you can’t see where their waist contours, losing a couple of pounds may be in order.

The guaranteed way to know if your dog is overweight is to ask your vet.

Activity Level

Is your dog less active than they used to be? Are they tired and panting heavily after a regular walk around the neighborhood? If your dog is having trouble doing the same activities they used to do, they could be overweight. Other factors could be the cause of this but shedding some weight will help your dog move more easily.

Why Do Dogs Gain Weight?

The biggest cause of weight gain in dogs is feeding them too much. Even too much of their regular dog food will be too many calories and lead to fat storage. Excessive treats and feeding them from your plate in addition to their regular meals are also additional calories your dog doesn’t need.

Highly active dogs can consume more calories because they burn them off. Older or less active dogs don’t need to eat as much.

Feeding your dog before their stored energy is completely used causes fat storage and weight gain.

Weight gain can also be caused by little or no exercise. No exercise at all will not give your dog a chance to burn any energy and instead store all their calories. If you can’t decrease the amount of food that you give your dog, increase their activity level and see if that helps to balance things out.

divider-pawConclusion

Our favorite dog food for weight loss is Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight Chicken Dinner. The high protein content from real chicken makes this a delicious way for your dog to cut calories. Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Weight Dog Food offers protein from turkey and low calories per serving. The GMO-free recipe of Halo Holistic Healthy Weight Dog Food is easy to digest and gives your dog low-calorie nutrition without additives.

We hope our reviews helped you find the best dog food to help your pup reach their weight loss goals.


Featured Image Credit: annabelle l, Shutterstock

.

Leave a Comment