The Best Dog Food for Weight Loss and Tips for Overweight Dogs

A National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey done in 2014 found that over 50% of dogs in America are obese.

Several surveys conducted in different parts of the world have shown almost similar results, that overweight pets are a global problem.

While a chubby pet will score highly on the cute and cuddly scale, the extra weight is guaranteed to bring on health problems as he gets older.

There are different methods of figuring out if your dog is overweight on your own.

You can also get assistance from your vet who should also be able to assure you that the extra weight is not an indication of any underlying health problems before you can put your pet on a diet to reduce the weight.

A successful weight loss diet should have fewer calories and fat but have more protein. In this article, we review highly recommended delicious formulas that will jump-start your pup’s weight loss journey.

Later on, we give you some extra tips to help them keep the weight down and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

We think the best dog food for weight loss has got to be Dr. Tim’s Weight Management Metabolite Formula. This diet is formulated by a renowned canine nutritionist with the perfect balance of low fat, fewer calories, and quality proteins and fiber to get your pup to lose weight naturally.

The Best Dog Food for Weight Loss Are…

ProductDetails
1. Dr. Tim's Weight Management Metabolite Formula

  • Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Whole Oat Groats, Dried Field Peas, Cellulose
  • 77% protein from high-quality animal sources
  • L-carnitine for fat metabolism
  • High protein, low fat and low-calorie diet
  • Patented BC30 Probiotic
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2. Nutro Ultra Weight Management Dry Dog Food

  • Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Rice Bran, Whole Grain
  • Oatmeal
  • 3 Animal Protein Sources: Chicken, Lamb, and Salmon
  • Whole Grains and Seeds
  • Fruits and Vegetables
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3. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Dry Dog Food

  • Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes, and Pea Fiber
  • A grain-free formula with potatoes and peas
  • Antioxidants, Omega Fatty Acids, Glucosamine, and Probiotics
  • Fresh whole food ingredients
  • Gluten-Free and Grain-Free Recipe
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4. Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

  • Beef Meal, Whole Grains (Brown Rice, Millet, & Sorghum),
  • Chicken Fat, and Menhaden Fish Meal
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin
  • L-carnitine
  • Victor CORE ingredients (Selenium Yeast, Mineral
  • Complexes, Prebiotics, and Probiotics)
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5. Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • Chicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Pea Fiber, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Meal, Dried Tomato Pomace
  • Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
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6. Canidae Pure Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

  • Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Chickpeas, Potatoes, Suncured Alfalfa, and Chicken Fat
  • Omega Fatty Acids
  • Natural Flavors, Minerals, and Vitamins
  • Taurine, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin
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7. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

  • High-Quality Protein: Deboned Chicken and Chicken Meal
  • Wholesome Whole Grains: Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal
  • Healthy Fruits and Veggies: Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Blueberries, Cranberries
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8. Eagle Pack Reduced Fat Formula

  • Pork Meal, Dehulled Barley, Peas, Ground Brown Rice, Oatmeal
  • 35% Less Fat and 11% Fewer Calories
  • Fortified with Vitamins and Minerals
  • Glucosamine Hydrochloride
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9. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management Formula

  • Chicken, Brewer's Rice, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Corn, and
  • Wheat Flour
  • Natural Prebiotic Fiber
  • 25% Less Fat
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1. Dr. Tim’s Weight Management Metabolite Formula — Best Dog Food for Weight Management

Dr. Tim’s weight management formula is a premium recipe formulated with the perfect balance of fat, carbs, and fiber to help your furry best friend lose weight while still maintaining his daily routine.

Designed by a canine nutritionist and veterinarian, this formula is the best dog food for overweight dogs to lose weight naturally.

It includes wholesome proteins from chicken meal as well as salmon meal, egg product, and chicken liver meal. Meat meal ingredients provide more protein than real meat which helps your pup to eat less.

These quality proteins also provide essential amino acids such as l-carnitine which help to metabolize fat into energy.

It’s important to note that this diet has the lowest calorie content in our list which is great because it means that your pup will maintain his food portions but with fewer calories.

Brown rice and whole oats are high-quality carbs that provide slow-burning energy which also maintains the blood sugar level.

Whole grains provide essential vitamins and minerals that boost the immune system for good health.

