Top 10 Best Low Fat Dog Foods
Our team went out into the field looking for the best canine nutrition products in the world. Our winner for this year is Pupper, which topped our charts in terms of ingredient quality as well as science backed claims.
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Like human food, dog food also has a set percentage of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. While dogs have nutritional requirements to have fat in their diet, some need a limited amount. Dogs that are overweight are fed low fat dog food to reduce their calorie intake. There are also some dogs that must eat a low-fat diet due to certain medical conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome or pancreatitis.
Understanding your pet’s nutritional needs plays an important part of keeping him healthy and happy. No matter the reason why your pup requires low fat dog food, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve researched and identified the top 20 foods that we recommend to pet owners. Keep reading to learn more about each of these foods so that you can find the perfect one for your furry companion.
Why some dogs need to eat a low-fat diet
- There are many reasons why a dog may need to eat a low-fat diet. However, it’s important to remember that not all dogs will benefit from a low-fat diet. Dietary fat plays a crucial role in maintaining your dog’s health. Unless prescribed by a vet, it’s best to feed your furry friend traditional dog food.
- Dogs that have pancreatitis are often put on a low-fat diet. A low-fat diet puts less stress on the pancreas, giving your pup’s body time to heal and recover. A somewhat related issue, known as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, often requires a low-fat diet.
- Another health condition in canines that typically responds well to a low-fat diet is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and causes chronic diarrhea and vomiting. Some dogs see a reduction in symptoms after being switched to a low-fat diet, especially those that have issues digesting dietary fats.
- For dogs that are overweight or obese, a low-fat diet is a simple yet effective way to reduce caloric intake. When your dog eats less calories and starts becoming more active, weight loss comes effortlessly.
Factors to consider when choosing low fat dog food
In traditional dog foods, crude fat makes up anywhere from 25% to 60% of calories. Dry kibble typically has less fat than wet food. Every bag and can of dog food contains an ingredient analysis. Here you’ll find all of the ingredients along with percentages for crude protein, fiber, and fat. Be aware that this number is based on weight, not calorie percentage.
For example, if a product says it has 20% crude fat minimum, this means that more than 40% of the calories in each serving come from fat. This number is way too high for overweight dogs or pups with pancreatitis.
Dog food is considered low fat when it has lower than 10% fat measured on a dry basis. This equals around 16% calories from fat.
When choosing low fat dog food, you not only want to pay attention to the fat content, but other factors as well. For example, you want to choose a food that is nutritionally balanced and complete. Reducing your dog’s fat intake also reduces the amount of fat-soluble vitamins and fatty acids. This is why it’s important to find a low-fat food that offers a complete nutritional profile.
Other important factors include:
- Easily digestible ingredients
- Low to moderate fiber
- Premium protein source
- No harmful ingredients like additives or preservatives
Before switching your dog to a low-fat food, get clearance from your vet. Remember, what you feed your dog has a direct impact on his health and wellbeing. Feeding your dog the wrong type of food could have serious consequences.
What is a highly digestible low fat food for dogs?
Any of the foods outlined above is a suitable, highly digestible food for dogs. Look for ingredients like prebiotics and probiotics, which help to maximize beneficial gut bacteria and improve overall gut health. These highly digestible foods can come in either wet or dry food formulas, so long as they contain ingredients specifically for sensitive digestion.
What food is best for dogs with pancreatitis?
Bland, low fat foods are ideal for helping a dog that has been diagnosed with pancreatitis. High fat foods aggravate this condition so it’s best to switch him over to a low fat diet that includes foods like chicken, vegetables, barley, and rice. Avoid giving table scraps, treats, or high-fat meals to dogs that have been diagnosed with pancreatitis.
Which dog food has the lowest fat content?
There are several dog food options with low fat content. The recipes with the lowest fat content are labeled as such and typically require a prescription or vet authorization to purchase. Look for clear labels on dog food packaging to ensure you’re getting dog food with low fat content.
The 10 Best Low Fat Dog Foods
Evanger’s Low Fat Vegetarian Dinner Canned Dog Food – Best Value
Are you looking for the best low fat dog food for the money? If so, check out Evanger’s Low Fat Vegetarian Dinner. This is the second selection on our list and also the second canned wet food variety. However, unlike our top pick, this is not a veterinary diet item. Therefore, it’s not restricted by prescription. It’s also a completely vegetarian option providing a low protein option for dogs with digestion issues.
Evanger’s dog food comes canned in a pâté form which many picky eaters tend to enjoy. It’s made completely out of farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, and roots to provide the best nutrition possible while keeping the food corn, wheat, and soy-free. Although there are no meat products inside Evanger’s blend, the crude fat has just a 2% minimum content.
All-in-all, it’s a pretty solid option. It’s cheaper than many other dietary options with more nutrition and you don’t need a prescription to buy it.
