7 Best Low-Fat Dog Foods

Best low fat dog foods dogfoodcare.com

Oh, how we love to spoil our precious pooches, but how we hate to withhold the treats when they become overweight, or even obese. However, choosing those treats with care can go a long way in preventing obesity. Sure, it is more than treats that cause weight gain. Regular exercise and balanced diets play significant roles in keeping your K9 companion lean, fit, and healthy dog.

It is important to understand that the dietary requirements of dog owners and their K9s differ. What harms our health is often a necessity for dog health. Putting your furry friend on a low-fat diet should only happen when recommended by your veterinarian. Sadly, many dogs go without the dietary fat they need for energy because pet owners fall for the latest fad fueled by popular human dietary trends.

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How healthy is your dog’s low-fat food?

Almost every dog food manufacturer now offers one or more low-fat options. However, are these products designed to enhance your dog’s health? Or are they on the store shelves to boost the bottom lines of the players in the dog food industry?

How Can Human Diets Harm Canines?

Pet owners should understand that what is right for their diets may be the wrong choice for their dogs.


Saturated fats: Human diets high in saturated fat cause clogged arteries and heart attacks. In contrast, dogs can consume high-fat diets without adverse effects on their circulatory conditions. Canines have a natural resistance to coronary artery disease and stroke.

Canine Cholesterol: Humans are prone to suffer from LDL (low-density lipoprotein), frequently called the bad type of cholesterol. LDL is the cholesterol type that causes stroke ad heart attacks in humans. In contrast, dogs’ cholesterol levels can be significantly higher without putting them at risk of artery-blocking diseases. It is because the cholesterol in canines is HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good” cholesterol. HDL absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the dog’s body. High HDL cholesterol levels lower the risk of atherosclerosis, the leading cause of heart disease and stroke.

Bottom Line: Unlike humans, dogs need not limit animal fats in their diets. Most dogs can easily handle a reasonable amount of animal fat in their diets. Especially when it’s the natural kind of fat associated with a quality meat ingredient.

Your dog requires essential fatty acids to sustain life, and dietary fat is the best source of fatty acids and energy.

When should dogs have low-fat dog food?

Although fats can be a regular part of your doggy dude’s diet, certain medical conditions may call for feeding a low-fat diet.

The three most common problems include

  • Pancreatitis
  • Chronic obesity
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

High-fat dog food can cause or aggravate these conditions.

Which ingredients should not be in low-fat dog food?

Some manufacturers in the pet food industry use low-quality, cheap raw materials.

When you select a commercial low-fat dog food for your precious pooch, you would want a product with a good amount of high-quality fat. Low-quality ingredients can negatively affect your dog’s health. Below are examples of ingredients you should avoid.

  • Fatty trimmings
  • Generic vegetable oil
  • Anonymous animal fat
  • Slaughterhouse waste

Generic animal fat without any indication of the source is typically derived from lower quality, rendered sources, such as the following:

  • Dead, dying, diseased, or disabled farm animals
  • Out-of-date grocery meats
  • Generic by-products
  • Dead zoo animals
  • Roadkill

With all the above information, it is not strange that finding high-quality low-fat dog food can be challenging. That’s because to reduce fat, pet food manufacturers tend to create dog food formulas containing less meat. So, the resulting dog food is not only low in fat but also low in protein, thus, high in carbs.

Armed with the above information and Dog Food Care’s recommendations, you can find a low-fat dog food that is perfect for your Canine Companion.

Top Picks for Best Low-Fat Dog Food

Kindly note that the prices quoted here are as of July 1, 2022.

First, let’s look at the ideal fat percentages in dog food for both average fat (for weight maintenance) and low-fat (for weight loss).

Dry Matter Fat Content

Food Type

Average Fat

Low Fat



12% or less



16% or less



20% or less

The low-fat dog foods below have been selected by Dog Food Care, based on the following guidelines:

  • Well below-average fat content
  • Reasonable protein levels
  • Overall Rate between 4 and 5

Good quality low-fat dog foods typically contain less meat and more plant-based protein.

