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The 8 Best Dog Foods For Weight Loss

Most dogs love to eat, and many pet owners enjoy spoiling them with treats and snacks.

However, without careful monitoring, dogs can quickly gain weight, which can lead to health issues.

It's crucial to maintain a healthy weight for your dog, and one way to achieve this is by feeding them specially formulated dog food for weight loss.

With so many options available, it can be challenging to choose the right one.

That's why BestForPets has compiled a list of the top-rated dog foods for weight loss, complete with reviews, to help you make an informed decision.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)


The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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1. Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Weight Dog Food

Purina ONE Plus Healthy Weight High-Protein Dog Food Dry Formula

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  • Primary Source of Protein: Turkey
  • Calories: 320 per cup
  • Turkey, rice flour, and soy meal are the first ingredients in this recipe

Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Weight Dog Food is an affordable option for pet owners who want to help their canine companions lose weight.

This formula’s primary ingredient is real turkey, which provides high-quality protein for muscle growth and fat reduction.

Although it does contain chicken by-products, the overall protein content of 27% per cup makes it an excellent option for weight management.

In addition to protein, this formula contains fiber-rich peas and carrots to help your dog feel full and satisfied.

Glucosamine from natural sources is also added to support the joint health of overweight dogs. Additionally, this diet has been reported to reduce intestinal issues in some dogs.

One potential downside of this product is that some kibble pieces may be broken, resulting in kibble dust at the bottom of the bag.

However, even picky eaters will enjoy the flavor and texture of the crunchy kibble and tender meaty morsels.

Moreover, added calcium promotes healthy teeth and gums, while omega-6 fatty acids and other essential nutrients promote healthy skin and coat.

Overall, Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Weight Dog Food is a natural, high-protein, and budget-friendly option for weight loss in adult dogs.


Genuine turkey is the primary component

Less calories per ounce

High protein content


Includes by-products

The package contains crushed pet food

2. Halo Holistic Weight Management Dog Food

Halo Holistic Dog Food

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  • Primary Source of Protein: Turkey
  • Calories: 380 per cup
  • Turkey, dried peas, and dry chickpeas are the initial ingredients in this dish

Halo Holistic Healthy Weight Dog Food is a premium option for pet owners who want to help their adult dogs lose weight while maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.

This formula contains a blend of turkey, turkey liver, and duck, all sourced from sustainable and high-quality sources, to provide a protein-rich meal for your furry companion.

This food contains no artificial ingredients, making it easily digestible and quickly assimilated by your dog’s body.

Additionally, L-carnitine is added to increase metabolism and promote fat reduction, allowing your dog to maintain a healthy weight.

The high protein content in this dish is derived from whole carcasses rather than meat portions, promoting muscle preservation and fat loss.

The vegetables in this recipe are sourced from producers who refuse to use GMOs, ensuring the highest quality and safety for your pet.

Moreover, this formulation contains Omega-fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat in dogs. The turkey used in this recipe is GAP-certified, meaning it was raised without antibiotics and in a cage-free environment.

Additionally, this recipe does not contain any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives and is made with natural ingredients, added vitamins, and minerals.

One potential downside to this product is that some pet owners may find the odor overpowering and offensive.

Overall, Halo Holistic Healthy Weight Dog Food is a premium, grain-free, and nutritionally-balanced option for pet owners who want the best for their adult dogs.


Easy digestibility

High protein from sources of whole flesh

No GMOs used


Unpleasant odor

3. Cans of Evanger’s Classic Recipes Dog Food

Evanger's All Natural Classic Beef Canned Dog Food

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  • Primary Source of Protein: Chicken
  • Calories: 301 per can
  • Chicken, chicken broth, and brown rice are the first ingredients in this dish

Evanger's Classic Recipes Canned Dog Food is a low-calorie, high-protein meal designed to promote weight reduction and provide essential nutrients for senior dogs.

This formula is intended for less active dogs that need weight management but are unable to engage in strenuous activity.

Made with chicken and brown rice, this formula contains no preservatives or additives. Chelated vitamins and minerals are included to provide your furry friend with a balanced diet.

It is important to note that bone fragments may be present in this product due to the slow-cook and pressure-cook method used by Evanger’s to soften bones.

These bone fragments are tiny, soft, and easily digestible, resembling rice grains in texture. They are added to enhance the food’s flavor, texture, and nutritional value.

