Suggested 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 Recommended
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

This article is designed to help you make a more informed decision when choosing dog food. However, it is certainly not our intention to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific health benefit for your pet.

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 veterinarian for help.


  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
  • 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?

  • Stacie

    What’s the best food to feed my 7 year old golden he is overweight and on the hills weight loss food but after reading reviews I don’t wanna keep him on it. Any help???