- Low protein content for dogs that don’t have dietary restrictions
- Not limited by prescription
- Low protein (if needed)
- Corn, wheat, and soy-free
- Pâté form
- Less expensive
Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care Low Fat Dog Food – Best Overall
Our number one pick for the best low fat dog food goes to Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care Low Fat Dog Food. Hill’s is a canned dog food that’s been specially designed to deliver all of the nutrients your dog needs in a highly digestible and easy-to-eat medium. The food is full of prebiotic fiber and ingredients such as ginger, which is designed to help promote the growth of gut-healthy bacteria and soothe your dog’s GI tract.
But this food has more than just digestion-friendly ingredients. Hill’s also has included plenty of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids for immune system boosting and for shiny skin, nails, and coat.
The can has a maximum of 3.5% crude fat, meaning that you can guarantee that your dog will truly be on a quality low-fat diet.
Being a veterinary prescription diet, your vet may be contacted in order to verify that this is the right food for them. That can make this food even more appealing from a health standpoint.
All in all, we think this is the best low fat dog food available this year.
- Prescription required
- Easy to eat and digest
- Lots of antioxidants
- Prescription-strength diet
- Full of omega-3 fatty acids
- Low crude fat maximum level
Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Dry Dog Food
If you’re looking for a dry dog food designed specifically to help your dog out with excessive weight control, perhaps Wellness CORE is the right solution for you. This grain-free dog food isn’t made with any corn, wheat, soy, or even rice to minimize the amount of bulk your pup will put on. Instead of grain, Wellness opts to provide your pup energy through the use of potatoes and sweet potatoes in their blend.
And that’s not the only good stuff in it either. The first three ingredients are deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal, which indicates that this dog food is anything but low-protein. In fact, the kibble sits at a minimum 33% protein content.
We wouldn’t necessarily call this dog food low fat though. At a 10%-12% minimum fat content, the blend’s only a reduced fat mixture from a standard full-fat dog food. This dog food is also pretty expensive for a non-veterinary diet food — especially for having a fat content that high.
- Higher fat content than a typical low fat dog food
- On the expensive side
- High protein — first 3 ingredients are meat-based
Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food – Premium Choice
The first dry dog food on our list comes from Royal Canin. This company is known for its ability to custom-build dog foods specific to dog breeds and situations. In this instance, we’re taking a look at their Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Blend. This is another dog food for which you’ll need a vet’s prescription and recommendation to purchase.
This kibble is jam-packed with all sorts of great nutrition including easily digestible protein and probiotics for peak digestive health, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. It also has a low fat content at 8.5% max. This is higher than other dog foods; however, these fats are much more easily digestible.
The biggest turnoff about this low fat dog food is the price. It’s crazy expensive. But if you’re looking for a top-quality product to help your pooch lose weight, this could be it.
- Prescription required
- Very expensive
- Higher fat content than other low fat dog food
- Good source of omega-3 fatty acids
- Contains plenty of easily digestible protein and probiotics
- Prescription-strength diet
Annamaet Grain-Free Lean Low Fat Dry Dog Food
Annamaet’s Lean Reduced Fat Formula is the second grain-free dog food option on our list. Instead of potatoes though, Annamaet provides energy through their use of lentils and field peas. It’s also got a good amount of protein and L-carnitine to help dogs build lean muscle and reduce their weight. And they’ve even ensured a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and DHA to help promote great cognitive function and brain activity.
But there are a few things that we wish were a bit different. This can be a bit pricey for a dry dog food (though fortunately, it’s still cheaper than the number five’s Royal Canin). Also, the kibble size is just a bit too big for some smaller breeds. Many breeds may have trouble actually eating this if it isn’t soaked in water first.
- Kibble size too big for many smaller breeds
- Good source of protein and L-carnitine
- Added omega-3 fatty acids and DHA
Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Low Fat Dry Dog Food
Normally, we’re huge fans of Blue Buffalo’s dog food. They’re a great balance of both nutrition and affordability, but it just seems like they missed the mark with this diet option. Now, the food does provide a decent amount of nutritional content with 24% protein and 9% max fat content. But for a dry dog food, that’s just a bit underwhelming.
And the food is full of their exclusive “LifeSource Bits”. These are little pieces of food packed with vitamins and minerals. The problem is that these bits are rock hard and very difficult to chew. In fact, aging dogs may not be able to eat this at all.
Another big turnoff is the price. While most veterinary diets are expensive, this food just doesn’t provide the return value for the cost spent. So when it comes to standard dog food, we still like Blue Buffalo. But opt for another choice when choosing a good low fat or veterinary diet for your pooch.
- Reduced fat content
- LifeSource Bits can be too hard to eat
- Low protein content
- Expensive for overall low value
Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat Canned Dog Food
Next on our list is Royal Canin’s Gastrointestinal Low Fat Canned Dog Food. This is Royal Canin’s wet food version of their previous entry on this list. This wet food is actually a little more low fat with crude fat content ranging between 1.43%-3.75%. However, there’s a huge difference in protein content, with this canned food only weighing in at 6% compared to our number three dry food’s 20%. If your pup still requires a larger amount of protein, they’ll definitely get more out of the dry food.
