Overweight dog eating outside

Key takeaway

The best weight management dog food should have high protein, low fat, and fewer calories than regular dog food. Keep in mind, you should always talk to your vet about your dog’s nutritional needs before changing their diet.

What Is The Best Weight Management Dog Food?

It’s no secret that dogs love to eat. They’re constantly waiting by the dining room table, begging for just a scrap of your dinner. And when it’s their time to eat, many run straight to the food bowl as soon as they hear you taking out their food. Dogs will pretty much eat anything and everything in sight and not bat an eye, but their insatiable hunger isn’t always a good thing.

There’s nothing worse than seeing your dog hungry, so a lot of dog owners tend to overfeed their pups to make them happy. But overfeeding your dog can quickly make them gain weight. So if you’ve noticed your dog has been packing on the pounds recently, it might be time to switch up their food with weight management dog food.

Weight management dog food is essentially just dog food that is lower in calories and fat than regular dog food. Switching up your dog’s kibble is the first step in helping them lose weight so they can get back to their healthy, fit selves. 

But what is the best weight management dog food to feed your furry friend? We’ll be discussing that, and more, in the blog post below. Continue reading to learn more about what to look for in dog weight management food and other tips for weight loss, so you can help your pup lose weight in a healthy way.

What To Look For In Weight Management Dog Food

Before you can go ahead and buy weight management food for your dog, it’s imperative to talk to your vet first. You should always talk to your vet before modifying your dog’s diet to ensure they’re getting the nutrients they need. 

But once you get the green light from your vet to feed your dog weight management food, there are a couple of important nutritional requirements you should look for so you can make sure your pup is getting the proper amount of calories and nutrients.

High protein

High Protein 

Protein is crucial for dogs because it supplies the amino acids that a dog needs in order to grow muscles, tendons, hair, skin, and nails. So, it’s important to choose a dog food that is high in protein. You should look for a weight management dog food that contains a source of lean protein, such as turkey.

Other sources of protein can be high in saturated fats, but a lean protein is ideal for weight loss. Proteins like turkey are low in calories and fat, but still high in protein, so your pup will get enough nutrients to thrive.

Low calorie protein sources

In addition to turkey, some other good examples of lean protein that you might find in dog food include:

  • Whitefish
  • Chicken breast
  • Lean ground beef

However, the amount of protein you should feed your dog ultimately depends on their breed. For example, large dog breeds, like Great Danes and Saint Bernards, will need to be fed a lot more protein than a Chihuahua or Teacup Poodle. You can discuss with your vet for more information about how much protein your dog should be getting.

Reduced fat

Reduced Fat

A good weight management dog food will be low in fat. But the amount of fat that should be in their food depends on the type of food you’re feeding them. Dry dog food tends to be lower in fat than wet food.

Dog food is typically considered low-fat if it contains less than 10% fat. You can usually find this information on the packaging of their food. 10% of fat equates to around 17% of calories from fat, which is a healthy amount for your pup. So when shopping for dog food, aim to choose one that has around 10% fat content.

A low-fat diet isn’t just beneficial for an overweight dog, but also for dogs suffering from pancreatitis or irritable bowel syndrome. A low-fat diet puts less stress on a dog’s pancreas, which means their body will have more time to heal from the condition.

Fewer calories

Fewer Calories 

When looking for weight management dog food, you of course want to choose one that is low in calories. Feeding your dog food that’s high in calories can cause them to put on the pounds fairly quickly, so it’s imperative to choose one that has fewer calories.

However, it’s important to note that 1 kilocalorie in dog food does not equate to 1,000 calories. So don’t freak out if your dog’s food says 200 kcal/cup. That doesn’t mean you’re feeding them 2,000 calories worth of food in one single cup.

But how many calories should your dog eat a day? It ultimately depends on their breed and how much weight they need to lose. Ultimately, you’ll want to discuss these details with your vet in order to come up with a healthy and effective diet plan for your pup.

