Best Weight Loss Dog Foods


In her new article, How to Help Your Overweight Dog Lose Weight, Dr. Donna Spector, a well-known veterinary specialist, shares the secret to predictable weight loss…

Dogs that consume fewer calories than they burn lose weight

Dr. Spector suggests feeding your pet a dog food containing…

  • Above-average protein1
  • Below-average fat2
  • Below-average calories3

How We Selected
Our Best Weight Loss Dog Foods

If you believe your pet is overweight, here are a few weight loss dog foods for you to consider.

To be included on our list…

Suggested products must meet all three conditions mentioned above. They must contain above-average protein, below-average fat and 250 to 350 calories per cup of kibble… or per 13-ounce can.

Of course, this list should not be considered a complete catalog of all the weight loss dog foods on the market.

For there are others. Many others. We provide this small group only as a starting point.

As a matter of fact, if you know of a specific dog food you believe we should have included on this list, please feel free to share your suggestions in the Comments section below.

Or if you’re looking for some suggestions yourself, be sure to look through our readers’ Comments to find more good ideas.

Suggested Weight Loss Dog Foods

The following suggested weight loss dog foods contain links to the reviews they can be found in. The article itself may or may not be associated with the actual products listed here.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.


  1. Average protein: 29% (dry) and 40% (canned)
  2. Average fat: 16% (kibble) and 23% (canned)
  3. 250-350 calories per 8-ounce cup kibble or per 13-ounce can
  • Arsae van

    healthy weight loss

    I have one of those “anticipate your every move” dogs! I feel bad for
    him when I answer the phone, he always thinks it’s time to go somewhere.

  • aimee

    Hi Crazy4dogs,

    I didn’t check your math, but i will if you want me to. I pretty much skipped through that stuff because it didn’t have anything to do with what you consider to be a high /medium/ or low protein diet.

    Yes nutrients should always be described on energy basis to compare across products.

    Lowering fat and adding fiber makes the diet less energy dense and allows the dog to eat a larger volume of food. This may help the owner be successful as they see that their dog is getting a volume of food that they could find as appropriate. and It may help the dog such that by eating a larger volume it may decrease hunger.

    Digestibility of the protein is absolutely a factor to consider. But I’d caution you in thinking that you can state that plant protein is always less digestible than a rendered meal. Especially as that meal may contain a lot of connective tissue and very little muscle tissue..

    “The fact that meat is a more digestible protein source is why I consider the therapeutic diets low.”

    I still don’t know what you consider low to be. If you mean low the OSU link the protein digestibility would have to be something like 50% or less. I’m sure it is well above that.

    You know …It is OK to simply say “Hey I was wrong, thanks for helping me to understand this”

    I thanked you for informing me what the correct use of “mixed dentition” is.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hey Aimee,
    So I guess my math was ok then since that wasn’t your first comment? :)
    If everything is on an energy basis, why would all of the “weight management” foods regardless of veterinary vs consumer formulas all lower the fat and add fiber? That’s how they get to some of the really low kcals/cup counts that they get to, isn’t it?
    Do you consider the digestibility of the proteins in each food? Muscle meat has a much higher digestibility factor than corn, soy, or wheat. So even if the protein levels were almost the same, wouldn’t the fact that Instinct has more digestible protein make it a better choice? The fact that meat is a more digestible protein source is why I consider the therapeutic diets low.
    Aimee, you may be way ahead of me in calculating all of the factors, but the average consumer is not going to do the math.

  • aimee

    Crazy4 dogs,

    I compared two foods on an energy basis. Comparing nutrients on a energy basis is the gold standard for comparing diets. It compensates for various moisture, fiber, and fat levels, all of which change energy density.

    When using energy basis you are always comparing apples to apples.

    I still don’t understand why you said “yet in the “therapeutic” diets the protein is low for the most part” because you haven’t clarified any energy guidelines for your previously mentioned percentages. Reporting a nutrient on a percentage basis is kinda meaningless without specifying the energy density.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I am always going to cry foul if you’re not comparing apples to apples. You can’t compare a normal activite lifestyle food to a food meant specifically for overweight management. Purina OM compared to Instinct Rabbit is ridiculous. Comparing Purina OM to Instinct Healthy weight is the only fair comparison if you’re going to pick Instinct, as they are both “weight control” formulas.

    I told you in a previous post that I was listing percentages versus grams since I think anyone reading this would be able to understand that better. I do have to correct the carbs on both. I didn’t use the median for fat as I missed it on the OM site the first time. I didn’t use ash in either as it wasn’t listed and might have missed kcals.

    Using 6.25% fat I got 39.75% carbs for Purina OM and for Instinct Chicken Healthy Weight I got 40.5% carbs. The only thing I didn’t include was ash as it wasn’t listed for either formula. In listing 5% ash for both In got 34.75% for Purina OM – 35.5% carbs for Instinct HW. I also listed the Kcals this time as I think I might have missed them the first time. Purina OM – 319 kcals/100g, w/5% ash 299 kcals/100g, Instinct Chicken HW – 416 kcals/100g, w/5% ash 396 kcals/100g.

    Based on prices @ it would cost you to feed:

    Instinct – 21.8 lbs. – $60.73 = 2.79/lb
    Purina OM – 18 lbs. – $49.49 = $2.74/lb

    There’s 100 kcal/100 grams more in Instinct, so,based on calories, it would cost you less to feed better IMO. I think my numbers are correct, but go ahead, have a blast! 😉

  • aimee


    I have to say i chuckled when I read your post. I asked you to reply on an energy basis, you chose not to, then cried foul for me using using the Instinct rabbit as a calculation example!

    I didn’t see in your post that you specified that you only used the parameters you posted if the fat content was at a particular level.: )

    I’m still trying to figure out why you said “yet in the “therapeutic” diets the protein is low for the most part”

    What do you consider to be low, med and high protein diets on an energy basis?.
    Do you agree with the Ohio vet link you posted?

    In regards to this “the fat is 4%. You’re (sic) dog might lose weight, but I really think his coat and organs would suffer on that low of a fat content.”. The fat is 4% min. 8.5% max.

    I got this info from Purina Avg Nutrient Analysis on a 100 kcal basis there are 10.4 grams protein, 2.42 grams fat, 14.8 grams carb, and 3.44 grams fiber.for the dry diet. Caloric distribution 33.5 % calories from protein, 18.9% from fat and 47.6 % from carb.

    On an as fed basis 28.4% protein, 6.62% fat, and 40.41% Carb

    Using your OSU link this diet would not be considered low fat as the fat level is above 2 grams /100 kcals.

    What numbers did you plug into the on line calculator you linked to to get a “high carb load of 61.5%.”? When I used 26 for protein, 6.25 for fat (split btnw 4-8.5), 16 for fiber, 12 for moisture and I used 5 for ash the calculater reports 34:75% for carbs

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Aimee,
    If someone was looking for a weight control option, they probably wouldn’t pick Instinct Rabbit with 20% fat. In an earlier comment you asked me about what I considered L/M/H fat percentages. This would definitely be in the High category. To pick another Instinct, if you fed the Healthy Weight versions you would be @ 9.6 grams protein/100kcals. It gives a 12% min/16% max fat, so I picked a mean fat of 14%. Instinct would be 48.5% carbs. Purina OM is 9.9 grams protein/100 kcals because the fat is 4%. You’re dog might lose weight, but I really think his coat and organs would suffer on that low of a fat content. Obviously that would also be a high carb load of 61.5%. I just used an online calculator to factor carbs.

    I’m including the online calculator link if anyone wants to use it:

    The OSU Veterinary website considers anything over 8 grams of protein to be high protein:

    The Instinct Healthy Weight lists chicken meal 1st. It does also contain chickpeas and peas but here’s the ingredient list up to fat:

    Chicken Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Tapioca, Chicken, White Fish Meal (Pacific Whiting, Pacific Sole, Pacific Rockfish), Menhaden Fish Meal, Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid)

    The Purina OM diet doesn’t include animal protein until the 8th ingredient. Here’s the ingredient list:

    Whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, soybean hulls*, soybean germ meal, soybean meal, pea fiber, wheat gluten, poultry by-product meal, animal digest, powdered cellulose, tricalcium phosphate, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E)

    As in all things, I really don’t believe you can find a “Cure-All” anything. Diet alone is not the way to solve weight issues. You must include exercise with it to achieve a better overall healthier life.

  • aimee

    Thanks for replying, Using a G/A is easy but it can mislead you.

    Based on G/A you’d classify Instinct Rabbit as high protein would you not as the GA for protein is 33%. Using the info from their website this calculates out to 8.6 grams protein/100kcals.

    There is less protein in Instinct
    than the therapeutic diets yet you wrote “in the “therapeutic” diets the protein is low for the
    most part”

    This is what puzzled me and is why I asked what do you consider low, med and high protein on a caloric basis, which is the best way to compare foods.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Aimee,
    Sorry, I forgot to respond to this. I’m going to list by G/A on the dog food bags because I think it’s easier for people to read and understand it. On protein levels I consider low protein – 21% and below, moderate protein 22%-29%, high protein 30% and above. I also consider the protein sources used. I personally want to see an animal sourced protein used. I don’t use any foods that contain corn, soy or wheat, including the glutens and isolates. I only feed grain free as my dogs did have a problem with grains, so other than an occaisonal foster starting on a chicken & rice type food for the first few weeks, everyone is on a similar diet.

  • Crazy4cats

    Here is their contact us form:
    It’s frustrating when they don’t put that info on the bag or on their site. I found that most companies respond pretty quickly to questions. Hopefully, that will be the case for you!

  • Marycarol Mc Cabe Warrick

    My English bull dog is about 6 to 10 lbs overweight. Giving him Rachel Ray Just 6 as it seems to have all the healthy ingred. with no by product. But, cannot figure how many cal. it has on bag. Opinion? He is 6 yrs. and 75 lbs which is alot but big boned

  • aimee

    Yes I’d see those as interchangeable terms. It is the “gold standard” by which to compare diets.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Hi Aimee
    Is energy weighted basis the same thing as the “calorie distribution estimate” from Balance It? My vet said this was a good way to compare dog foods.

  • aimee

    I understand what you are asking now. I thought you meant a 50% difference in feeding recommendations between feeding product A vs B when you mean between weight loss and maintenance.

    In regards to vit and min I don’t know of any that become of a concern when doubling say the NRC recommended amount so that wouldn’t be a real concern of mine.

    I agree the major protein source in OM is plant based. I prefer animal based ingredients but I’m not opposed to vegetarian diet’s for dog. The key to using plant protein is to blend from several sources to achieve the AA profile you need.

    The fat level is given as a min and likely higher. AAFCO min is 5% DM When lowering fat it would be the necessary to formulate carefully to meet FA requirements.

