Best Low-Fat Dog Food

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Many dogs deal with obesity, pancreatitis, and joint issues. If this is the case for your pup, or if they need to eat a low-fat diet for any other reason, you may be on the hunt for a new formula.

But what’s the best low-fat dog food?  

Our number one choice is Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight Adult dry dog food. 

This low-fat dog food also offers plenty of fiber and real animal proteins for solid muscles, weight loss, and gut health. 

We have other options, too — including a limited-ingredient diet and options for pups and seniors. These will help your dog from their young months to their golden years. 

Our Best Low-Fat Dog Food

10 Best Low-Fat Dog Food Reviewed 

The formulas below follow AAFCO’s nutrient profile guidelines. Before switching your dog to new dog food, consult with your veterinarian. 


Best Overall

Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight Adult Lamb & Brown Rice
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley, Rice Bran, Whole Grain Brown Rice
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Crude Protein, 7% Crude Fat, 10% Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 240 kcal/cup 
  • Key Feature: High-fiber and low-fat dog food for metabolic support 

Does your dog need a little push into weight loss? If so, your vet may recommend switching them to low-fat food.

But have no fear — there are many different low-fat options. One of our favorites is Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight Adult dry dog food. 

This low-calorie dog food, designed to support healthy weight loss, has a tailored blend of protein and fiber.

It starts with real deboned lamb and fresh chicken meal. These animal proteins provide high-quality protein and amino acids to build and maintain lean muscle mass. And they include iron and selenium for metabolic support and energy. 

Chicken fat and chia seeds offer both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These aid in coat health, brain function, and reduce inflammation in the joints and digestive system. 

This formula isn’t grain-free. But, it includes wholesome and easy-to-digest grains like whole-grain barley and whole grain brown rice. These provide fiber for digestion and help your dog keep their lean figure. 

This low-fat dog food uses non-GMO ingredients. It doesn’t include chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy.

Dog owners say this food is perfect for smaller and medium dogs who have trouble losing stubborn pounds. But even large dog owners love feeding this food to keep them trim. 


Best for Puppies

Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Merrick Backcountry Freeze Dried Raw Puppy
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potato, Potatoes, Turkey Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 396 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-protein puppy food with lower fat content to avoid weight problems

Generally, puppies don’t need a low-fat or low-calorie diet. Higher fat content helps them gain energy and have a better digestive system, boost brain function, and protect their growing muscles, joints, and bones. 

But, some pups may have health issues that cause them to need low-fat food. If your vet has recommended it for your dog, try Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Puppy Recipe Grain-Free dry dog food. 

It still has plenty of healthy fats but is lower than the usual recommended for puppies (around 20% Crude Fat). And, it includes freeze-dried raw bites for flavor and texture. 

This formula starts with real deboned chicken, turkey meal, and salmon. These ingredients offer taurine for heart health and glucosamine for solid joints. 

Salmon oil, sunflower oil, and flaxseeds provide healthy omega-3 fatty acids. And these ingredients contain DHA and ALA, which are essential for your pup’s growing brain. 

This low-fat recipe is grain-free, which isn’t always recommended for growing dogs. Be sure to talk to your vet about this food if you’re looking to make the switch. While some pups can handle a grain-free diet, yours may need a different option. 

Puppy parents loved how the food enticed even their pickiest puppy. And many noted that their dog’s coat became shinier and fuller after switching to this food. 


Best for Seniors

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Senior Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Senior LID Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Garbanzo Beans
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 409 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-protein and low-fat dog food with fiber for metabolic support 

As your dog ages, they are more likely to be obese, have joint issues, and need nutrients to improve gut and metabolic health. Luckily, your furry friend can still enjoy tasty food while eating a lower-fat diet that supports their needs. 

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Senior dry dog food is perfect for senior dogs. It’s higher in protein to keep their muscle mass and protect their joints, contains fiber for digestive health, and is grain-free for dogs that may be sensitive to them. 

It starts with real deboned chicken and chicken and turkey meals. These offer glucosamine and chondroitin to promote limber and supple joints and taurine for heart health.

Plus, since they’re leaner proteins, they don’t add too much fat and calories, which can keep your canine slim. 

Chicken fat and vitamin E provide essential fatty acids for strong joints. Chicken fat contains omega-6 amino acids for a regulated metabolism and coat health. 

Instead of grains, this formula includes sweet potatoes and peas. These provide fiber for smoother and regular digestion. And they also contain vitamins like d vitamin A for eye and brain health. 

Senior dog owners note that this food is fantastic for dogs who still need the calories to keep them active but need to slim their bodies. 


