BestForPets is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

The 9 Best Low-calorie Dog Foods of 2022

Deborah R Fletcher
  Nov 29, 2022 2:08 PM

If your dog stepped on the scale recently and the number was a little high, you know it's time to make some changes.

Nowadays, it's not uncommon to see an overweight animal trudging around a park or sidewalk. In fact, 56% of dogs in the United States are obese. As much as we think it's adorable, it really shortens your dog's life.

You're probably one of that percentage, or you wouldn't be here. So, you're probably one of that percentage, or you wouldn't be here. So, let's BestForPets (bestforpets.org) speak about some of the best low-calorie dog foods alternatives that will help your doggy lose weight!


Reviews

Best Value: Lite Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe from Health Extension

  • Organic deboned chicken, chicken meal, ground brown rice, oats, and chicken fat are the main components.
  • 24% protein content
  • 9% fat content
  • Calories per cup: 288 k/cal

Health Extension Lite is our pick for the finest low-calorie dog food for the money. This recipe's major protein source is organic deboned chicken, and it's made with non-GMO ingredients that are free of artificial colors and preservatives. This dish offers half the fat of the original Health Extension recipe and the fewest calories per cup on the list.

This meal is the greatest alternative for dogs that need to lose weight on a budget because of the quality components, fat level, and calorie ratio. For every pound of food, you get around 4 cups of kibble.

The size of the kibble is the major disadvantage of this meal. The kibble is about the size of a pea and may be too tiny for larger dogs. So, if your dog is naturally larger, keep that in mind.

Pros

  • Non-GMO
  • For dogs that have sensitive digestive issues
  • There are no artificial colors or preservatives.
  • Low in fat

Cons

  • Kibble may be insufficient for big breeds.

 

Premium Choice: Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe by Hill's Science Diet

  • Chicken, cracked pearled barley, brown rice, pea fiber, and corn gluten meal are the main components.
  • 24% protein content
  • 9% fat content
  • Calories per cup: 299 k/cal

Our favorite premium option is Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe. This dish is minimal in calories and fat, with chicken and pea fiber serving as the principal protein sources.

Hills has been clinically proved to aid in weight reduction and control. This high-protein, high-fiber mix contains L-carnitine and coconut oil, which aid in the metabolism of your dog.

In just 10 weeks, more than 70% of dogs fed this diet lose weight! If your dog is a finicky eater, you may also choose from four different weight loss recipes.

Because of the price, it is our top option for dry food. Most dog meals include roughly 4 cups of kibble every pound of kibble. However, given the outcomes, Hills is a good choice for dogs who need to drop a lot of weight quickly.

Pros

  • Suitable for all dog sizes
  • Several recipes for weight reduction

Cons

  • Not suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
  • Increased frequency of bowel motions
  • Strong odor

 

 

Best for Puppies: Purina Pro Plan Sport Development 30/20 Chicken & Rice High Protein is a high protein food for athletes.

  • Chicken, rice, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn are the main components.
  • 30% protein content
  • 20% fat content
  • Calories per cup: 472 k/cal

A puppy requires around 990 calories per day on average. Puppies that are active require a few more calories to help them develop and stay active.

Purina Pro Plan Sport Development is an excellent choice for energetic puppies. This cuisine is heavy in protein to aid muscular building, and the predominant protein source is chicken.

This food has more fat than other Purina Pro Plan puppy recipes, which helps with strength and endurance. It also contains DHA, EPA, taurine, choline, and vitamin C, which are all important for brain development.

Technically, this is not a low-calorie food. It has 472 calories per cup, so be careful not to overfeed your dog. Puppies, on the other hand, are extremely energetic and hyper. As long as your puppy gets sufficient activity, this diet will suffice until it is time to transition to adult food.

Pros

  • Protein and fat content are high for active pups.
  • Puppies enjoy the flavor.

Cons

  • It is simple to overfeed.

 

Vet’s Choice: Recipe for Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight Adult Lamb & Brown Rice

  • Deboned lamb, chicken meal, full grain barley, rice bran, and whole grain brown rice are the main components.
  • 24% protein content
  • 7% minimum fat content
  • Calories per cup: 240 k/cal

Our veterinarian recommends Nutro's Natural Choice Health Weight Recipe. This recipe is heavy in fiber to aid digestion and to keep your dog feeling fuller for longer, which is vital given the low calorie content.

