10 Best Low-Fat Dog Foods for Your Overweight Pooch

If you have a dog that’s suffering from obesity, pancreatitis, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), they’ll benefit from our list of best low-fat dog food.

How do we pick the best? By eliminating low protein and prioritizing low-fat content.

French Bulldog on a weight scale with healthy vegan food

Most low-fat dog foods try to keep their calories low by replacing meat-based protein with plant-based protein, which isn’t ideal because there are certain amino acids in meat that dogs need.

Top 5 Picks for Best Low-Fat Dog Food in 2021

  Low-Fat Dog Food Recipes Our Rating
Best Overall Low-Fat Dog Food Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken Recipe 

  • Grain-inclusive low-fat kibble for all breeds
  • Includes prebiotic fiber for a healthy gut
  • Veterinarian recommended
5
Best Budget Low-Fat Dog Food Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Chicken & Brown Rice Formula 

  • Grain-inclusive low-fat kibble formulated for all breeds
  • Contains high-quality protein and L-Carnitine for optimum muscle development
  • Includes glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
5
Best Low-Fat Adult Dog Food Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dog Food (Turkey & Chicken) 

  • Developed without any meat by-products, grain fillers, preservatives, or artificial additives
  • Fortified with carefully selected nutrition from veggies and superfoods
  • Filled with essential nutrients such as omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, taurine, vitamins, and minerals
4.9
Best Low-Fat Senior Dog Food Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Weight Management Recipe 

  • Novel protein sources to prevent food sensitivities
  • Free from grain, gluten, corn, GMO, wheat, and soy
  • L-Carnitine to prevent or treat heart disease and boost metabolism
4.5
Best Low-Fat Wet Dog Food Purina Pro Plan Weight Control Food Turkey and Rice Recipe 

  • Includes glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints
  • Popular with picky eaters
  • Highly digestible formula with prebiotic fiber
4.5

Best Low-Fat Dog Food Brands (by Life Stage)

If you know anything about rearing dogs, you’ll know that dogs require nutrition specific to their life stage. That’s why we’ve broken it down into adult and senior dog food. 

Why have we left puppies off this list? Because puppies generally need all the fat they can get to grow well. If you have a puppy, you might want to check out our guide to the best puppy food instead.

Now, if your lil’ pup doesn’t shed his puppy fat by the time he becomes an adult, you might want to consider putting him on weight management dog food.

Best Low-Fat Adult Dog Food

Siberian Husky with a mix of healthy foods
A Siberian Husky dog waiting for the bowl of healthy foods – Image source

Whether your overweight dogs need some help with weight loss or if your dog has trouble metabolizing fats, we have the top ten low-fat formulas of both adult dry dog food and wet food below.

1. Annamaet Lean Reduced Fat Formula (Chicken Meal and Lentils) 

Annamaet Grain-Free Lean Low Fat

Our rating: 4.8 
Top Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Field Peas, Lentils
Type: Dry kibble

With guaranteed crude protein of 30% from animal meat, Annamaet has formulated a grain-free plan for grain-sensitive puppers that need to be on a low-fat diet.

Dogs with obesity, pancreatitis, or blood lipid issues will surely benefit from this dog food. 

Pros:

  • Small pea-sized kibble suitable for all breeds
  • Fortified with L-Carnitine for muscle mass and fat metabolism
  • Includes chelated minerals for better absorption

Cons:

  • Kibble is hard and might need to be soaked for small dogs or dogs with dental problems

CHECK PRICE HERE

2. Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Adult Trim Dry Dog Food (Cod & Lentils) 

Nulo Adult Trim Weight Management Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 4.7
Top Ingredients: Turkey Meal, Deboned Cod, Salmon Meal, Yellow Peas
Type: Dry kibble

Some dogs don’t do so well on poultry proteins, and Nulo has the perfect solution with their cod and lentils formula.

Not only is this great for dogs with sensitive stomachs, but it is also ideal for constipation due to its high fiber content.

