The Best Low Fat Dog Food for 2022 (Good for Pancreatitis)

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: August 16, 2022

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If your dog has developed pancreatitis, it can be a really scary experience. You’ve probably noticed unusual symptoms like a hunched back, diarrhea, a bloated abdomen, loss of appetite, and an overall change in personality. Pancreatitis can cause weakness and lethargy and can even cause your dog to develop a fever. Although sometimes, these symptoms happen on their own, when several of the symptoms are combined, it’s vital you get in touch with your veterinarian as quickly as possible.

When your dog loses his naturally effervescent personality, it can really take a toll on the overall mood in your home. While seeing your vet is always the first course of action, there are changes you can make to your dog’s diet to help alleviate symptoms and restore his health. Although in some cases, pancreatitis is related to a genetic predisposition, the leading cause of pancreatitis is a high-fat diet. To counteract the symptoms of pancreatitis, changing your dog over to a low-fat diet can help to reduce symptoms.

It may be tempting to feed your dog table scraps, especially when he’s looking up at you with those puppy eyes but fats, especially those in human food, are incredibly dangerous for dogs. Practicing vigilance around your pup, making sure all table scraps are disposed of properly, and keeping any trash away from the reach of your dog can all help with ensuring he doesn’t consume anything he shouldn’t. Then, you can focus on feeding him a low-fat diet so that both you and he can experience relief.

Switching your dog over from a high-fat diet to a low-fat diet might prove a little challenging at first. It’s important to know what your options are, as some low-fat foods are prescription-only and others you can purchase online without veterinarian authorization. Some brands and products are pricier than others, so we included a budget-friendly option in the list below. We also included a variety of dry food and wet food options so you can decide which your dog may be most attracted to. Sometimes, it’s best to incorporate both for texture and flavor variety. Remember that transitioning food may take a little bit of time so as long as you can employ patience along with all the love you have for your cherished pup, you can make this diet change happen.

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Low Fat Dog Food

  1. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken
  2. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken
    • Suitable for all breed sizes
    • Contains probiotics and omega fatty acids
    • High-protein diet
    • Includes chicken and salmon oil
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Loaf
  4. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Loaf
    • Must be prescribed by a veterinarian
    • Promote digestive health
    • Contains EPA and DHA from fish oil
    • Very palatable 
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat
  6. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat
    • Palatable and very digestible
    • Contains a blend of dietary fibers
    • Improve gut health
    • Reduce symptoms related to pancreatitis
    Check Chewy
  7. Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management
  8. Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management
    • Accessible, affordable product
    • Contains tender, shredded pieces of chicken
    • Optimal protein to fat ratio
    • Contains probiotics and prebiotic fiber
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  9. Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat
  10. Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat
    • Low-fat pate wet dog food
    • Clinically proven formula
    • Require vet authorization to purchase
    • Suitable for all dog breeds
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

#1 Best Overall: Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Recipe

The best overall low-fat dog food is this Wellness Core grain-free turkey and chicken recipe. This formula is crafted for whole-body health and promotes leaner body mass and muscle tone. It includes omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat and prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health. The first ingredient in this recipe is deboned turkey. Alongside this high-quality protein source are carefully chosen fruits and vegetables that help your dog reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Use this reduced fat dog food for all breed sizes, so long as they are in the adult life stage. Along with probiotics and omega fatty acids, this recipe incorporates taurine for proper cardiac function and eye health along with glucosamine to support joint health. Typically, dogs that develop pancreatitis are also overweight. With his formula, you can help get your dog to a healthy weight so there’s less stress on his joints.

This recipe cuts grains, gluten, corn, wheat, and soy. Instead, it focuses on delivering a high-protein diet with reduced fat. Along with deboned turkey, this formula includes chicken and salmon oil. One of our testers called this “magic food.” About six months prior to testing this food by Wellness, she took her Golden Retriever to the vet and learned that he was quite overweight. She takes responsibility for having indulged her pet with table scraps and she change his diet over to this dry food. With these simple, consistent changes, her dog lost a whopping 10 pounds. She notes that his energy levels are higher and that he’s more active. She’s thrilled to have found this reduced-fat food because it works.

Best Overall
Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken
  • Suitable for all breed sizes
  • Contains probiotics and omega fatty acids
  • High-protein diet
  • Includes chicken and salmon oil
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#2 Best Wet Food: Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat

This low-fat wet dog food by Royal Canin is perfectly suited for breeds of all sizes. It’s a veterinary exclusive wet food, which means that you do require a veterinarian’s authorization to purchase online. This recipe is designed to promote digestive health and optimal stool quality with highly digestible proteins and prebiotics. The prebiotics help to maintain a balance of good bacteria in your dog’s gut. Some dogs have difficulty digesting fat and if that’s the case for your pup, this pate textured wet food can make a huge difference in his G.I. tract.

