Finding the best weight loss dog foods can be challenging enough if you don’t know what to look for. Just like in humans, dogs have this strange tendency to gain weight at the worst times. Not only is excessive weight gain inconvenient, but it can lead to a number of health problems, all of which can reduce your dog’s quality of life.
The good news is it isn’t too hard to help your dog lose a few pounds. Besides a good walk here and there, there are a few weight loss dog foods that can help speed up the process. In this post, we will take a closer look at canine obesity and see which dog foods are the best to use to help your dog shed those unnecessary pounds.
Best Weight Loss Dog Foods: What You Need to Know!
Obesity and Canines: Why It’s a Problem?
Like many other animals, dogs have a very narrow range in which they can weigh. When dogs gain too much weight, it can lead to severe health concerns. Some of the health issues that can arise from gaining too much weight include:
- Diabetes-overweight dogs tend to have an issue with their pancreas not having the ability to produce enough insulin. Because of this, their bodies aren’t able to metabolize sugar in the bloodstream effectively. If left untreated, this can potentially lower your dog’s lifespan.
You can learn more about canine diabetes here.
- High Blood Pressure-high blood pressure, in general, is not often a problem associated with dogs. However, excess weight gain can lead to high blood pressure. This is a serious medical condition that can increase the risk of more cardiac issues in the future.
- Joint Issues-when you have a dog that has to lug around extra weight than what their body is used to, it can cause serious joint issues. Some of the joint issues this can lead to include arthritis, hip dysplasia and increased susceptibility to sprains.
- Skin issues-one of the most common issues with overweight dogs is the fact they tend to suffer from skin and coat issues more than normal-weight dogs. A healthier weight can help prevent skin folds from occurring and can prevent future skin problems.
- Increased Risk to Developing Cancer-while there isn’t a definitive link between excess weight and cancer, there have been scientific studies conducted that have indicated overweight dogs are more at risk of contracting mammary tumors and even developing bladder cancer.
- Trouble breathing-dogs who weigh too much have severe issues breathing. This is because the extra weight pushes on the body’s diaphragm, which can result in labored breathing.
Cardiac Disease-dogs who weigh too much often put too much stress on their heart’s muscle. This, in turn, can lead to a decrease in blood circulation and eventually lead to congestive heart failure.
Liver Issues-The function of your dog’s liver is to store excess fat for emergency usage. However, dogs who are overweight tend to store too much fat in their liver, which decreases the ability of the liver to function properly. This can eventually lead to a variety of health issues.
- Shorter Lifespan-because of all of the listed issues above, overweight dogs are more at risk of living a shorter life than dogs who maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can decrease a dog’s lifespan by as much as several years.
Causes of Uncontrolled Weight Gain in Dogs?
There are several reasons as to why dogs gain weight in the first place. However, the primary reason for excessive weight gain is simple: your dog is consuming more calories than they are able to burn with the help of exercise. While exercise can certainly keep your dog slim, there are a variety of other factors that may predispose your dog to gain weight in the first place such as:
- Age-naturally as dogs get older, the slower their metabolism will become. As they near their senior years, dogs are more likely to gain more weight.
- Inactivity-if you have a dog that doesn’t spend time running, jumping or playing with other dogs, they are more likely to gain weight from lack of exercise.
- Medication Side Effects-there are some medications that dogs may be prescribed that have weight gain as one of the potential side effects. The most common medication to cause weight gain are corticosteroids, which can cause an increase in appetite but a decrease in energy.
- Spayed or Neutered Pets-while having your dog spayed or neutered is important to their own health and well-being, this can have the potential of slowing down their metabolism in the process and causing unnecessary weight gain.
How Many Calories Does Your Dog Need to Consume?
One of the most important considerations you are going to have to make as a pet owner is to ensure your dog is consuming the perfect number of calories for their exercise needs. Determining this may be far from easy as every dog has different metabolic needs and can burn calories at different rates than others.
The easiest way to do this is to calculate what your dog’s caloric intake requirement is. This number indicates the number of calories your dog needs to maintain regular bodily functions such as breathing and pumping blood through their system. To calculate this number, you will first need to convert their weight in pounds to kilograms which can be done by dividing their weight by 2.2 and then raise that number by the ¾ power. Then multiply that number by 70. This number that you end up with will be the number of calories your dog has to have on a daily basis to maintain normal body processes.
If math isn’t your thing (like it certainly isn’t for me unless absolutely necessary in a veterinary setting), feel free to use this free Dog Calorie calculator.
