The Best Dog Food for Weight Control for 2022

Updated: March 27, 2022

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As pet parents, we love giving our dogs treats for just about anything. Before you know it, you look at your furry friend and realize they’ve gotten overweight. Sometimes it can be hard for pet owners to know if their pup is chubby. 

Vets will quickly tell you that your dog needs food restrictions, fewer treats, or an extra walk around the neighborhood. It doesn’t matter how your dog got fat, what matters is that there is food on the market that can help him slim down. 

You don’t have to be an expert on canine nutrition to help your dog lose weight. We’ve found the four best kibble options for weight loss and weight control. While doing the digging to find these choices, we’ve found plenty of tips to help you along the way.

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Dog Food for Weight Control

  1. Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe Dry Dog Food
  2. Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe Dry Dog Food
    • No cheap or unnecessary fillers or animal by-products
    • Contains a high amount of protein, which can help burn fat
    • The main ingredients are deboned beef, turkey meal, chicken meal, and chicken fat
    • Added glucosamine
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight
  4. Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight
    • Budget-friendly option
    • Contains lentils, chicken, and sweet potatoes
    • Packed with amino acids and glucosamine
    • Made with non-GMO ingredients
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
    • Ideal for older dogs who need to control their weight
    • Nutrients include omega fatty acids from flaxseed and fish meal, which are beneficial to dogs' hair, skin, joints and eyesight.
    • Chicory root is high in fiber to keep dogs satisfied longer
    • High in protein
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health
  8. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health
    • Contains salmon meal, chicken meal, and turkey
    • High in protein
    • Contains flaxseed and salmon oil that provide essential omega fatty acids
    • Designed for small dogs
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

Overall Best: Merrick 38360 Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

When it comes to the best of the best, Merrick 38360 Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food earned its place at the top. One of the main reasons we chose this food is because it doesn’t have any cheap or unnecessary fillers or animal by-products. 

Merrick is known for using all-natural ingredients to help dogs maintain a healthy weight. 

Foods with fillers contain empty calories that can quickly add numbers to the scale. Merrick’s has a high amount of protein, which can help burn fat and keep your pup full for longer. 

The main ingredients are deboned beef, turkey meal, chicken meal, and chicken fat. Your dog will appreciate the added glucosamine as it’s incredibly helpful for their joints. Extra weight can quickly cause joint pain and glucosamine can alleviate it. 

There is also plenty of probiotics in the kibble to keep your pup’s digestive system running smoothly. Overall, we can’t think of better dog food that could beat out Merrick 38360 Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food for the top spot. 

Overall Best
Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • No cheap or unnecessary fillers or animal by-products
  • Contains a high amount of protein, which can help burn fat
  • The main ingredients are deboned beef, turkey meal, chicken meal, and chicken fat
  • Added glucosamine
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Best Value: NUTRO Wholesome Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

Whether you’re looking to save money or you’re on a tight budget, NUTRO Wholesome Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food is a great choice when it comes to a value weight control dog food. 

We love the ingredients in this kibble. You’ll find lentils, chicken, and sweet potatoes, providing your dog a tasty meal that won’t cause the scale to go up. There are also lamb and chicken meals that are packed with amino acids and glucosamine to help your dog’s joints and digestive health.

NUTRO uses barely and rice that are filling complex carbs without irritating the stomach. Something we do want to note about this option is that it’s a tad high in sodium. If your dog has high blood pressure, you may want to opt for another choice on this list. 

Best Value
Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight
  • Budget-friendly option
  • Contains lentils, chicken, and sweet potatoes
  • Packed with amino acids and glucosamine
  • Made with non-GMO ingredients
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Best Dry Dog Food: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight Dog Food

Most dogs should be fed dry food unless they’re a puppy, a senior, have dental issues, or you’re trying to sneak a medication in with their food. When it comes to the best kibble option, we think Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight Dog Food takes the cake. 

The Blue Buffalo Wilderness line is rather impressive and pet parents agree. It has a ton of protein from chicken meal and chicken. There is also pea protein and all of these delicious ingredients will help your pup keep off the extra pounds. 

The flaxseed and fish meal provides omega fatty acids that help with canine coat, skin, joint, and vision health. Blue Buffalo also combines chicory root that has a ton of fiber to keep your dog’s digestive system in good shape. 

