Dog Food Nutrition

Best Low-Fat Dry Dog Food

January 21, 2019

Best Low-Fat Dry Dog Food

Maintaining a healthy body weight is very important for your dog. Just like humans, being overweight or obese can increase your dog’s risk for serious health problems and can reduce its lifespan as well.

Making sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise is one way to support healthy body weight, but it is also very important to pay attention to what and how much you feed it.

Your dog can gain weight on any food if you feed it too much, so pay attention to the feeding recommendations. If your dog is already overweight or obese, consider switching to a low-fat dog food.

Keep reading to learn more about your dog’s basic dietary needs and to receive some tips for picking the best dog food to meet those needs. You’ll also receive our top 5 picks for the best low-fat dog food.

Quick Look at Our Top Picks:

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Editor's Choice

Canidae PURE Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe
  • Real chicken as a lean source of animal protein
  • Limited number of ingredients to reduce allergies
  • Contains a total of 9% crude fat
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Best Affordable

Eagle Pack Reduced Fat Natural Dry Food
  • Rich in protein to sustain lean muscle mass
  • Contains just 6% crude fat
  • Digestible whole-grain carbohydrates
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Best for Puppies

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Recipe Dry Food
  • Deboned chicken as a lean source of protein
  • Digestible grain-free carbohydrates like potatoes
  • Contains just 12% crude fat
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Best for Seniors

Holistic Select Grain-Free Weight Management Senior Recipe
  • High-quality natural ingredients
  • Very digestible with grain-free carbohydrates
  • Provides 26% protein and 8% fat
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Best for Allergies

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Formula
  • Made with several sources of lean animal protein
  • Grain-free to reduce the risk for food allergies
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables for natural nutrition
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What Kind of Dog Can Benefit from Low-Fat Dog Food?

If your dog is already overweight or obese, a low-fat dog food may help it get back down to a healthy weight. Low-fat dog food can also benefit dogs that have trouble metabolizing fat, such as dogs with pancreatitis and other pancreas issues.

Here are some things to look for in a low-fat dog food:

  • Lean Proteins. Protein is the most important nutrient for dogs, but you should look for lean sources like chicken and turkey as opposed to high-fat options like beef.
  • Low in Fat. Your dog needs a minimum of 5% fat in its diet and more fat can provide additional energy, just try to keep it low – under 10% is best for low-fat dog food.
  • Digestible Carbohydrates. In addition to considering the fat content of your dog’s food, it also needs to be digestible so look for quality carbohydrates like whole grains and vegetables.
  • Fiber and Probiotics. To ensure healthy digestion, make sure your dog’s food contains plenty of dietary fiber and look for probiotic supplements as well.

Keeping all of these things in mind, you’re now ready to learn how to choose the best low-fat dog food. Here’s what you need to know:

How to Choose the Best Low-Fat Dog Food

To meet your dog’s basic nutritional requirements, you need a dog food that provides a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

Your dog needs a minimum of 18% protein and 5% fat in its diet to meet its basic needs.

Both protein and fat should come from animal sources because your dog has a limited ability to digest plant foods.

Protein provides the building blocks for strong muscles and helps your dog maintain lean muscle mass.

Look for lean animal proteins like chicken and turkey because they are complete proteins – this means they contain all 10 essential amino acids your dog needs.

Also Read: 10 Best Healthiest Dry Dog Foods

Fat provides a concentrated source of energy and it is easiest for your dog’s body to metabolize when it comes from animal sources.

Carbohydrates provide your dog with energy, fiber, and essential nutrients. Look for digestible sources like whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes.

Your dog can also benefit from certain supplements like fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritional balance, prebiotics and probiotics for digestion, and chelated minerals. Some dogs also need extra glucosamine for healthy joints.

Keep reading to see our top 5 recommendations for the best low-fat dog food.

The Top 5 Best Low-Fat Dog Food

Now that you understand the basics about your dog’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to shop for a low-fat dog food.

Look for a recipe that is rich in protein to support lean muscle mass, low in fat to control calories, and made with digestible carbohydrates and beneficial supplements.

Here are our top 5 picks for the best low-fat dog food that you should consider:

Best Overall: Canidae PURE Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 28% Min
  • Fat – 9% Min
  • Fiber – 5% Max
  • Moisture– 10% Max

Caloric Content– 409 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Real chicken as a lean source of animal protein
  • Limited number of ingredients to reduce allergies
  • Contains a total of 9% crude fat

Cons:

  • Expensive to feed as a staple diet
  • Some dogs may be sensitive to chicken ingredients

If you want to maximize your dog’s digestion and nutrition while still keeping the fat content of its diet low, try this Canidae PURE Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe.

It features a limited number of ingredients and is grain-free which means that it also has a low risk for triggering food allergies and sensitivities.

This recipe features fresh chicken as a lean source of protein and contains just 9% crude fat.