Additional weight loss tips for dogs

Other Important Tips For Weight Loss

In addition to dog food for weight management, there are some additional measures you should take to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and effective way. Here are some other important tips you should follow for dog weight loss:

  • Make sure your dog is getting adequate exercise: Exercise is crucial for a dog – overweight or not. But if you’re trying to help your pup lose some pounds, you’ll likely need to amp up the amount of exercise you do each week. Increasing their daily walk by 10% each week will do more for their weight than you can imagine.1 But in addition to bringing them on longer walks, you should also make it a point to play with them more on a regular basis.
  • Limit treats: I know it’s tempting to give your dog treats whenever they look at you with those big puppy dog eyes, but you need to resist! Dog treats are typically much higher in calories than regular dog food, so definitely limit the amount you give them.
  • Measure out food: It’s easy to overfeed your dog when you’re not paying attention, but a great way to avoid that is to just measure out how much food you give them. Try to cut back 10% of the amount of food you regularly give your dog when they’re on a diet.1 You can easily measure their food using a measuring cup.
  • Ensure they’re hydrated: A healthy dog is a hydrated dog, so it’s crucial to ensure your dog is hydrated throughout the day. You can also try mixing their dog food with water to make them feel more full.
  • Incorporate healthy ingredients: In addition to feeding your dog weight management dog food, you can also incorporate healthy ingredients into their food. Sneak a couple of veggies into their food bowl and they probably won’t even notice. It’ll help them feel more full, and it’s good for them!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dangers of weight gain in dogs?

Excessive weight gain can pose a lot of health risks to your dog. You might think that overfeeding your dog is making them happy when in reality, it’s doing more harm than good. Obesity can cause a lot of health issues in dogs like arthritis, high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, urinary tract infection, diabetes, liver disease, heart failure, and low thyroid hormone production. Obese dogs live on average 2.5 years less than dogs at a healthy weight, so make sure your pup maintains a healthy weight throughout their life.2

What is the best diet for an overweight dog?

The best diet for an overweight dog is one that is high in protein, low in calories and fat, but still full of important nutrients that a dog needs to thrive. The best way to get your dog on a diet is to feed them weight management dog food.

Which dog food has the lowest calories?

There are a variety of different types of dog food that are low in calories. Some of the most popular brands of low-calorie dog food include  Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight, Natural Balance Fat Dogs, and Purina Pro Plan Focus Weight Management.

What can I feed my dog on a low-fat diet?

A dog can eat a variety of foods on a low-fat diet. Most weight management dog foods are already made with low-fat ingredients, like turkey. Some other good foods that you can feed your dog on a low-fat diet include skinless chicken breast, salmon, and a little bit of liver.

What is the lowest fat meat for dogs?

Turkey is one of the best meats to feed your dog. It’s high in protein, but low in fat and calories. It’s also packed with nutrients that can help your pup build muscle mass.

Dog getting weighed on scale next to food bowl

Final Notes

Dog obesity is not something to take lightly. An overweight dog is at risk of a multitude of life-threatening health conditions, so if you’ve noticed your dog has been putting on some weight, that means it’s time to make some changes. And you can start with changing their diet and feeding them weight management dog food.

Weight management dog food is high in protein, but low in calories and fat, so your dog will get essential nutrients while still losing weight. But in addition to feeding your dog weight management food, you should also make sure they’re getting enough exercise on a regular basis and staying hydrated.

Before you make any changes to your dog’s diet, it’s crucial to speak with a vet first, which you can do with Dutch.com. Dutch is an online pet telehealth service that connects licensed veterinarians with pet owners all over the country. With Dutch, you can get help from a trained vet to figure out a healthy diet that is perfect for your furry friend.

Dutch vets are highly qualified to diagnose and treat an array of pet health conditions. And the best part of Dutch is that you’ll get any medication you’re prescribed delivered right to your door within 7 days’ time. Get started with Dutch today and help your pup lose weight in the right way.

References

  1. “Obesity and Weight Management Tips.” Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, 21 Mar. 2022, https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/canine-health-center/health-info/obesity-and-weight-management-tips.

  2. Dog, The Farmer's. “Obesity in Dogs: A Major Health Threat Hiding in Plain Sight.” American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 24 Feb. 2020, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/obesity-in-dogs-a-major-health-threat-hiding-in-plain-sight/.