Best for Older Dogs
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Ideal for older dogs who need to control their weight
  • Nutrients include omega fatty acids from flaxseed and fish meal, which are beneficial to dogs' hair, skin, joints and eyesight.
  • Chicory root is high in fiber to keep dogs satisfied longer
  • High in protein
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Best For Small Breeds: Wellness 89118 Complete Health Dog Food

We’d never forget about dog owners that have smaller pets. Just because a dog is from a small breed doesn’t mean it can’t be overweight. Wellness 89118 Complete Health Dog Food is our favorite option. 

One thing that sets Wellness Complete Health apart from other kibbles for small dogs is that it has salmon meal, chicken meal, and turkey. There is plenty of protein in eat bite that will benefit your dog by helping them shed fat and build muscle. 

The main carbs in this food are rice and oats, which is a huge plus for dogs that have sensitive tummies. Wellness Complete Health contains flaxseed and salmon oil that provide essential omega fatty acids.

The kibble is designed for small dogs and comes in bite-size pieces that are easy to chew and digest. Some pet parents have mentioned there is a strong fish odor from the salmon oil. Make sure the bag is sealed when you’re not scooping a cup for your dog’s next meal. 

Best For Small Breeds
Wellness Small Breed Complete Health
  • Contains salmon meal, chicken meal, and turkey
  • High in protein
  • Contains flaxseed and salmon oil that provide essential omega fatty acids
  • Designed for small dogs
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

There are several weight-control dog foods on the market, but that doesn’t mean they’re all healthy ones. The following are some of the factors you should look for while choosing a weight-control food. 

Reduced Caloric Intake

The majority of beneficial weight-control foods include fewer calories than regular meals. Such meals should, in theory, contain the same amount of volume so that your dog feels satisfied after eating. This is usually performed by increasing the fiber content of a diet. 

Fiber contains so few calories that can be used, but it takes up a lot of room in your dog’s belly. Furthermore, many weight-control meals have higher protein content and lower fat content. 

This lowers the caloric value of the meal because fat has more calories per weight than proteins or carbohydrates. The added protein ensures that your dog gets the nourishment it requires.

Nutritious

It’s critical that Fido’s diet include the vitamins, minerals, and proper amounts of the key macromolecules like proteins, lipids, carbs, and nucleic acids that he requires to stay healthy. Caloric content should be the key distinction between weight-control foods and regular meals.

Fortified with Probiotics and Healthy Fats

probiotics are healthy microorganisms that aid in the proper functioning of your dog’s digestive system. Your dog will be less likely to have digestive discomfort while switching diets if you choose foods that include probiotics, and her body will be better equipped to digest her food.

Also, be on the lookout for kibble that contains healthy fats such as omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids. There are a ton of amazing benefits from healthy fats, including improved joints, better vision, and a shiny coat. 

Overall Taste 

If a decent weight-control meal doesn’t appeal to your dog’s taste buds, she’ll quit eating. As a result, you’ll want to hunt for foods containing tasty proteins and fats to keep your dog from going on a hunger strike.

The Different Types of Dog Food for Weight Control: Pros and Cons Compared

Let’s talk a little bit about the advantages and disadvantages of the most common types of dog food that are designed to help your pooch control weight.

Dry Dog Food 

Pros Cons
Available in bigger quantitiesGoes bad quicker than other options
Usually more affordable Can be hard for some dogs to chew
Several flavor options are available
Helps with dental health

Soft Canned Food

ProsCons
Easier for dogs to eatDoesn’t get rid of tartar or plaque
Can be used to hide medication
Tends to be tastier than dry food

Organic Dog Food 

ProsCons
Made with the healthiest ingredientsMost expensive option
Can be designed specifically for your dog Can go bad if not used quickly 
Must be refrigerated

Products For This Review

About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs, 14-year-old dog, or her cat Spirit, Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

The Best Dog Food for Weight Control for 2022 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Will my dog lose weight if I feed him wet food?

Some people use wet diets to help their dogs lose weight when they need to lose a few pounds. Because canned food has a higher water content than kibble, it takes up more room in the dish (and in the dog’s stomach), making it a simple option to cut calories.

Does protein help dogs lose weight?

A high protein diet and calorie restriction can help overweight dogs lose weight safely. Several studies have shown that increasing the amount of protein in a dog’s food as part of a weight-reduction program can aid in fat loss.

What’s a quick way for my dog to lose weight?

Feeding your dog his regular food in the morning but changing his second meal with primarily low sodium green beans, a little kibble, and a doggy multi-vitamin in the evening is a simple way to jump-start your dog’s weight reduction. Changing your dog’s snacks to healthier ones will also assist him in losing weight. 

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