  • aimee

    I really appreciate the “energy weighted basis” information presented in each review as it is the absolute best way to compare products.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Aimee,
    I found the Iams and Royal Canin information difficult to find. Let’s use the Purina OM as an example. When you get into the 60lb+ category (which would relate to my dogs and the dog in question in these posts) the feeding guidelines are reduced by approximately 50%. With the feeding guidelines varying by that much, and the vitamins are added via a synthetic vitamin pack, where would nutritional deficiency vs overnutrition come in?
    In regard to protein, using Purina again, the first 7 ingredients are plant based with the first inclusion of animal based protein coming in 8th position. While the protein on the G/A is 26% most of that is coming in from corn, corn gluten and soy which has less bioavailability than animal protein.
    Another thing to note on this food is that the fat on the G/A is 4%. Isn’t that just too low to maintain healthy skin and coat as well as normal body function?
    The reason I ask is that many people start out on these diets, which at best should be just a short term tool, and keep their dogs on them for years.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi El Doctor and Aimee,

    Modified Atwater figures are calculated for each example recipe found in every review on our website. These numbers are based on the dry matter statistics included in each report..

    Look for the “Energy Weighted Basis” section in the table at the bottom of the yellow dashboard of each review.

    Hope this helps.

  • aimee

    Hi el doctor,

    Whenever doing calculations for pet foods I always use modified Atwater numbers of 3.5 kcals /gram for protein and carb and 8.5 kcals/gram for fat.

    Also for Hills the protein is given on a dry matter basis and the kcal/kg on an as fed basis. I used 31 g for the”as fed” protein. So for the calculation I did 31 x 3.5 = 108.5/298 = 36.4%

    For RC I took the information from the 2010 product guide which I found on line by google “royal canin product guide”

  • el doctor

    Hi aimee

    You wrote –

    “For Hills R/D dry, min 104 grams protein/1000kcalsand 36% calories fed as protein.

    For Royal Canin, min 110 grams protein /1000kcals and 37% calories as protein.”

    Using 4 kcals per gram of protein, I calculate a minimum of 416 kcals of protein out of the 1000 total kcals in the Hills R/D and a minimum of 440 kcals of protein out of 1000 kcals in the Royal Canin.

    Why aren’t the percent of protein kcals 41.6% and 44% in those two foods instead of the 36% and the 37% you reported.

    Please tell me what I’m doing wrong.

    Thank you

  • aimee

    Had some time to “play” with the numbers on the diets you linked to. The Iams link didn’t have calories posted so I’m not including that one as i can’t calculate it. It does have the lowest dry matter protein of the group and to my eye looks lower than what I’d like for a weight loss diet.

    From the previously linked weight loss guidelines it was recommended to have 79 grams/1000 kcals when feeding at 60% RER. Purina, hills and RC all exceed this.

    For Purina OM dry, min 99 grams protein/1000kcals OM canned min 112 grams protein/1000kcals.

    On a caloric basis using provided info dry 35% protein calories and canned 40% protein calories.

    For Hills R/D dry, min 104 grams protein/1000kcalsand 36% calories fed as protein.

    For Royal Canin, min 110 grams protein /1000kcals and 37% calories as protein.

    In regards to feeding guidelines I compared recommendations for feeding a 40 lb dog Purina- 564 kcals, Hills- 612 kcals RC- 490-597 kcals depending on amount to lose.

    I’m not seeing a 50% difference here. At what weight or products did you see a 50% difference in the feeding guideline?

    What nutrient are you worried about being over supplied? I’ve always looked at weight loss diets as needing a higher nutrient/kcal ratio as you are feeding less calories but need the dog to get the same nutrient level.

  • aimee

    Hi Crazy4dogs,
    I’ll play with numbers tomorrow. I don’t see these as low protein diets. It could be that we differ on what we consider low. How many grams protein /1000 kcals do you consider low, average and high?

  • Crazy4dogs

    Awe, poor C4c! You aren’t the only one! I know many people who’ve failed those programs. I have the winter weight issue, but the dog walks cure that during the other seasons.That’s why choosing food that works long term & healthy choices help for everyone, dogs too!
    I agree on RC. The only information was on the Canadian site, too confusing to post metric!

  • Crazy4cats

    I also found Royal Canin’s veterinary site not very useful when I was researching an Rx diet for my cat after his blockage. Their Canadian site has more info, but uses the metric system.

    Anyway, maybe Aimee is just suggesting using the therapeutic diets for the initial weight loss when the calories are more restricted to ensure nutrients are being met. Then you would gradually add back some calories and transition to another food to maintain the loss.

    Kind of like a human weight loss program like Jenny Craig or Weight Watcher’s does. Which I, btw, have flunked out of both!

  • Crazy4dogs

    I do understand the point of meeting nutritional needs, but the flip side of the coin is overnutrition. My point is I think using synthetic vitamins to meet nutritional needs can present a problem.

    I do agree with you that some weight management or reduced calorie foods are lower calorie only in relation to their particular line of foods and would probably not work for some weight loss problems.

    I do have a problem with the RX diets. You are advocating protein during weight loss, yet in the “therapeutic” diets the protein is low for the most part, using corn products and/or soybean as some of the first ingredients as opposed to animal proteins. Royal Canin actually starts with Powdered Cellulose as it’s first ingredient.

    I had to use online dog food sites for the info on these as Iams and Royal Canin were difficult to find:

    The feeding guidelines on some of the formulas vary by almost 50%.
    So, my question to you would be with such a wide variation in a “therapeutic diet” where would the line fall between deficiency and overnutrition?

  • Crazy4dogs

    LOL! Yes it is. If we’re both posting sometimes I have to read carefully to see who it being commented to! :)

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’m the queen of coupons or on sale. Whenever I can combine the 2 it’s even better. I really like Instinct and it’s been on super great sales in my area, otherwise I’d probably give it a pass @ normal price! Good luck with the pups! :)

  • Crazy4cats

    I’m back. I was interrupted earlier. But, yes, it is my 86 pounder that should weigh 80. I actually might give the Instinct healthy weight a try. I have a $15 off Petsmart coupon! The analysis on it looks very good! I’d like to find food with higher protein while still being a little lower in fat and calories. Thanks again.

  • Crazy4cats

    Lol! I’ll check it out. Thanks.

  • Storm’s Mom

    C4c – I had meant to reply to you with the Holistic Select suggestion (below) but I see I replied to C4d instead. Easy mistake to make, though, you know?! lol

  • Crazy4cats

    Thanks for the suggestions. Instinct is out of my price range, but I did just buy a bag of WEF! I still have a couple of bags to get through before I get to it. It was $10 off at my feed store. So I thought it would be a good time to give it a try. I’m sure the dogs will be happy to get a little more food.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Yeah, my vet always asks, and writes it down, almost always noting (happily) “Another different one!” ..she was the one who originally suggested I feed a rotation. Admittedly, sometimes I do feel obliged to be feeding Storm a new kibble and canned when his vet visits are coming up, just so I can tell her I am haha

    Anyway, Holistic Select GF Salmon and Anchovy & Sardine Meal has 341 kcal/cup ..I’m going to feed it next to Storm (it’ll be new for him). I don’t think he’s had one with this low kcal/cup ..or protein, for that matter (28% GA) ..for a while. I’ll be feeding about 2 cups of it vs the 1 cup I’m feeding now (Satori Duck), which is also something I haven’t done in a while. Curious to see how it goes… he doesn’t seem to ever care, though (and it seems to never matter much physically on him) whether he’s getting 1 cup/day or 1.5 or 2 or whatever. I just figure that if I don’t have to feed 2 cups vs 1 each meal, why would I?! :-)

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hey C4C, is that the one that eats about what my 80 pounder eats? I switch to lower fat in the brutal winter months when walks are difficult. That’s when I’ve used instinct healthy weight. I just looked online, it’s 350 kcal. That might help. Whole Earth Farms are 348-350 kcals. I don’t use WEF as protein is only 26%.
    My vets always ask what I’m feeding @ every visit, they always have. Yeah, the Labs always think they’re under fed. 😉

  • Shawna

    Or, if able, feed foods with better bioavailability. Let’s take vitamin E as just one example.

    From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements
    “The form of vitamin E: Although vitamin E sounds like a single substance, it is actually the name of eight related compounds in food, including alpha-tocopherol. Each form has a different potency, or level of activity in the body….

    Vitamin E from natural (food) sources is listed as “d-alpha-tocopherol”
    on food packaging and supplement labels. Synthetic (laboratory-made)
    vitamin E is listed as “dl-alpha-tocopherol.” The natural form is more
    potent. For example, 100 IU of natural vitamin E is equal to about 150
    IU of the synthetic form.”

    Edit — “d-alpha”, although natural, is only one of the eight forms of vitamin E.

    Lectins involvement in leptin resistance is also a factor in weight management that is rarely discussed. Yet most low fat and light foods often have significantly more lectins than their more calorie dense counterparts. Doesn’t matter how few calories are in your diet or how much you exercise, if you develop leptin resistance — you get fat. We often hear people describe their dogs as “starving” on these diets — leptin resistance could explain this.

  • Shawna

    I have a dog with “low energy requirements” and she is actually my most active dog.

    Gizmo was a normal little Pom eating a normal amount of food —- until I had her spayed. Literally coming home from the surgery her behavior and food requirements changed (she was eating raw). She started stealing food from the other dogs, started getting into the trash, fighting over food etc. She also started gaining weight. It took quite a long time to get her hormones, or whatever, regulated again. She now, although the most active, eats the least amount of food of any of my dogs and she eats almost half as much as my other Pom who is VERY sedentary and only a few years older.

    Gizmo would likely not have her nutrient requirements met, even on raw, if I didn’t also give nutrient dense supplements.

    My most sedentary pup, my 19 year old blind Chihuahua, ate the most food of all dogs (including those three times her size).

    Exercise is good for many things but if your hormones are messed up, due to a food sensitivity or whatever, trying to lose weight with exercise and food restriction can be quite futile. If anyone is interested in this look up “leptin resistance”. Dr. Robert Lustig is one to google as well. This research paper is pretty interesting, but long. If not wanting to read the entire thing, jump down to “Leptin Resistance… Leptin acts as a signal to the brain to inhibit food intake” and below that “Lectins… Hence, lectins have sufficient properties to affect the leptin system indirectly, through effects on metabolism central to the proper function of the leptin system, and possibly also directly through interaction with leptin or the leptin receptor.”

    Sorry for the book.

  • aimee

    The vet hosp I use may not ask at each and every visit but inquires and writes it down at least once a year at the “annual” physical visit. At that visit they ask about anything that goes on or in the dog along with any behavioral changes noted from year to year.

    Glad you found the link helpful.

  • Crazy4cats

    Thank you, Aimee. The “unlikely feeding amounts” paragraph fits my situation almost exactly. This link is much easier to wade through than the one you posted yesterday! Lol! I actually found a vet that asks me questions about what I am feeding and records it every visit. No previous vet has done that before. The food I’m feeding now has 430 calories a cup. I think I need to start shooting for a quality food with less calories so my chubby boy can have a little more food. Poor thing. Just ask him! Lol!