Best for Small Breeds

SquarePet VFS Digestive Support Low Fat Formula Dry Dog Food

SquarePet VFS Digestive Support Low Fat
  • First 5 Ingredients: Pacific Cod, Brown Rice, Ocean Whitefish Meal, Tapioca, Natural Vegetarian Flavor
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 6% Crude Fat, 3% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 384 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-protein and low-fat dog food with l-carnitine for a higher metabolism 

Small breed dogs need concentrated nutrition in their dog food since they can’t eat as much as large breeds.

But, it’s also super easy for tiny pups to gain weight because there is a fine line between feeding them enough and feeding them too much. 

If your small canine has a hard time losing weight, or needs to maintain their physique, try SquarePet VFS Digestive Support Low-Fat dry dog food. The kibble is small enough for little jaws but packed with fiber, protein, and probiotics for proper nutrition. 

This recipe starts with pacific cod and ocean whitefish meal. These low-fat novel proteins are perfect for dogs who have more sensitive tummies. They also contain l-carnitine, which is beneficial in weight loss efforts and aids in muscle recovery. 

While this low-calorie dog food is low in fat, it includes cold-pressed sunflower oil for omega fatty acids. These aid in joint health and cognitive function. And it also helps nourish your dog’s joints to stay active and limber long-term. 

Supplemented prebiotics and probiotics aid in healthier digestion and protect your dog’s stomach from potentially harmful bacteria. And they also boost your pup’s immune system, which helps them keep their energy levels high. 

Small breed owners love how this food doesn’t contain chicken for sensitive pups. But they say it makes their whole home smell fishy when the bag opens. 


Best for Large Breeds

Purina Pro Plan Adult Large Breed Weight Management Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Adult Large Breed Weight Management Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Poultry By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 27% Crude Protein, 9.5% Crude Fat, 5.5% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 361 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Low-fat dry dog food with grains and probiotics for large breed weight loss

Helping your large breed dog stay at a healthy weight while maintaining muscle tone and energy levels may seem like an impossible task. But it isn’t, and Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Large Breed dry dog food proves that. 

Each serving of this formula contains high-quality protein and just 9.5% Crude Fat to help your furry friend maintain their ideal weight and body condition. 

It starts with real deboned chicken and poultry by-products from the bones and cartilage of the chicken. These provide glucosamine and chondroitin, which can aid in joint flexibility and muscle recovery. 

Fish meal and beef fat offer essential fatty acids, ALA, and DHA — which aid in brain function. And these omegas also aid in heart and eye health. This food is also fortified with live probiotics, which help support digestive and immune health. 

Wheat bran, oatmeal, and barley provide natural prebiotic fiber. These help promote your dog’s digestive health. And, they offer vitamins and minerals like B vitamins and manganese for energy and to increase your pup’s metabolism. 

Large breed owners admit that this is the only food that their dogs have loved and been able to lose weight with.


Best Wet Food

Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Weight Control Recipe Canned Dog Food

Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Chicken Weight Control Recipe Grain-Free Canned
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Ocean Whitefish, Sweet Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 7.5% Crude Protein, 3.5% Crude Fat, 2% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 355 kcal/can
  • Key Feature: Grain-free and low-fat wet dog food with antioxidants for immune support 

If your dog is older, missing teeth, or can’t handle kibble for any reason; it’s possible to find a low-fat canned dog food that provides enough protein for healthy muscles and steady weight loss. 

Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Grain-Free wet dog food is designed for weight control. This low-fat and low-calorie formula is delicious but also nutritious.

It’s crafted with superfoods and whole animal proteins for lean muscle mass and keep your dog’s immune system strong. And, the water content creates satiation without extra calories, aiding in weight loss. 

It starts with deboned chicken, chicken liver, and ocean whitefish. These premium animal proteins provide taurine, glucosamine, and l-carnitine for heart, joint, and muscle support. And chicken liver offers a boost in flavor, so the food isn’t bland. 

Menhaden fish oil helps to provide healthy skin and a shiny coat. And it also adds a boost of DHA for eye and brain health. 

Solid Gold also includes superfoods like flaxseeds, spinach, and blueberries offer vitamin C and antioxidants for immune support and brain function.

And because they’re lower in calories, you don’t have to worry about your dog putting on extra pounds. 

This formula doesn’t contain fillers, corn, wheat, soy, grains, carrageenan, or artificial preservatives.

Dog moms and dads say this grain-free canned food is messy but worth the effort. Many use it as a topper on low-fat kibble to entice their dogs to eat without eating too many calories or fat. 