General Weight Loss Dog Food Guidelines
Now, not all weight loss dog foods should be treated equally. There are still a few guidelines you will want to stick with for the best and safest weight loss results. Some of the things you will want to consider include:
As stated, several times in this post, in fact, the most important guideline to follow is to pick a dog food that is low in calories. As a rule, try to stick with dog food brands that have no more than 400 calories per cup of food and increased fiber content. Fiber can help keep your dog feeling full for longer periods of time.
Packed with Probiotics
Probiotics are essential to maintain a healthy gut, but they can also help prevent digestive upset in dogs on a low-fat diet. This will also help ensure your dog is digesting their food properly and better make use of the nutrients in the food.
Top 10 Best Weight Loss Dog Foods for Ultimate Weight Loss
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight
It shouldn’t be a surprise why this food is at the top of this list. This formula by Blue Buffalo Wilderness is made with healthy weight loss in mind. It is packed with real chicken as the first ingredient. It is also made with high-quality ingredients, all low in excess calories to keep fat intake to a minimum. While it can be a bit on the pricey side, it is well worth the expense in the end.
2. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Healthy Weight
This formula by Blue Buffalo is specifically formulated for dogs who need a limited ingredient diet. It is specifically made with real turkey as the first ingredient to avoid aggravating food allergies even further. It is made with low-calorie ingredients to reduce the number of calories dogs take in naturally and help them maintain ideal body weight.
3. Wellness Core Reduced-Fat
Wellness Core is always a top choice when it comes to dog food, but it is even more so when it comes to helping dogs lose weight safely. Wellness Core is synonymous with a grain-free diet, but it is also a brand synonymous with quality ingredients. This reduced fat formula contains a lower fat content than most competitor brands and uses real meat ingredients as the first protein sources listed on the label.
4. Fromm Gold Food Weight Management
Fromm dog food is another food known for its quality ingredients. This family-owned company prides itself on quality nutrition for our furry best friends and this weight management formula surely doesn’t disappoint. Their weight management formula contains less than 10% fat and contains 334 calories per cup of food. It is the ideal formula for dogs that need to shed a bit of weight here and there.
5. Earthborn Holistic Weight Control
This formula by Earthborn Holistic is made with reducing calorie intake in mind. It is a grain-free and gluten-free formula made with low calories to help dogs lose weight and keep it off at the same time. The benefit of this formula is that it is loaded with glucosamine and chondroitin to help overweight dogs keep their joints healthy.
6. Dr. Tim’s Metabolite Weight Management
If there is one thing Dr. Tim knows, it is quality nutrition. This particular formula is made using a novel approach to help your dog shed those excess pounds. This formula contains high levels of protein, moderate amounts of fiber to keep your dog feeling full and lower fat content to keep the calories your dog takes in at a minimum.
7. Nulo Trim Grain Free Healthy Weight
Nulo is a name synonymous with grain-free diets and this formula is no different. It is a high meat, low carb formula, specifically formulated to help dogs lose weight and keep it off in a healthy way. Each ingredient is carefully handpicked to have a low glycemic index, helping to keep glucose levels in the normal range as dogs digest the food. The benefit of this formula is the BC30 probiotic used, which can help aid in healthy digestion and increase metabolism to help weight loss efforts.
8. Wellness Healthy Weight
Wellness is a dog food brand that has been around a long time and not much has changed with their weight loss formula. This formula is specifically formulated to help support a dog’s natural weight by reducing caloric intake using rich protein ingredients and ingredients containing fiber. Every ingredient used in this food is all-natural and made without using preservatives.
9. Whole Earth Farms Healthy Weight
This is the perfect brand to go with if you need to help your dog lose weight, but need to save some money as well. It is a cheap dog food, made with grain-free ingredients. This formula is made with all-natural ingredients to help support digestive health, low calories to help keep weight off and help increase metabolism using high protein sources.
10. Eagle Pack Reduced Fat
Last, we have a dog brand that is affordable for pet owners but still does the job of keeping excess weight off. It is made with fewer calories than their regular formulas, helping to support healthy weight loss goals. Made completely in the United States, this formula contains USA specific natural ingredients that will help increase energy and help your dog burn off any extra calories they take in.
Weight Loss and Dogs: The Bottomline
Helping your dog to lose weight isn’t going to be easy. It is going to take some work on your side and your dog’s side. However, by having access to some of the best weight loss dog foods, you can give your dog a chance to lose those excess pounds and get back to living a carefree and healthy life.