  • aimee

    Hi Crazy4cats,

    I found this from Tufts Veterinary School

    “Pets of ideal body weight eating less than approximately 80% of the
    lower end of the manufacturer’s feeding range for their weight should be
    switched to a diet with a lower energy density (e.g., a light or low
    fat or reduced energy version of the current diet or a veterinary
    therapeutic weight management or weight loss diet) to help prevent
    nutrient deficiencies due to inadvertent nutrient restriction.”

  • aimee

    I agree! We have only scratched the surface of even beginning to understand all the intricate complexities of nourishing our bodies.

  • aimee

    I don’t see the relevance here.

    I’m coming from a position that I think it is important to meet nutrient needs, especially protein, during weight loss and simply decreasing the amount fed of a particular diet may not do that.

  • Shawna

    That’s very true but not all nutrients are equal, food has synergy. We can fairly safely assume that there are nutrients science doesn’t yet know about. Some that may be damaged by heat and processing, some that may be more available with some heat and / or processing and so on. It was less than 10 years ago that omega 3 was a nutrient not considered necessary in the human or dog diet. Yeah, we have a long way to go.

  • el doctor

    “Healthy eating is all about meeting your nutrient needs.”

    Your statement tells only part of the eating healthy story. You left some things out, like –

    Healthy eating is all about eating a variety of fresh minimally processed foods that meet your nutrient and caloric needs.

  • aimee

    I consider her energy needs lower based on standard calculation for such things. For example the energy calculator at this site would rec 1442 kcals a day for her using the typical pet category. Her current intake is about 900 or so kcals/day

  • aimee

    Why do you say that?

  • aimee

    Actually, I think we are very much alike. I don’t disagree with anything you said in the post I’m replying to… well except for this “I feel you are too consumed with nutrients and deficiencies vs healthy eating.”

    Healthy eating is all about meeting your nutrient needs.

  • Crazy4dogs

    On an anecdotal note, here’s a link that findings of humans taking vitamins (vs the nutrients in real food) actually are living shorter lives. Another vote for the real food. :)

    And, as always, here’s a link:

  • Crazy4dogs

    Do ya think? LOL! :)

  • Storm’s Mom

    Totally agree, and I’ll go further to say that I think aimee’s “too consumed with nutrients and deficiencies vs healthy” LIVING, not just healthy eating.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Absolutely Agree, Storm’s mom! :)
    That’s how our first CCL started. It was just the sit I noticed was off. My vet didn’t find anything and we would see the off and on slight limp. The dog was in great shape and walked daily. I truly feel (as do many large dog owners and breeders) that the culprit in this case was pediatric neutering (8 weeks). I am now a strong advocate against this. Unfortunately, the group I foster for has now jumped on this bandwagon. :(

  • Bobby dog

    Yes, gotta love the Herders! I really don’t know what he is, he’s a rescue, but he looks like he has blue heeler and GSP in there. Regardless of what’s “in there,” he points and herds very well and his antics always make me laugh.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Aimee, I think this is where you and I differ. I have never used any type of multivitamins on a daily basis for either my children (now grown) or my animals. I feel a varied diet is the key to a healthy life for both people and animals. I think people rely too heavily on RX diets for their dogs, when a fresher, healthier diet is really what is essential.
    I had a geriatric CRF dog and he lived for a very long time by feeding him a fresh balanced diet based on his needs. I know many others have done the same. The vet I was using at the time, said she really only had minimal nutrition information and could only offer K/D. Another vet in the practice that I use often had several home made diets and they both recommended the BalanceIt website. My dog never ate K/D
    To put dogs on RX diets is often needless if the owners are willing to do the things necessary for their dogs. In weight loss, increased activity is vital. A lower fat diet should work reasonably well and any and all treats must be taken into consideration. It works for humans without being put on a “Science Diet”.
    I do advocate feeding less. When another dog of mine had a torn CCL & was 10% overweight the rehab vet said to feed her less and that weight loss foods don’t work. I also chose foods lower in fat and it worked very well, for over 6 years and counting. He never recommended an RX diet and I never used one.
    I feel you are too consumed with nutrients and deficiencies vs healthy eating. I really don’t care if my family or animals are getting the exact nutrient intake every single day or meal. There is no such thing in the natural world, and the coyotes and wolves are not getting a “balanced diet” every day.
    This is something that has gone on for generations. My family has always given the dogs healthy leftovers after every human dinner. By varying the diet and providing fresh food, they are truly thriving and all of my dogs through the history of my life and all of my family’s animals before me have lived extremely long lives. And we never calculated the nutritional values of every item we or our animals ate.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Storm’s an “anticipate your every move” dog, too. Always. Even when he’s “sleeping”, I’m pretty sure. I swear he burns calories just thinking about what my next move might possibly be lol ..not to mention what his next move is going to be based on what he thinks my next move will be.. etc etc etc. Herders, gotta love ’em but hooooly!!! lol

  • Storm’s Mom

    Hi aimee, I totally agree that different dogs have different energy requirements. I was wondering why you consider her to have “low energy requirements” ..or perhaps a better way to ask that is “What criteria do you use to determine that she has “low energy requirements”?” …and, I suppose, “what does “low energy requirements” mean to you in terms of #s and as a reflection/correlation with overall good health?”

  • Bobby dog

    I have one of those “anticipate your every move” dogs! I feel bad for him when I answer the phone, he always thinks it’s time to go somewhere.

  • aimee

    When I said therapeutic I used that term to mean diets not sold OTC. There are some OTC diets that have specific feeding recommendations for weight loss that I think can be used but I’ve also seen OTC weight management foods that I wouldn’t use for weight loss.

  • Crazy4cats

    I can understand that. I have lab mix littermates. They are almost four already! They are totally different as far as energy levels. They get the same amount of walks and play time. But, one of them is just always ready to go. He follows us around the house, jumps up and ready to go when anyone makes a move. His brother is just fine laying around and only getting up if he hears food hit the floor or he hears the jingle of his leash. I feed him more and he weighs less.

  • aimee

    That really depends on the company. I’ve seen some really terrible feeding recommendations come from various companies. For example one company’s feeding recommendation for a highly active dog of her weight varied significantly depending on product fed. If feeding product A the recommendation was ~600 kcals. and if I fed product B over 2000 kcals.

    Using product A I calculated deficiencies not only in calories but in nutrient as well.

    Other companies have tailored instructions and I think that if you fed significantly below the recommendation you could end up deficient.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Good question C4C! I forgot to ask. Therapeutic sounds awfully “RX” to me.

  • aimee

    Hi Storms Mom,

    Different dogs as individual have different requirements and there are significant breed differences as well. This is why calculating a dogs energy needs is problematic.

    I don’t consider her sedentary. She isn’t as active as when I was running agility with her but I still consider her an active dog.

  • Crazy4dogs

    LOL! I usually do that first, then read the article! 😉

  • Storm’s Mom

    Another question :-) …”low energy requirements” = “sedentary”? Why does she have “low energy requirements”/is she sedentary, and do you not want to change that?

    Edit: ok, “questions” not “question” :-)

  • Crazy4cats

    Another question…When you say “therapeutic diets”, do you mean Rx food or OTC weight control type food?

  • Crazy4dogs

    Aimee, I’m curious, do you think the feeding guides listed on the bags should be adhered to in order ensure proper nutrition?

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, I was among those that thought that. But, I do understand your concern. I will definitely keep an eye on it. Thanks!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Hi Kelie, I totally agree with C4d that she should get that limp checked out by a vet asap. I don’t think you’re going to get off this weight-loss treadmill with your dog unless/until you do, frankly.

    This sort of thing is why I’m so big on taking dogs for lots of walks/runs for the majority of their exercise requirements, particularly ones that could lose a few pounds. Lot less chance for an injury when they are walking/running in a (relatively) straight line on a leash, for example, than compared to running around in the backyard (especially when there are known to be other critters frequenting the yard that the dog might like to “play with”). Much more accurate measure of the amount of exercise your dog is actually doing, too. Of course, the walk/run recommendation assumes relatively good leash manners, etc.

    Incidentally, if the “normal behaviour” you refer to that precedes the limp reoccurring includes running around the backyard, it makes sense that the limp would come and go..each time she runs around the yard, she’d likely aggravate the injury and then rest it for a while until it feels better then goes back to the “normal behaviour” of running around the yard chasing things.

    Last but not least, it’s partly the “So many different foods, so many different formulas” sentiment that reinforces why I would rather people work on/tweak the exercise regimen of a dog that needs to lose weight rather than continually try to find the “right” food that will magically make their dog’s weight issues go away for good. At best, food is only half the nutrition equation and I just feel like trying to find the magical food formula could drive a dog owner nuts faster than any additional exercise ever will.

  • aimee

    Hi Crazy4cats,

    I think that is a really hard question to answer because I don’t find it to be a “one size fits all” kind of question.

    Certainly there are products out there there do not meet AAFCO min or are close to min levels of the profile. When feeding these to dogs with low energy requirements I think you could run into trouble.

    Other companies have padded a bit to cover that population, Brook has low energy requirements and I do keep her on products formulated to support reduced feeding amounts.

    The therapeutic diets are formulated with increased nutrients/kcal which is why they are preferred for weight loss.

    My personal bug a boo is when people are advised to simply feed less of the dog’s current diet as the dog can be malnourished when following that advice.

  • Crazy4cats

    Definitely not! I usually just go to the bottom of those type of links and look for the “in conclusion” paragraph. Lol! However, I do like math a little, but the equations were in kilograms, I think? So, just passed them by too. It was written for vets, so I don’t feel so bad. But, I do find it to be an interesting subject!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hey C4C! That was a little to much to muck through for me too! I did make it through, but I’m not sure the average dog owner wants that much info.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Aimee-
    You are right, it is quite thorough! Almost a little too. Lol! I muddled my way through most of it. I didn’t know that only insoluable fiber is reported on the guaranteed analysis. My questions is, at what point do you think you are not feeding enough to meet nutritional requirements? Is it when you are feeding less than recommended according to the bag? I feed one of my dogs less than the other even though he is bigger weighs more. He is just not nearly as active (hyper) as the other. I’m thinking of even feeding him less now as he is thickening up. Maybe I really need to feed a food with less calories to ensure his needs are being met? Just not sure at what point I’d need to do that. Thanks for your help.

  • Kelie Sandie Stegh

    Thanks for the heads up! I think the BB Healthy Weight would be a good food for maintaining weight, but not for losing! I went to a local pet food store here, and got a lot of help from the owner. She suggested Whole Earth Farms, Grain Free, since it has more protein, less carbs (even than the WEF weight loss food). She thinks the best veggie to add in are green beans, and we should see at least a few pounds, if not 5 lost in a month. So many different foods, so many different formulas! She also said that if we supplement glucosimine, we should wait a while (like years)–because dogs will become “immune” to it and it will stop working if they are on it for too long. Interesting! I will get her limp checked out–but it comes and goes. She will go for days with no limp, with normal behavior…then get up from a nap and limp for a little bit. Then it stops again. Strange–

  • aimee

    Hi Kelie Sandie Stegh

    Take a look at this link. It is quite through on how to approach weight loss/management.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Do you realize that formula has lower protein and more carbs than you’re currently feeding? If the calorie count is the same, I think you’re going in the wrong direction. By feeding less protein, you’re feeding more carbohydrates. Just an FYI, the fiber is going to cause a huge amount of poop. I would pick a higher protein with a similar or lower fat. Here’s the G/A for both:

    BB Healthy Weight:
    Crude Protein 20.0% min
    Crude Fat 9.0% min
    Crude Fiber 10.0% max
    Moisture 10.0% max

    Nutro Ultra:
    Guaranteed Analysis
    Crude Protein (min.)24.00%
    Crude Fat (min.)12.00%
    Crude Fiber (max.)4.00%
    Moisture (max.)10.00%

    Also, you might want to have the vet look at that limp. If she does have a torn CCL, you will need to supplement (not the dose in any food) with fish oil and joint supplements at the very least.