This diet has approximately 4 cups of kibble per pound and a wonderful selection of veggies for added nutrition. The main drawbacks of Nutro's Healthy Weight recipe are that it only comes in one size and that the carb level is rather high—around 49%.

If your dog is diabetic, the appropriate carb content is roughly 25%-30%, thus you're better off trying something else.

Pros

  • High in fiber
  • GMO-free ingredients
  • There are no artificial preservatives.

Cons

  • There is just one size available.
  • Not suitable for diabetic dogs.

 

Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food VICTOR

  • Beef meal, full grain brown rice, whole grain millet, grain sorghum, and chicken fat are the main components.
  • 27% protein content
  • 11.5% fat content
  • Calories per cup: 360 k/cal

VICTOR Purpose Senior Healthy Weight comes in sixth place on our list. We wanted to provide a dog meal for senior dogs because age influences weight gain. This meal is heavy in protein, which helps muscles, and high in fat, which helps with aging.

Furthermore, this formula contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support, which is essential for overweight senior dogs.

This package contains approximately 4 cups of kibble per pound. Adult dogs of all ages can benefit from this diet, eliminating the need to purchase several types of food for each dog.

The disadvantage of this recipe is that it causes unpleasant flatulence and diarrhea in certain dogs. If this happens, you should try a new dish.

Pros

  • Beneficial for sensitive stomachs
  • Encourages a healthy, soft coat

Cons

  • This might result in gas.
  • Diarrhea may occur.

 

True Blue Buffalo Solutions Natural Weight Control that is Fit and Healthy

  • Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oats, barley brown rice are the main components.
  • 28% protein content
  • 11% fat content
  • Calories per cup: 324 k/cal

The next recipe on our list is Blue Buffalo's Fit and Healthy Natural Weight Control Recipe. This recipe is a low-cost meal with additional fiber to keep your dog satisfied for longer. It also boasts the most protein of any food on this list.

Many dog owners have reported their dog's excellent weight reduction journey, especially with little dogs, such as the Pug on the front of the bag!

Blue Buffalo has caused gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort in many dogs with their previous recipes, however it appears that many pet owners did not have this issue with this recipe. The ingredient list is surprisingly lengthy for a nutritious dish, but the majority of them are vitamins.

If you can get beyond the fishy scent, this might be a fantastic weight-loss alternative for your dog!

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Fiber supplementation

Cons

  • Possible gastrointestinal upset
  • Fishy odor

 

Eagle Pack Adult Dry Dog Food with Reduced Fat

  • Pork meal, dehulled barley, peas, pulverized brown rice, and oatmeal are the main components.
  • 24% protein content
  • 6% fat content
  • Calories per cup: 343 k/cal

The Eagle Pack Reduced Fat recipe ranks eighth on our list. This dish is one of the higher-calorie foods on the list, but it has the least fat, making it an excellent choice for dogs that want less fat but no caloric adjustment.

Instead of fish or chicken, pork is the major protein source, but it also contains chicken meal, turkey meal, and chicken fat. It also contains glucosamine and hydrochloride, which are beneficial to hip and joint health.

The size of the kibble is the major disadvantage of this meal. Large breeds may find it too tiny. Some owners claim that their bags contained a lot of kibble dust.

Pros

  • Low in fat
  • There are several protein alternatives.
  • Aids in hip and joint health

Cons

  • Kibble may be insufficient for big breeds.
  • The consistency is dusty.

 

Recipe for Nutro Ultra Adult Weight Management Chicken, Lamb, and Salmon

  • Chicken, chicken meal, full grain brown rice, whole grain sorghum, and whole grain barley are the main components.
  • 26% protein content
  • 9% fat content
  • Calories per cup: 325 k/cal

Our ninth recipe is Nutro's Ultra Adult Weight Management. This dish mixes chicken, lamb, and salmon for lean muscle and a beautiful coat. This diet has approximately 4 cups of kibble per pound and a wonderful selection of veggies for added nutrition.

Nutro's weight control mix is ideal for dogs weighing 15-65 pounds. It's also better for weight management rather than weight reduction. For this reason, we've ranked it ninth. If your dog's objective is to lose weight, you may want to try a different meal. However, frequent exercise is essential if your dog wants to reduce weight.

