The Ultimate Guide to Weight Loss Dog Food [2021 Review]

Weight loss dog food can be part of your dog’s fitness journey. These specially-formulated foods can help your dogs get the nutrition they need for overall health while limiting their caloric intake.

Some weight loss dog foods are only available with authorization from your vet. You’ll have to enter some information about your dog and your veterinarian at check-out, and the store will complete your order after contacting your vet to ensure your purchase has been approved. 

Which weight loss dog food is best? This simple guide will make it easier for you to select the right one for your dog.

Dry Weight Loss Dog Food

Dry food is easy to store. It also usually comes in a variety of sizes, so you can purchase according to your budget or dog’s feeding needs. Our top suggestions include:

Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic + Mobility Dog Food

This food, available with your vet’s authorization, has been clinically proven to reduce your dog’s weight by 13 percent in as little as two months. It also improves mobility and joint health with Omega-3, glucosamine, and chondroitin. 

Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Weight High Protein Formula Dog Food

Turkey is the first ingredient, and this choice boasts 25 percent less fat and 15 percent fewer calories than Purina ONE SmartBlend Lamb & Rice. It has glucosamine for joint health and antioxidants for a strong immune system.

Royal Canin Large Weight Care Dog Food

This is formulated for adult dogs weighing 56-100 pounds that have a tendency to pack on extra pounds. It has 31 percent less fat than Royal Canin Large Adult dog food and plenty of fiber to help your dog feel full. With this food, nearly nine in 10 slightly overweight dogs lost weight in about two months. 

Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe

The first ingredient is deboned beef; it’s got glucosamine and Omega-6 and -3, too. It’s ideal for adult dogs of all breeds who need to lose weight while avoiding grains. 

Feeding Your Dog Dry Weight Loss Food

Weight loss dog foods should be as nutritionally complete as any other formula so that you don’t have to supplement your dog’s diet. The weight management food won’t help if your dog is getting extra calories from treats and table scraps. 

How to Choose a Dry Dog Food

As with any dog food, you want a weight loss formula with a high-quality protein source as the first ingredient. Healthy weight recipes are typically lower in fat and calories, and they may be higher in fiber to promote digestion and feelings of fullness. From there, it’s largely about your dog’s needs and preferences.

Transitioning to a New Food

Most packages often give recommendations on gradually introducing the new food by feeding it in combination with the old food, adding a little more of the new one each day over the course of a week or two. This gradual introduction can reduce the odds of an upset stomach. 

Even though large bags typically offer better value, buy a small bag the first time to make sure your dog likes the food and doesn’t have any physical reactions to it. 

Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Dry food has less moisture than wet food. But as long as your dog has plenty of fresh water available, you don’t need to add any water to the meal.

Wet Weight Loss Dog Food

If your dog loves canned food, you can choose a wet weight loss recipe from our top choices below:

Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic Weight Management Wet Dog Food

With your vet’s authorization, your dog can enjoy this wet food in three flavors. It’s formulated to work naturally with your dog’s metabolism to help him or her avoid regaining lost weight. 

Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Adult Wet Dog Food

Made with natural ingredients in two hearty flavors, this canned food has been shown to help 70 percent of dogs lose weight in 10 weeks. It’s brought to you by the same trusted nutritionists that offer prescription formulas, but you don’t need your vet’s approval to buy it.

Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Adult Wet Dog Food

With 23 essential vitamins and minerals, this wet food is formulated with an ideal protein content to ensure muscle maintenance while promoting fat loss. After water, turkey is the first ingredient, and it has 25 percent less fat than Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Adult Chicken & Rice Entree Classic.

BLUE Wilderness Healthy Weight High Protein Wet Dog Food

Turkey and chicken are the first two ingredients in this grain-free formula. The reduced calorie count helps your dog lose weight while maintaining muscle.

Feeding Your Dog Wet Weight Loss Food

If your dog likes a specific brand of canned food, you may want to choose the weight management formula from the same brand. 

How Much Canned Food Does My Dog Need?

It depends upon her size. The brand will offer a feeding guide based upon your dog’s size or desired weight. Unused canned food can typically be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator until the next feeding.

What Flavor Is Best?

Ask your dog! Then check the ingredients. You can probably find a weight loss formula with his favorite meats and vegetables.

Can I Switch My Dog From Dry to Wet Food?

Many dogs love wet food, so the transition may seem like a great idea to her! However, any abrupt change in diet can cause some digestive distress. Transition your dog slowly over a week or two.

Is Wet Food or Dry Food Better for Weight Loss?

Both are good! Whether you choose wet or dry, check the label for high-quality ingredients, and talk to your vet about your dog’s weight loss needs. 

Helping Your Dog Lose Weight

If your dog needs to lose weight, here’s how you can help:

  1. Visit your vet for guidance.
  2. Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise. 
  3. Check food portions. 
  4. Consider a weight loss dog food. 

Do You Really Need Weight Loss Dog Food?

If your dog is overweight, a special formulation may be more appropriate than simply reducing portions. Many weight loss formulas contain glucosamine to promote joint health. If your dog is experiencing joint pain, she may be less likely to exercise, which will make weight loss more difficult. 

How to Choose a Food

Compare the food you’re using to the new food to ensure you’re making a positive change. Here’s what to look for:

Making the Switch

Even if you’re staying within the same brand or ingredients list, changing foods should always be a gradual process. Dogs with sensitive stomachs may require more time to make the change.

Is This Really Enough Food?

It may not look like much compared to what you used to offer, but as long as you’re following the guidelines on the package, you’re probably on the right track. Talk to your vet if your dog continues to gain weight, seems unwell, or acts hungry between meals. 

Weight Loss Dog Food for Your Dog

An ideal weight will help your dog lead a long, healthy life. Weight loss dog food may be a key part in helping your pet regain their sleek, healthy physique.