  • Kelie Sandie Stegh

    It’s the Healthy Weight large Breed Chicken and brown rice recipe

  • Crazy4dogs

    Are you doing the Blue Wilderness Healthy Weight or the Healthy Weight Chicken and Brown Rice recipe?

  • Crazy4dogs

    It’s hard with kids. Poor girl has some problems. :( I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but you might want to have the limp checked out by the vet. She may have a torn cruciate. Unfortunately I’ve had way too much experience with these and she would fit the category well. If you are in a cold climate as I am, the winter in particular leaves dogs in less than ideal condition. The recipe for disaster is: Large Breed, altered, slightly overweight, reduced activity and sudden chasing activity = torn CCL. :(

  • Kelie Sandie Stegh

    I’ve started mixing her regular food with Blue Healthy Weight…seems to be the exact same calorie content. Nora likes it much better, and is eating better. As far as her walks, I’ve never measured how far we go. I have 2 young kids, in many activities, so our nightly walks are 30-45 minutes. Since the weather is nicer, and as school gets out, we will have more time. She is very important member of our family, and I don’t want it to seem like we are neglecting her by not walking her everyday–she also has had a minor limp (too much chasing a raccoon in our back yard), that I have been resting–she seems to tire out pretty easily. All of these things are adding up to me pretty concerned about her thyroid–on top of that, she was diagnosed a month after we got her with megaesophagus. It is very well managed, I believe she has a very mild case (otherwise she would NOT be overweight!). Thank you to everyone for their suggestions–

  • Crazy4dogs

    Yep, big dogs will do that to you! 😉 When I have fosters that I walk individually I walk about 5-6 miles a day!

  • Crazy4dogs

    We are fortunate in having a yard and a basement that’s dog friendly! :) My dogs don’t vary much in their weight either. I will use a slightly lower fat kibble in the dead of winter. I have Labs and we know how pudgy they could become! LOL!

  • Crazy4dogs

    I personally consider anywhere from 12%-19% fat to be moderate fat, 11% or less to be low fat and anything above 20% to be a high fat diet. I know Karen Becker stays around those percentages.
    I sent her that article not as a weight loss article but in reference to supplementation and as a general information on large breeds. Since her dog is only 1 and they often don’t consider large breeds to be mature until between 12 and 24 months, I thought it would be an interesting read.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Storm gets a 2.8mile walk at least every other day plus at least one 2 mile walk somewhere in the week (I tracked the distance on my phone several times for accuracy haha). He’s 26lbs, but has a long back and short-ish legs (Swedish Vallhund) so it’s important to keep him lean and fit. I don’t have a yard, so that’s the vast majority of his exercise, except for playing catch in the building’s long hallway a few times a week (15-20mins) and the occasional run in an enclosed ball diamond.

  • Crazy4dogs

    We walk our dogs 1.5-2 miles 5 days a week. I use a pedometer. They would walk more if we had the time. In winter we use the basement for 45 minutes of fetch when walks aren’t feasible.

  • Dori

    Yep, playing in the yard only works for toy breeds. Certainly doesn’t work with large breeds. I have friends with large breeds that walk them twice a day for an hour at a time. They seem to always be quite fit, as are my friends.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I do agree. 3-4 walks a week is not a lot for a young large breed dog. Play in the yard is usually not that much exercise. My vet has also commented that people often think playing in the yard is enough and it really isn’t. Unless you’re on several acres, the typical yard is small, especially for a large dog.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Rather than immediately futzing around with different dog foods, portion sizes, etc (I know, this a dog food site and all, but…) I tend to think about making a change to the exercise of the dog first, mainly because in a lot of cases it’s actually easier to do so and it can have a huge impact. In what spirit, I have a couple questions: how long are the 3-4 walks/week and the play time? What times during the day are you walking her? (before/after eating, etc) To be honest, that amount of exercise doesn’t sound like a whole lot for a year old dog of that size, so I’m immediately wondering if it’s possible to increase the walks to 1-2 per DAY? (minimum 30 mins each, more like 45-60mins each would be better)

  • Shawna

    Hi Kelie,

    The Journal of Nutrition has two articles discussing how high protein diets are really great for helping dogs, even “obese” dogs, lose weight.

    Here’s the two articles
    “High-Protein Low-Carbohydrate Diets Enhance Weight Loss in Dogs”

    “Weight Loss in Obese Dogs: Evaluation of a High-Protein, Low-Carbohydrate Diet”

    Not all “fats” are created equal either. All fats have 9 calorie per gram but some fats, like coconut oil, actually help with weight LOSS. “Fatty acids from coconut oil help dogs lose weight.” This quote is taken from Science Diet’s website.

    During growth, large breed puppies need controlled calcium as well as need to stay on the leaner side. Once they have reached their adult frame (their bones are done growing) the controlled calcium is less important but controlled weight is still beneficial. A one year old large or giant breed puppy still has some filling out to do but they may be at their full adult size frame wise (bones are done growing).

    Check with your vet for sure, but if you girl is done growing you can move to a higher protein weight management diet (one lower in fat and carbohydrates) without worrying about the amount of calcium in the food (one that is not large/giant breed specific).

  • aimee

    I very much like Dr Wynn’s article. Though not an article on weight loss per say it does reflect my approach to weight loss.

    She stresses the importance to keeping dogs lean during growth and beyond and her guideline for growth is a 30% protein 9 % fat diet. I would consider that a low fat diet. Is this the fat level you consider as moderate?

    She also writes “If an adult dog’s metabolic rate and caloric requirement are much lower than expected,…… the dog should either be fed a lower calorie maintenance or a weight
    management diet, or eat a homemade food with daily vitamin and mineral
    supplements calculated to supply the dog’s requirement. An “all life
    stages diet” with the high energy content of a puppy diet simply won’t
    do. Think about that 95 lb golden retriever with a BCS of 7/9, eating two 8
    oz patties of raw food daily, and who is still overweight. The daily
    intake is already low, and would have to be reduced for weight loss.
    That dog is likely malnourished.”

    When feeding an overweight dog with low energy requirements for weight loss it can be tricky to meet nutrient needs. It rarely is as simple as decreasing the current diet. A diet formulated for weight loss is a much better option.

    From her recommendation it also seems that she, like myself is not concerned with carbohydrate level as contributing to excess weight.

    Though she didn’t specifically reference Romsos paper I think that paper is why she stated “It has been shown that body fat is higher in puppies fed very high fat, low carbohydrate diets during growth.”

    I’m not sure what she considers high fat but it may be >25% ?? DM

  • Dori

    Oh, I forgot that she had said that.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I know what you mean. She said no treats except the carrots & tomatoes.

  • Dori

    Another thought is I’m wondering if she’s taking into account the treats and extra goodies that the dog may be getting throughout the day. A lot of times people forget that you have to include those in the amount of calories you’re feeding your dog throughout the day.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I agree completely. I think this dog may have a hypothyroid problem if she really is feeding only 2.5 cups per day on a 100 pound dog. Nutro Ultra isn’t a terrible food but it’s a lot of rice and carbs. She’s using Large Breed which is only 24% protein and 12% fat. The NV is comparable fat and higher protein.

  • Dori

    I just think that we have to make a point of letting people know that it’s more the low carb diets that they should be looking for. Most posters asking about what they should do about their over weight dogs worry about the % of fat in the food and they truly don’t realize it’s the carbs they have to watch out for. I’ve known people that have fed low fat diets but it never even occurred to them to look at the astronomical % of carbs in the diet that they were feeding. As soon as they made the switch it was like an “ah ha” moment for them. I do understand why people associate the word fat with overweight, that’s understandable. It’s why I try to point that out every chance I get.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Yeah, I’m not a big fan of any diet food either. The NV Instinct is 32% protein and 12% fat. I find it a bit of a compromise, which is why I thought it might be a good suggestion. I’m just hoping the vet isn’t suggesting you know what! :/

  • Dori

    I would definitely suggest a grain free diet but I would go for a low carb diet as carbs are the culprit for weight gain. I don’t believe a dog needs a weight loss food if fed a proper diet. Cheap foods will have cheap fats in it but a high quality food will have more high value fats. I would recommend that you stop feeding her the tomatoes as tomatoes are pro inflammatory, as are potatoes and rice. Google pro inflammatory foods. I feed my three high protein, moderate to high fat and very low carb diets. All grain free. I avoid all pro inflammatory ingredients as much as possible. All three are on the lean side but muscular for their breed types. If you’re feeding kibble than find an All Life Stages rather than diet food kibble. Low carbs.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Yeah, 2.5 cups a day sounds about right. Have you looked into feeding a large breed grain free that has a decent amount of protein that’s low fat. Instinct Healthy Weight might be a good choice for you. If lower calories don’t work, I would definitely look into the hypothyroid test. It’s just a simple blood draw and not very expensive.

  • Kelie Sandie Stegh

    Thanks- I am looking into supplementing. I feed Nora Nutro Ultra large breed-2 1/2 cups/day, no dog treats ever ( she prefers baby carrots and cherry tomatoes). We walk 3-4 times a week, plus she plays and runs in our back yard. She has gained 4 pounds in a month. The vet thinks we are definitely not over feeding, and if we try the diet food for a few months with no change, we will need to check her thyroid. Just want to prevent all the joint ( and other health issues) that come from an overweight pet down the road!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Control you dog’s weight by feeding her less food of whatever brand your feeding. I don’t know what food your feeding, but high protein, moderate fat grain free would be a good choice. At 1 year old she shouldn’t be overweight unless she’s getting to much food and treats combined with too little physical activity.
    The glucosamine in large breed or any dog foods is minimal. I think it’s mostly marketing.
    Supplementing is generally only necessary when there is a problem.
    Here’s an article from Susan Wynn:

  • Kelie Sandie Stegh

    Looking for a weight control dog food for LARGE BREEDS. Have found several quality weight loss foods, but not many that are both weight loss and large breed. Is this important? Do I supplement glucosamine,, etc in a regular weight loss food? I have a female lab/foxhound mix, 1 year old, she weighs 100 pounds.