This recipe includes a good mix of insoluble fibers from whole grains and cellulose that help in proper bowel movement and soluble fibers such as chicory root that slow the digestion of carbs to provide longer-lasting energy and promote digestive health.

Specs

  • Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Whole Oat Groats, Dried Field Peas, Cellulose
  • 77% protein from high-quality animal sources
  • L-carnitine for fat metabolism
  • High protein, low fat and low-calorie diet
  • Patented BC30 Probiotic

Pros

  • Low calories to maintain food portions
  • Improves absorption of nutrients
  • Provides impressive weight loss results
  • Made of high-quality natural ingredients
  • An appetizing recipe for picky eaters

Cons

  • May cause bloating and frequent bowel movement

Dr. Tim’s weight management formula is designed to help your pup lose weight naturally without adjusting their routine.

It is our top choice for its high protein and fiber with low fat and calorie formulation that provides a satisfying and nutritious meal.

Overall Rating – 4.2/5

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2. Nutro Ultra Weight Management Dry Dog Food

This formula is a nutritious and great tasting recipe for overweight and low active dogs. It is a high-quality formula that includes a mix of natural ingredients for a low calorie and well-balanced meal.

It features real chicken as the first ingredient along with lamb meal and salmon meal. These high-quality proteins provide healthy fats and essential amino acids to develop lean muscle mass as the dog loses weight.

It includes whole grains such as brown rice, rice bran, and oatmeal which provide slow-burning energy and insoluble fiber to support healthy bowel movement.

Whole grains are a source of essential vitamins and minerals not found in fruits and veggies which support the immune system.

This recipe also contains fruits and vegetables which provide a rich source of antioxidants and nutrients needed for overall good health.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin found in the meat meals helps to manage joint issues caused the extra weight to improve mobility and activity.

Specs

  • Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Rice Bran, Whole Grain Oatmeal
  • 3 Animal Protein Sources: Chicken, Lamb, and Salmon
  • Whole Grains and Seeds
  • Fruits and Vegetables

Pros

  • High-quality animal proteins as top ingredients
  • A balanced mix of 15 superfoods for nutrition.
  • Combines weight loss with appetizing flavors
  • High-quality digestible ingredients
  • Low calorie and satisfying meal

Cons

  • Not a good choice for sensitive dogs

The Nutro Weight Management diet is a delicious recipe that provides good weight loss results in adult dogs. The low-calorie content helps to manage the weight of inactive dogs.

Overall Rating – 4.7/5

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3. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Dry Dog Food

This turkey and chicken recipe contains 25% less fat for overweight dogs and dogs with sensitive tummies. It uses all-natural whole ingredients with no gluten, grains, meat by-products, or artificial flavors.

The recipe features a high protein content from deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal to build muscle mass and to provide more energy to make your dog eat less.

More protein means a higher quantity of essential amino acids that boost his immunity and supports healthy skin and coat.

Potatoes and peas provide high-quality carbs and fiber in the dog’s diet in place of whole grains. Grain-free products have been found to promote the canine heart disease known as DCM.

This is due to a reduced level of taurine however, the high levels of protein in this formula provide enough of this compound to keep your dog’s heart-healthy.

Specs

  • Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes, and Pea Fiber
  • A grain-free formula with potatoes and peas
  • Antioxidants, Omega Fatty Acids, Glucosamine, and Probiotics
  • Fresh whole food ingredients
  • Gluten-Free and Grain-Free Recipe

Pros

  • Contains 25% less fat than the regular recipes
  • Probiotics to aid in bowel movement
  • Contains taurine to support a healthy heart
  • High protein content reduces food intake
  • Great for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Helps to control blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs

Cons

  • It’s expensive
  • May cause digestive issues in some dogs

This formula is an excellent choice for overweight adult dogs. It provides a nutritious and filling meal that causes a reduction in overeating while still maintaining your dog’s energy levels.

Overall Rating – 4.7/5

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4. Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

This beef meal recipe is formulated for dogs with low activity levels and dogs that need to lose the extra pounds.

It features rich-protein ingredients, low fat, and complex carbs to provide a low calorie and delicious meal.

The formula is enhanced with glucosamine and chondroitin compounds that help in maintaining healthy joints. The first ingredient is beef meal, a high protein ingredient with more protein content than fresh beef.

