The 13 Best Low Fat Dog Foods

By Kevin Myers | 2022 Update

✓ Reviewed by Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM

This (updated) guide covers all of the best low-fat dog foods this year.

Getting an overweight dog to lose weight is one of the most challenging things for a dog owner.

Low-fat dog foods are a great tool in your arsenal. These foods are great for weight loss in dogs and those suffering from diseases like pancreatitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

According to the Institute of Pet Obesity Prevention, 55.8% of dogs in the USA are obese. The numerous diseases caused by obesity significantly reduce a dog’s lifespan. These include hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart and kidney diseases.

However, with the right low-fat food for dogs and daily exercise, you can reduce their weight and lower the risk of your dog developing obesity-related diseases.

For this article, our team spent hours finding the right products for your pet. We review each of them and detail how to choose the right recipe for your dog.

The Best Low-Fat Dog Foods

Top PicksCategory
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight Dog FoodBest For Adults
2. Now Fresh Senior Weight Management Dog Food Best For Seniors
3. Hill’s i/d Digestive Care Low Fat Wet Dog FoodBest Wet Food
4. Nom Nom Chicken CuisineBest Fresh Food
5. Nulo Freestyle Cod & Lentils Recipe Dog FoodBest Grain-Free Food
6. CANIDAE PURE Healthy Weight LID Dog FoodBest For Sensitive Dogs
7. Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management Dog FoodBest For Active Dogs

How to Change Dog Food Without Getting Your Pup Sick

Low-Fat Dog Food Reviews

1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight Chicken Dog Food — Best Overall Low-Fat Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Peas, 3. Flaxseed, 4. Blueberries, 5. Parsley

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,269 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 30% | Fat min. 10%, | Fiber max. 13% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

This weight management formula from Blue Buffalo delivers 30% protein for muscle-building fuel while helping your dog achieve its ideal weight.

It includes the meaty goodness of protein-rich chicken alongside omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. The added LifeSource Bits boost immunity with their antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Finally, this recipe is free of meat by-products, corn, wheat, soy, or grains.


2. Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Weight Management Dog Food — Best Affordable Dog Food For Seniors

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. De-Boned Turkey, 2. Peas, 3. Potatoes, 4. Whole Dried Egg, 5. Apples

  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,321 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 24% | Fat min. 11%, | Fiber max. 7% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

This recipe from Now Fresh might be the best option if you’re particular about finding grain, by-product, and gluten-free recipes. With supplementary L-carnitine, this low-fat dog food helps heart function and helps your dog shed unwanted pounds. 

Premium quality turkey with duck and salmon delivers high-quality yet moderate protein and fat levels needed for weight loss. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids nourish your pup’s coat and skin, while New Zealand green mussels supply chondroitin for healthy hips and joints.

Finally, this formula contains more than twenty natural superfoods for immune system support.   


3. Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat Wet Dog Food — Best Affordable Wet Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Water, 2. Pork Liver, 3. Rice, 4. Carrots, 5. Chicken

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per can): 279 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 3.5% | Fat min. 1%, | Fiber max. 1.5% | Moisture max. 82%
  • Form: Wet

Prevent indigestion and heartburn with the low-fat Hill’s Science Digestive Care Wet Dog Food. It contains highly nourishing ingredients like chicken, wheat, and fish oil to keep your dog up and running throughout the day. Hill’s removed most fats in favor of grains that supply the necessary calories to stay energetic.

This formula is also enriched with prebiotics to promote gut health and insoluble and soluble fibers so that food can easily make its way down the gastrointestinal tract. Omega fatty acids, DHA, and EPA provide healthier fur and a more robust nervous system. 


4. Nom Nom Chicken Cuisine — Best Affordable Fresh Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Ground turkey, 2. brown rice, 3. eggs, 4. carrots, 5. spinach

  • Life Stage: All
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 1,479 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 10%, Fat (min.) 5%, Fiber (max.)  1%, Moisture (max.) 72%
  • Form: Frozen

A customized diet from Nom Nom Now is a blessing for dog owners searching for low-fat dog food. Their customized recipes consider your dog’s age, weight, and health status to deliver the exact nutrition your dog requires. Expert nutritionists will identify the perfect macro balance and reduce fat levels if your dog has a history of intolerance to fat.