  • Dre

    I have a lab that needs to lose weight, she is on performatrin healthy weight plus I make her salmon, green beans, sweet potato and sea kelp at dinner time. I was considering switching to grain free, I have 2 dogs (one that needs to gain and one that needs to lose, infuriating!!!) and was told that the grain free would not be good for my lab because grain frees tend to be higher in protein and that would make her gain more weight so maybe that is why your pup isn’t losing weight.. you might want to look into that further.

  • Mark E Rogers

    Want a weight loss diet try feeding your dogs and cats a carnivore diet (also know as “Atkins Diet”). High protein, moderate fat, and LOW CARBS. The abundance of science supports this idea especially in dogs and cats! See below. I recommend the Wysong Epigen™ diets, especially the fish and venison since they are also lower in fat and only ~11% carbs! They will be satiated properly by the meat protein level, and won’t be eating so much carbohydrate cheap filler junk!

    Tiffany Linn Bierer and Linh M. Bui High-Protein Low-Carbohydrate Diets Enhance Weight Loss in Dogs J. Nutr. August 2004 134: 2087S-2089S

    Marianne Diez, Patrick Nguyen, Isabelle Jeusette, Claire Devois, Louis Istasse and Vincent Biourge Weight Loss in Obese Dogs: Evaluation of a High-Protein, Low-Carbohydrate Diet J. Nutr. 132: 1685S–1687S, 2002.

    For even more information go to Facebook page “Dog Food Demo Girl and Biscuit Boy” and check out the notes section!
    Also see

    Brigitte Siliart,y and Bernard-Marie Paragon, Rapid Weight Loss with a High-Protein Low-Energy Diet Allows the Recovery of Ideal Body Composition and Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Dogs, J. Nutr. 134: 2148S–2150S, 2004.

    Dorothy P. Laflamme, DVM, PhD, Steven S. Hannah, PhD, Increased Dietary Protein Promotes Fat Loss and Reduces Loss of Lean Body Mass During Weight Loss in Cats, Intern J Appl Res Vet Med • Vol. 3, No. 2, 2005.

  • Dori

    I wasn’t trying to be judgemental. I think we were all shocked at the time. I’ve wondered for months now what ever happened with Naomi’s dog. She posted very frantically asking for help and then whe never heard how her dog was doing. Obesity is an on going problem in this country for animals and humans. The only real diet is to eat less and move more. Any doctor and any veterinary will say the same thing. It’s not an easy guide line to follow but it is the one that really works each and every time. Smaller portions and move your body or you dogs body more. When she stated that she had no money for vet bills, check ups or any of that stuff, none of which had anything to do with her dogs weight. It had to do with her obese, terribly unhealthy dog. You do not need money or a doctor to know that if you feed smaller portions and walk your dog on a regular routine they and you will lose weight.

  • Cheryl

    Just wanted to send kudos your way – excellent job on explaining what to do without being judgemental.

  • kms-sf

    Suggest switching to a reduced calorie formula dry dog food. Feed suggested amount for their weight (probably 2 cups per day) and reduce canned formula to 1/4 can per day (1/8 can per meal). My then 12 year old australian Shepherd mix was a similar weight before dieting. He was also receiving a similar amount of food as your dogs. Since we switched (per our vets instruction) my dog lost 8 pounds. He is now a healthy 13 1/2 year old who is fairly active for his age. He usually gets a small dog treat at night also, and now that his weight has been stable I mix in a little grain free dry dog food with the reduced calorie food on a 4 to 1 basis. He is maintaining 60 pounds. My vet also recommended using cooked yams as a filler for him if he was hungry during the early stages of the change.

  • Susan

    When your dog has so much trouble eating proteins & you finally find something that agrees with him, that’s low in fat, I pretty sure any mercury that was in the tuna that he ate, wouldn’t of killed him, he didn’t eat Tuna 24/7..

  • Dori

    Tuna should not be fed on a regular basis or not at all. As a matter of fact, when a woman is pregnant tuna is one of the foods she is not allowed to eat during pregnancy and breast feeding due to the high mercury count in tuna.

  • MagnoliaSouth

    Fresh or frozen green beans and carrots. Mine don’t like raw carrots so they need steaming for them. There are a lot of veggies that dogs can eat to fill them up with less calories, but beware of many veggies that are higher in calories like corn. Definitely avoid tuna, for reasons I mention below. If you can afford it, quality lean steamed or boiled meat is okay, but if you’re using a quality dog food, you may be inching into the “too much protein” category. The veggies are usually the best fillers.

  • MagnoliaSouth

    I think tuna is a bad choice. It is very high in mercury and though in small amounts it’s okay, but only as an occasional treat. Try Googling it to see for yourself.

  • Whitney Taylor

    Definitely start by having your vet check bloodwork on her. As another person said, hypothyroidism is not uncommon in dogs. It is relatively easy to test for, and is easily treated. If everything comes back normal, I would consider switching to a prescription weight loss diet. I caution you against feeding less than your pet food label suggests (always feed according to her ideal weight), since you will be limiting not only calories but important nutrients that she needs. Prescription diets are designed to have fewer calories than OTC foods, but will be complete and balanced.

  • Crazy4cats

    Have you had a senior blood panel on your lab? Hypothyroidism is a fairly common condition for older labs. That could cause the weight issue. Otherwise, I guess you just need to feed less and/or exercise more. Or, if you feed treats, try to cut back or feed very low calorie ones. Extras can add up a lot during the day. Especially if you have more than one person feeding them. Good luck!

  • Ashlee Smith

    Okay so I have two dogs, a 12 year old Labrador Retriever and a 1 year 7 month old Heeler/Retreiver mix. Both need to loose some weight.

    My Labrador, Cookie is 12 years old. She’s really plumpy and I have tried different foods, reduce amount, exercise and I can’t get her weight off. She has arthritis, cancer and bad hips. I know the weight loss would be a huge relief for her as she’s not very big size wise but she is overweight. She is fed 1 cup of taste of the wild dry dog food and 1/2 can of Kirkland’s wet canned food. Twice a day. She currently weighs 70 pounds I know she could use a 10 pound weight loss. For her size it’s a lot to carry around. Exercise wise a walk around the neighborhood some days is all she can take.

    Then there’s my Bentley. He’s a Heeler/retriever mix. Bentley is small, but hefty top body. I adopted him 1 year 3 months ago from a rescue. And having met some of his siblings they all suffer from the weight problem. Bentley is very active, I work at a dog kennel as well as a vet clinic and he comes to work with me daily. He’s always running around with other dogs. We go on a 3 mile walk at least once a week. While he’s not as bad as cookie I can’t get his extra pudge off. He’s lost his slim body. He weighs 67 pounds and that’s a lot for how small he is. Bentley gets 1 1/2 cup of dry dog food and 1/2 can of wet dog food. Twice a day. Taste of the wild dry dog food, Kirkland wet canned food.

    With both dogs they seem like their starving on the rations I’m giving them now. I’ve seen little progress in declining the amount of dog food, so I’m going to assume I need to change the dog food. My dog’s won’t eat without the canned food so canned is needed in addition to dry.

    Any suggestions on what to do?

  • Kinny Salas

    put your baby on grain free. The moment i switched mine to Orijen Adult she lost 3.5kg in 28 days. My old food had less calories, protein and had oats, brown rice and potatoes by she gained weight. Orijen which has more calories just wiped the weight off. Something about Orijen makes her more energetic so our walks are longer even when she gobbles it all up.

  • Kinny Salas

    When ever it’s Orijen adults turn in the food rotation my chow chow easily loses a kilogram or 2.2 pounds in the first week. When the bag is done she would have lost 7 pounds effortlessly. She eats heartily but she also becomes more energetic. Her 20 minute walks become forty and she walks faster too. I used other grain and potato free dry food like go natural turkey but this makes her gain. Go figure! There are more calories on the Orijen too.

  • Weezerweeks

    Could you please add some more foods that meet this criteria for weight loss especially canned ones.They’re a lot of new foods out there. Which ones meet weight loss criteria. Thank you

  • Debra

    Your vet makes money off the food they sell.

  • Susan

    Hi, Tuna & pumkin, when I gave my boy tuna in spring water drained with 1 spoon of pumkin for breakfast he lost weight, when I put him back on his boiled chicken breast & 1 spoon of pumkin for breakfast he gained weight again..

  • stupendous

    What are some good homemade additions that will promote weight loss?

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Kerry-
    What food are you currently feeding? Somehow you need to decrease calories and/or increase exercise. Have you checked out the dog food calculator on this site. Not sure if you are aware or not, but all Kibbles can vary quite a bit in their calories. Anywhere from 300 to 500 calories per cup. Make sure you carefully measure out her food and take into account any treats or extras fed to her. I have two lab mix dogs and they are always willing to eat! And I, unfortunately am willing to feed them.

  • kerry

    I have a 6 year old female labrador that is overweight, i have reduced her food but she still isnt loosing weight.. Ive been looking on website and found Iams is good for loosing weight, would you recommend this for her…

  • theBCnut

    What can I say? I have horses, so I’m always lifting bales of hay and even throwing them. I forget, sometimes, that other people don’t live the same way I do.
    Sent from my iPod

  • CarlaMcDonald

    Not a good thing for us – one is 83 lbs, one is 60. We would be at the chiropractor every time we weighed them! I didn’t know about Petsmart!

  • Cher Angelo

    Whats your opiniin of Hills Prescription Diet? My TT has hypothyroidism and had two heart abnormalities. After achieving goal weight on Hills Rx Diet RD kibble, with Milk Bone dog night, occassional tid bits from me, she no.longer has tachycardia..she went frim nearly 40 lbs to 26, now is active, happier noticably..huge difference. Shed been.given.pesnut butter at night from my Mom, causing.inexplicable weight gain until she went into a nursing home..Now she back and hope she knows enough not to feed my dog..peanut butter was interfering with the hypothyroid med too.
    Hills has several weight management diets, canned or dry.

  • Ellen Lichman Curtis

    I Love animals. My kids call me a dog hoarder. I think they r jealous!!! Lol. Beautiful Dog

  • Aristeo De Anda

    Great food my 10 year old pitbull on Wellness since a puppy. I put her Wellness reduce fat and raw meat, because she stared to gain weight due her age and less active, now she has ideal weight and more active.

  • theBCnut

    Just get a regular human digital scale. Weigh yourself and then weigh yourself while holding one of your dogs. The difference is the weigh of the dog.

  • Ellen Lichman Curtis

    Can u reccommend a scale I can purchase for the house to weigh them on. Hate to bring them to the vet or Petsmart to have to get weighed.

  • Ellen Lichman Curtis

    Thank you so much for the helpful tips. I will be getting prepared and starting our new routine whether they like it or not!

