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Best Low Fat Dog Food: 7 Diets to Try

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If your dog is overweight or has a medical condition like pancreatitis or irritable bowel syndrome, your veterinarian might recommend switching to a low fat dog food. To be considered low fat, dog food should have 10 percent crude fat or less, and low-fat dog foods are available both over-the-counter and via prescription. 

To find the best low fat dog food for your pet, here’s what you need to know as you shop. You’ll also want to talk with your pet’s veterinarian for recommendations, especially if you’re using diet to manage a medical condition. 

Our Top Low Fat Dog Foods

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Why Switch to a Low Fat Dog Food?

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In certain cases, low fat dog food can be used to help your dog lose weight, but you’ll want to talk to your veterinarian to ensure this is the best route for your pet. “Before starting a low fat diet, you should consult with your primary veterinarian to discuss a weight loss program,” explains Dr. Preston Turano, DVM. “Remember there are different types of fats and that they are needed for many normal internal functions as well as keeping the skin and hair coat healthy.” If weight loss is your goal, your veterinarian might alternatively recommend a dog food for weight loss and/or an increased exercise regimen. 

Low-fat dog food is more commonly used for dogs with certain medical conditions. Food that is low in fat is more digestible and can reduce the demands placed on the pancreas and other components of the digestive tract. “There are many medical conditions where a low fat diet is one of the treatments,” says Dr. Turano. “Examples include dogs with chronic pancreatitis or certain gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, enteritis, and colitis. Hypertriglyceridemia and lymphangiectasia are also medical conditions that may benefit from a low fat diet.” If your dog has one of these conditions, it’s important to work closely with your veterinarian to find an appropriate diet to manage their medical needs. 

Best Low Fat Dog Food: 7 Diets to Try

Best Low Fat Dry Dog Food

Our Pick: Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Adult Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Dog Food

If you’re looking for a non-prescription low fat dog food to help your dog lose weight, Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Dry Dog Food is one of your top choices. The formula contains 15 percent less fat than the brand’s standard adult formula, and its protein-to-fat ratio is optimized to help your dog lose weight while maintaining muscle mass. Real chicken is the first ingredient in this dry food, and it also contains prebiotic fibers and live probiotics for digestive health and omega-3 fatty acids for a lush coat. 

Highlights

  • No prescription needed
  • Formulated for overweight or less active dogs
  • 9% crude fat (min.)
  • Optimized protein-to-fat ratio
  • Live probiotics for digestive and immune health

Things to Consider

  • Fat content may be too high for dogs with some medical conditions

Best Low Fat Wet Dog Food

Our Pick: Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Adult Wet Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Weight Control Dog Food Wet Gravy

Purina Pro Plan also offers a wet version of its weight management formula that makes another good low fat option for your pet. Designed to help dogs lose weight, the turkey and rice recipe comes in 13-ounce cans. The morsels in gravy entree features 25 percent less fat than the brand’s standard adult formula. It also contains essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support a healthy immune system and omega-6 fatty acids to support skin and coat health. The food is made in the USA, and it’s made without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Highlights

  • No prescription needed
  • 2% crude fat (min.)
  • Includes omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat support 
  • Made in the USA

Things to Consider

  • The brand offers a feeding chart with recommended amounts for 10% calorie reduction and 25% calorie reduction. Regardless, larger dogs will need several cans each day

Best Low Fat Dog Food for Pancreatitis

Our Pick: Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Low Fat Digestive Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food

Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Low Fat Digestive Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food

For dogs with a chronic condition such as pancreatitis, your veterinarian may recommend a prescription diet such as Hill’s i/d Low Fat Digestive Care. This prescription formula is specially designed to improve digestion and ensure easy nutrient absorption, and it’s clinically proven to calm the digestive tract. The dry food promotes beneficial microflora, and it also reduces your dog’s risk of urinary stones. 