But that’s not all. The recipe is highly nourishing and delicious — full of real foods like diced chicken, sweet potatoes, squash, and spinach. As the food is delivered fresh to your home, it’s bursting with flavor, texture, and aroma. Fresh food has also proven to improve energy and appearance while reducing the chances of food allergies. 


5. Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Raw Pieces Dog Food — Best Affordable Raw Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Tapioca, 5. Menhaden Fish Meal

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,668 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 35%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 6%, Moisture (max.) 9%
  • Form: Dry

Offering the benefits of a low-fat and raw diet in one — Instinct’s Raw Boost Healthy Weight Dog Food is an easy recommendation for any dog owner. It features 25% less fat than the standard formula, making it easier on the stomach. The food contains crunchy kibble and freeze-dried chicken meat, which boosts the protein and gives the food a yummy taste. 

Besides that, the recipe provides L-carnitine, a compound that metabolizes body fat and makes your dog leaner and more muscular. Instinct Raw Boost is also suitable for sensitive and allergic dogs as it’s free from potatoes, grains, wheat, corn, and soy. The reduced calories in Instinct Raw Boost are highly digestible and will help your dog maintain optimal weight. 


6. Nulo Freestyle Cod & Lentils Recipe Dog Food — Best Affordable Grain-Free Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Cod, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Salmon Meal, 4. Lentils, 5. Yellow Peas

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,122 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 30% | Fat min. 7%, | Fiber max. 9% | Moisture max. 6%
  • Form: Dry

If your dog doesn’t enjoy chicken and egg or is allergic to them, then Nulo has created this recipe with you in mind! 

This low-calorie dog food is great for overweight dogs, with 74% proteins based on animal protein and lesser glycemic ingredients.


7. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dog Food — Best Low-Fat Prescription Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Brewers Rice, 2. Chicken By-Product Meal, 3. Wheat, Barley, 4. Natural Flavors, 5. Dried Plain Beet Pulp

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,227 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 30% | Fat min. 5.5%, | Fiber max. 3.9% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

When regular low-fat food cannot solve digestive problems, Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Dry Food comes to the rescue. This recipe contains very little fat and dramatically improves digestion and stool quality. The food provides proteins for muscle repair and keeps up with the recommended daily calories using grains like barley. 

In addition to that, Royal Canin also strengthens your dog’s gastrointestinal health with prebiotic fibers and omega-3 fatty acids. DHA and EPA are also present in the food, reducing stomach inflammation and supporting brain health. 


8. Annamaet Grain-Free Lean Low Fat Dog Food — Best Premium Low-Fat Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Field Peas, 3. Lentils, 4. Potato, 5. Tapioca

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,242 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 30% | Fat min. 7%, | Fiber max. 3.5% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

With a minimum of 7% fat, you can rest assured that your dog is eating as little fat as possible. But Annamaet doesn’t compromise on the protein content, which stands firm at 30%. This formula is helpful for dogs that suffer from pancreatitis. Adding L-carnitine helps burn excess fat to keep your dog energetic and lean. This recipe also has DHA, a supplement that is missing in a lot of dog foods but is vital for cognitive development.

You’ll find a healthy portion of Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and chelated minerals in this formula. What’s more, prebiotics helps to improve digestion which is why dogs with sensitive stomachs farewell with this formula.


9. Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Low-Fat Dry Dog Food — Best Budget Low-Fat Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Potatoes, 5. Peas

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,155 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 26% | Fat (min.) 6.5% | Fiber (max.) 9.5% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

With a minimum fat content of 6.5%, the Fit and Fabulous recipe by Solid Gold is easily one of the lowest fat recipes on the market. The manufacturer uses quite an interesting meat choice for this product: The Alaskan Pollock fish. It’s not quite often that you see this meat type in dog foods; however, it’s an excellent source of Omega fatty acids, which promotes a healthy,  smooth coat for your dog. Not just that, but this recipe also contains 20 nutrient-rich “superfoods” that provide a natural diet for dogs.