This is also very easily the most expensive dog food on our list. It would be very difficult to consistently feed this to your pup if you have limited funds. And since this is a veterinary diet dog food, you’ll have to spend more to at the vet to get a prescription.
- Extremely expensive
- Low protein content
- Low fat content
- Specially designed for overall gut health
- Prescription-strength diet
Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Low Fat Adult Dry Dog Food
If your dog is used to a fish-based diet, you might want to consider Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous. Its primary ingredient is fresh-caught Alaskan pollock followed up by pollock meal. And it’s evident that they’re not skimping on protein either. With a 26% minimum for crude protein, this diet is great for dogs looking to build lean muscle. We wouldn’t necessarily call it low-fat with a crude fat max of 9.5%; however, Solid Gold definitely qualifies for the reduced fat category of dog chow.
But you may have some difficulties feeding this to your pup. Many picky eaters tend to avoid fish-based diets based on smell alone. The food does have a very fishy smell and very dry, grainy kibble. These aspects don’t bode too well for picky eaters. Fortunately, the bag is relatively cheap, so trying it out is not such a big gamble.
- Not good for picky eaters
- Good protein level
- Corn, wheat, and soy-free
Bil-Jac Reduced Fat Dry Dog Food
If you’re looking for the most cost-effective brand on our list, look no further than Bil-Jac. This reduced fat blend is easily the most wallet-friendly reduced fat dog food available with options to buy it in bulk for lower costs. The kibble comes in uniquely-shaped bits resembling more of a cigar or tube shape than a standard kibble. This makes it easier for even smaller breeds to scarf this down. However, their shape does allow them to crumble much easier, and you may find yourself with a bag of dust near the bottom of the sack.
The nutrition content isn’t quite up to par either. With a crude protein minimum of 17% and max crude fat at 12.5%, this truly is a reduced fat diet — not necessarily low fat. And there’s quite a bit of filler material in here when compared to other dog foods. Cornmeal, oatmeal, and dried yeast make up three of the top six ingredients. However, if you’re in a pinch and looking for cheap reduced fat dog food, this could suffice.
- Sub-standard nutrition
- Lots of filler ingredients
- Low protein for dry food
- Kibble shape is easier to eat for smaller dogs
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Low Fat Canned Dog Food
Veterinary diets can be quite expensive. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case with Purina Pro Plan. This is one of the most inexpensive veterinary diet plans available on the market today, making this great for everybody who owns dogs with special needs. It’s a wet food that comes in a minced format instead of the usual pâté, so it has actual texture differences. This may encourage some picky eaters to actually eat the food, but each case is different. The formula is specifically designed to be easy to eat for dogs with sensitive digestive tracts.
However, for a wet food, this grub can be pretty dry and turn your dog off from eating it. Also, there have been several reports of very soft and loose stools coming from dogs who have switched over to Purina.
- Can be dry
- Soft and loose stools have been reported
- Affordable veterinary diet plan
- Minced for texture
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Low-Fat Dog Food
The amount of fat that a dog needs in their diet will vary depending on the individual dog. Young, highly active dogs can eat more fat than less active, older dogs that doesn’t move as much. Age, metabolism, activity level, and health status all factor into what each dog needs.
Why Is Fat Bad for Dogs?
Just like too much fat in a human’s diet can cause problems, the same is true for dogs. Obese dogs are at an increased risk of diabetes, pancreatitis, heart disease, and joint/mobility problems. This can shave years off their lifespan. Keeping your dog slim and healthy is one way to ensure that they live a long, happy life.
Why Choose Low-Fat Dog Food?
Diets with more than 20% fat are considered high fat and less healthy for your adult dog. Dog owners are encouraged to feed their dogs a low-fat diet to keep their pups as healthy as possible and avoid unintentional weight gain. Low-fat foods can also be helpful for dogs with certain health issues because they are usually lower in carbohydrates too. Dogs should have some fat in their diet, but it should take up no more than 10%–15% of the nutritional content. Fat content lower than 10% will help dogs lose weight without sacrificing nutrition.
No dog owner wants their dog to go hungry, though. With low-fat dog food, your dog is automatically getting fewer calories. This means you don’t have to give your dog less food to have them eat less fat and calories.
Before buying any new food for your dog, always consult your vet first to make sure you’re feeding them what they need for their age, health status, and activity level.
Choosing the right low fat dog food for your four-legged friend can be tough! We hope our reviews have helped guide you in the right direction when making this critical selection.
Our top pick for the best low fat dog food is Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care Low Fat Dog Food. It’s an amazing option that provides top-notch nutrition and easy to digest food for your pup in need. However, it’s only available as part of a veterinary diet as described by your pet’s doctor.
If you’re looking to find a great low fat dog food without a script, we recommend Evanger’s Low Fat Vegetarian Dinner Canned Dog Food. Not only is it a quality low-fat vegetarian option, it’s the best bang for your buck in terms of quality/price comparison.