Whole grains such as brown rice and millet are included to provide a low glycemic source of energy and key antioxidants that promote the overall health of the dog.

Brown rice is a rich source of fiber, magnesium, and selenium. It promotes weight loss in dogs and also helps to stabilize the blood sugar levels by releasing slow-burning energy.

Chicken fat provides linoleic acid which is an essential omega-6 fatty acid. This important fatty acid is needed by dogs to maintain their immune system and to nourish their skin and coat.

The recipe also includes Menhaden Fish Meal which is a high protein ingredient rich in DHA Omega-3 fatty acids that support cognitive development and healthy eyes.

Specs

  • Beef Meal, Whole Grains (Brown Rice, Millet, & Sorghum),
  • Chicken Fat, and Menhaden Fish Meal
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin
  • L-carnitine
  • Victor CORE ingredients (Selenium Yeast, Mineral
  • Complexes, Prebiotics, and Probiotics)

Pros

  • Low fat and calorie content for weight loss
  • Improves joint health of overweight dogs
  • Highly digestible ingredients with little waste
  • Results show in a couple of weeks

Cons

  • Not good for dogs with sensitive tummies

This formula is an affordable recipe for inactive adult and senior dogs. Users have reported good weight loss results after using it for a couple of weeks.

Overall Rating – 4.5/5

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5. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

This formula is one of the most vet recommended formulas for weight loss in the market. It has clinically proven to give results in just 10 weeks of using it.

It is a great tasting recipe that even picky dogs will find palatable and is made of high-quality ingredients to reduce the weight of your chubby pup.

It uses real chicken as the first ingredient followed by cracked pearled barley. This is a whole grain ingredient packed with plant protein as well as dietary fiber.

The disadvantage of this ingredient is that barley contains gluten which is not a good option for dogs with gluten allergies.

Other natural ingredients include brown rice that promotes weight loss and pea fiber which is an insoluble fiber that helps to support digestive function.

It also supports weight loss by increasing the volume of food without adding calories to it. Dried Tomato Pomace provides soluble fiber to help your dog absorb more nutrients.

Specs

  • Chicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Pea Fiber, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Meal, Dried Tomato Pomace
  • Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals

Pros

  • Prebiotic ingredients for digestive health
  • Highly recommended by vets
  • Effective in weight loss
  • Low fat and calorie content

Cons

  • It’s expensive

This formula uses natural ingredients that are palatable for most dogs. It’s formulated to help your pup quickly lose the extra pounds without feeling hungry.

Overall Rating – 4.6/5

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6. Canidae Pure Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

This weight management formula uses 9 key ingredients to promote weight loss. Limited ingredient diets also reduce the risk of food allergies and digestive issues and it focuses on providing healthy nutrition and weight management.

This recipe uses real chicken as the first ingredient with chicken meal and turkey meal to boost the protein content. Sweet potatoes and peas provide high-quality carbs and fiber in place of whole grains.

These whole foods provide slow-burning energy and help to keep your pup’s energy going while encouraging him to eat less.

The eighth ingredient is sun-cured alfalfa that is naturally high in plant protein and antioxidants. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to relieve joint pain.

And finally, we have chicken fat which is a good source of omega-6 fatty acids that support healthy skin and coat.

Specs

  • Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Chickpeas, Potatoes, Suncured Alfalfa, and Chicken Fat
  • Omega Fatty Acids
  • Natural Flavors, Minerals, and Vitamins
  • Taurine, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin

Pros

  • Limited ingredients for sensitive tummies
  • Low fat and high protein content for weight loss
  • Wholesome ingredients provide delicious flavors
  • Complex carbs stabilize blood sugar levels
  • Highly digestible ingredients for maximum absorption
  • The probiotic mix allows for a healthy bowel movement

Cons

  • Has a high-calorie content for a weight loss diet

This limited ingredient diet is one of the most affordable weight-loss diets in the market.

However, it will work better for active dogs because it has a higher calorie content and will be ineffective as a weight loss diet if your dog has low activity levels.

Overall Rating – 4.5/5

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7. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

This healthy weight formula is designed to support weight control for all dog breeds.

Life Protection formulas are all grain inclusive and they all use real meat as the first ingredient. It is a budget-friendly option to help your chubby pup lose some weight. 