  • Dori

    The best thing to do imo is find out how many calories are in the food you are feeding. Then go to the dog food calculator and put in the weight your dog SHOULD weigh, not what he/she weighs. Do that for each dog. That will give you the amount each dog should get for the entire day, not per meal. Then divide that number in half. Feed each dog in separate bowls. Put their food down for 15 to 20 minutes. Pick up the bowls regardless of whether they ate or not. Do not put food down again until dinner time and do the same routine. I guarantee you that within three or four days they will all be eating their food when you put it down. Do not hand feed your dogs. That adds to a picky eater. Look for a food with a high protein, moderate fat, low protein Grain Free food. If you feed them twice a day as I’ve suugested, they will learn to eat when the food appears and not graze all day which is definitely not a good way to feed dogs. Dogs are not born picky eaters, we make them that way. You might try one of the dehydrated foods like The Honest Kitchen or a different brand. You just rehydrate with water, let them sit on counter for a little while then feed them. Most dogs will prefer dehydrated foods better than kibble. If it’s too expensive to always feed dehydrated you could at least use it until you retrain them to eat when food is put down. For losing weight I don’t believe dogs need to be on any type of weight loss food. They just need to be fed the correct amount of food for their ideal weight. It’s the diet that works for everyone including animals. Less processed food and more movement.

  • theBCnut

    Start by picking up the food you leave down all the time. Offer it twice a day for 15 minutes. If that alone doesn’t solve the issue, then start measuring the food for each dog. Adjust the amount for each dog to get them to the desired weight. If they are overweight, they are eating to much. Period.

  • Ellen Lichman Curtis

    I have 6 chihuahuas all different sizes and ages but all over weight. I have just started to get them going on a weight loss program and having a difficult time because they are grazers with kibble and I hand feed them one can of wet food in the evening because 2 , also overweight don’t eat the dry food or do eat when I’m not around. I was told to feed the Nutro Natural Choice. Lite canned and dry. They have been on Blue Wilderness Chicken and rice. I also bought Wilderness weight maintenance for them in wet and dry. I am going crazy trying to figure out what to do with my group. Very concerned. They are all at least 2 lbs overweight and afraid growing. They range in age from 2 yrs thru 11 yrs. all 7 to 9 lbs. where do I begin!

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, Wellness Core reduced fat is still a great food. Have you checked out the dog food calculator? You could use it to figure out approximately how much you should be feeding your dog. The calories in kibble can vary greatly between brands and varieties. Just like with people, dogs need to burn more calories than they consume to lose weight. Some of the weight loss foods are high fiber and low calorie making the dogs feel unsatisfied, kind of like us eating plain popcorn for dinner. Adding a low fat canned food to kibble may help with this issue. But, of course, you have to account for the calories in the canned and cut back on the kibble you feed. I have heard others recommend Anament Lean and Go! Senior as well as those listed above as good choices for weight loss. Good luck!

  • Karie

    I’m just wondering if Welness Core Reduced Fat would still be considered a good choice for weight loss…I’ve read all the comments dating back to a year ago and that brand came up numerous times, but lots can change in a year too. I have a 6.5 yr old Rott. He started having back leg trouble about 1.5 yrs ago-vet said strained/torn ACL and time with minimal to light exercise should help (along with weight loss-he had been free fed up until then). I reduced his food to 5 cups a day (Diamond-didn’t know any better til now)and exercise and his leg improved some-only expressed pain when he’d play too hard with my female. 2 weeks ago, he was in a lot of pain again, I called vet for a recheck appt and had to see someone new (my vet passed away recently)…she said there is nothing wrong with him besides being overweight and insisted that to resolve his pain he needs to lose 20-30# and said Hill’s Metabolic was the best choice (again, I didn’t know any better). I was not happy with the $75 tag for 27#’s but I understand “you get what you pay for”. I started looking to see if I could find it online any cheaper (of course I paid the $75 so I could start “helping” my boy right away) and stumbled onto this site-I’m astonished that a Vet would insist on such a poor quality dog food!! Although my boy seems to like it and has not had any adverse affects from it, I’m not happy with feeding him crap! While I do agree, he needs to lose weight (and I thought feeding the recommended amount listed on bag, he was on an appropriate diet-just to learn he’s actually gained a pound since starting the diet a year+ ago), he doesn’t seem satisfied/full and like I said, I want something with quality ingredients (dry food) and I’m hoping to identify something else that will help decrease his weight-either prescription I can request or OTC. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Oh, and I live on 220 acres and exercise him daily (between .5-2 miles), and administer the pain meds so he doesn’t suffer too much from the required/vet ordered exercise…and he’s had labs drawn + imaging, and everything is good there. Thanks again for any suggestions on a quality and effective “diet” dog food :-)

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  • sue66b

    Hi, Excercise walking is good for losing weight, I lost 1 stone when I first got my dog…its always good to feed a few different foods, I feed the Wellness Simple for breakfast & lunch & do his vet diet food at night, this way he’s getting goodness out of both foods, I have the opposite keeping weight on Patch, since starting the Wellness Simple Lamb & Oatmeal, Patch has lost weight, so Ive been increasing his feeds & not feeding what the bag says..Try Wellness Simple healthy weight If you want to try another food,

  • sandra

    problem with grain free foods is with the high protein come the fat and calories with it. you will have to see how many calories your dog should have a day. you may have to cut the food even more but then your baby will be hungry. lots use frozen green beans to help fill them up or perhaps blueberries or sarah did good with just 1/4 cup of pinto beans. might have to consider a low fat grain free or even going to a grain food much as i hate to say it.

  • Genesis Fabiana Skellenger

    Ace is a maltese yorkie, and I belive the third, and last, litter his mom had. He is taller than the average maltese, as well as taller than the average yorkie. His specific litter was the largest. The babies from the first litter had more maltese to them, while the second had more yorkie characteristics.

    Now, Ace weighs about 15.5 lbs. His vet wants him to weigh in closer to 14.5. He eats the Nutro Ultra for weight management. He was well on his way to his goal (reached 15 lbs), but then had to be put on some steroids for a paw inflammation he had due to an ant bite. He kept chewing at his paw, and because it’s been so wet out (we live in Fl) it ended up getting a mild infection.

    Anyways, since getting off the steroids, which may have been a month and a half ago, he has stayed at 15.5, and won’t budge.

    He eats about 1 cup per day. He hasn’t been getting much exercise lately due to the rain we’ve had, though we try to play with him inside as much as possible.

    Could a change of food be what he needs, or an increase in exercise?

  • Genesis Fabiana Skellenger


  • Genesis Fabiana Skellenger

    Not trying to be mean but: in all reality, if you have no money or means to take care of your dog, then don’t have one.

    Saying that you have no means to seek veterinary help for your sick animal is no excuse when there are organizations like the ASPCA that do discounted rates or free check ups.

    You have had her for 5 years and not once she has had regular preventive care? She doesn’t get flea medication? Or heartworm medication? She doesn’t get blood work or vaccinated? You took on the responsibility for her life. This scenario is like having a baby, and never vaccinating or visiting the pediatrician to get her checked. Or to feed that same baby chips and soda…for 5 years…that child would not make it.

    Taking her in was nice, but if there was no way for you to provide her with the care and nutrition she needed, these are the results, and you have no one to blame but yourself.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Trixiesmamma-
    When I put 10 lbs in the dog food calculator, it computes 280 calories a day. The kibble I feed my dogs averages about 400 calories a cup. Which would be about 1/3 cup twice per day with no treats. Do you know how many calories are in the food you are feeding? You should definitely cut out at least one of the milk bones and get him off the couch! Lol!

  • trixiesmama

    I live alone with him, and I give him 1 or 2 small Milk Bones a day, also I give him 1/2 a Puperoni before bed (sort of a ritual lol). My vet only sells Science Diet and I haven’t heard good stuff about it, so I wouldn’t put him on it. Thanks for the help :)

  • Dori

    trixiesmama. I have three toy dogs ranging from 5 lbs. to 7 lbs. and I feed my dogs 1/4 cup of food twice a day. I would definitely follow C4C’s suggestion and have some blood work done and have his thyroid checked. With that said, Please don’t let your vet convince you to put your dog on one of their veterinary prescribed and sold foods. One other thought. Are you and others giving him treats throughout the day? If so, how often and what kinds? You have to remember, and so many of us forget, that the calories fed daily to our dogs MUST include the calories in the treats. Often we forget all about the treats. : )

  • trixiesmama

    No, I guess he should get some blood work done. He’s 19lbs, and Min Pins usually weigh 8-10lbs… Honestly, he doesn’t get a lot of exercise. We just moved and are across the street from a nice open field. I’ll start taking him over there.

  • Crazy4cats

    Have you had a blood panel done? Specifically his thyroid levels? Does he get exercise? How much does he weigh and how much should he weigh? Some grain free foods actually have more calories than foods with grains. But, 1/2 cup a day doesn’t sound like much. Of course my dogs are 80 and 85 pounds, so I’m not a good judge for how much food for a min pin! Lol!

  • trixiesmama

    I adopted a 7 yr old min pin last year. He was very overweight. I tried different foods, trying to find the healthiest, because he also has sensitive skin. I now have him on Grain Free Canidae, yet he has yet to lose a single pound. He’s actually gained weight, even after I cut his portions to 1/2 a cup a day (I give him 1/4 cup in the am and again in the pm). Not sure what his problem is…

  • Floydsan

    I just inherited a very overweight dachshund from a friend that is moving. She is 5 years old and just recently started using her hind legs. hurt her back and was unable to walk for months. She was in diapers and using wheelchair. She was overweight before, but this is worse to me. What is the best thing to feed her for rapid weight gain. She has a lot of energy. otherwise ,healthy. regular vet visits, just too fat. If she loses weight, I feel she will walk better. (actually I was surprised that she was able to walk again) I am happy to take her, but I don’t like how fat she is. Thanks

  • Vivienne Boardman

    i tried the acana lite and fit and to be honest i didn’t get fantastic results sorry

  • Dori

    Naomi. Please let us know what happened with your dog. We would all like to know. Thank you.

  • Kris Mathieu

    EXACTLY Dori you said it girl!!!! If she couldn’t afford to take her child to the doctor would she just come on the net and start screaming her head off ? NAOMI : My animals are my fur babies…and I bring them to the vet no matter what…I leave my bank card number with them and tell them which day to take out the money. That is their security. Vets understand ! Grow up! Stop babbling off on here and show some maturity by taking the responsibility to bring your dog to a vet regardless of the price. If you can’t care for give her to someone who can and stop the nonsense. Poor little dog!

  • Lindsey

    Hey Naomi – it sounds to me as though your dog might have suffered from a bad case of heat stroke / heat exhaustion. Did you take her for a walk on a hot day? Fat dogs can get hot easily, and they easily overheat during exercise. Dogs can’t sweat, so panting is the only way for them to cool themselves down. In your picture, your dog is panting heavily and looks very, very hot. She needs to lose the shirt. Are you making sure she has a lot of cool, fresh water to drink every day and night? If she is still overheating, rub her with a washcloth that you’ve put under cool water. Another way to help her is to wet down that shirt of hers and let her wear it wet while you are taking her for walks. The evaporation of the water near her skin will help her to stay cooler for longer – you only want to do this for less than an hour, though, because being damp all the time will bother her skin.

