Would anyone have suggestions for a low calorie grain free, good quality dry dog food? 4 year old 60lb (she is only 2 ft tall at shoulders) lab is slightly overweight, per my vet. She suggested 300 calories (per cup)or less.
Take a look at Annamaet Lean or Wellness Core reduced fat. I honestly don’t know what the calorie count is; both are “diet” foods. Oh, Orijen Senior too.
Wellness Core has 360 calories per cup: http://brands.wellnesspetfood.com/core/dogs/dry-formula-reduced-fat.
Annamaet Lean has 350 calories per cup: http://annamaet.com/products/Lean_Formula.
They both are well respected foods. I believe that many of the 4 star grain free foods may not be labeled as “diet” foods, but are even lower in calories. Best of luck to you.
From my research, if it has to be Grain Free I think you may have a hard time finding a food that low in calories. I’m in a similar predicament, my 8 yr old chocolate lab is 84 lbs and the vet recommends 78 lbs as her ideal weight. Dr. Tim’s does make a 5 star food that is only 286 kcal/cup but it does contain grain (it’s called Metabolite). In my opinion, for grain free it’s better to go with a good quality/higher protein food which is slightly higher in calories (say 350-380) and feed a little less. Or cut down the dry kibble and mix in wet food which is much less calorie dense (ie. a whole can of wet food generally has the same number of calories as only one cup of dry kibble.) This is what I’m doing for my Heidie and she’s down 2lbs in the last month or so. I like the Wellness Core reduced fat mentioned above mixed with any variety of 5 star canned products (one of my favorites is the Weruva human style ones.)
Just my 2 cents…Good luck! 🙂
Stephanie b- I am not positive she needs grain free, she had a lot of issues with diarrhea as a puppy, after 7 different foods in her first year (yes did the gradual change) natural balance potato and duck limited ingredient/grain free, was what she was on when it (the diarrhea) stopped and I have never switched. (Scars from cleaning it up). I was surprised she was overweight as she runs at least 5 times a week 5-6 miles with me. What do u suggest for not grain free? I may try a not grain free. Any suggestions?
Hi Teresa B- I totally understand not wanting to return to diarrhea issues!! And it sounds like she’s getting lots of exercise, that’s great! We adopted ours as a senior and she weighed 94lbs…she’s gotten down to 84 with about 6 more pounds to go. Do you feed treats between meals? I know those can add up so if you do you should factor them in to her daily calories (there’s a calculator on this site that helps you figure out the recommended daily calories for a dog’s ideal weight and activity level.)
I’ve never used Natural Balance foods so all I can go off of is the label and lower ratings here due to the high carbohydrate content and low protein (Potato is listed as the first ingredient…ideally I’d try to find something with the protein(s) listed first.) That being said if your pup really does well on it and you can’t find an alternative that isn’t causing diarrhea, it’s only 375/cup which is not excessively high. The very high quality protein rich foods (Acana, Orijen, Wysong, etc.) are in the 450-500cal/cup range. So, you could cut back just a little on the serving size per meal of her current food (either mixing in wet food or not) and see if it aids in weight loss. As far as suggestions see below:
Ones that I’ve tried and like (or I should say Heidie liked 🙂 ) are:
Wellness Core Reduced Fat 360cal/cup
Dr. Tim’s Metabolite 268.6cal/cup
Weruva Caloric Harmony Venison & Salmon w/ Pumpkin 348cal/cup
Orijen Senior 445cal/cup (this one is higher calorie so I tend to mix 50/50 with either Wellness Core RF or Dr. Tims Metabolite to cut down the cals per meal)
Some I’ve researched (but haven’t fed yet) that could be viable options to try are:
Annamaet Grain Free Lean Low Fat 350 cal/cup
Nature’s Variety Instinct Grain Free Healthy Weight 347cal/cup
Premium Edge Healthy Weight I 347cal/cup
Nulo Freestyle Cod and Lentils 368cal/cup
Dr. Tim’s RPM Salmon & Pork Grain Free 389cal/cup
If it seems like your dog is having a lot of digestive issues with new foods it might be worth getting an allergy test done to narrow down what foods you can try based on their ingredients.
Hope this helps…all the best!
An adult female lab roughly weighs between 55 to 70 lbs. Your pup should have a waist, go by look and feel, slope to the the stomach, etc. Take into account muscle weighs more than fat. With her running, lessening the amount or caloric intake would be crazy. Perhaps your vet needs to lose a few pounds.
Good point! Definitely go by your dog’s look than just the number on the scale. I think switching from the Natural Balance still wouldn’t be a bad idea though if you can find something she’ll tolerate without diarrhea. As it’s very high in carbs and low protein. Unfortunately, as they age it gets harder for weight loss and as with humans excess carbs makes it even harder!
Thank you all. She does get treats at about 6 calories each. They are small so at most 20 per day. Occasionally she gets a people treat (by accident), I treat her with her dog food on our runs. So total dog food intake amounts to 3.5 cups at most. She still has a definite “waistline” from the side, however top view is barely curved. I hoped when the scale said she weighed so much that it was muscle. I think I am going to try one of the ones you mentioned with a higher protein and less fat. Perhaps the natural balance is just not the right formula for her. Thank you for time and input
Btw, dried beet pulp is a supplement we used to feed horses for weight gain that would not make them “hot” (more energetic). (Noticed it in Dr. Tims food)
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