Along with prebiotics, there’s also a blend of dietary fiber in this formula to support your dog’s healthy digestion. Omega-3 fatty acids along with EPA and DHA from fish oil help to soothe and nourish your dog’s tummy. Pancreatitis can be incredibly painful, and this gentle formula goes down easy and helps your dog feel better. Even though this is a low-fat recipe, it still provides sufficient calories for your dog’s daily needs. Fat restrictive diets require adapted fiber levels, and this formula ensures your dog is getting the proper nutrition, so he has the appropriate energy levels to maintain an active lifestyle.

One of our testers switched over to this food because her dog was diagnosed with pancreatitis twice. After the second instance, she was not willing to take any chances and decided to invest in this Royal Canin wet food recipe. Her dog enjoys the food and gets excited about mealtimes. Although concerned that her dog wouldn’t take to the new food, she’s relieved to see that it’s palatable and that it has improved her little one’s health. Another tester was skeptical about her dog like the new formula as well but after getting very sick with symptoms of pancreatitis, she decided to give this recipe a try. She notes that it’s pricey but it’s absolutely worth it to keep her dog in good health.

Best Wet Food
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Loaf
  • Must be prescribed by a veterinarian
  • Promote digestive health
  • Contains EPA and DHA from fish oil
  • Very palatable 
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#3 Best Dry Food: Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat

This dry dog food recipe by Royal Canin is a great counterpart to the one above if you plan to incorporate both wet food and dry dog food. This is a palatable, digestible formula that is made specifically for dogs that have trouble digesting or even tolerating fat in their diet. Like the wet food variety, this dry dog food also requires a veterinarian’s authorization to purchase. It incorporates prebiotics, a blend of dietary fibers, and omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil. It’s meant to improve your dog’s gut health and reduce symptoms related to pancreatitis.

The recipe contains a minimum of 20% protein, a minimum of 4.5% fat, a maximum of 3.6% fiber, and approximately 55% carbohydrates. One of our testers has a Miniature Schnauzer that was diagnosed with pancreatitis and became extremely ill. The illness appeared seemingly out of nowhere and required hospitalization and several follow-up visits. After confirming with her veterinarian, she transitioned her pup over to this low-fat dog food. She was a little concerned because her dog is a picky eater but she’s happy to report that he’s devouring this food. She can’t describe the relief she feels to see her beloved doggo well and happy again.

Best Dry Food
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat
  • Palatable and very digestible
  • Contains a blend of dietary fibers
  • Improve gut health
  • Reduce symptoms related to pancreatitis
Check Chewy

#4 Best Budget-Friendly: Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management

We know some of these low-fat dog food for pancreatitis options get pricey. However, even if you have budget constraints, you can still switch your dog over to a great formula that’s easy on his tummy and that keeps you on track with all your bills. We selected this Purina Pro Plan weight management formula because it’s appropriate for all breeds, is a high protein, high fiber, and low fat. Chicken is the first listed ingredient for this recipe, and it helps to deliver the outstanding nutrition your pup needs while also delivering a savory, familiar flavor he enjoys.

This formula is unique because it combines crunchy kibbles with tender, shredded pieces of chicken to further entice your dog to hop onto this new low-fat diet. This product contains 15% less fat than the other Purina Pro Plan Essentials formula. It’s formulated to give your dog the complete and balanced nutrition he needs while the probiotics and prebiotic fiber support his digestive and immune health. It’s formulated with an optimal protein to fat ratio as well, which helps your dog maintain his lean muscle mass even as he loses weight.

When we tried this food with a 10-year-old Labrador mix, we weren’t entirely sure he would be okay with changing over to a completely new kibble. However, because the formula incorporates those meaty pieces along with the kibble, he took to it a lot better and a lot quicker than we thought he would. He really needed to lose 15 pounds and even though we tried more expensive low-fat foods, he took to this one best. He’s been steadily losing weight, his energy levels are a lot higher, and he started to display that frisky nature that he had about five years ago. It’s a really wonderful feeling to know that you can help your dog transform using an accessible, affordable product.

Best Budget-Friendly
Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management
  • Accessible, affordable product
  • Contains tender, shredded pieces of chicken
  • Optimal protein to fat ratio
  • Contains probiotics and prebiotic fiber
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#5 Best Prescription: Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat Original Flavor

You may have seen this particular prescription diet stocked up at your vet’s office. This one is a low-fat pate wet dog food that comes in a can. When there are inappropriate levels of fat in your dog’s blood, he needs help—stat. This food is prescribed to dogs ranging from small breeds to giant breeds. For your dog to be able to build and repair tissues and obtain energy, his digestive system has to be efficient. To support his digestive health, switching over to this low-fat wet food can help to restore his health by managing challenging digestive issues.

This is a clinically proven formula and does require vet authorization to purchase online. It’s highly digestible and contains prebiotic fibers that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your dog’s gut. It also incorporates ginger to help calm and soothe the G.I. tract and omega-3 fatty acids to support G.I. recovery. Those fatty acids also help to improve skin and coat health. Additionally, clinically proven antioxidants support his healthy immune system as his body works to restore health.