Pros

  • There are several protein alternatives.
  • GMO-free ingredients
  • There are no artificial preservatives, colors, or tastes.
  • Vegetables of many types

Cons

  • Better for weight loss
  • Ideal for dogs weighing 15-65 pounds.

 

Dog Food from Freshpet Loaf of Nature's Fresh Chicken

  • Chicken, carrots, pea protein, eggs, and natural flavors are the main components.
  • 17% protein content
  • 10% fat content
  • Calories per cup: 261 k/cal

Freshpet's Chicken Loaf comes in last on our list. This is a refrigerated meal loaf that is high in vitamins, minerals, and fresh protein. It differs from canned food in that it lacks gravy and must be kept chilled at all times.

This is a great alternative because dogs enjoy biting on fresh meat. It's also low in calories, non-GMO, and a tasty alternative to dry food.

This meal is grain-free, and most dogs should have some grain in their diet unless your veterinarian advises otherwise. If you must avoid wheat, this diet may assist certain dogs with allergies.

The disadvantage is that because it is low in calories, you will consume it considerably faster than dry meals. A fast cure for this is to combine some Freshpet meal bread with your preferred dry food. It will be a hit with your dog!

Pros

  • Low in fat
  • There is no gravy.
  • Low caloric intake
  • Non-GMO

Cons

  • Refrigeration is required.
  • Runs out quickly

Compare Products

Showing  1 - 9  in  9 results
1
  • SCORE
    9.2
    BFP Score

    Our experienced team created the BFP Score rating algorithm. Our BestForPets tool automatically scores it from 0 to 10 based on the data gathered. This score is unrelated to or influenced by any manufacturer or sales agency website. Find out more

  • Brand
    Health Extension
2
  • SCORE
    9.4
    BFP Score

    Our experienced team created the BFP Score rating algorithm. Our BestForPets tool automatically scores it from 0 to 10 based on the data gathered. This score is unrelated to or influenced by any manufacturer or sales agency website. Find out more

  • Brand
    Hill's Science Diet
3
  • SCORE
    9.4
    BFP Score

    Our experienced team created the BFP Score rating algorithm. Our BestForPets tool automatically scores it from 0 to 10 based on the data gathered. This score is unrelated to or influenced by any manufacturer or sales agency website. Find out more

  • Brand
    Purina Pro Plan

4
  • SCORE
    9.4
    BFP Score

    Our experienced team created the BFP Score rating algorithm. Our BestForPets tool automatically scores it from 0 to 10 based on the data gathered. This score is unrelated to or influenced by any manufacturer or sales agency website. Find out more

  • Brand
    Nutro
5
  • SCORE
    9.4
    BFP Score

    Our experienced team created the BFP Score rating algorithm. Our BestForPets tool automatically scores it from 0 to 10 based on the data gathered. This score is unrelated to or influenced by any manufacturer or sales agency website. Find out more

  • Brand
    Victor
6
  • SCORE
    9.2
    BFP Score

    Our experienced team created the BFP Score rating algorithm. Our BestForPets tool automatically scores it from 0 to 10 based on the data gathered. This score is unrelated to or influenced by any manufacturer or sales agency website. Find out more

  • Brand
    Blue Buffalo
7
  • SCORE
    9.0
    BFP Score

    Our experienced team created the BFP Score rating algorithm. Our BestForPets tool automatically scores it from 0 to 10 based on the data gathered. This score is unrelated to or influenced by any manufacturer or sales agency website. Find out more

  • Brand
    Eagle Pack Natural Pet Food
8
  • SCORE
    9.4
    BFP Score

    Our experienced team created the BFP Score rating algorithm. Our BestForPets tool automatically scores it from 0 to 10 based on the data gathered. This score is unrelated to or influenced by any manufacturer or sales agency website. Find out more

  • Brand
    Nutro
9
  • SCORE
    9.0
    BFP Score

    Our experienced team created the BFP Score rating algorithm. Our BestForPets tool automatically scores it from 0 to 10 based on the data gathered. This score is unrelated to or influenced by any manufacturer or sales agency website. Find out more

  • Brand
    Freshpet

Last update on 2022-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


Buyer's Guide: How to Choose the Best Low-Calorie Dog Foods

The Best Weight Loss Dog Food

The finest dog food for weight reduction has more protein and fiber while containing fewer fat and calories.