Pros:

  • Small pea-sized kibble suitable for all breeds
  • Free from chicken and egg proteins
  • Formulated with 74% animal-based proteins
  • Includes probiotics to support your dog’s digestive system
  • Fortified with L-Carnitine for muscle mass and fat metabolism

Cons:

  • Some dog owners have complained of a fishy smell
  • Expensive

CHECK PRICE HERE

3. Purina Pro Plan Weight Control Food Turkey and Rice Recipe 

Purina Pro Plan Specialized Adult Weight Control Turkey & Rice Entree Canned Dog Food

Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Water Sufficient for Processing, Turkey, Liver, Wheat Gluten
Type: Chunks in gravy

Most low-fat dog food might not be appealing to dogs due to the healthy weight recipe, but wet food is highly palatable and will entice your dog’s appetite.

High in protein and low in fat, Purina Pro Plan will help your lil’ pooch achieve their perfect weight without losing muscle tone.

Pros:

  • Includes glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints
  • Popular with picky eaters
  • Suitable for all dog breeds
  • Highly digestible formula with prebiotic fiber
  • Omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat

Cons:

  • Greyish in color, which looks unappealing

CHECK PRICE HERE

4. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low-Fat Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 4.7
Top Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Wheat
Type: Dry kibble

A grain-inclusive kibble specially formulated for dogs that are unable to tolerate fat. With only 5% fat, dogs with pancreatitis have responded well to this diet.

While some dog owners might be apprehensive about the ingredients, Royal Canin is one of the leading dog food manufacturers with many popular and effective diets.

Pros:

  • Prebiotics included for gut health
  • Omega-3 fatty acids with EPA and DHA for GI health
  • Pea-free formula to prevent the development of cardiac complications in certain breeds
  • Well-balanced diet suitable for all breeds
  • Specially designed kibble shapes in the size of an “X” to encourage slow eating

Cons:

  • Requires veterinary authorization prior to purchasing
  • Relatively low levels of protein at only 20%

CHECK PRICE HERE

5. Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dog Food (Turkey & Chicken) 

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Recipe

Our rating: 4.9
Top Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal (source of Glucosamine), Chicken Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate), Lentils, Peas
Type: Dry kibble

A grain-free kibble that’s suitable for dogs that cannot tolerate fat or grain.

Highly-rated and with high levels of protein derived from real meat, Wellness Core’s healthy weight formula encourages healthy muscle growth and immunity.

Pros:

  • Developed without any meat by-products, grain fillers
  • Preservatives-free
  • No artificial flavoring or coloring included
  • Fortified with carefully selected nutrition from veggies and superfoods
  • Filled with essential nutrients such as omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, taurine, vitamins, and minerals
  • Specially crafted for all breeds

Cons:

  • Might not be palatable to extremely picky eaters

CHECK PRICE HERE

6. Merrick Healthy Weight Grain Free Dog Food

Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 4.6
Top Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Deboned Beef, Sweet Potatoes, Turkey Meal, Potatoes
Type: Dry kibble

This dry food is specifically formulated to help your dog maintain a healthy weight. It provides the ideal combination of protein and fats with 34% protein and 8% fat.

Most of this kibble’s protein comes from real animal meat such as deboned beef and chicken meal. 

Pros:

  • Contains glucosamine to support healthy joints
  • Made in the USA
  • With omega fatty acids to give your dog healthy skin and coat 
  • Completely grain and gluten free

Cons:

  • The kibble can be challenging for small dogs to chew

CHECK PRICE HERE

7. Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight Chicken & Brown Rice Formula 

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Our rating: 5
Top Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice, Pea Fiber, Barley
Type: Dry kibble

At $1.55/lb, it’s one of the best value for money options on the market. Crafted with real meat as the first ingredient, it’s a crowd-winning pet food for dogs that require a low-fat diet. 

Pros:

  • Grain-inclusive low-fat dry dog food formulated for all breeds
  • Contains high-quality protein and L-Carnitine for optimum muscle development
  • Includes glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
  • Suitable for all breeds

Cons:

  • LifeSource Bits either a hit or a miss; some dogs will only eat them and leave the rest of the kibble, whereas others might ignore them completely, which isn’t ideal as they contain all the vitamins and minerals

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8. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken Recipe 

Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 5
Top Ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley
Type: Dry kibble

At 21% protein and 12% fat, it’s not the most ideal low-fat diet, but it does help with lowering your dog’s body weight by cutting out carbs.

Aside from helping your dog reach their ideal weight, it is also an excellent option for dogs with pancreatitis.

For something that’s even higher in protein and lower in fat, you can try Hill’s Prescription Diet instead, although it is much pricier.

