1. Pets
  2. Best Dog Food
  3. Best dog food for weight loss

Best dog food for weight loss

Use whole foods and reducing calories to help your dog lose weight

Author picture
Author picture
Written by

Quick and easy. Get matched with a Pet Insurance partner.

    Freshpet and Nom Nom
    man taking bulldog on walk

    Being overweight puts your dog at risk for developing a serious health complication, like diabetes, arthritis or heart disease. Along with exercise, a diet consisting of higher protein and lower fat can help a dog lose weight. Most dogs need about 25–30 calories per pound per day to maintain their weight. For example, a 30-pound dog needs around 800 calories a day. You can subtract from this figure to help your dog lose weight.

    What is the best dog food for weight loss?

    There are a variety of dog foods on the market advertised to promote healthy weight in dogs. We’ve selected five of our top picks to highlight below. Each of these recipes includes a low-fat diet, with little-to-no artificial, synthetic or filler ingredients for a healthy, balanced meal. Consider adopting a grain-free diet for your dog if are concerned about them filling up with fillers instead of real ingredients.

    LabelAuthorized PartnerCompany nameLogoContactSummary
    Get Pricing
    LabelCompany nameLogoContactSummary
    Learn More
    LabelAuthorized PartnerCompany nameLogoContactSummary
    Learn More

    Great for customizable diets

    NomNomNow offers fresh, never frozen pre-portioned food using whole, restaurant-quality ingredients. The protein options are beef, chicken, turkey or pork. All meals are made-to-order and customized to your pet’s needs. Customers fill out a survey about their pet including their current and goal weight and NomNomNow delivers custom pre-portioned fresh food straight to your door on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis.

    Company nameContact
    NomNomNow meal option
    • Price: $$$
    • Type: Fresh
    • Protein: Based on customization
    • Fat: Based on customization
    • Calories per serving: Based on customization and recipe


    Our pick for grain-free diets

    Canidae is a brand with several special diet options, including grain-free, limited ingredient, ancestral diets, small-breed diets. For weight loss, we recommend their PURE diet, which is a limited ingredient diet designed for easy digestion for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

    Company nameContact
    Canidae pure resolve
    • Price: $$
    • Type: Dry
    • Protein: 28%
    • Fat: 9%
    • Calories per serving: 468 kcals/cup


    Our favorite for wet food

    If you have a dog that can’t chew kibble, or simply prefers wet food, FreshPet is our favorite wet food option. Their website has a formula recommendation tool where you can enter your dogs preferences and needs, including weight loss, to be matched with the right formula for your dog. The Vital formulas are grain-free with no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and no animal by-products.

    Company nameContact
    FreshPet vital
    • Price: $$
    • Type: Wet: rolls or pouches
    • Protein: 13%
    • Fat: 11%
    • Calories per serving: 409 kcals/cup


    Great for calorie reduction diets
    Blue Buffalo

    Blue Buffalo’s Healthy Weight recipe contains the lowest calories of all the formulas on our list, making it easier to feed your dog a calorie-reduction diet without them feeling like they’re missing out. The diets are corn-free, wheat-free and have no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and no chicken by-product meals.

    Company nameContact
    Blue Buffalo healthy weight recipe
    • Price: $
    • Type: Dry
    • Protein: 20%
    • Fat: 9%
    • Calories per serving: 322 kcals/cup


    How to tell if your dog is overweight

    If you’re not sure your dog is overweight, consider using a body condition score for dogs, which is similar to a BMI for people. Ideally, your dog will land in the middle of the score. Check to see if you can feel your dog’s ribs. You should also be able to distinguish between your dog’s chest and stomach. Overweight dogs also might breathe heavier when walking, move slower or sleep more often.  

    How much should my dog weigh?

    Not all dogs are the same. Your dog's ideal weight depends on several factors, including breed, gender and height. Here's a look at healthy weights for the country's top 10 dog breeds.

    Top 10 dog breedsHealthy male weightHealthy female weight
    Labrador Retriever64–79 lbs.55–71 lbs.
    German Shepherd66–88 lbs.49–71 lbs.
    Golden Retriever65–70 lbs.55–65 lbs.
    French BulldogUnder 28 lbs.Under 28 lbs.
    Bulldog50 lbs.40 lbs.
    Beagle20–30 lbs.20–30 lbs.
    Standard Poodle60–70 lbs.40–50 lbs.
    Rottweiler95–135 lbs.80–100 lbs.
    Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)7 lbs.7 lbs.
    German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP)55–70 lbs.45–60 lbs.
    dog standing outside

    How to help a dog lose weight

    More than half of dogs in the United States are overweight, according to research from Banfield Pet Hospital. Since 2007, the number of overweight canine pets has increased a staggering 158 percent. When dogs are heavier than they should be, they are more prone to suffer from conditions such as heart disease, arthritis and diabetes, as well as a lower life expectancy. Luckily, there are ways to help your dog return to a healthy weight:

    1. Increase your dog’s daily exercise
      Almost every dog stands to benefit from 30 minutes to two hours of physical activity every day. Often, a casual walk around the neighborhood will suffice.
    2. Decrease your dog’s food portion size
      Instead of feeding once or twice a day, feed your dog smaller portions multiple times a day to keep blood sugar levels steady. Keep water available to your dog all day, but don’t leave food out after more than 15 minutes since dogs can’t self-regulate.
    3. Feed your dog weight management dog food
      Buying the best diet dog food for your pet’s nutritional needs is another important way to keep your dog’s weight under control. Look for a formula that offers more protein and less fat with a reduced calorie count.

    By making a few simple changes, you can help your dog lose weight and live a healthier, happier life.

    Quick and easy. Get matched with a Pet Insurance partner.

      Did you find this article helpful? |
      Share this article