The bone fragments are completely free of splinters, ensuring that your dog can safely consume them.

However, this formula does not contain glucosamine and chondroitin, which some senior dogs may require in their diet. It is recommended to consult your veterinarian to determine if your dog needs these nutrients.

The case of Evanger’s 100% Beef Classic Canned Dog Food contains twelve 13-ounce cans, providing a total of 153.6 ounces of food. This product is suitable for all adult dog breeds.

Overall, Evanger’s Classic Recipes Canned Dog Food is a nutritious option for pet owners who want to help their senior dogs maintain a healthy weight while receiving essential nutrients.


Less calories per ounce

Contains nutritious, edible bones

Poultry is the primary ingredient


No glucosamine or chondroitin

4. Blue Buffalo Chicken Dinner for Weight Loss

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Healthy Weight Wet Dog Food

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  • Primary Source of Protein: Chicken
  • Calories: 354 per can
  • Chicken, chicken broth, and chicken liver are the initial ingredients in this dish

Blue Buffalo's Healthy Weight Chicken Dinner is an excellent choice for pet owners who want to help their dogs lose weight.

This recipe, like all Blue Buffalo products, is free of by-products, artificial flavors, corn, wheat, and soy. The pate-style wet dog food uses real chicken as the primary ingredient, providing high-quality protein without excessive calories.

The formula includes chicken liver, which is rich in iron and vitamin A, as well as blueberries and cranberries, which are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.

Flaxseed is also added to deliver omega-3 fatty acids for coat and skin health, and aid in digestion. Additionally, L-carnitine is included to help convert fat into energy, making it an ideal component for dogs trying to lose weight.

This nutrient-rich meal contains only 354 calories per can, making it a great option for overweight dogs. When combined with increased physical activity, this meal can help speed up your dog’s weight loss progress.

One downside of this product is that the cans may arrive dented, possibly due to shipping issues. Additionally, the pate has a thick consistency, which can make it challenging to remove from the container.

Blue Buffalo is a reputable brand that uses only the finest natural ingredients in all of its canned dog food products.

Each 12.5-ounce can of Blue Homestyle Recipe Natural Adult Healthy Weight Wet Dog Food, Chicken is suitable for dogs of all sizes.

In summary, Blue Buffalo’s Healthy Weight Chicken Dinner is a nutrient-dense and well-balanced option for dog owners looking to help their dogs lose weight.

It’s made with high-quality ingredients, is free of common allergens, and contains the right amount of calories to support weight loss.


Calorie-controlled foods

Chicken is the principal source of protein and ingredient

No additives or artificial tastes


Cans may arrive with dents

Dense texture

5. Healthy Weight Canidae PURE Chicken and Pea Dog Food

Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Premium Adult Dry Dog Food

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  • Primary Source of Protein: Chicken
  • Calories: 409 per cup
  • First Ingredients: poultry, poultry meal, and turkey meal

Canidae PURE Healthy Weight Chicken & Pea Dog Food features real chicken as its primary ingredient, making it an excellent option for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities.

This simple and grain-free recipe contains only nine wholesome, easily digestible, and wheat-, corn-, and artificial chemical-free ingredients.

By providing only essential nutrients and calories, this recipe promotes healthy weight loss and helps dogs achieve their optimal body weight.

Sweet potatoes, a nutritious source of carbohydrates, contain probiotics, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids that support digestive, immune, joint, skin, and coat health. These beneficial ingredients are sourced from high-quality plants and animals.

However, one potential drawback of this recipe is that the recent recipe modification has resulted in a darker color, which may not be appealing to some dogs.

Additionally, the high nutrient density of this food may be too rich for some dogs with sensitive digestive systems.

Formulated with premium proteins and regeneratively farmed ingredients, this 22-pound bag of Canidae PURE is an excellent choice for your pet’s health and the environment.

It is complete and balanced for adult dogs, providing optimal nutrition.

In summary, Canidae PURE Healthy Weight Chicken & Pea Dog Food is a limited-ingredient, grain-free formula that offers essential nutrients and calories for healthy weight loss.

It is made with high-quality and easily digestible ingredients, promoting overall health and wellness. However, pet owners should be aware of the recent recipe modifications and the potential for digestive issues in some dogs.