Best Budget Food

Natural Balance Fat Dogs Low-Calorie Dry Dog Food

Natural Balance Fat Dogs Chicken & Salmon Low Calorie
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Chickpeas, Dried Peas, Oat Groats
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 7.5% Crude Fat, 10.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 315 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Low-fat dry dog food for dog owners on a budget

Many dogs suffer from obesity and need to lose weight. If this is your main reason for switching your pup to low-fat dog food, look no further than Natural Balance Fat Dogs Low-Calorie formula.

And bonus points, it’s budget-friendly

This formula is perfect for overweight adult dogs, dogs with sensitive tummies, and even dogs who have diabetes. It’s got the essential amino acids they need for lean muscles and fullness.

And it’s high in fiber to regulate digestion and metabolism. Plus, with just 7.5% Crude Fat, your dog is less likely to continue gaining weight.  

It starts with high-quality chicken meal and salmon meal. These meat protein options offer taurine for a strong heart and chondroitin for cartilage and ligament support. Plus, salmon meal contains omega fatty acids and DHA for cognitive function. 

This formula isn’t grain-free. Instead, it includes whole grains like oat groats, barley, and oat fiber. These contain prebiotics for gut health and essential nutrients like selenium for a metabolism boost.

And fiber aids in reducing inflammation, which is great if your dog has joint or muscle pains.

Canine owners say this is the only food that helps their dog drop their stubborn weight. And, they admit that their pup seems to have more energy too.  


Best Premium Food

Wellness CORE Digestive Health Wholesome Grains Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE Digestive Health Wholesome Grains Chicken & Brown
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 395 kcal/cup 
  • Key Feature: Premium high-protein and low-fat dry dog food 

Looking for a more premium dog food option? Low-fat doesn’t have to mean low-quality, and many high-value foods can fit your dog’s needs. But our favorite is Wellness CORE Digestive Health dry dog food. 

It’s important to note that this food does contain grains. So if your dog is sensitive to those ingredients, this formula may not be the best option.

But, many dogs can do well with healthy grains, and this recipe includes probiotics for easier digestion. 

Wellness CORE Digestive Health dog food starts with deboned chicken, chicken, and turkey meals.

These high-protein but lean meats offer plenty of iron for energy and muscle support. And even though they’re lower in fat, they still contain calcium and amino acids for strong joints and bones. 

Salmon oil provides extra fat, plus DHA and EPA, which offer a shiny coat and boost cognitive function.

And, for complex carbohydrates and fiber, pumpkin and brown rice are included. Plus, pumpkin contains plenty of vitamin A and beta-carotene for eye and brain health. 

Pet owners love this food for their sensitive pups. But, they do note that it’s not as effective with weight loss since it’s slightly higher in calories.

So they recommend adding it as part of a food and exercise routine or feeding your dog less if they have a lot of weight to lose. 


Best for Sensitive Stomachs

Zignature Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Trout & Salmon Meal Dry Dog Food

Zignature LID Grain-Free Trout Salmon Meal
  • First 5 Ingredients: Trout, Salmon Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Sunflower Oil
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 31% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 382 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Limited ingredient diet and low-fat diet for dogs with sensitive tummies 

Does your dog have food intolerances or a sensitive stomach? Overeating fat can exacerbate digestion issues, and food intolerances mean avoiding certain ingredients — and it can be challenging to meet both of those needs.

But, a limited ingredient dog food like Zignature Trout & Salmon Meal can help. 

This premium-quality formula starts with real trout and salmon meal, both sourced from the northwestern US. These hypoallergenic proteins are easier to digest for many dogs and still offer enough protein to promote lean muscle mass. 

Peas, chickpeas, and flaxseeds offer low-glycemic carbohydrates that are easy to digest. And they have essential nutrients like vitamin A and potassium for strong bones and a healthy immune system. 

This food has the highest fat content on the list for adult dogs. But, it’s still considered low-fat and offers beneficial ingredients like salmon oil and sunflower oil. These coat the tummy to protect it from reactions like diarrhea and contain heart and joint-friendly omega fatty acids. 

This recipe doesn’t contain chicken, corn, wheat, soy, or potatoes. It’s also free of artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors. 

Pet parents say this food is perfect for healthy weight loss, especially if your dog has sensitivities. And many note that their dogs have more nutritious and shinier coats too. 


Best Fresh Food

Ollie Lamb Recipe Dog Food

Ollie Lamb
  • First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Butternut Squash, Lamb Liver, Kale, Rice
  • Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 10% Crude Protein, 7% Crude Fat, 2% Crude Fiber, 74% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 192.50 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Human-grade and fresh-made dog food that you can customize to your dog’s needs
Get 50% OFF your first Ollie order!

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your dog gets plenty of nutrients while managing a low-fat and low-calorie diet is to make their food. But who has time to do that? And, you’d need to talk to your vet about the vitamins and minerals to include in a homemade meal. 

