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10 Best Low Residue Dog Foods in 2021

This is our review of the best low residue dog food in 2021.

If your dog is pooping excessively despite eating a regular diet, you may want to consider feeding him low residue dog food.

Low residue dog food has lower fiber and highly digestible ingredients to reduce your dog’s stools’ frequency and size. Low residue dog foods can also help dogs with specific digestive issues.

I’m a vet tech who researched pet food formulas to help you find the best diet for your pup. And I discovered that Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food is the best overall low residue dog food.

Every dog poops, but not every dog has the same nutritional needs. So I also reviewed the best low residue dog foods in every category.

Let’s get started!

Our Best Low Residue Dog Food

10 Best Low Residue Dog Foods Reviewed

All of these dog food formulas meet AAFCO recommended daily nutrient profiles for dogs. Always talk to your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain Free
  • First 5 Ingredients: Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Fiber Content: 4%
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 370 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, High-Protein
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Overall

This high-protein, low-fiber dog food uses highly digestible ingredients to offer a low residue formula that may help reduce stool frequency. Nutrient-rich ingredients help limit stools as most of the food is utilized when digested, leaving little waste. [1]

A high 32% protein content comes from multiple high-quality animal sources. Buffalo, lamb meal, and chicken meal provide an ample amount of essential amino acids. Meat meals also contain bones that act as a natural source of glucosamine.

Real fruits and vegetables offer concentrated vitamins and minerals. There are no high-fiber filler ingredients like grain or corn. A proprietary canine probiotic blend also enhances nutrient absorption by supporting a healthy digestive system. [2]

The grain-free recipe uses alternative sources of digestible carbohydrates like peas and sweet potatoes. These starchy vegetables provide your pup with high levels of healthy energy.

Dog owners often notice improvements in the overall health and appearance of their pups who eat this diet. Reviews also often share that this food helped regulate their dog’s bowel movements.




Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Chicken Recipe

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Dehydrated Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Organic Barley, Dehydrated Potatoes, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Oats
  • Fiber Content: 4%
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 24.5% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 8% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 214 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: High-Protein, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Human-Grade, Non-GMO, Natural
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Premium Low Residue Dog Food

Dehydrated dog food like this formula offers the benefits of raw dog food with dry kibble convenience. The digestibility of the dehydrated whole-food ingredients in this recipe helps reduce stool production.

This formula meets daily nutrient requirements with a simple recipe. And higher levels of protein and calories provide more energy for active dogs. The 24.5% protein content comes from premium free-range chicken.

The grain-inclusive recipe features whole grain organic barley as a digestible carbohydrate source without high levels of fiber.

The formula includes other organic ingredients but excludes any by-products, preservatives, or GMOs.

Reviews share that this dehydrated food is easy to prepare by merely mixing the food with warm water. Even most picky dogs will readily eat this moist, premium food.




American Journey Salmon Grain Free Dog Food

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Grain-Free
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes
  • Fiber Content: 5%
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 390  kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten Free, High-Protein
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Budget Low Residue Dog Food

This affordable grain-free formula offers concentrated nutrition for dogs with adverse reactions to fillers and high fiber content. The high 32% protein content comes from a combination of deboned salmon, chicken meal, and turkey meal.

Salmon is an excellent source of animal protein that is rich in omega fatty acids. These healthy fats include DHA, a type of omega-3 that is vital for brain and eye health. [3]

It is also flavorful and ideal for picky pups with a fussy appetite.

Turkey meal and chicken meal provide natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. These ingredients also contribute concentrated protein to the recipe.

Chickpeas and sweet potatoes replace traditional grains as sources of carbohydrates. And a low 5% fiber content is ideal for dogs with frequent stools.

Dog owners recommend this food for pet parents on a budget who want to keep their pet on a low residue diet.




Merrick Grain Free Texas Beef Puppy Food

Merrick Grain-Free Real Texas Beef Sweet Potato Puppy
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Lamb Meal, Potatoes
  • Fiber Content: 4.5%
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 4.5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 400 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free
  • Life Stage: Growth
  • Best For: Low Residue Dog Food for Puppies

Puppies tend to have more frequent bowel movements than adult dogs. Low residue dog food like this formula from Merrick help regulate growing pups’ stools and control digestive systems.

High protein content is critical for ensuring that growing puppies get the amino acids they need to support muscle development. [4]

The 28% protein content comes from deboned beef. This red meat also includes concentrated amounts of nutrients and is an excellent source of iron.

This recipe includes pea protein, but plant protein is not as readily digestible by dogs as animal protein. The formula is also grain-free, using whole peas and potatoes as carbohydrate sources for high energy pups.

Added glucosamine and chondroitin support healthy joint development. And a probiotic blend helps sensitive young digestive tracts without excess fiber.

Salmon meal provides high amounts of omega fatty acids. Omega-3s like DHA are especially important for normal eye and brain development during growth stages.