Nine healthy, allergen-free components

No wheat, corn, or other fillers


More calories than competing brands

Fresh recipe

6. Hill’s Science Diet Weight Control Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food

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  • Primary Source of Protein: Chicken
  • Calories: 291 per cup
  • Chicken, pearled barley, and brown rice are the first ingredients in this dish

Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight Dog Food is an innovative, clinically-proven dry dog food for weight management.

This high-quality formula has minimal calories per serving, promoting gradual and healthy weight loss in adult dogs.

The dish contains an abundance of essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for muscle maintenance, ensuring that your dog remains healthy and active during weight loss.

This dog food is enriched with L-carnitine, an amino acid that promotes a healthy and efficient metabolism.

The addition of apples, broccoli, cranberries, and green peas provides antioxidants and fiber, allowing your dog to remain satisfied and full.

According to the manufacturer, over 70% of adult dogs fed this safe and effective weight management dog food lost weight within 10 weeks.

Although this dog food has a pungent odor that may permeate your home, its high nutritional value and effectiveness for weight loss make it an excellent option for pet owners. Some dogs may still consume it despite the odor.

Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Dog Food is specially formulated for adult dogs and is produced in the United States with dependable ingredients from around the world.

This dog food is formulated to support lean muscle care and maintenance, ensuring that your companion remains healthy and active throughout their weight loss journey.

In conclusion, Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Dog Food is a clinically-proven, high-quality, dry dog food formulated specifically for weight management in adult dogs.

Its low caloric content, essential nutrients, and L-carnitine content make it an effective choice for promoting healthy weight loss, while its antioxidant-rich ingredients keep your dog feeling satisfied and full.

Although its odor may be off-putting to some pet owners, it remains a highly nutritious and effective option for supporting your dog’s weight loss journey.


Authentic fruit and vegetable ingredients

L-carnitine aids in the promotion of healthy weight reduction


Strong odor

7. Merrick Weight Control Recipe Dog Food

Merrick Dry Dog Food, Healthy Weight Grain Free Dog Food Recipe

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  • Primary Source of Protein: Beef
  • Calories: 354 per cup
  • First Ingredients: Deboned meat, chicken meal, sweet potatoes

Merrick Healthy Weight Formula Dry Dog Food is a premium, well-balanced dry dog food for mature dogs.

This grain-free and gluten-free recipe contains 55% protein and healthy fats, as well as 45% fruits, vegetables, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other natural ingredients.

The primary source of protein in this formula is real deboned beef, which is an excellent source of amino acids that help dogs maintain healthy energy levels and muscle mass.

This dog food is also enriched with fiber, vitamins, and minerals to provide a complete and balanced diet.

Merrick’s Healthy Weight Formula Dog Food is free of corn, wheat, soy, and chemical preservatives.

With 80% of the protein in this diet coming from animal sources, you can rest assured that your dog is receiving only essential nutrients and no fillers.

In addition, this dog food contains omega fatty acids, which promote healthy skin and a glossy coat, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints.

It is ideal for dogs who need to maintain optimal weight and energy levels.

One common complaint about this product is that the bag size has decreased while the price remains the same.

Nevertheless, Merrick Healthy Weight Formula Dog Food is still a nutritious and high-quality option for dog owners who want to provide their pets with a well-balanced diet.

In conclusion, Merrick Healthy Weight Formula Dry Dog Food is a premium dry dog food that contains real deboned beef, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals for a complete and balanced diet.

This grain-free and gluten-free formula contains omega fatty acids and glucosamine and chondroitin to promote healthy skin, joints, and coat.

Although the bag size may be a concern for some pet owners, this dog food is of high quality and nutritional value.


50% of the ingredients are protein and healthy fats

Glucosamine and chondroitin were added

Boneless beef is the primary component


The bag diminished in size but not in cost

8. Natural Balance Low-Calorie Dog Food for Fat Dogs

Natural Balance Fat Dogs Low Calorie Chicken Meal Salmon Meal

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  • Primary Source of Protein: Chicken
  • Calories: 315 per cup
  • The primary ingredients are chicken meal, salmon meal, and chickpeas

Natural Balance Fat Dogs Low-Calorie Dog Food is a specially formulated dry dog food that provides a nutritionally balanced diet for adult dogs.

This recipe is designed to help dogs lose weight in a healthy manner by combining protein and fiber.

This dog food contains chicken meal as the primary source of protein, which provides essential amino acids for maintaining strong muscles. Peas, oat groats, and barley are added as a rich source of fiber for good digestive health.