Solid Gold’s Fit and Fabulous recipe is for dogs of all breeds and sizes. This formula uses natural foods like cranberry, pumpkin, broccoli, lentils, and almond oil. Also, did I mention that it contains natural oils like canola, salmon, and olive oil? You can agree that with these ingredients, your dog is on its way to having a fit body and a lovely coat!


10. CANIDAE PURE Healthy Weight LID Chicken & Pea Dog Food — Best Low-Fat Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Peas, 5. Garbanzo Beans

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,300 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 28% | Fat min. 9%, | Fiber max. 5% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Canidae Pure Healthy Weight formula offers a complete holistic diet with selected ingredients while helping your dog shed extra pounds. The base recipe has just nine ingredients, including chicken, sweet potatoes, peas, and other easily-digestible foods. The dog food has no fillers, grains, or artificial additives, making it an excellent choice for sensitive dogs.

The formula provides vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other micronutrients sourced from natural vegetables—which digest faster than artificially added micros. The dog food also contains probiotics and omega fatty acids, ensuring your dog’s digestive and skin health remains in top condition.


11. Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Healthy Weight Dog Food — Best Low-Fat Dog Food For Allergies

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Oatmeal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Peas, 5. Fish Oil

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,503 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 20% | Fat min. 12%, | Fiber max. 6% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Many dog food brands reduce their fat content by increasing grains, which can be detrimental to dogs with allergies. Blue Buffalo Basics offers that same low-fat diet with easily-digestible and non-allergenic ingredients like turkey and potatoes. It also contains oatmeal and brown rice, which are harmless to allergic dogs and provide substantial energy and fiber. 

Moreover, the recipe contains pumpkin, which naturally soothes the stomach and prevents indigestion and acidity. Essential micronutrients like minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants are also present in the food to strengthen the immune system and promote general wellness. More importantly, since the recipe has fewer calories, it will help your dog stay slim and fit. 


12. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Dog Food — Best Tasting Low-Fat Dog Food For Picky Eaters

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Lentils, 5. Peas

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,300  kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 32% | Fat min. 12%, | Fiber max. 12% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Wellness Core Reduced Fat formula is the perfect choice for stubborn and picky canines. Its low-fat content helps dogs cut down excess weight while preventing gastrointestinal upsets in sensitive canines. The food has tons of chicken and turkey meat for building muscle and features potatoes and lentils to fuel your dog with easily-digestible carbs.

This recipe contains spinach, apples, blueberries, and parsley, all of which make the food taste delicious and supply essential vitamins and antioxidants. Omega fatty acids improve coat health, and glucosamine strengthens your dog’s joints. Because the recipe is completely free from grain, fillers, artificial preservatives, corn, and soy, it is an ideal choice for sensitive and allergic pups. 


13. Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management Shredded Blend Dog Food — Best Low-Fat Dog Food For Active Dogs

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Rice, 3. Whole Grain Corn, 4. Whole Grain Wheat, 5. Beef Fat

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,578 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 27% | Fat min. 9%, | Fiber max. 5.5% | Moisture max. 12%
  • Form: Dry

Refined with tons of protein and boosted calories — Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Dog Food is the perfect low-fat option for athletic dog breeds like the Doberman, Husky, and Labrador. The fat content is reduced by 15% compared to the regular formula, meaning your dog won’t run into gastrointestinal issues.

Instead, the food sources energy from high-carb foods like rice and wheat to support your dog’s energetic endeavors. Dogs with stomach issues will be relieved from gas and bloating problems as the recipe contains probiotics and prebiotic fibers. And let’s not forget the delicious shredded chicken bites and crunchy kibbles that are as good as a Michelin-star dish for your dog. 