Owners of puppies suffering from diarrhea have noticed increased stool firmness after switching to this diet. But some picky pups may not find the formula appealing.




Wellness CORE Grain-Free Senior Dog Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Senior Deboned Turkey
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Lentils, Dried Ground Potatoes, Peas
  • Fiber Content: 6.25%
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 6.25% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 359 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, High-Protein
  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Best For: Low Residue Dog Food for Seniors

Aging dogs can also suffer from troublesome stools. This low residue dog food has a formula designed to provide the exceptional nutritional support that seniors need.

A high 32% protein content from deboned turkey helps maintain muscle mass as dogs age. Deboned turkey is an excellent lean meat for older dogs that provides high-quality protein without drastically increasing fat content.

A low 12% crude fat content is ideal for the slower metabolisms of sedentary seniors. Senior dogs are also more likely to become overweight. Excess weight can also increase stress on older joints suffering from arthritis.

Fortification with glucosamine helps manage joint discomfort in seniors. Added taurine also promotes heart health by promoting healthy blood pressure. [5]

Although the 6.5% fiber content is slightly higher than some other recipes on this list, dog owners still notice improvements in their dog’s stools. Senior dogs have slightly higher fiber requirements for digestive regulation.




Blue Buffalo Wilderness Beef Canned Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Beef & Chicken Grill Canned
  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Potatoes, Carrageenan
  • Fiber Content: 1.5%
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 10% Crude Protein, 9% Crude Fat, 1.5% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 523 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: High-Protein, Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Pea Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Low Residue Wet Dog Food

Wet dog food formulas generally use less fiber-rich ingredients and contain fewer fillers. This low residue canned formula has a simple grain-free recipe appealing to dogs who may reject other dog kibbles.

The high moisture content of wet food reduces the relative crude percentages of macronutrients. A 10% protein content comes from beef, chicken, and chicken liver. Liver meat is a concentrated source of vitamins and minerals like vitamin A. [6]

An exceptionally low fiber content helps reduce poop production. This food also excludes any by-products, corn, wheat, or soy. The absence of common allergens and fillers makes this recipe ideal for sensitive pups and reduces waste.

Some pet owners use this wet food to encourage their dogs to eat another low residue dry dog food by mixing it with kibble. But the high caloric content of this canned food may not be suitable for overweight dogs.




Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Lentils, Peas
  • Fiber Content: 6%
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 34% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 6% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 342 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: High-Protein, Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Pea Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Low Residue Dog Food for Large Breeds

Large breeds have unique nutritional needs and uniquely large stools. This low residue dog food helps reduce the size and frequency of your giant buddy’s stool with low fiber content and high digestibility.

The first ingredient is deboned chicken, providing a lean source of 34% protein content. High protein can help support the increased muscle mass of larger pups.

This increased mass can also place additional strain on the joints of big dogs. Fortification with antioxidants and glucosamine helps protect susceptible joints from tissue damage.

Antioxidants come from whole fruits and vegetables that are easily digestible.

A moderate fat and caloric content helps prevent excess weight gain in larger dogs with slower metabolisms. The large kibble size of this dog food is also ideal for maximizing chewing in bigger mouths.

Larger breeds with big chests are also susceptible to bloat. [7] The probiotics in this recipe can help prevent this problematic condition by preventing gas buildup from harmful bacteria. 

Owners notice less digestive upset after switching their dogs to this food. They also much appreciate the larger kibble size compared to generic dry dog foods.




Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Dog Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Split Peas, Brewers Rice, Whole Brown Rice
  • Fiber Content: 5%
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 343 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Non-GMO
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Low Residue Dog Food for Small Breeds

Many low residue formulas are grain-free. But grain-inclusive recipes like this dog food may be more suitable for the higher metabolisms of smaller breeds. This recipe uses whole grains with lower fiber content to prevent excess stool production.

A moderate 24% protein content comes from real chicken. An average fat content complements the protein composition to provide adequate levels of energy for tiny pups.

Whole grains like rice provide high levels of digestible carbohydrates. Toy breeds cannot store adequate levels of glycogen in their small muscle mass. If they do not consistently eat carbohydrates from their diet, they can experience hypoglycemia. [8]

This formula uses non-GMO ingredients and eliminates fillers and preservatives for optimal gut health. The low 5% fiber content is also ideal for low-residue diets.

Pet owners recommend this dog food for tiny pups with sensitive stomachs. They also appreciate the small kibble size that is easy for little mouths to chew.




Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Dog Food

Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Adult
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Turkey Meal
  • Fiber Content: 5%
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 354 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Weight Control
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Low Residue Dog Food for Weight Control

Obesity is a common health issue that can also contribute to digestive problems. This low residue dog food helps promote weight loss with high-quality protein and low-fat content.

Real deboned beef is the first ingredient, providing a high 32% protein content. The low 10% fat content keeps the caloric content low enough for pets on weight control diets.

Omega fatty acids support a healthy coat, and glucosamine helps manage discomfort in stressed joints.