Pros:

  • Grain-inclusive low-fat kibble for all breeds
  • Includes prebiotic fiber for a healthy gut
  • Contains necessary elements for healthy skin and coat
  • Veterinarian recommended

Cons:

  • Inconsistent kibble sizes

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best Low-Fat Senior Dog Food

Senior dog chewing a donut treat
Meet Nemo, a senior dog enjoying the donut treat – Image source

Some older dogs might need some help to maintain their weight. Obesity can put additional stress on their already compromised disposition. Before you hop on Amazon to purchase a low-fat diet, take a look at our top picks below!

9. Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Weight Management Recipe 

Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Weight Management Recipe Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: De-Boned Turkey, Peas, Potatoes, Potato Flour
Type: Dry kibble

We all have that one friend who wants nothing but the best holistic option for their pooch. With no GMO, by-products, gluten, or even grain additives, this is the one for you.

It checks all the boxes and then some, keeping your senior pooch at an optimum weight while boosting their immune system and gut health with both pre and probiotics.

Pros:

  • Suitable for all dog breeds
  • Novel protein sources to prevent food sensitivities
  • Free from grain, gluten, corn, GMO, wheat, and soy
  • L-Carnitine to prevent or treat heart disease and boost metabolism

Cons:

  • Premium price

CHECK PRICE HERE

10. VICTOR Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food 

VICTOR Purpose Senior Healthy Weight

Our rating: 4.5
Top Ingredients: Beef Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet
Type: Dry Kibble

Crafted with three different protein sources of chicken, beef, and fish, your dog will have all the amino acids they need to keep up with their muscle maintenance.

Suitable for small breeds to large dogs, this formula contains joint strengthening nutrients for dogs of all sizes. 

Pros:

  • Includes glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
  • Nutrient-dense and filled with essential vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, and amino acids
  • L-carnitine to promote muscle development
  • Specially formulated VPRO Blend for digestibility and enhanced immunity

Cons:

  • Hard kibble unsuitable for senior dogs with dental problems

CHECK PRICE HERE

Is a Low-Fat Diet Good for Dogs?

Portrait of an obese dog
Meet Molly, an obese boulder dog – Image source

Unless your dog absolutely requires a low-fat diet, it isn’t recommended because dogs need fat to thrive. 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re feeding them premium brands of dog foods. If they don’t get enough fat, you might notice that your pal is becoming lethargic or has a poor coat

Why choose Low-Fat Dog Food?

Mature dogs require 20% less calories than adults. Low-fat dog food is the best option for dogs that need less fat in their diets, whether due to age or health.

Health conditions that might require a Low-Fat diet

Dogs suffering from liver disease would benefit from low-calorie meals to ease the strain on your dog’s liver. 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is another health problem that requires a change in diet.

The trigger ingredient might be different for every dog, but a hypoallergenic diet that’s high in fiber is much safer for dogs with IBD, making grain-free low-fat diets an ideal option.

When are Low-Fat Diets a Good Idea?

Before hopping on the bandwagon and grabbing the first bag of low-fat dog food you see on Chewy and Amazon, take a moment to discover whether your dog really needs a low-fat diet. 

Obesity is the number one silent killer of furkids all over the world. A fit dog has a lower risk for joint, heart, or respiratory problems, as well as diabetes.

Over time, overweight dogs might develop pancreatitis when fed a diet high in fat or carbohydrates. 

The only time you should consider putting your otherwise healthy dog on a low-fat diet is if you’ve exhausted all other options and he’s still not losing weight or if your vet advises it.

What percentage is considered Low-Fat in dog food?

Some owners might be concerned over the low-fat percentage in some of the dog food listed above but do note that while studies show that the minimum fat should range between 10-15%, that’s for healthy adult dogs and not for overweight or dogs with pancreatitis.

When shopping for low-fat dog food, anywhere between 6%-9% is ideal.

Best Low-Fat Dog Food Buying Guide

Beagle excited for the kibble stuff with salmon
A hungry Beagle dog excited for the kibble stuff with salmon – Image source

When purchasing low-fat dog food, one thing to bear in mind is that each dog will react differently to different formulas. 

There’s bound to be a dog food that doesn’t sit well with your dog, even if it’s highly popular. This doesn’t mean the dog food isn’t good; it just means it’s not good for your dog.

With that in mind, we do have a few tips on finding the best diet for your dog.

