10 Best Low Fat Dog Foods of 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks
We all know that we need to pay special attention to what kind of food we put in our bodies. And if push comes to shove, we have to swap out some of our favorite foods and switch over to a diet better suited for our bodies.
But what you might not put too much thought into is that our dogs are exactly the same way.
This may be difficult to fathom. They’re dogs after all and will eat just about anything and everything, right? With some breeds, this may be true. They can be four-legged garbage cans — here’s looking at you Labradors. However, just because they can doesn’t mean they should.
In fact, pups that have unregulated feeding habits can grow to be quite obese and unhealthy. And it’s not just obese dogs that need dietary restrictions. Your pooch may have special dietary requirements based solely on how their gut is able to process the food they eat.
Low fat dog food may be a very good way to ensure that your dog is still receiving all the nutrition they require while still maintaining a healthier physique. But what’s the best low fat dog food available?
Let’s explore that question in our recommendations for the best low fat dog foods!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Hill's Prescription Diet Digestive Care||
|Best Value||Evanger's Low Fat Vegetarian Dinner||
|Premium Choice||Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat||
|Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat||
|Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat Canned||
The 10 Best Low Fat Dog Foods
1. Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care Low Fat Dog Food – Best Overall
Our number one pick for the best low fat dog food goes to Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care Low Fat Dog Food. Hill’s is a canned dog food that’s been specially designed to deliver all of the nutrients your dog needs in a highly digestible and easy-to-eat medium. The food is full of prebiotic fiber and ingredients such as ginger, which is designed to help promote the growth of gut-healthy bacteria and soothe your dog’s GI tract.
But this food has more than just digestion-friendly ingredients. Hill’s also has included plenty of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids for immune system boosting and for shiny skin, nails, and coat.
The can has a maximum of 3.5% crude fat, meaning that you can guarantee that your dog will truly be on a quality low-fat diet.
Being a veterinary prescription diet, your vet may be contacted in order to verify that this is the right food for them. That can make this food even more appealing from a health standpoint.
All in all, we think this is the best low fat dog food available this year.
- Prescription-strength diet
- Full of omega-3 fatty acids
- Easy to eat and digest
- Lots of antioxidants
- Low crude fat maximum level
- Prescription required
2. Evanger’s Low Fat Vegetarian Dinner Canned Dog Food – Best Value
Are you looking for the best low fat dog food for the money? If so, check out Evanger’s Low Fat Vegetarian Dinner. This is the second selection on our list and also the second canned wet food variety. However, unlike our top pick, this is not a veterinary diet item. Therefore, it’s not restricted by prescription. It’s also a completely vegetarian option providing a low protein option for dogs with digestion issues.
Evanger’s dog food comes canned in a pâté form which many picky eaters tend to enjoy. It’s made completely out of farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, and roots to provide the best nutrition possible while keeping the food corn, wheat, and soy-free. Although there are no meat products inside Evanger’s blend, the crude fat has just a 2% minimum content.
All-in-all, it’s a pretty solid option. It’s cheaper than many other dietary options with more nutrition and you don’t need a prescription to buy it.
- Corn, wheat, and soy-free
- Pâté form
- Not limited by prescription
- Low protein (if needed)
- Less expensive
- Low protein content for dogs that don’t have dietary restrictions
3. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food – Premium Choice
The first dry dog food on our list comes from Royal Canin. This company is known for its ability to custom-build dog foods specific to dog breeds and situations. In this instance, we’re taking a look at their Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Blend. This is another dog food for which you’ll need a vet’s prescription and recommendation to purchase.
This kibble is jam-packed with all sorts of great nutrition including easily digestible protein and probiotics for peak digestive health, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. It also has a low fat content at 8.5% max. This is higher than other dog foods; however, these fats are much more easily digestible.
The biggest turnoff about this low fat dog food is the price. It’s crazy expensive. But if you’re looking for a top-quality product to help your pooch lose weight, this could be it.
- Good source of omega-3 fatty acids
- Contains plenty of easily digestible protein and probiotics
- Prescription-strength diet
- Prescription required
- Very expensive
- Higher fat content than other low fat dog food
4. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Dry Dog Food
If you’re looking for a dry dog food designed specifically to help your dog out with excessive weight control, perhaps Wellness CORE is the right solution for you. This grain-free dog food isn’t made with any corn, wheat, soy, or even rice to minimize the amount of bulk your pup will put on. Instead of grain, Wellness opts to provide your pup energy through the use of potatoes and sweet potatoes in their blend.