The recipe is gluten and grain-free. It also excludes common allergens like corn and soy, making it suitable for pups with sensitive stomachs. [9]

Overweight dogs often also have an increased risk of developing heart problems. Added taurine supports heart health in these pups.

Many diet formulas have high levels of fiber to keep dogs full. But this low residue dog food has a moderate content that helps regulate stool production.

Dog owners who feed this formula may notice weight loss within 30 days.




Castor and Pollux Pristine Lamb Dog Food

Castor and Pollux Pristine Lamb
  • First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Meal, Organic Pea Protein, Organic Chickpeas, Organic Peas
  • Fiber Content: 3.5%
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 34% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 370 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Gluten-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Grain-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Low Residue Dog Food for Sensitive Dogs

Grain-free formulas with unique protein sources are ideal for sensitive dogs. Common allergens like corn, soy, and wheat can trigger reactions if a dog is intolerant to them.

Lamb is the primary animal protein in this formula, contributing to the high 34% protein content. This rarer meat is safer for dogs with allergies to common dog food ingredients like chicken.

This low residue dog food’s exceptionally low 3.5% fiber content also helps reduce gastric upset in dogs with sensitive stomachs.

This formula does have a higher 16% fat that may not be suitable for dogs with the most sensitive stomachs.

The high-fat content comes from coconut oil and sunflower seed oil. But these ingredients contain unique fats that help manage skin and coat health. Dogs with intolerances often have reactions that involve itchy skin conditions. [10]

Many pet owners appreciate the responsibly sourced ingredients in this dog food formula.




Low Residue Dog Food Buying Guide

white poodle pooping

Finding the best low residue food to manage your pup’s stools involves more than just selecting a recipe with the lowest fiber content.

What is Low Residue Dog Food?

Low residue dog food helps manage digestive health problems associated with diarrhea, constipation, and flatulence. 

These formulas have a lower fiber content than traditional dog food. Fiber is not an energy source for dogs, so this nutrient passes through the digestive system and causes pups to poop more.

Benefits of Low Residue Dog Food

Although low residue dog food is traditionally intended for short term use, feeding your dog a low fiber diet has several benefits.

Reduced Frequency and Volume of Stools

High fiber filler ingredients with low digestibility can contribute to these issues by producing more feces in your pup’s GI tract.

Low fiber diets reduce the amount of waste left over after digestion, leading to reduced stool frequency and volume.

Pancreas and Colon Health

The pancreas helps regulate sugar and break down food. High fiber foods involve more extensive processing by the pancreas.

And dogs with excessive bowel movements may develop colitis. A low fiber diet can help reduce the stress on these organs.

Diarrhea and Constipation

Low residue dog food makes digestion more efficient with more digestible ingredients.

Efficient digestion improves feces consistency and reduces the occurrence of excretory problems.

Digestion and Flatulence Problems

Excessive fiber in some dog foods can result in an overgrowth of gut bacteria. These bacteria produce gases that can cause smelly flatulence.

Low residue dog food helps balance the gut microbiome and reduce the gassiness responsible for bloating.

dog looking at dry food

How to Choose Low Residue Dog Food

Low residue dog food still has to provide a comprehensive and well balanced canine diet.

Low Crude Fiber

The most crucial aspect of any low residue dog food is a low fiber content. Check the ingredients list to make sure you avoid high-fiber filler ingredients with low digestibility like processed wheat and corn by-products.

A low fiber canine diet has crude fiber levels of less than 6%. But all dogs need some dietary fiber for their digestive systems to function normally.

Digestible Carbs

Low residue dog foods should replace fibrous ingredients with highly digestible sources of carbohydrates. Whole grain rice is an excellent ingredient that is gentle on stomachs and rich in energy.

High-Quality Protein

The first component of any omnivorous canine diet should be high-quality protein. All low residue dog food formulas should feature real meat as the first ingredient.

Animal protein is more bioavailable to dogs than plant protein, so excess plant protein may create more stools.

Most of the low-residue dog foods are high protein formulas with significant amounts of animal products in the recipe. These ingredients have the highest levels of digestibility for dogs and produce minimal waste.

Moderate Fat

High-fat content can also cause the development of gastrointestinal problems. Fat takes longer to digest and often contributes to increased instances of vomiting and diarrhea.

Our Verdict

A low residue diet can help manage digestive problems associated with irregular or frequent stools.

Dogs don’t use fiber as a source of energy, so excess dietary fiber is excreted from the digestive tract as waste. Low fiber dog foods with highly digestible ingredients reduce the amount of feces your dog produces.

I recommend Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food as the best overall low residue dog food for reducing the frequency and volume of your pup’s stools.

Picking up poop is part of our job description as dog owners. But if your dog suffers from frequent diarrhea or constipation, a low residue dog food may help get his bowel movements back under control.

Talk to your veterinarian today to determine if a low residue diet could help make your dog’s excessive potty breaks less frequent.

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