This recipe includes deboned chicken as the first ingredient that provides high-quality protein and l-carnitine for lean muscle mass and energy from fat metabolism.

Chicken meal is a rich source of protein and provides additional nutrients found in chicken organs such as lungs and kidneys.

It is also a natural source of glucosamine, an important compound that the body uses to build healthy cartilage for the joints.

Whole grains such as brown rice, barley, and oatmeal are complex carbohydrates that provide slow-burning energy and dietary fiber.

Whole grains have a lower calorie content than potatoes which helps in reducing the number of calories per meal. It also provides healthy vitamins and minerals that add to the nutrition of this recipe.

Pea fiber helps in the promotion of healthy digestive function and helps to reduce the amount of food your pet eats because it helps him feel full for longer.

Flaxseed is an important ingredient that provides omega fatty acids that help with the dog’s immune system.

Specs

  • High-Quality Protein: Deboned Chicken and Chicken Meal
  • Wholesome Whole Grains: Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal
  • Healthy Fruits and Veggies: Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Blueberries, Cranberries

Pros

  • A satisfying meal with reduced calories
  • High-quality protein promotes healthy muscle mass
  • Great tasting flavor for picky dogs
  • An affordable option for a weight management diet

Cons

  • Not good for dogs with sensitive tummies

This healthy weight formula is a delicious low-fat diet for overweight dogs. It also has a low-calorie content which allows you to feed your dog his regular potions but with fewer calories.

Overall Rating – 4.6/5

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8. Eagle Pack Reduced Fat Formula

The Eagle Pack Reduced Fat Formula contains 35% less fat than normal dog food to promote weight loss in overweight dogs.

This recipe also features fewer calories per cup but it still provides a nutritious and satisfying meal.

This recipe combines dual animal proteins from pork and poultry meals to support healthy muscles and provide essential amino acids, as well as tasty flavors that will entice your pup to eat.

Wholesome grains like barley and oatmeal are included to provide the carbs used for slow-burning energy and to provide natural nutrients such as B vitamins and essential fatty acids.

The recipe excludes common ingredients such as fruits and vegetables which provide antioxidants and nutrients.

It instead includes peas which are a good source of vitamins, flaxseed which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat as well as soluble fiber, and tomato pomace, an ingredient rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber.

Specs

  • Pork Meal, Dehulled Barley, Peas, Ground Brown Rice, Oatmeal
  • 35% Less Fat and 11% Fewer Calories
  • Fortified with Vitamins and Minerals
  • Glucosamine Hydrochloride

Pros

  • All-natural formula with complete and balanced nutrition
  • A wholesome diet with reduced fat and calories
  • Includes glucosamine hydrochloride for healthy joints
  • Effective weight loss and improved energy
  • Great tasting recipe with appetizing flavors

Cons

  • Does not include fruits and veggies
  • Available in large kibbles size only

This formula contains highly digestible proteins as the top ingredients along with whole grains and fiber.

It includes supplements that provide essential vitamins and minerals for a complete and balanced diet that supports weight loss.

Overall Rating – 4.4/5

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9. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management Formula

This highly digestible formula contains reduced fat to help your furry pal shed some weight. It is formulated with prebiotic fiber to promote digestive health while encouraging the dog to eat less often.

This low-fat kibble includes lean chicken as the first ingredient and together with chicken meal, this formula contains 28% crude protein to support healthy muscle mass during weight loss.

It also helps them feel full for longer which reduces the amount of food they eat. It has a low-fat content which should help in shedding off the extra weight.

Unfortunately, this recipe also includes Brewer’s Rice as a top ingredient which is nutritionally low quality.

However, the corn in this recipe provides highly digestible carbohydrates as well as protein, antioxidants that support the immune system, and omega-6 fatty acids.

Specs

  • Chicken, Brewer’s Rice, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Corn, and Wheat Flour
  • Natural Prebiotic Fiber
  • 25% Less Fat

Pros

  • Protein helps to develop healthy muscle mass
  • Less fat content to promote weight loss
  • Great tasting flavor for picky dogs
  • Natural prebiotics support healthy digestion
  • Affordable weight loss solution

Cons

  • Includes wheat and corn as top ingredients

This formula works for active pups that need to shed a few pounds but it doesn’t have high-quality ingredients. However, the chicken flavor is appetizing for many dogs.