Protein increases metabolism and energy consumption while also making you feel full. Fiber, like protein, makes you feel full, but it contains less energy. As a result, your dog will theoretically burn more calories while eating less food.

L-Carnitine

Although data is limited, it is likely that the amino acid L-carnitine can aid in weight loss in people and animals. L-primary carnitine's function is to assist the body in producing energy.

L-carnitine is commonly present in animal products such as meat and fish.

L-optimal carnitine's protein sources are:

  • Beef: 81 milligrams per 3 oz.
  • Pork: 24 milligrams per 3 oz.
  • 5 milligrams per 3 ounces of fish
  • 3 milligrams per 3 ounces of chicken

It's also plausible that L-carnitine improves athletic performance. Many pet feeds contain L-carnitine, which aids with weight management.

How Many Calories Should a Dog Consume in Order to Lose Weight?

Because dog breeds vary in weight, there is no standard weight for all dogs. It makes no sense to set the same weight limit for a Yorkshire Terrier and a Great Dane. Rather, veterinarians employ a body condition score (BCS).

A BCS is a number ranging from one to nine that assesses your dog's body fat and how it is distributed across his or her body.

This score is used by your veterinarian to compare your dog's present weight to its optimal weight. A score of less than five indicates that you are underweight or malnourished. A score of six or above indicates that you are overweight or obese.

A healthy weight is between a five and a six, and it fits the following criteria:

  • With a thin fat covering, the ribs are plainly discernible.
  • From above, the waist is clearly visible.
  • When viewed from the side and above, the abdomen seems tucked beneath the rib cage.

The number of calories your dog should consume is determined by how much energy he expends and his current BCS.

If your dog's BCS is greater than six, he or she will need to exercise more and eat fewer calories in order to reduce weight.

After evaluating your dog's BCS, your veterinarian can offer you a weight goal to aim for. You may also use this calorie calculator for dogs to estimate how many calories your dog should ingest while losing weight.

Note: We appreciate that geriatric dogs and dogs with impairments may not be able to exercise as much as younger dogs. To compensate for decreased movement, you'll feed your dog less calories.

Calculating Your Dog's Caloric Intake

Fortunately, monitoring your dog's calories is simple because dog food bags have done the majority of the work for you.

You only need to complete the following:

  • Check the k/cal content of your dog's food per cup. If the package says 325 k/cal per cup, 1 cup has 325 calories.
  • Keep track of how many cups of food your dog consumes every day (this includes treats).
  • Multiply the number of cups of food by the number of calories.

6 cups of kibble multiplied by 325 calories is 1,950 calories per day.

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Healthy

You now have all of the materials you require. You know how to count your dog's calories and have a list of items to pick from. Is that sufficient?

That's certainly a solid start. However, the objective should not be a rapid repair. You wish to change your way of life.

Here are a few pointers to keep your dog healthy:

  • Start small: Don't overwhelm your dog with too many adjustments unless the weight causes a medical problem. Begin with short walks rather than long ones.
  • Get Regular Exercise: Regular exercise is essential. If your dog is unable to exercise due to medical reasons, you will need to reduce calories. However, if your dog is able, take him for a daily walk or run. Encourage playtime and physical activity. It will benefit both your dog and you!
  • No Sweets: For the time being, however. Until your dog crosses the finish line. Once the target has been met, provide nutritious snacks such as tiny carrots or low-fat cookies.
  • Weight Checks: Weight checks are free at vet clinics. Call ahead of time to let the staff know you'll be bringing your dog in for a weight check so they can keep track of his development.

The video below is just for incentive to make your dog fit and healthy. This Golden Retriever weighed 173 pounds until someone helped him. Follow his development and be motivated!


Conclusion

BestForPets hopes these evaluations provide you with information about the best low-calorie dog foods on the market. The Farmer's Dog is our top overall pick. On a weight loss quest, you can't go wrong with fresh cuisine. Health Extention's LITE formula is our favorite for the money. It's low in fat and high in protein, and it's inexpensive. Because of its high success rate, Hill's Perfect Weight Recipe is the premium choice.

For a high-protein, low-fat, and low-calorie food, choose Purina Pro Plan's Sport Development for pups and Nutro's Natural Choice Healthy Weight for adults.


5
3 ratings

DMCA.com Protection Status