But, Ollie can make your pup’s food for you, and it’s vet-approved. They’ll deliver your dog’s customized formula right to your door. 

You’ll start with Ollie’s online quiz. You’ll answer questions about your dog’s weight, height, potential allergies, breed, and activity level.

Ollie ensures that they make the right amount of food and that the balanced nutrition meets your pup’s specific nutritional requirements. 

After choosing between one (or all!) of Ollie’s top recipes, the food ships right to your door every two to four weeks. You can try lamb, beef, chicken, and turkey. They also have a sample of all four if you have a picky dog.  

The best part about Ollie is that you get human-grade, fresh-made, homemade like meals without the hassle.

Besides the quiz, you don’t have to lift a finger. And each food shipment includes a scoop and nutrition guide, so mealtime and clean-up are a breeze. 

Dog owners love how easy it is to customize Ollie’s dog food to fit their pups’ needs. 


english bulldog fat

How to Choose the Best Low-Fat Dog Food

Ready to start feeding your dog a low-fat dog food? Here’s what you need to know. 

Why Do Some Dogs Need a Low-Fat Diet? 

There are quite a few reasons why a dog may need a lower-fat diet. Let’s take a look at the most common causes. 

Obesity

Yes, your dog gets their energy from fat. But, when their body can’t absorb and process extra fat, they gain weight.

If you’re having difficulty keeping fido’s figure in check, it’s time to cut back on the fat and increase their protein. 

Pancreatitis 

There is no one direct cause for pancreatitis. However, many dogs with chronic pancreatitis do well with a lower-fat diet.

This is because extra fat causes further damage to the pancreas if it’s already overworking. This causes issues, creates abdominal pain, and even gives your dog digestive problems. 

Liver Disease

A high-fat diet can cause severe damage to your dog’s liver, especially if they already have liver function problems. 

This is because the cells in their liver (named lysosomes) act like cellular garbage collectors. So the more fat your dog eats, the more these cells collect and store right in the liver. This can cause severe liver disease and even death if not monitored closely. 

Sensitive Stomach

Remember, your dog’s digestive system isn’t as extensive as yours. Just like you can feel like crap after eating a high-fat meal, so can your dog. And for dogs, this could even turn into irritable bowel syndrome.

Foods high in fat also stimulate contractions in the digestive tract. This causes their digestion to slow or quicken rapidly, which then causes diarrhea or constipation. So, avoid this altogether by feeding your pup a low or moderate-fat diet. 

What Is Considered Low-Fat Dog Food?

Any dog food that offers less than 10% Crude Fat or less than 17% of their calories from fat is considered low-fat dog food. 

Anything from 10% to 15% is considered low or moderate, depending on the vet or nutrition expert that you ask. But anything under 15% should be regarded as a tremendous low-fat diet for your pup. 

What Percentage of a Dog’s Diet Should Be Fat?

This will depend on the dog. Working dogs or active dogs need about 20%. Puppies usually require 20%-25% while they grow into adults. But seniors can usually skate on about 12%. 

If your vet has said that your dog would do best on a low-fat diet, try to focus on dog foods that don’t exceed 15% Crude Fat. 

What What Percentage Is Considered Low Fat in Dog Food? is considered low fat in dog food?

Generally, anything under 15% Crude Fat can be considered low-fat. But, according to some guidelines, 10% or less is ideal. Feel free to talk to your vet about the best percentage for your dog. 

Low-Fat and Weight Management Solutions

Dogs gain weight due to overeating and not burning off their energy. So it’s essential to look at what you’re feeding your dog and getting them plenty of exercise. 

First, limit treats and don’t feed your dog table scraps. Also, stick to no more than two feedings a day, and be sure that you aren’t overfeeding them the recommended amount.

Foods lower in fat, higher in protein, and low in sodium can be beneficial. But be sure to talk to your veterinarian about what your dog needs explicitly. 

Last, focus on providing energy for your dog so they can participate in burning off that energy with activities.

Light and moderate exercises like walks, swimming, and even agility courses can help your dog burn off excess calories and fat and give them other benefits like lean muscle mass. 

Our Verdict

No matter why your pup needs low-fat dog food, there are many great options that you can choose from. 

Our choice for the best low-fat dog food is Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight Adult dry dog food

It’s perfect for adult dogs who need support with gut or joint health or who need to lose weight without sacrificing on quality ingredients. 

But all of the options on our list can ad your dog on their new food journey; they just have to pick the flavor. 

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AUTHOR
Kim Studdard is a freelance writer for many websites in the pet universe. When she isn't spending time with her family and pets, or saying "Look a dog" everytime she sees one, you'll find her reading a book or traveling the U.S.

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