Best Low-Fat Dog Foods

Every dog breed, or more specifically every dog, as an individual, has different eating habits. Some dogs are picky eaters, while some eat voraciously. Additionally, there is a plethora of brands placing different types of food on the shelves of your local pet store. Each brand uses different wordings and marketing claims. Therefore, choosing the right food can be an overwhelming, time-consuming and challenging task. Although the ultimate decision is based on the dog’s personal taste preference, a few important factors must be taken into consideration. Those factors include age, breed, body composition, gender, whether neutered or not, temperament, activity level and last but not least – health status. Since these factors influence the nutritional needs of your dog, it is important to consider them when choosing your dog's food.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Gastro Intestinal Low Fat

Crude Fat (min) 1.0%
Crude Protein (min) 6.0%
Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food - Reduced Fat

Crude Fat (min) 6%
Crude Protein (min) 24%
Natural Balance Fat Dogs Dry Dog Food

Crude Fat (min) 7.5%
Crude Protein (min) 26%
Honest Kitchen Zeal Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food

Crude Fat (min) 8.5%
Crude Protein (min) 35.5%

The perfect food contains proper ratios of the six major nutrients – proteins, carbohydrates, fats & oils, vitamins, minerals and water. However, the food can be defined as complete/balanced, only if it contains all the necessary nutrients for your dog’s growth and if it can be used as the sole source of nutrition. If you use complete/balanced nutrition, you do not need to worry about deficiencies, unless your dog has specific issues that require a special diet or supplements. Addressing health concerns with corresponding diets, increases your dog’s quality of life and extends its survival period.

One of those special diets is the low-fat diet. Low-fat diets are specifically formulated to keep the calorie count low while maintaining the satiety high. Although low-fat diets are prescribed to dogs suffering from certain health conditions, they are mostly popular among dog owners who want to help their dogs fight obesity or maintain a healthy weight after losing a few pounds. It is estimated that over 35 million American dogs are overweight, which is a whopping 45% of the entire population.

Obese dogs are at higher risk of developing other serious health issues such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Mobility problems
  • Cardiac and respiratory conditions
  • Pancreatitis

dog food

Low Fat Dog Food Buying Guide

When choosing the right low-fat diet for your furry baby, follow our buying guide and take into consideration several important criteria, such as:

1. Choose a proven brand – trusted brands enjoy a good impression among buyers. The best option would be to go for a proven brand even if it breaks down your savings account.

2. Choose quality over quantity – it is worth investing in a higher quality dog food. Premium, super premium and ultra premium dog foods tend to use better quality ingredients. and contain 40-60% proteins, while less expensive options contain only 10-20% proteins. Cheaper dog food brands feature fillers and cheap ingredients to bulk out the food. Avoid brands that use by-products of any type, artificial preservatives, flavors and colors, harmful fillers, regular or processed vegetable oils and trimmings of fat.

3. Choose a nutritionally complete/balanced diet – check out all of the ingredients listed on the label. Each ingredient is important and has to be represented in proper ratio. For a dog to lose weight, its feeding formula must contain:

  • Above average protein
  • Below average fat
  • Below average calories

Higher protein levels help your dog feel satiated, while eating less. Low-fat content is important, but low calorie intake is even more important. Lean dry dog foods should have less than 9% of fat content and wet foods should have less than 4% of fat content. Low-fat diets should have no more than 400 kcal/cup caloric content. If buying in bulk, make sure the diet has less than 3.100 kcal/kg for dry food and less than 900 kcal/kg for wet food.

4. Choose highly palatable food – you can buy the most expensive, organic, human-grade food, but if your dog does not like how it tastes, the formula is worth nothing. Therefore, always keep in mind that your dog must approve of the food. Take him to the pet center and let him try several foods or ask for food samples, before buying a big bag.

5. Choose the right form of the food – low-fat dog food comes in both cans and kibbles. It is no secret that if offered a choice, most dogs will go for the canned version of the food. After all moist food does smell and taste better. On the flip side, kibbles are cheaper, simpler to use and easier to store. More often than not, kibbles are healthier and more nutritious, since they contain less preservatives, when compared to cans. Cans also contain more animal derivatives.

6. Choose the best flavor – always pick the flavor your dog wants, knows and easily digests. In some cases, introducing a novel protein source is a good choice, especially when dealing with allergic and sensitive dogs. However when fed with new protein sources, some dogs may experience irregular bowel movements and gastric pain. In a nutshell, when deciding on flavor there are three considerations: whether your dog likes it or not, how easily it can be digested and what benefits it has. Popular and common flavors in low-fat foods are chicken and fish.

7. Choose age appropriate foods – buy puppy food for puppies, adult dog food for adult dogs and senior dog food for senior dogs. Each age group has different nutritional needs which can be addressed only if fed an appropriate diet. Specific developmental stages need specific nutrients. So get your dog a diet that is specifically formulated for its life stage.

8. Check the Guaranteed Analysis Comparison, the Regulator Seal and the Feeding Amounts stated on the package.

9. Seek a professional opinion – if you cannot take your dog to a dog nutritionist, consult with your vet or at least talk to the salesperson at the local pet center. Just do not decide anything on your own. Putting your dog on a low-fat diet must be medically supported and sustained. Therapeutic diets are specifically designed and should not be fed to healthy dogs with proper body weights.

10. Switch to different foods gradually – once you bought new food you must safely handle the diet transition. It is highly advised to switch foods slowly over 7 to 10 days. Start by mixing small amounts of the new food in with the old food and gradually increase its portion until the entire meal consists of the new food.

Since all those criteria might be overwhelming, especially for first time dog parents, to make things simple and easy, we have compiled a list of the 10 best low-fat foods for dogs, available on Amazon.

Top 10 Best Low-fat Dog Foods


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