And that’s not the only good stuff in it either. The first three ingredients are deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal, which indicates that this dog food is anything but low-protein. In fact, the kibble sits at a minimum 33% protein content.
We wouldn’t necessarily call this dog food low fat though. At a 10%-12% minimum fat content, the blend’s only a reduced fat mixture from a standard full-fat dog food. This dog food is also pretty expensive for a non-veterinary diet food — especially for having a fat content that high.
- High protein — first 3 ingredients are meat-based
- Higher fat content than a typical low fat dog food
- On the expensive side
5. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat Canned Dog Food
Next on our list is Royal Canin’s Gastrointestinal Low Fat Canned Dog Food. This is Royal Canin’s wet food version of their previous entry on this list. This wet food is actually a little more low fat with crude fat content ranging between 1.43%-3.75%. However, there’s a huge difference in protein content, with this canned food only weighing in at 6% compared to our number three dry food’s 20%. If your pup still requires a larger amount of protein, they’ll definitely get more out of the dry food.
This is also very easily the most expensive dog food on our list. It would be very difficult to consistently feed this to your pup if you have limited funds. And since this is a veterinary diet dog food, you’ll have to spend more to at the vet to get a prescription.
- Low fat content
- Specially designed for overall gut health
- Prescription-strength diet
- Extremely expensive
- Low protein content
6. Annamaet Grain-Free Lean Low Fat Dry Dog Food
Annamaet’s Lean Reduced Fat Formula is the second grain-free dog food option on our list. Instead of potatoes though, Annamaet provides energy through their use of lentils and field peas. It’s also got a good amount of protein and L-carnitine to help dogs build lean muscle and reduce their weight. And they’ve even ensured a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and DHA to help promote great cognitive function and brain activity.
But there are a few things that we wish were a bit different. This can be a bit pricey for a dry dog food (though fortunately, it’s still cheaper than the number five’s Royal Canin). Also, the kibble size is just a bit too big for some smaller breeds. Many breeds may have trouble actually eating this if it isn’t soaked in water first.
- Good source of protein and L-carnitine
- Added omega-3 fatty acids and DHA
- Kibble size too big for many smaller breeds
7. Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Low Fat Adult Dry Dog Food
If your dog is used to a fish-based diet, you might want to consider Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous. Its primary ingredient is fresh-caught Alaskan pollock followed up by pollock meal. And it’s evident that they’re not skimping on protein either. With a 26% minimum for crude protein, this diet is great for dogs looking to build lean muscle. We wouldn’t necessarily call it low-fat with a crude fat max of 9.5%; however, Solid Gold definitely qualifies for the reduced fat category of dog chow.
But you may have some difficulties feeding this to your pup. Many picky eaters tend to avoid fish-based diets based on smell alone. The food does have a very fishy smell and very dry, grainy kibble. These aspects don’t bode too well for picky eaters. Fortunately, the bag is relatively cheap, so trying it out is not such a big gamble.
- Good protein level
- Corn, wheat, and soy-free
- Not good for picky eaters
8. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Low Fat Canned Dog Food
Veterinary diets can be quite expensive. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case with Purina Pro Plan. This is one of the most inexpensive veterinary diet plans available on the market today, making this great for everybody who owns dogs with special needs. It’s a wet food that comes in a minced format instead of the usual pâté, so it has actual texture differences. This may encourage some picky eaters to actually eat the food, but each case is different. The formula is specifically designed to be easy to eat for dogs with sensitive digestive tracts.
However, for a wet food, this grub can be pretty dry and turn your dog off from eating it. Also, there have been several reports of very soft and loose stools coming from dogs who have switched over to Purina.
- Affordable veterinary diet plan
- Minced for texture
- Can be dry
- Soft and loose stools have been reported
9. Bil-Jac Reduced Fat Dry Dog Food
If you’re looking for the most cost-effective brand on our list, look no further than Bil-Jac. This reduced fat blend is easily the most wallet-friendly reduced fat dog food available with options to buy it in bulk for lower costs. The kibble comes in uniquely-shaped bits resembling more of a cigar or tube shape than a standard kibble. This makes it easier for even smaller breeds to scarf this down. However, their shape does allow them to crumble much easier, and you may find yourself with a bag of dust near the bottom of the sack.