1. Annamaet Lean Low-Fat Formula Dry Dog Food



This weight control formula contains high-quality ingredients without all the fiber. Other benefits include:

  • It contains L-carnitine, an amino acid derivative that transports fatty acids into your dog’s cells to be processed for energy.
  • L-carnitine helps promote lean muscle mass and increase metabolism.
  • This kibble is ideal for dogs with weight concerns.
  • Annamaet can also be helpful for dogs who are suffering from blood lipid issues and pancreatitis.
  • It contains DHA to support your canine companion’s cognitive function.
  • Fish Oil provides omega-3 fatty acids
  • The minerals are chelated for easy absorption to support a healthy immune system.

Annamaet is a moderately priced grain-free dog food for dogs on low-calorie diets. It’s safe for dogs with GI issues and is formulated for breeds of all sizes.

First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, field peas, lentils, potato, tapioca

Type: Grain-free

Fat content: 8% (dry matter),

Calories: 350 kcal/cup

Price: $76.94 per 25-lb bag ($3.08-lb)

Dog Food Care rates Annamaet Grain-Free Lean Low-Fat Formula Dry Dog Food a 5-star product and recommends it with confidence as our Overall Best Low-Fat Dog Food for weight loss

2. Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe



Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Healthy Weight Recipe is formulated to maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity. The nutritional benefits of this kibble include the following:

  • The recipe contains 55% animal protein and healthy fat to promote high energy levels and healthy muscle tissue.
  • Three of the first 5 ingredients are beef, chicken, and turkey sources.
  • The third ingredient is sweet potatoes—a superfood. Considered a whole superfood, sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins and minerals considered essential for both the health of dogs and dog owners. Sweet potatoes are one of the highest sources of fiber in vegetables, and most dogs love them.
  • The remaining 45% includes fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other natural ingredients to create a complete and balanced diet.
  • It provides optimal protein and fiber without extra calories or fat.
  • The formula includes glucosamine and chondroitin to support hip and joint function.
  • This grain- and gluten-free dry dog food is developed with high levels of omega fatty acids to help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Merrick Healthy Weight is a grain-free, low-calorie dog food with 11% fat and 36% protein. Its main sources of protein are beef and chicken meal, but it also contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to help promote a healthy coat, especially for pets with skin allergies.

First 5 ingredients: Deboned beef, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, turkey meal

Type: Grain-free

Fat: 9% (dry matter)

Calories: 354 kcal/cup

Price: $62.98 per 22-lb bag ($2.86-lb)

Dog Food Care rates Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Healthy Weight Recipe as 4.5 Stars and recommends it as our choice of Best Low-Fat Dog Food for healthy weight maintenance.

3. Nulo Freestyle Adult Trim Dog Food



Staying fit and trim can be more challenging for some dogs. That’s why Nulo made the Nulo Freestyle Adult Trim formula. It is also grain-free and chicken-free, a great choice for dogs with allergies, sensitive stomachs, diabetes, and dogs with pancreatitis.

  • This low-fat kibble’s first three ingredients include cod, turkey meal and salmon meal.
  • Pure probiotics aid digestion
  • L-carnitine promotes your pooch’s metabolism.
  • L-carnitine is an amino acid derivative that transports fatty acids into your dog’s cells to be processed for energy.

Nulo Freestyle Adult Trim Dog Food is a top-rated, grain-free, low-fat dog food with only 8% fat and 30% protein.

First 5 ingredients: Deboned cod, turkey meal, salmon meal, lentils, yellow peas

Type: Grain-free

Fat: 8% (dry matter)

Calories: 368 kcal/cup

Price: $78.58 per 26-lb ($3.02-lb)

Though Nulo is on the higher-priced side of our low-fat dog food options, the high-quality ingredients and animal-based proteins make it a top choice—one that’s well worth the price tag.