Overall Rating – 4.6/5

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How To Choose The Best Dog Food For Overweight Dogs

sad white dog sitting outdoors

When you begin the process of looking for the best dog food for weight loss, some factors need to be taken into account so that your pup loses the weight safely and naturally.

Top on the list is how much should the dog weigh based on his breed and size. An easy way would be to ask your vet and you could also use the Body Condition Score technique to figure it out.

This is a simple method that you can do at home to help you perform a physical determination of whether your dog is overweight or not.

Here is a simple video that explains this technique:

Health Issues Caused By Obesity

After you’ve determined that your pup is overweight, the next step is to find out if he has developed any health issues related to his weight condition.

This information helps to identify specific nutritional needs required in the diet to manage the issues. Some of the health problems associated with canine obesity include:

Mobility Problems

The extra weight bearing down on your dog can put a strain on his joints and bones causing him to have inflamed and painful joints.

This will reduce his mobility significantly which will make him even more inactive.

Erosion of the cartilage due to excess weight will have long term effects in his old age with problems such as osteoarthritis which is quite a painful condition to manage.

This condition requires nutritional supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin included in the diet.

These supplements have anti-inflammatory properties that provide relief for the pain and discomfort in the joints. When this condition is managed, it will encourage your pup to be more active.

Canine Diabetes

Like human beings, overweight dogs are at an increased risk of developing canine diabetes in their senior years.

Due to the excess fat deposits in the body, the dog’s body develops the inability to produce insulin, the hormone which allows the body to convert the glucose from food into energy.

This in turn leads to increased levels of blood sugar, the condition that causes diabetes. While there is no cure for it, the condition can be managed with good weight management and exercise.

This condition requires a gluten-free diet with low glycemic carbs like whole grains and sweet potatoes that provide slow-burning energy to help regulate the blood sugar. 

Decreased Quality Of Life

A 2002 clinical study performed on Labrador Retrievers showed that dogs with lower body fat content had a significantly longer lifespan than their counterparts.

Slimmer dogs were also able to delay the onset of chronic health issues in their seniors better than overweight dogs.

Overweight dogs have also been found to have decreased immunity against infections and allergies.

They are also susceptible to constipation and other digestive issues.

What To Look For In Weight Loss Formulas

When looking for the best dog food for weight loss there are some important nutritional details that will determine if the formula will achieve its purpose. These details include:

Below Average Fat Content

Low-fat formulas will contain a crude fat content of 10% and below. Healthy fats are included in dog food for fuel and to provide omega-3 and 6 fatty acids required for general health.

They help the dog’s body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins and make the dog food appetizing and tasty.

Although dogs metabolize up to 95% of the fat they eat, it gets stored when the dog’s diet has an excess of carbs.

To improve the metabolism of fat, weight loss formulas are enhanced with l-carnitine amino acids which activate the metabolism process.

Below Average Calories

Reduced calories in the dog’s diet ensure that he uses up more calories than he is consuming.

This will encourage the body to metabolize the stored fat which then causes weight loss. A good diet should feature between 250 – 350 calories per cup for the weight loss to be effective.

A high fiber content coupled with low glycemic carbs ensures that your dog gets a satisfying meal that will not have him feeling too hungry in between meals.

Above Average Protein

Increased protein intake also ensures that your pup will not be begging for food between his scheduled meals.

Protein is a healthy source of energy and amino acids which provide various health benefits. Proteins help to burn fat which facilitates weight loss.

High protein formulas feature crude protein content of 30% and above which is derived primarily from animal meat.

Conclusion

Helping your dog get back to his proper weight will have a positive impact on his health and quality of life.

It will also reduce the risk of him suffering from chronic diseases when he gets to his sunset years.

If you’ve observed that your best friend has put on some weight, do not wait for him to get sick so that you get prompted into action.

Consult your vet about his health and gradually transition him into a weight loss diet from the list above.

We recommend Dr. Tim’s Weight Management Metabolite Formula as the best dog food for overweight dogs because we can confidently say that it is formulated to provide a naturally safe method for dogs to lose the chubbiness.

We would love to hear about how you’ve gotten your pup to lose weight, so please let us know in the comments section below.

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