One of our testers switched over to this digestive care low-fat dog food because a brand she was previously using changed the formula and the new recipe upset her dog’s stomach. Since switching him over, she notices that her dog is much more enthusiastic about mealtime, and she feels a lot more enthusiastic about his improved health. She’s noticed that there are no more ominous gut noises, there’s way less gas, and it’s a much easier pick-up process when he goes poop. She also mentioned that she appreciates how quickly Chewy fills her orders and she’s impressed with how carefully they package the cans to ensure they’re delivered without dents.

Best Prescription
Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat
  • Low-fat pate wet dog food
  • Clinically proven formula
  • Require vet authorization to purchase
  • Suitable for all dog breeds
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

Like with any dog food, there are always special considerations when purchasing. However, when you’re purchasing low-fat dog food specifically because your dog is dealing with digestive issues, pancreatitis, or other gastrointestinal problems, it’s even more important that you pay special attention to the type of food you’re feeding. There are different varieties you can select from but the most important thing to look for is that the food you choose is low fat.

Type (Wet or Canned)

If your dog was used to an indulgent diet with high-fat foods, table scraps, and extra treats, it can be hard getting him to switch over to a low-fat diet. Choose a formula that is similar to what he’s accustomed to. For example, if he was acquainted with a wet food diet, purchase low-fat wet food to replace his old favorites. If he typically enjoys kibble, you can switch him over to a crunchy kibble that tastes and feels familiar. You may find that a combination of both dry dog food and wet canned food is a better method for getting your dog to enjoy the new diet. Ultimately, it may take a bit of patience so be sensitive when transitioning him over and if the first type of food you try doesn’t go over well, just give it a go with another recipe.

Limited Ingredients

Limited ingredients in your dog’s low-fat food help with sensitive digestion. You want to avoid any fillers or unnecessary preservatives in your dog’s food when trying to help improve his gut health. Some formulas include grains while others don’t. If you’re not sure whether you should feed your dog a grain-free diet, be sure to ask your veterinarian.

Cost

These special diets can get expensive. If your veterinarian lets you know that your dog should only be on a low-fat diet for a short period of time, then you can create a budget forecast to ensure you can cover the cost of his food during that period. However, if this is more of a long-term issue, you may want to invest in a more budget-friendly option like the Purina Pro Plan dog food we highlighted above.

Low-fat dog food for pancreatitis is recommended by veterinarians because these recipes are formulated to be easily digestible, which is what pups with sensitive gastrointestinal tracts require. High-fat diets make pancreatitis worse and during the recovery period, your dog needs low-fat nutrients to support his digestive system. Dietary fat is known to worsen inflammation, consequently worsening pancreatic symptoms. Low-fat dog food gives your pup’s body a chance to heal.

The Different Types of Low Fat Dog Food: Pros and Cons Compared

Wet Low Fat Dog Food: soft texture that’s usually more appealing to pups.

PROSCONS
High moisture contentN/A
Soft, tasty texture 
Can be mixed with dry food 

Dry Low Fat Dog Food: multiple crunchy kibble formulas with high protein and low fat.

PROSCONS
Usually more affordable than wet foodN/A
Easy to store 
Supports dental health 

Budget-Friendly Dog Food: affordable products that still deliver solid nutritional support

PROSCONS
Easier on your walletN/A
Balanced nutrition 
Soothes G.I. tract 

Prescription Digestive Care Food: prescribed by veterinarians and comes in both wet and canned varieties.

PROSCONS
Specially formulated for digestive careRequires veterinarian prescription
Soft and crunchy textures available 
Improves gut health 

Verified Review: User Experience

The Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Recipe is highly recommended and despite feeling like kibble size could use improvement, one user still recommends the product, sharing that her “Doxie almost died with a severe bout of pancreatitis and HGE. So, after he came home and stabilized, I had to switch from his usual Core food to the low-fat option. I was so glad to see Core offers this because I’m very impressed with the ingredients (I’ve done my homework). He eats it and all is back to normal. However, this food is not offered in a small breed option and should be because the kibble is too large for a small, older dog. He can eat it, but I can tell he struggles a bit with chewing it.”

We also have to highlight the Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula. Some dog owners may hesitate to buy a budget-friendly product, thinking that only the higher-priced options are best. However, a dog mom who purchased tells her story: “I’ve been buying all kinds of expensive brands of dog food for my pup, but she still wasn’t losing weight. I tried Purina Pro Plan weight management and she LOVES the taste & especially the small, shredded pieces! (She goes crazy for those!) She’s lost one pound already, and it seems like great quality. The price is lower than other brands I’ve bought, some that she didn’t eat or like, & most didn’t help her with her weight issue. I never thought Purina would be the food she’d prefer, the food that would help, at a price that’s great, but I’m so happy I tried this product!”

Product For This Review

About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

The Best Low Fat Dog Food for 2022 (Good for Pancreatitis) FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

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.

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.

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 is the healthiest dog food to feed?

For dogs that have tummy troubles, especially more serious conditions like pancreatitis, a low-fat diet is recommended. Some dogs have stronger stomachs than others. If your pup has a sensitive tummy, stick with low-fat diets that offer complete nutrition so he can enjoy tasty meals while maintaining his weight and his overall health.