This formula also includes omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, as well as L-carnitine, which promotes a healthy metabolism and weight loss.

One thing to keep in mind when transitioning your dog to this diet is that the high fiber content may cause dogs to defecate more frequently than usual.

Therefore, it is important to introduce the meal gradually to allow their digestive system to adjust.

Natural Balance’s Fat Dogs Low-Calorie Dog Food is formulated for small, medium, and large dogs. This recipe is designed to help dogs feel full and satisfied, while reducing calorie intake.

It contains 25% fewer calories than Natural Balance’s Original Ultra Whole Body Health Chicken & Salmon Formula, without sacrificing taste or nutrition.

Natural Balance’s ‘Feed with Confidence’ program tests every batch of food from start to finish, ensuring safety with every bite. You can validate the bag on their website or call their Customer Care Team of Registered Veterinary Technicians.

In summary, Natural Balance Fat Dogs Low-Calorie Dog Food is a specially formulated dry dog food that combines protein and fiber to help dogs lose weight in a healthy manner.

This formula contains chicken meal as the primary source of protein, fiber for good digestive health, omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, and L-carnitine to promote a healthy metabolism and weight loss.

This dog food is formulated for small, medium, and large dogs and is part of Natural Balance’s ‘Feed with Confidence’ program.


Low calorie and high fiber content

Additional L-carnitine

Keeps dogs full


High fiber content might promote frequent defecation

How to Choose a Weight Loss Dog Food

Not all dog diets are created equal. Some may lack protein, fiber, and nutrients, while others may be high in calories, fat, and carbohydrates.

These diets can be detrimental to dogs that need to lose weight, as they may lead to overeating, weight gain, and nutritional deficiencies.

A weight loss dog diet is a type of food specifically designed to help dogs safely and effectively reduce weight. It should possess the following qualities:

Fat Dog

1. High protein content and minimal fat

Protein is crucial for maintaining a dog’s muscle mass, which is essential for their metabolism and overall health. While fat provides energy, it also contributes calories to your dog’s diet.

A dog food for weight loss should have a high protein-to-fat ratio, which means it contains more protein per calorie than fat.

2. High fiber and moisture content

Fiber and water are both vital for your dog’s digestion and satiety. Fiber can help your dog feel fuller for longer, while moisture aids in digestion and hydration.

A dog food for weight loss should have a high fiber-to-moisture ratio, meaning it contains more fiber per calorie than moisture.

3. Complete and well-balanced nutrition

Dogs still need all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids for their health and wellbeing, even when they’re on a weight loss diet.

A dog food for weight loss should provide all of these nutrients in the appropriate proportions and amounts.

4. High-quality and authentic ingredients

The quality of the ingredients in your dog’s diet is crucial. To ensure your dog’s health and prevent overeating, avoid fillers, additives, allergens, and artificial ingredients.

A dog food for weight loss should contain natural, high-quality ingredients that are nourishing, easily digestible, and tasty.

To select a dog food for weight loss, you should compare and read the labels of various products. Here are some tips for doing so:

5. Check the guaranteed analysis

This section of the label displays the percentages of the food’s protein, fat, fiber, moisture, and other nutrients.

You should look for a food that contains at least 25 percent protein, no more than 10 percent fat, at least 5 percent fiber, and no more than 10 percent moisture.

6. Check the ingredient list

This section of the label shows the names of the food’s ingredients in descending order by weight.

You should choose foods with a named animal protein as the first ingredient (such as chicken or beef), followed by wholesome grains or vegetables (such as brown rice or sweet potatoes), and avoid ingredients that you cannot recognize or pronounce.

7. Check the calorie count and serving size

This section of the label indicates the number of calories in one cup or can of the product. You should look for foods containing no more than 350 calories per cup or 250 calories per can.

Check how much food you should feed your dog daily based on its weight and activity level.

8. Avoid artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

These are ingredients that are added to enhance the food’s appearance, flavor, or shelf life, but they are devoid of nutritional value and may cause allergic reactions or other health problems in some dogs.

You should choose foods that lack artificial colors (such as Red 40 or Yellow 5), flavorings (such as chicken or beef flavor), and preservatives (such as BHA or BHT).

9. Choose a product suitable for your dog’s life stage, breed size, and activity level

Depending on its age, size, and lifestyle, your dog may have different nutritional needs.