    Don’t worry about her pooing on the walk – that’s normal. But I do think you probably overdid it with her on that walk. You need to start out slow and small with her, and then you can build up to longer walks and climbing hills once she has slimmed down a little and has more energy. It is also common for a dog that is not used to a lot of exercise to feel stiff and sore the next day. She needs little amounts of exercise, more often. Can you get her to chase a toy or a ball? Do that with her until she starts panting a little harder than when she’s just standing around, and then stop. Repeat this a few times per day, and she will build up her endurance and will gradually be able to do it for longer periods of time.

    Start replacing some of her dog food with boiled or steamed vegetables – long green or yellow beans, carrots, and peas are okay. My dog likes tomatoes, parsnips, broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, beets, sweet potatoes, red sweet bell peppers, pumpkin and other kinds of cooked squash as well. I have to shoo her out of my vegetable garden all the time. If your dog has never had vegetables before, start with the carrots. This will help her to feel full and lose weight at the same time. Just don’t give her corn, onions, garlic, soy beans, or any other kind of beans except the long green and yellow kind, okay? I think it would be fairly safe to say that she gets a lot of food on a normal day – you’ll want to decrease the total amount (that means dog food, treats, table scraps, and food she steals all combined) by about 1/2, and then add in some vegetables. At first, she may get gassy, or poop more, but her body will eventually adjust. You’ll also want to make sure that she gets NO table scraps from anyone in your house. Put a small dish of cooked vegetables in the fridge to give to her for treats (if she’s used to getting treats or table scraps). Remember: if it’ll make you fat, it’ll make her REALLY fat, because she’s small. The only fat she should be getting in her diet is the fat that is already in her dog food (try to find a fairly good one – Simply Nourish Healthy Weight Natural Small Breed Adult Dry food is a four-star food that isn’t quite as expensive as the other brands on the list).

    One more thing: do you have any cats in your house? Dogs like to steal cat food because it has more meat than dog food and that really appeals to them, but it can add a lot of weight. If you do have cats, put their food bowl up high (like on a counter or table) and let them eat up there where your dog can’t reach the bowl.

    Good luck with everything – hope your dog is feeling better and doing okay…

  • Lindsey

    I’ve heard good things about adding in cooked frozen-green-peas as well – full of fiber, and also adds more protein. My tiny boog of a dog doesn’t mind them, and she’s hella picky…

  • Shar24

    She is a cutie, and I think we would all like to know if she is ok, if you wouldn’t mind updating us.

  • Dori

    Naomi. Did you take your dog somewhere to get help today? If so, please let us know the outcome. We are a caring group here on DFA and are concerned and would like to know the outcome.

  • Dori

    How on earth did you allow your dog to get this obese. This is the owner’s fault. They cannot eat what they are not given. It’s overfeeding, plain and simple. Pardon me but I have to say that this is inhumane treatment of an animal. This is horrifying.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Naomi-take that shirt off of her. Its way to tight and she is also panting heavily in that photo of her. Exercise intolerance can be a sign of respiratory/heart issues. You need to seek vet care, in person, not from an internet website.

  • Shar24

    Not getting your pet necessary emergency veterinary care is a form of cruelty. I am not saying this to be mean or judgmental in anyway, just that it is a fact. I think someone mentioned going to your local ASPCA, and I think that is a good idea if you don’t have the means or credit to take her to a regular vet.

  • Shar24

    a lot of times shelters have programs to help animals in need get the vet care that they need.

  • Cyndi

    As Dori said, you need to get her to the vet. Part of owning a pet is having available funds in case of an emergency. It sounds like there is something wrong with her and she should be seen by a vet right away.

  • Naomi

    This is her

  • Naomi

    It’s not that I’m cruel to my pet in any way I just need help to make her lose weight and we just don’t have money to be paying for vet bills check ups any of that right now and this is how she looks like

  • Dori

    Good Grief. Take your dog to a vet ASAP! Don’t spend time asking for advice here. Take your dog to the doctor. This sounds as though it may be a life threatening issue. Don’t call to make appointment, just put your dog in the car and drive her to the vet or the aspca in your area and get help. If you’re there in person with your dog they will not turn you away.

  • Heidi Oldenburg

    Our pitbull was overweight (at 95 lbs), bloated and super gassy all the time. We started buying him grain free food and that helped. Plus, I started decreasing his food intake by a 1/4 cup every week. We found that instead of the 5 cups he was getting, he only needs 3 1/2 (not counting treats). But if you have a small dog, i would obviously decrease the amount in a much smaller quantity.

    As far as the dog pooping in the middle of the road, our little terrier would sometimes become lethargic, so i would walk her and usual within a block, she would go poop, sometimes more than once. I think she just needed a little excersise to “get everything going”. Also, if she is severely overweight, I would only walk her on flat surfaces, no hills and keep it to short walks, the gradually go for longer.

    As to getting her checked for diseases, alot of communities have programs or vet clinics to help people who don’t have alot of money for vet bills.

    I really hope that your dog is ok!!!!

  • Naomi

    Please help me please I need to help my dog and need some one to help me please.

  • Naomi


  • Tracie Reed

    I have a 5 year old Great Dane female. After she was spayed she gained weight. She needs to lose about 20 pounds. She is currently on diamond naturals chicken and rice. I feed her about 3 1/2 cups per day with 1 cup if carrots. Also 1 tbps of coconut oil. She lost a few pounds and that’s it. My vet keeps recommending science diet but I don’t really care for that brand. I would appreciate if anyone has any ideas of other brands. Thank you.

  • Crazy4cats

    I think it is fine as long as your dog does OK with the oats. In my opinion, it is good to rotate foods with your pup anyway. Not only the proteins, but the carbs as well. You could also reduce the amount of dry you are feeding and add a little canned. Since canned contains moisture it might make it look like a little more food and make your dog feel fuller. I agree 2 1/2 cups a day for a big dog doesn’t sound like much. Good luck to you. I bet your dog is beautiful!

  • Sue Kurz

    My golden is a big dog weighing in at about 94lbs. He looks great…not fat at all. Vet said he should loose 5lbs. He eats Acana ranchland and pacifica. He’s down to 2 1/2 cups a day which looks like nothing. He’s lost 1lb in about six weeks. He get plenty of excersize. I’ve been thinking about Acana lite food. I like him being on grain free but the lite has oats. Any comments?

  • Dori

    You didn’t mention why your dog is on prednisone. One of my dogs, a Maltese that weighs 7 lbs. and is 15 years old, has bladder and lung cancer, two degenerated discs mid spine and arthritis in her rear right hip and even she’s not on prednisone. So just curious why your vet has your dog on prednisone.

  • Jeri Burden

    Does anyone have any ideas for my little Mi-ki (papillon, Japanese Chen, Maltese mix)? His target weight is 6.5 and right now he weighs over 8 lbs! Not all my fault, he is on prednisone and he is hungry all the time. Exercise is limited, because of the stress on his joints. Mainly, I take him swimming. His primary food is Precise Holistic. But he’s so hungry he cries until he has had 2-3 times the recommended amount. I feed him green beans to try to fill him up, but he just eats them as well as how ever much food he can talk us out of. I was told not to give him high protein, years ago from the breeder, so I try to watch that.

  • Dori

    All three of my girls had a tendency to gain a little too much weight when I fed kibble so I was constantly tweaking how much I fed them. When I first started feeding raw (a little over 2 years ago) my initial problems were that they were losing too much weight. I finally (through trial and error) figured out the right amounts of the different raw foods that I feed for each of them. Of course I continue to feel their bodies too make sure they are not to heavy or too thin. If anything, I’m typically tweaking up their food to keep the weight on them. I have three different breeds and one is 15 years old.

  • sharron

    wondering what anyone thinks of earthborn for weight loss grain free formula – it’s not on the recommended weight loss food list – would like to give it a try – nobody carries the wellness core reduced fat anymore (calgary, canada)

  • Melissaandcrew

    Good for you!!! I hate the stupid limits that are imposed. I get why they do it, but case by case basis should apply imo. Some people can care for 10, others can’t care for 1 properly.

  • Cyndi

    Good for you Shawna! I wish I could foster or adopt another one, but I just can’t afford it. I know I’d be a foster failure for sure, lol!

  • Shawna

    LOL!! I have four that started as foster dogs. All were broken in one way or another but seem quite content with us now.. :) I think I’m a magnet for broken fur babies…..

  • Melissaandcrew

    Actually, I have bought many kibbles that are higher fat it seems

  • Cyndi

    I love foster failures!! 😉

  • Shawna

    My foster dog (now forever dog) Mimi lost over half her body weight on a high protein, higher fat diet of kibble with canned and raw toppers. She wasn’t able to exercise much due to her obesity at first and then extreme weather conditions when she lost a bit.

    She was the most extreme case but I’ve had MANY foster dogs come in with a little extra weight that lost on raw or a raw/kibble combination.

    I currently have eight toy breed dogs, including an 18 year old blind four pound Chihuahua, that have no weight issues on raw. The blind Chi has been on raw for over nine years.

  • Shawna

    Did you happen to catch the “Cereal Killers” documentary when it was introduced for free viewing? Curious on your thoughts on it if you did?

    If you didn’t, I think it’s worth a watch. The film follows a very fit man who changes his diet for four weeks to only exercising minimally (I think it was 10 minutes of intense workout per week??) and increased his calorie content by eating a HIGH fat diet / low carb diet. He was medically monitored along the way and ended up losing body fat and his blood panels improved. A synopsis of the film can be seen here

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Jan –

    In order for a dog (or anything really) to lose weight a calorie deficit must be created. This means that the dog must be burning more calories than it is taking in. There are only two ways to achieve this: reducing the amount of calories consumed (in other words, decreasing portion size) or increase the caloric expenditure (in other words, increasing the amount of activity). Ideally, you want to use a combination of both methods. So, unfortunately, it’s usually necessary to feed less food to get a dog to lose weight. This is just like with people, unless someone drastically increases their physical activity there’s really no way to lose weight without cutting back on portion size. It’s too bad there isn’t an easier way.

  • Jän Thømas R.

    DO NOT feed less food to slim down your dog, people! starvation is not what you want to do, you can feed down to the smaller portion of food that your dog will receive at goal weight, but make sure they’re still getting the nutrients they need. it’s more about getting the right mix of calories from fat, protein, and carbs than cutting them out completely

  • Jän Thømas R.

    Really? raw being the fattiest of all food options for dogs, i find that hard to believe

  • drsane

    Derpdashian: It seems we share a similar problem– certain breeds, like Beagles and Bassets, are genetically hard-wired for weight gain.

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  • Betsy Greer

    Two foods that I’ve used for weight loss with success were Orijen Senior and Wellness Core Reduced Fat. Actually, I find that my dog that’s prone to weight gain looks great when eating several of the Core products.

    You could also try adding frozen green beans to their diet when you reduce the amount of kibble fed.

    Another food that I haven’t yet tried, but plan to, is Go! Fit & Free Senior:

    All of these foods have higher protein and are lower in carbs than the Fat Dogs, which is pretty grain heavy.

  • Derpdashian

    Absolutely, which is why I came here. I’m looking for something else because our current methods and foods have not worked.

    I even bought the dogs some of those food maze bowls to see if they would eat less. The dishes have not worked.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hmm, my comment vaporized…

    Would you be interested in taking a look at alternate brands or types of food that might help with weight loss?