As a bonus, it is supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption and probiotics for digestion.

Best Affordable: Eagle Pack Reduced Fat Natural Dry Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 24% Min
  • Fat – 11% Min
  • Fiber – 6% Max
  • Moisture– 10% Max

Caloric Content– 343 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Rich in protein to sustain lean muscle mass
  • Contains just 6% crude fat
  • Digestible whole-grain carbohydrates

Cons:

  • Some dogs may be sensitive to pork ingredients
  • Not a grain-free recipe, some dogs may be sensitive

For an affordable option in low-fat dog food, try this Eagle Pack Reduced Fat Natural Dry Food.

This recipe features pork, chicken, and turkey to provide 24% protein to help your dog maintain lean muscle mass but it contains only 6% crude fat.

It features a blend of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat as well as digestible carbohydrates like brown rice and oatmeal.

This recipe is supplemented with vitamins and chelated minerals for nutritional balance and dried fermentation products for digestion.

Best for Puppies: Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Recipe Dry Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 28% Min
  • Fat – 12% Min
  • Fiber – 4.5% Max
  • Moisture– 11% Max

Caloric Content– 377 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Deboned chicken as a lean source of protein
  • Contains just 12% crude fat
  • Digestible grain-free carbohydrates like potatoes

Cons:

  • Contains some plant protein (potato protein)
  • Fairly expensive to feed as a staple diet

If you want to get your puppy started off on the right foot, try this Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Recipe Dry Food.

It features real chicken as the main ingredient and a lean source of protein, providing a total of 28% protein. For fat, this recipe relies on nutrient-rich chicken fat and salmon oil.

It contains a total of 12% crude fat which is low for puppies, considering their minimum requirement for fat is higher than an adult dog’s at 8%.

This recipe also contains beneficial supplements like chelated minerals and probiotics.

Best for Seniors: Holistic Select Grain-Free Weight Management Senior Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 26% Min
  • Fat – 8% Min
  • Fiber – 8.5% Max
  • Moisture– 10% Max

Caloric Content– 331 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • High-quality natural ingredients
  • Very digestible with grain-free carbohydrates
  • Provides 26% protein and 8% fat

Cons:

  • May be to high in fiber for some dogs

For a high-quality, digestible dog food that is also low in fat for your senior dog, try this Holistic Select Grain-Free Weight Management Senior Recipe.

This formula features chicken meal as a concentrated source of lean protein with grain-free carbohydrates like potatoes, peas, and lentils for digestibility.

It contains nutrient-rich chicken fat for essential fatty acids with fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources for key nutrients. Overall, it contains 26% protein and just 8% fat.

Best for Allergies: Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Formula

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 33% Min
  • Fat – 10%-12% Min
  • Fiber – 8.5% Max
  • Moisture– 10% Max

Caloric Content– 360 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Made with several sources of lean animal protein
  • Grain-free to reduce the risk for food allergies
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables for natural nutrition

Cons:

  • May be too high in fiber for some dogs

If you’re worried about triggering food allergies but you still need a low-fat formula for your senior dog, try this Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Formula.

This recipe features all-natural ingredients to ensure digestibility and it is grain-free to reduce the risk for food allergies.

It contains deboned turkey and turkey meal as lean sources of protein with digestible carbohydrates like potatoes and peas.

It also contains fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources for key nutrients with probiotics for digestion.

How Much Should You Feed Your Dog?

The amount of food you give your dog on a daily basis depends on its age, weight, and activity level.

If you’re looking for a low-fat dog food, the chances are that your dog is already overweight or obese, so you might need to think about how much to feed it.

One option is to choose a low fat or healthy weight formula and follow the feeding directions according to your dog’s age and size.

If your dog is very overweight or obese, you might try feeding it the amount of food recommended for dogs of its target weight rather than its actual weight.

What About Food Allergies and Sensitivities to Low-Fat Dog Food?

Dogs can suffer from food allergies just like humans do and they can be allergic to some of the same ingredients.

The most common culprits for dog food allergies are low-quality grains like wheat, corn, and soy as well as common proteins like chicken, beef, pork, and eggs.

If your dog suffers from frequent ear infections or recurrent skin problems, it could be a sign of an allergy.

Switching to a grain-free diet may work for some dogs but for others you might need to switch to a hypoallergenic limited ingredient dog food diet until all signs of the allergy disappear then reintroduce common allergens one at a time until you identify the problem.

Also Read: Best Dog Food for Skin Allergies

Final Remarks

Maintaining a healthy body weight is extremely important for your dog’s long-term health and wellbeing.

Obesity is just as dangerous for dogs as it is for humans because it increases the risk for other serious diseases and can shorten your dog’s lifespan.

Switching to a low-fat dog food may help your dog lose weight, just make sure it is still rich in protein and made from high-quality ingredients.

Also Read:

Best Dog Food Brands

Best Healthy Canned, Soft, & Wet Dog Foods

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.
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