Therefore, Dog Food Care awards 5 Stars to Nulo Freestyle Adult Trim Dog Food. Moreover, it receives a well-earned recommendation. We chose this Nulo dry dog food as the Best Low-Fat Dog Food for healthy weight maintenance in dogs with allergies and food sensitivities.

4. Natural Balance Fat Dogs



Natural Balance Fat Dogs is a dry dog food that does not leave you guessing who it’s aimed at. Fat Dogs Low-Calorie Dry Dog Food is a grain-inclusive kibble made specifically for overweight dogs. Obesity in pets can cause a number of certain health problems, such as cardiovascular concerns, skin disease, joint stress and reduced mobility.

  • Keeping your adult dog on a lean and healthy diet is the best way to prevent these ailments.
  • Natural Balance Fat Dogs gets the bulk of its meat protein from chicken meal and salmon meal, which are the first two ingredients on the list.
  • Designed to keep your dog nutritionally balanced even though they are eating fewer calories,
  • This Fat Dogs diet offers a special protein and fiber blend to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and delicious way.
  • Moreover, it will help keep him full between meals and will help prevent begging.

Dry matter label analysis shows the recipe contains 29% protein, 8% fat and 55% estimated carbs, creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 29%.

First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, salmon meal, chickpeas, dried peas, oat groats

Type: Grain-inclusive (oat groats, barley)

Fat: 8% (dry matter)

Calories: 315 kcal/cup

Price: $59.83 per 28-lb bag ($2.13-lb)

Natural Balance Fat Dogs Chicken & Salmon Formula Low-Calorie Dry Dog Food is an affordable, fully balanced grain-inclusive, option containing just 8% fat.

Dog Food Care awards Natural Balance Fat Dogs 4 well-deserved stars. We recommend it as the Best for Budget Low-Fat Dog Food.

5. Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dog Food



Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dog Food is a protein-rich, low-fat dry food that’s both grain-free and optimal for sensitive stomachs. Help your pooch, whether adult or senior, shed some weight with Wellness CORE Natural Reduced Fat Dog Food.

  • The formula uses carefully chosen premium proteins—like turkey, chicken, and salmon oil, along with fruits and vegetables.
  • Whole grains are fortified with omega fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
  • The recipe includes glucosamine. It aids in producing organic materials that keep your dog’s joints and bones working correctly, such as cartilage, tendons and the synovial fluid that surrounds joints and keeps them lubricated.
  • Probiotics and prebiotics have benefits that can help your dog digest food, make and absorb vitamins and minerals, and keep a strong immune system.
  • Taurine is like solid gold, it strengthens the heart, supports healthy blood flow, and supports the retina and vision. Taurine also promotes reproductive health.
  • It is developed without any meat by-products, fillers, corn, soy, wheat-gluten or artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.

This nutrient-rich, grain-free dry dog food encourages lean body mass and muscle tone, supports a healthy coat and skin, and promotes whole-body health. With 36% protein and 11% fat, this food will keep even the hungriest canines full until the next mealtime. The primary protein sources are turkey and chicken meal.

First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, lentils, peas

Type: Grain-free

Fat: 11% (dry matter)

Calories: 360 kcal/cup

Price: $74.99 per 26-lb Bag ($2.88-lb)

This balanced, grain-free dry food for dogs is specially formulated to help your dog maintain a healthy weight using the power of protein and a recipe with less fat. Consider Wellness Core for any dog with a big appetite and would also benefit from a premium-grade, low-fat recipe.

This dog food earns 4 Stars. Dog Food Care highly recommends Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dog Food as the Best premium quality Low-Fat Dog Food with an unusually generous amount of protein.

6. Dr. Tim’s Metabolite Weight Management Formula



Dr. Tim’s Weight Management Metabolite Formula Dry Dog Food is not only a low-fat content food, but it’s also low in calories. So, if your dog needs to lose a lot of weight, Dr. Tim’s is a great way to keep her feeling full.