  • Derpdashian

    Wow! I had no idea! I was looking for a special occasion food for them, and bought one can of herring and split it between the two for breakfast one day. Big mistake. They were both barfing up grey, stinky fish within hours. That was enough for me.

  • Derpdashian

    Natural Balance Fat Dogs formula.

  • Derpdashian

    I could not agree more. Not only do my local vets suggest Hills R/D all the time for weight loss, but the local shelter does, too!

    I have a dog that is very allergic to corn and cannot eat it. My vet knows this and still wants me to put her on RD. As far as I can tell, the first several ingredients should be avoided. Corn, corn byproduct meal, soybean mill run (what is that?)… There is no way I want my dogs eating that.

    Just today I was talking to a shelter vet and she wanted me to try R/D, as well! I know the shelter is on Hill’s payroll, or something. They have Hill’s food all over the place.

    I have serious issues with Hill and there is no way. No way. I would rather have fat dogs than buy anything related to Science Diet.

  • Betsy Greer

    What food are you feeding your dogs?

  • Derpdashian

    Do you feed as much as the bag says to,feed? I have been feeding less than what the bag suggests and cannot get my dogs to lose weight.

  • Derpdashian

    While the vast majority may feed sugary treats to their dogs, some of us do not, and we still struggle with fat dogs.

    My two beagles get daily exercise. If the weather is too bad for walks, I throw their toys up the stairs during fetch so they have to run up and down like Rocky Balboa. Hahaha

    I do not feed dog treats of any type. None. They do not like carrots, nor canned pumpkin. They are very picky. They like ice cubes, so those are just about the only treats my fatties get. Once in a blue moon they get 3″ of pizza crust each.

    I keep measuring cups in their food bin, and they are fed 1/2 cup of kibble in the morning for breakfast, and one cup at dinner. My vet says to decrease their food. They cannot eat less than this, otherwise they tear apart my house looking for food. We are talking garbage tipped over, socks being eaten, underwear being eaten, my son’s restaurant work shoes being eaten— 1.5 cups of food is their minimum.

    When we go for walks or to the dog park, we have to hear comments about how “well fed” they are. Someone I know used to work as a veterinary technician, and she was upset that I made my dogs as fat as they are.

    The thing is— I didn’t do it. I adopted one of them when she was 8. She was 40 pounds the day I brought her home. My other dog was adopted when she was 10. She is part basset, so she is bigger all over, and was 53 pounds the day I brought her home. I didn’t make them fat, and I don’t know their history, other than they both tested negative for hypothyroidism. They do not have Cushings, either.

  • Dog Bar

    RAW FROZEN has time and time again worked for our overweight customers. The trick is not to overfeed, which can easily happen with raw food. My personal favorite combination is Bravo Turkey Blend, mixed with Nordic Naturals Sardine Oil, Solid Gold Sea Meal Supplement and Fruitables Pumpkin Puree (to avoid constipation). That said, just like with any human diet, regular exercise is the most effective method for weight loss.

  • Jay B

    If Romeo lost his appetite for all Orijen dry; try sprinkling a little Orijen Freeze Dried on the kibble. This usually does the trick. Many vets recommend foods that they carry in their practice (not saying this is the case with your vet) because they profit from doing so which I feel is clearly a conflict of interest. You should NEVER feed your dog any food that has a high concentration of corn or wheat gluten and Vets know; however, they have overhead, kids going to college, a mortgage and other expenses, etc. Many vets will do the right thing and tell you the very best food; however, many do not and this makes me disgusted. This is no different than a pharmaceutical company influencing doctors to prescribe certain drugs. Shame on any vet that recommends a corn based food with wheat gluten; yet many do since as a direct result increases their bottom line.

  • Jay B

    Evanger’s Hi Bio has only 309 calories per eight (8) ounce cup. This semi-dried food contains 85% meat, 10% fruits and vegetables and 5% vitamins and minerals.
    The downside is a nine point six (9.6) pound bag will set you back $75; quadruple the price per pound of almost all the dog foods listed in this article. The price is somewhat misleading since you only have to feed your dog approximately half as much as most dog foods. Half as much and only 309 calories a cup means this new GMO free Super Food by Evanger’s, along with daily exercise is bound to decrease your dogs weight.
    The vast majority of people with fat dogs give sugar based treats on a consistent basis and fail to decrease the amount of food they give their dog. While you may not be able to control what your spouse or children eat; you have 100% control over what food you give your dog.
    Fat dogs translate into unhealthy dogs which will have a lower quality of life and a shorter life span; not to mention larger vet bills as the dog ages.

  • Angie Shawver

    wow ! really sounds like a food intolerance, that is how my dog always presented. there is nothing wrong with the vet diet and it is formulated to help his pancreas recover. i had to put my dog on an elimination diet using Nature’s Recipe grain free salmon, did the research online using human food issues as a guide, he is in perfect health now and maintaining his bully weight perfectly on Nature’s Recipe’s Fish n Potato, wish you much luck :)

  • michaelcomaha

    Why not just feed less of the food you normally feed. That’s the thinking behind Canidae’s All Life Stages formula, that all dogs eat the same thing but in different quantities (puppies eat more than adults and adults eat more than seniors). And don’t forget to watch the carbs, low carb foods are good.

  • michaelcomaha

    Pumpkin is another good additive. Might not be as gassy as the beans 😉 .

  • Franck Carle

    Have check the Nutram weight control formula? It’s awesome!

  • Crazy4cats

    Just be careful not to feed too many apples, bananas and carrots as they contain sugar which may defeat the purpose. Make sure you buy no salt added green beans as well. Another thing you can do is replace some of their kibble with a premium canned food. They contain more moisture and also make them feel “fuller”.

  • MaryEllen

    My vet just told met to replace some of the food in our dogs diet with green beans, apples, carrots, and/or bananas…all relatively low calorie foods that “fill” up the dog and make them fill full but while having low calorie count.

  • LoveSasha<3

    Try a brand called Lotus. It’s great, it falls into the 3 categories for weight management. I try to avoid food that’s sold at the vets office for a few reasons but mostly they charge more. Unless you know your vet really well don’t always go with what’s recommended. It’s a business world and kick backs are far too many.

  • SP

    A woman I was talking to at the dog park said her vet put her dog on the “green bean” diet.

    That means to take out a little bit of the kibble from the portion you normally feed your dog & replace it with plain cooked green beans.

    It’s got fiber to fill them up.

  • tdog

    Anyone try EVO’s weight management formula? 52% protein, 15% fat, and 521 kcal/cup. Looks really good, but the calorie content is so high I can’t imagine my dog loosing weight on it. I’ve also heard that EVO had some recalls, but I’m willing to give them a try.

  • CarlaMcDonald

    I agree wholeheartedly, and was surprised to see this brand even on the page. The owner may be in jail now for stealing town electricity and water for his plant – however the worse part is the recall because of “tiny pieces of metal that were not caught when the metal detector went down.” WHO NEEDS A METAL DETECTOR at a dog food plant? It appears that they feed chickens into the grinder, and someone failed to remove the metal leg tags. NO Thank you, and please research this, and re-evaluate. It was the least expensive canned food at our local Feed & Farm, and now we know why. We have asked that it be removed from the shelves. Thanks, Skipper!

  • Skipper Jones

    I suggest before purchasing any Evanger’s product please do a Google search on EVANGER’S. No way my pet will eat any of their products.

  • disqus_hXes7c8OH3

    Male purebred labs can be anywhere between 65-80 lbs. How tall is he? Try googling Purina body condition score chart and see where he fits there.

  • esquiggles

    Premium Edge Healthy Weight Reduction (Dry), suggested here is reasonably priced. 44% protein and 12% fat at $1.40 / lb is really good. I’m trying to rotate foods, and have moved on from that to the Wellness Core Reduced Fat (definitely a big price jump). Feed your dogs twice a day, keep them separated, and take away the bowls when they’re done.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi java1010, here are some more options for low fat foods.

  • java1010

    Thanks! We’ll look into those.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    I know that Annamaet has a grain free food called Lean that is low fat, but still a higher protein. It was formulated for weight loss and dogs with pancreatitis problems. Also, Wellness Core has a reduced fat food that many people use and like. Perhaps you could check into these and let your vet know about them.

  • java1010

    Hi everyone,
    I’m looking for some advice regarding my 4yr old Beagle… Since Romeo was a puppy we started him out on Orijen, and then a year or so ago we transitioned him to Canni Source after he apparently lost his appetite for basically all Orijen dry foods. While on Canni Source he seemed to be doing quite fine and really enjoying the food and above all he seemed to have a very healthy metabolism which was always an issue with Orijen. Anyways, long story short, there was apparently a quality issue with some of the last batches of Canni Source produced at the end of 2013, so we decided to look at changing his food. After doing some reading, we decided to switch over to Blue Wilderness Healthy Weight, as he is also a bit overweight mainly due to our wonderful yet very long Canadian winters. So after nearly a month of transitioning to Blue, our beagle seemed to become quite sick often with tummy troubles until he got progressively worse during the last few days. We brought him to the vet today and he apparently has Pancreatitis and was very dehydrated! The vet said that Blue was the cause and due to his weight issue recommended Purina Veterinary Diets OM. Now that we came home and I’m going over OM’s ingredients I realize that it is primarily corn based with pretty much no meat based proteins! I’m wondering what other low fat/low glycemic index, grain free, weight management, high quality food alternatives should I discuss with the vet about?
    Any help/recommendation is highly appreciated!

  • LoveSasha<3

    Hi all! I have 2 rescue dogs a male 3 yrs old and a terrier/schnauzer mix, a female 1 1/2 yorkie/chihuahua. My male dog is 14.5# and should be around 12#, my female is at last weigh 14# (I’m sure she weighs more she’s a chunker!) they’re both on nature valley instinct. I should state that when I rescued my chunk she was 3 months old and 4.5# and the vet told me she would probably double her weight full grown. My male dog has a very sensitive stomach and is allergic to chicken. They both get out and run and play, though more play time outside would be beneficial. I feel awful for my baby girl she can’t be comfortable with all that weight on. Any food suggestions that will benefit both my babies.
    Thanks in advance!

  • Crazy4cats

    Well, that’s good, anyway. I know that goldens and labs are prone to hypothyroidism. And I also know they are prone to just be chubby! My previous dog was part retriever and he also got too chubby (actually fat). I’m going to try to be more careful with my current pups. They are 2 1/2 and so far so good. I carefully measure out how much I feed them. But, they could eat 24-7 and I’m usually more than willing to share my food with them. So, I give them a little less than recommended at their meals to make up for the snacks they get during the day. Good luck.

  • InkedMarie

    As C4C said, Wellness Core reduced fat. I used it with great success for an obese dog we adopted.

  • Stacie

    Yes he had everything checked and came back fine, he’s just chubby

  • Crazy4cats

    I have heard a lot of people have had good luck with the Wellness Core reduced fat formula. Have you had his thyroid levels checked?