You should select a diet that is specially formulated for your dog’s life stage (such as adult or senior), breed size (such as small or large), and activity level (such as active or sedentary).

How to Feed Your Dog for Weight Loss

Choosing a dog food formulated for weight loss is only half of the equation. Additionally, you must feed your dog the appropriate quantity and frequency of food for them to lose weight effectively and safely.

Fat Dog Eat

Here are some tips for feeding your dog to promote weight loss:

1. Consult your vet

Consult with your veterinarian to determine your dog’s ideal weight and caloric intake before starting any weight loss program.

Your veterinarian can also rule out any medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease, that may be causing or contributing to your dog’s obesity.

2. Measure your dog’s food portions carefully

Overfeeding dogs with treats and table leftovers is a common cause of obesity.

Many dog owners measure their pet’s food by eye or with a random spoonful or cup, which can lead to inaccurate and excessive nutrition, adding hundreds of extra calories per day.

To prevent this, you should measure your dog’s food portions carefully using a measuring cup or a scale.

Follow the feeding instructions on the dog food label, but adjust them according to your dog’s weight and activity level.

3. Reduce treats and table leftovers

Using low-calorie alternatives, such as fruits, vegetables, or low-calorie dog treats, can help reduce the number of calories your dog consumes.

Avoid feeding your dog high-calorie treats and table scraps, which can easily contribute to obesity and derail their weight loss efforts.

4. Feed your dog on a regular schedule

Feeding your dog on a regular schedule can help regulate their appetite and metabolism, preventing them from overeating and begging for food.

Depending on their size and age, feed your dog two to three times per day and avoid free-feeding.

5. Monitor your dog’s weight and body condition regularly

To determine if your dog is losing weight, weigh them regularly using a scale or a weigh station at your veterinarian’s office. Additionally, assess their physical condition by feeling their ribcage, waist, and abdomen.

When viewed from above, your dog should have a defined waist, a slight curve in their abdomen, and ribs that are readily palpable but cannot be seen.


1. Is chicken good for dog weight loss?

Chicken is a complete protein source for dogs, containing all the essential amino acids required for their health.

Additionally, it is a lean protein, making it an ideal choice for overweight canines in need of a healthy diet.

2. Does rice help dogs lose weight?

Oatmeal and rice are both rich in fiber, which can help regulate your dog’s bowel movements and reduce irregularity.

Moreover, whole grains like brown rice or oatmeal can aid in weight loss by keeping your dog feeling full and satisfied.

3. What is the best thing to feed a dog to lose weight?

For effective weight loss in dogs, opt for diets that are high in fiber and low in carbohydrates and lipids.

Additionally, look for diets that contain ingredients like l-carnitine, which can boost your pet’s metabolism and promote weight loss.

4. How much should I feed my dog to lose weight?

The amount of food your dog should eat daily depends on several factors, such as its weight, level of activity, and other variables.

To ensure safe and effective weight loss, consult with your veterinarian to develop a feeding plan that is tailored specifically to your dog’s needs.

5. What’s the safest rate of weight loss for an overweight dog?

Rapid weight loss in dogs can lead to health issues such as liver disease, muscle loss, and a weakened immune system.

To ensure safe and effective weight loss, aim for a weekly weight loss rate of 1-2% of your dog’s total body weight.

6. What’s the best way to switch my dog to a weight loss food?

To transition your dog from regular food to weight loss food, gradually mix 25% of the new weight loss food with 75% of the regular food to start with.

Then, over the next five to seven days, gradually increase the amount of weight loss food while decreasing the regular food until your dog is only eating the weight loss food.

This gradual transition will help avoid any digestive issues and ensure effective weight loss for your dog.

7. What can I cook for my dog to help him lose weight?

If you’re interested in cooking for your dog, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, use lean meats to prepare their meals and avoid foods high in fat and calories.

Additionally, incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into their diet. But before making any changes, consult with your veterinarian to develop a customized plan for your companion.


The dog food Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Weight contains turkey protein and is low in calories per serving.

Halo Holistic Healthy Weight Dog Food has a low-calorie, easy-to-digest recipe that is free of GMOs and additives.

BestForPets would like to thank our readers for visiting our website to learn about and consult on the best dog foods for weight loss. We hope that our reviews have helped you select the finest dog food to help your pet lose weight.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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