Related:

Dangers Of Obesity In Dogs

Most people love dogs that are overweight, with some even considering them to be cuter. Unfortunately, an obese dog is nothing but in pain and at a higher risk of serious illnesses. Here are some of those illnesses associated with canine obesity:

1. Joint issues: When a dog gains more weight than their body can carry, their joints are the first part that get affected. This is also why arthritis, hip dysplasia, and other joint issues are most often diagnosed in canines that fall into the overweight category.

2. Heart and respiratory problems: Excess body mass puts more pressure on the heart and can often lead to high blood pressure. Moreover, obesity can make it difficult for dogs to breathe properly. This can increase fatigue, cause overheating of the body, and might even lead to tracheal collapse.

3. Diabetes: While diabetes can also be hereditary in dogs, obesity is a common trigger and cause of the condition. The excess body fat makes your dog’s cells more resistant to insulin, or impairs insulin production all together. In the long-term, diabetes can damage their kidneys, nervous system, and might even shorten their lifespan.

FAQs

Before we head on to the rest of the list, we decided to have a crack at some of your frequently asked questions about low-fat dog foods. There were dozens of them, but we chose the top ones that we found the most suitable for this article.

What is the best low-fat dog food?

If you’d ask us, we’d say Solid Gold’s Fit & Fabulous Formula is the best low-fat dog food in town. With only 6.5% fat (minimum) and an optimum blend of nutrients, it’s truly a great option for all fat dogs.

What percentage of a dog’s diet should be fat?

Well, this really depends on what your end goal is from your dog’s diet. If you’re looking to reduce weight, then the fat content in your dog’s diet should be a lot lower than, say, if you wanted to maintain it. However, 10-15% fat is a good fat content range for a healthy dog. You’d want to make sure that you provide ample opportunities for exercise for your pooch, though.

Is a high fat diet bad for dogs?

Any nutrient in excess is harmful to dogs and fat is no different. If your dog is ingesting more fat than he can burn, then he’s in danger of becoming obese and contracting diseases like pancreatitis. The risk is especially high if your dog gets little-to-no exercise or enjoys regular high-carb meals.

What is a healthy dog diet?

A healthy dog diet is one that contains all the necessary nutrients in the right proportion. It should also contain some grains (unless you’re looking for grain-free options for an allergic dog), meat, fruits, and veggies. You should always go with high-quality options when it comes to your dog’s diet as this helps you to avoid digestion problems and heavy vet fees down the road.

What meats are good for dogs?

Ideally, those meat types are the best for dogs that come from animals that dogs might actually hunt in the wild. However, here’s a list of meats that dogs love to have:

  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Pork

How many calories should a dog eat to lose weight?

Dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities, just like we do. Because they are individuals, we recommend you consult with your veterinarian about their ideal caloric intake. With that said, reducing your dog’s caloric intake regularly by 250 calories until your dog starts shedding some weight is a common option suggested by vets.

Should dogs eat fat?

Fat, like proteins and carbs, are a necessary part of a dog’s diet. However, your dog’s health is dependent on getting the right percentage for each of these nutrients. Fats, ideally, should constitute 10-15% of your dog’s diet.

Are eggs good for dogs?

Eggs are a fine source of protein and can be served in boiled or cooked form to your dog. However, the uncooked egg is a great habitat for bacteria to grow. That’s why you should always avoid feeding uncooked eggs to your dog.

What is the best low-fat dog food for pancreatitis?

Annamaet’s Low-Fat Formula is a great option for dogs that suffer from Pancreatitis. The manufacturer specifically designed it for dogs that suffer from this problem. Not to mention, its fat content lies at a minimum of 7% which is quite impressive.

Is chicken dog food bad for dogs?

Certainly not. Chicken is a fine protein source for dogs, one that they regularly hunt in the wild. It contains a good amount of healthy amino acids and proteins and can be easily obtained in its deboned form. Unless the chicken used in dog food is allergic or sick, there’s nothing to worry about.

Is grain bad for dogs?

This myth plagues the minds of a lot of dog owners. But the fact remains that grains are actually beneficial for dogs. Grains like corn, soy, wheat, and barley are actually useful for dogs unless they are allergic to them.