Highlights

  • 6% crude fat (min.)
  • Helps settle digestive problems
  • Improves nutrient absorption
  • Reduces risk of urinary stone formation

Things to Consider

  • Expensive
  • Prescription required

Best Low Fat Dog Food for Liver Disease

Our Pick: JustFoodForDogs Pantry Fresh Hepatic Support Low Fat Wet Dog Food

JustFoodForDogs Pantry Fresh Hepatic Support Wet Dog Food

Dogs with liver disease often need a low fat diet, and the JustFoodForDogs Fresh Hepatic Support Low Fat Wet Dog Food is a prescription option you may want to consider. It’s formulated to support healthy liver function with carefully controlled levels of protein, calories, phosphorus, and copper, and the food is made from fresh ingredients, including sweet potatoes, long-grain white rice, chicken breast, broccoli, and zucchini. Despite its fresh formula, the food is shelf-stable for up to two years, but you do need to refrigerate it after opening the package. 

Highlights

  • 1.5% crude fat (min.)
  • Made from fresh ingredients
  • Designed for dogs with liver problems
  • Controlled levels of protein, phosphorus, and copper
  • Shelf-stable for up to two years

Things to Consider

  • Requires vet authorization
  • Expensive

Best Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dog Food

Our Pick: Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Loaf Canned Wet Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Loaf Canned Wet Dog Food

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Wet Dog Food is specially formulated for pets with long- or short-term digestive sensitivities. It’s a prescription formula with extremely low levels of fat, and it has highly digestible proteins and prebiotics promote digestive health. The formula also has omega-3 fatty acids to help manage GI issues, and its adapted fiber levels help your dog to feel energetic, despite their restricted fat intake. 

Highlights

  • 1.43% crude fat (min.)
  • Designed for dogs with long- or short-term digestive sensitivities
  • Highly digestible proteins
  • Adapted fiber levels for improved energy levels

Things to Consider

  • Prescription required
  • Expensive

Best Low Fat Grain Free Dog Food

Our Pick: Wellness CORE Reduced Fat Adult Dry Dog Food

Wellness® CORE® Reduced Fat Adult Dry Dog Food

The Wellness CORE Reduced Fat Dry Dog Food is another non-prescription option that’s designed for weight loss or management. The dry food doesn’t contain meat by-products or fillers, grain, corn, soy, wheat-gluten or artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors, and it has 25 percent less fat than Wellness CORE Original Recipe. It’s made with premium protein to support lean body mass and muscle tone, and the food contains beneficial nutrients such as omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, and taurine for a healthy heart.

Highlights:

  • No prescription needed
  • 10% crude fat (min.)
  • No meat by-products or fillers, grain, corn, soy, wheat-gluten or artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
  • Prebiotics and probiotics for digestive health

Things to Consider

  • Fat content may be too high for dogs with some medical conditions

Best Veterinarian-Formulated Low Fat Dog Food

Our Pick: SquarePet Veterinarian Formulated Solutions Low Fat Dry Dog Food

Dog Food

The SquarePet Veterinarian Formulated Solutions Low Fat Dry Dog Food is a non-prescription alternative for dogs who require a low fat diet. It uses sustainably caught Pacific cod and whitefish as its main source of protein, and the veterinarian-formulated food includes high-quality soluble and insoluble fiber sources, prebiotics, and probiotics for digestion. The dry food is made in the USA, and it doesn’t contain any chemical preservatives or fillers. 

Highlights

  • No prescription needed
  • Veterinarian-formulated
  • 6% crude fat (min.)
  • Sustainably sourced protein
  • Made in the USA

Things to Consider

  • Expensive

Low Fat Dog Food Buyer’s Guide

Before putting your dog on a low fat diet, it’s important to seek professional guidance to ensure it’s the best option for your pet: “Balancing the ratio of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins is complicated, as your pet needs all three for energy and many metabolic processes in the body,” explains Dr. Turano. “Before deciding to lower any of these important sources of energy, including fat, it is best to consult your primary veterinarian to tackle your pet’s specific needs safely.” 

If you do decide to opt for a low fat dog food, you’ll want to look at the food’s guaranteed analysis. This analysis details the minimum percentages of crude protein and crude fat in the food; however, it’s important to note that the guaranteed analysis doesn’t reflect maximum percentages of crude protein and fat. To be considered low fat, dog food must generally contain 10 percent or less crude fat. Your vet may recommend a food with lower or higher fat levels, depending on your dog’s needs. 
You’ll also want to look for the food’s AAFCO Nutritional Adequacy Statement. This statement lays out whether the product is designed to be a primary or supplemental food, as well as the lifestage it’s intended for—such as growth, reproduction, or adult maintenance.

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