  • It is a tasty dry dog food that focuses on lean proteins, like chicken meal, to fuel your precious pooch while cutting calories.
  • Wholesome protein sources combine with a special fiber blend to help your dog burn calories and lose weight.
  • The low-calorie recipe is rich in essential amino acids like L-carnitine, which promote healthy fat metabolism by transporting fatty acids into your dog’s cells to be processed for energy.
  • Probiotic works to promote a healthy digestive system.
  • DHA and EPA from fish oil can assist with inflammation, immunity, brain function, heart health and shedding.
  • It promotes skin, coat, paws and overall health.
  • Dr. Tim’s formula can help your dog manage his weight while truly nourishing his body.
  • It’s a low-calorie dog food that doesn’t sacrifice protein or carbs.

This unique recipe is designed with the perfect blend of carbohydrates, fats, and fiber to support weight loss while still fueling his daily routine. It’s made up of 11% fat and 30% protein, and contains grains like brown rice and oats.

First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, whole oat groats, dried field peas, powdered cellulose

Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, oat groats)

Fat: 11% (dry matter)

Calories: 269 kcal/cup

Price: $68.29 per 24-lb bag ($2.85)

This kibble is also an appetizing and protein-rich food for dogs suffering from digestive conditions or diagnosed with hypothyroidism, requiring a special diet. It’s a slow-cooked, all-natural recipe designed by a Ph.D. canine nutritionist and an experienced veterinarian.

Dog Food Care rates Dr. Tim’s Weight Management Metabolite Formula Dry Dog Food 4 ½ Stars, and recommends it as a meal that truly addresses your dog’s unique needs.

7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight



Blue Wilderness Healthy Weight is made with lean chicken to give your doggy dude a healthy source of protein without added fat. This protein-rich meal is specially formulated for pooches who require support with weight management without risking their health.

  • It contains a controlled number of calories from fat plus L-carnitine to help your pooch develop strong and lean muscles.
  • This Blue Buffalo Wilderness formula also packs real and mouthwatering chicken to satisfy your canine pal’s natural craving for meat
  • Formulated with a carefully blended combination of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins to support a healthy immune system.
  • It’s also a grain-free formula made without the use of corn, wheat soy or meat by-products
  • It’s a great way to provide your favorite sidekick with a fully satisfying meal and help him stay lean and trim
  • L-carnitine promotes your canine’s metabolism.
  • L-carnitine is an amino acid derivative that transports fatty acids into your dog’s cells to be processed for energy.

Blue Wilderness Healthy Weight is ideal for picky eaters who need to shed a few pounds, or dogs that could otherwise benefit from low-fat dry dog food. Each serving contains 11% fat and 33% protein, and is entirely grain-free.

First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, pea protein, peas, tapioca starch

Type: Grain-free

Fat: 11% (dry matter)

Calories: 353 kcal/cup

Price: $64.98 per 24-lb bag ($2.71-lb)

Though low in calories and low in fat, Blue Wilderness Healthy Weight is also fairly high in protein. High-Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food will jumpstart your precious Pooch’s weight loss endeavor without going hungry.

Dog Food Care recommends Blue Buffalo Wilderness High-Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food, Chicken as 4-Star dog food for picky dogs.

More Recommended Low-Fat Dog Foods

The following Low-Fat Dog foods are all rated above four stars, and highly recommended.

In conclusion

Follow-up treatment for obesity or other health issues that require weight loss includes communicating regularly with your veterinarian, monitoring your dog’s weight monthly, and establishing a long-term weight-maintenance program once your dog’s ideal body condition score has been achieved.

With a firm commitment to your dog’s healthy weight, you can feel confident that your dog is feeling their best.

Hopefully, our advice and recommendations will help you select dog food that allows your furry friend to lose weight, or overcome obesity, without jeopardizing their overall health.

Thanks for reading.

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