Can dogs recover from pancreatitis?

Dogs can usually recover from pancreatitis. If the disease is mild, the vet might recommend a few days of fasting for the dog until the vomiting subsides. In severe cases, dogs would have to be hospitalized and intravenously fed and treated.

Are preservatives bad for dogs?

Natural preservatives are completely safe for use in dog foods. They’ve been used to preserve foods for thousands of years and pose no real threat. However, synthetic preservatives are considered carcinogenic and should be avoided at all costs.

What foods should dogs avoid?

There are dozens of foods that dogs should avoid — some are even considered poisonous for them! Here’s a list:

  • Chocolate
  • Salty foods
  • Avocado
  • Alcohol
  • Milk
  • Dairy
  • Onions, garlic.
  • Raisins

Should I leave food out for my dog all day?

No. Leaving your dog’s food out all day is a bad option as this often leads to overeating. Many dogs really don’t know when they’re full so they’ll keep eating unless you stop them. This would lead to obesity and untimely toileting, both of which you want to avoid.

Is Tuna healthy for dogs?

Tuna is a controversial ingredient for dogs. Since this fish contains high levels of mercury, it’s considered to be dangerous for dogs. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so it’s recommended to avoid this ingredient in dog foods.

Buying Guide For Low-Fat Dog Foods

While buying a low-fat diet for your dog, you can’t just pick one with the least amount of fats. You see, there are a plethora of factors that you need to consider to be able to choose one option that stands out from the rest. And truth be told, not every product would tick all the right boxes. Finding the right balance is key here.

So, in this section, we’ll show you which factors to consider when purchasing a weight-management dog food.

Low-Fat Content

This one’s a given. Usually, a regular adult dog food contains about 12% fat which is great for healthy dogs. We wouldn’t recommend anything different for a pooch that lies in the right weight bracket for its breed. However, statistics prove that almost every second dog tips the scales on the weight machine so you’ll need to buy a diet for them that has less fat. In that case, 9-10% is fine. However, you should always consult your vet before making a dietary change, especially if your pooch is pregnant or is still a pup.

Protein Intake

A lot of low-fat dog foods compromise their protein content when reducing fat. But that shouldn’t be your aim when reducing your dog’s weight. A healthy amount of protein should always be present to substitute fats with lean muscle in the body. Here is more information on this topic.

Digestion

Digestibility is a major factor in weight-control dog foods. You need a diet that swiftly passes through the digestive tract if you’re looking to manage calories for your dog. Foods with low carbs are the easiest to digest as well as those containing a good amount of fiber. Also, by-products are harder to digest so you should avoid them in dog foods.

Nutrients

As I mentioned above, finding the right balance is key. The correct nutrient blend can make the difference between a chunky dog and one that proudly struts its stuff in the park. When you’ll reduce the fat content in your dog’s diet, your pooch would inevitably rely on other nutrients. So make sure you don’t compromise on protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids in its diet.

Artificial Additives

This is a big no-no when it comes to  a low-fat diet for dogs. Artificial additives like preservatives and flavors can be detrimental for health and many are even being researched as possibly cancer-causing.. So, dog foods that state “No Artificial Additives” should be top priority.

Fibers

Fiber is a controversial topic when considering low-fat dog foods. How much fiber your dog needs depends on the individual scenario. Dogs that suffer from pancreatitis not only need low fat but low fiber as well. However, a moderate amount of fiber is ideal for fat dogs that don’t suffer from pancreatitis as fiber aids  digestion. Make sure you consult your vet on this one!

Conclusion

Buying a quality low-fat dog food means more than seeing “low-fat” on the label. Read the ingredients to ensure that it is low-fat, that it does contain the right amount of proteins and a moderate amount of fiber. And remember that exercise is an essential part of the diet, especially for our dogs.

References:

We independently research, review, and recommend the best pet products—learn more about our process. We may earn a commission if you buy something through our links. This comes at no extra cost to you.

Leave a Comment