What to Look for and Important Features to consider in a Low-Fat Dog Food 

Animal protein should be a given in any dog’s diet. Plant protein derivatives are a poor substitute, so make sure your dog food has either fish, poultry, cattle, pork, or other forms of red meat. 

Novel meat such as wild bison and the like are also great sources of protein, especially when you have a dog that’s allergic to more common sources of animal protein.

Aside from that, you want to make sure that the dog food is nutritionally balanced for dogs. Reducing the amount of fat usually affects the amount of fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids, which is not ideal.

Whole foods are always the best ingredients, which means that artificial additives are a huge no-no.

If you don’t know what’s in the ingredient list, you’re better off with a different brand where you recognize all, if not most, of the ingredients.

You might imagine that low-fat means high-fiber. On the contrary, dogs with certain health considerations may do better on low-fat, low-fiber dog food. When in doubt, ask your vet!

Can you give Low-Fat homemade food to your dog?

Homemade low-fat dog food is most probably the healthiest alternative if you get it right. Homemade food is notoriously hard to balance because dogs need very specific nutrient profiles. 

It’s probably best that you choose a recipe that’s crafted by an actual vet. Like this one, by Greg, a certified vet:

Or, you can try this simple recipe:

Ingredients:

  • One cup of lean ground beef
  • Half a cup of broccoli
  • Half a cup of squash
  • One cup brown rice
  • 3/4 cup non-fat cottage cheese

How to prepare:

  1. Cook the ground beef first and make sure to drain the fat
  2. Cut the squash into cubes
  3. Steam or boil (but steaming is much better) the vegetables
  4. Let it cool before mixing all the ingredients in a medium or large bowl

You can serve the food immediately or store it in the fridge to serve at a later time. Do note that because this recipe doesn’t contain any preservatives, you can only store it for about 3-5 days max. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Border Collie being fed by the owner
A spoiled Border Collie being fed by the owner – Image source

Wet, Semi-Moist or Dry? Which Low-Fat food is best for your dog?

If you ask your canine buddy, they’ll most definitely go for wet or semi-moist dog food because it’s much more inviting than dry kibble.

Having a preference for wet food might be hard on your wallet, but it’s definitely a healthier option for dogs that need to go on a low-fat diet.

The higher water and protein content works well for dogs that need to lose weight.

Wet food is also much easier to digest, plus it is generally preserved through the canning process, which usually means that there are fewer preservatives.

To grain or not to grain: Do dogs need grain-free Low-Fat food?

Grains are an energy source, much like other carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and tapioca.

Whether your dog should be given a grain-inclusive diet depends entirely on their tolerance to grain

Due to recent studies linking grain-free diets to heart disease, dogs that aren’t sensitive to grain should be on a grain-inclusive diet. 

Can Low-Fat dog food cause diarrhea?

All dog food has the potential to cause diarrhea when not appropriately introduced. Mix your dog’s current diet with the new kibble and make the transition slowly. 

You can start with adding just 10% the first day and when there are no adverse effects, increase the amount to 20% and so on until they’re entirely on the new diet.

What are helpful tips for reducing your dog’s fat and calorie intake?

Try not to decrease their caloric intake too drastically. It would be best to start with a deficit of 250 kcals and adjust your dog’s diet accordingly.

Since carbs aren’t as essential to your dog’s diet as protein is, you can also minimize the carbs or sugar in their diet. This means no sugary fruits or high-caloric treats.

Talk to your vet before introducing Low-Fat Dog Food into your dog’s diet

Japanese Spitz having a healthy stuff treat
A Japanese Spitz dog eating a healthy stuff treat – Image source

Dogs suffering from certain health problems that disallow them from metabolizing fat normally are the best candidates for dog food on this list.

Our top pick and the clear winner is Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken Recipe. It has one of the best formulas for dogs with pancreatitis.

It is specially formulated for sensitive stomachs and vet-recommended!

Low-fat diets could be harmful to healthy dogs, which is why you need to clear them with your vet prior to putting them on a low-fat diet.

Sometimes all your dog needs are additional exercise and not a complete change in diet.

Has your pup tried any of the low-fat dog foods above? What was their favorite? Leave a comment below to let us know.

Further Reading: If low-fat isn’t for your dog, here are some other options!

  • Best Low Protein Dog Food
  • Best Low Sodium Dog Food
  • Best High Protein Dog Food
  • Best High Fiber Dog Food

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