The nutrition content isn’t quite up to par either. With a crude protein minimum of 17% and max crude fat at 12.5%, this truly is a reduced fat diet — not necessarily low fat. And there’s quite a bit of filler material in here when compared to other dog foods. Cornmeal, oatmeal, and dried yeast make up three of the top six ingredients. However, if you’re in a pinch and looking for cheap reduced fat dog food, this could suffice.
- Kibble shape is easier to eat for smaller dogs
- Sub-standard nutrition
- Lots of filler ingredients
- Low protein for dry food
10. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Low Fat Dry Dog Food
Normally, we’re huge fans of Blue Buffalo’s dog food. They’re a great balance of both nutrition and affordability, but it just seems like they missed the mark with this diet option. Now, the food does provide a decent amount of nutritional content with 24% protein and 9% max fat content. But for a dry dog food, that’s just a bit underwhelming.
And the food is full of their exclusive “LifeSource Bits”. These are little pieces of food packed with vitamins and minerals. The problem is that these bits are rock hard and very difficult to chew. In fact, aging dogs may not be able to eat this at all.
Another big turnoff is the price. While most veterinary diets are expensive, this food just doesn’t provide the return value for the cost spent. So when it comes to standard dog food, we still like Blue Buffalo. But opt for another choice when choosing a good low fat or veterinary diet for your pooch.
- Reduced fat content
- Low protein content
- LifeSource Bits can be too hard to eat
- Expensive for overall low value
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Low Fat Dog Food
When it comes to buying the right low fat dog food for your furry loved one, how do you know which foods are actually worth it? Well, there are quite a few criteria you need to look for when selecting a low fat diet for dogs.
The first thing you should be looking for when it comes to selecting a low fat dog food for your pup is the fat content itself. The fat content will be displayed as a percentage and will either be designated as a minimum percentage or maximum.
In order for a dog food to be truly considered low-fat, it should be less than 10% maximum fat content. However, you may see some brands that have higher values. These are often designated as reduced fat options. Depending on your dog’s situation, either may suffice.
Another key element to look for when selecting your pup’s new food is the protein level. Dogs require a good amount of protein in order to build lean muscle and promote a healthy, active lifestyle. Protein levels are measured in the same way that fat content is with minimum and maximum percentages.
Often, you’ll find that dry kibble has a higher crude protein percentage than most wet dog food. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the dry food has more meat protein. In fact, a lot of dry food protein comes from alternative sources such as meat meals whereas wet food protein comes mainly from actual meat chunks.
Ingredients in Low Fat Dog Food
When shopping around for a quality dog food, you need to really read the ingredient list. The first thing you should see is some sort of real meat list at the top. Whether it’s chicken, turkey, fish, or even a vegetarian option, a high-quality protein is essential for your pup’s nutrition. What you don’t want to see is a bunch of filler materials near the top of the list including wheat, soy, or corn ingredients. These provide little nutritional benefit to your dog, creating an overall less fulfilling food.
Another great thing to see within your dog food’s list of ingredients is fruit and vegetables. Just like us, your pooch requires different vitamins and minerals to keep them going. And some of the best sources aren’t added chemicals or boosters but real vegetation.
Also, look for ingredients or the addition of other healthy components such as omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, L-carnitine, and other essential amino acids. These help to boost your dog’s health, promoting a healthy coat, nails, skin, improved brain function, and a strong immune system.
A big factor you’ll need to look at when purchasing your dog a low-fat meal plan is the actual cost of the food. Low fat dog food can be expensive — and that’s not even considering veterinary diets. Veterinary diets are special foods that can only be acquired through the recommendation and prescription of your pup’s vet.
Veterinary diets are often very costly and can put a strain on your finances. If your pet will have to go on a long term veterinary diet, you might want to consider a cheaper option such as the Purina Pro Plan above. But if your dog only needs a short-term diet, you may want to opt for a more expensive yet fulfilling choice. Whatever you choose, we recommend getting the best food you can afford for your pup at all times.
Special Dietary Restrictions: Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dog Food
Sometimes your dog is going to have special needs when it comes to their food. They may need to be placed on a food with higher fiber to promote gut health, or they may need foods specifically designed to be easy on digestion. This will require you to sit down with your vet and determine what is best for your dog. Whether you’re looking for low fat canned dog food or low fat dry dog food, it’s always a good idea to talk to your vet.
Other variables to keep in mind:
- Kibble Size — If your pup is having a hard time chewing, you may want to opt for a small bites formula.
- Grain-Free — Some dogs have grain sensitivities and need to eat something different. There are plenty of great grain-free options available such as the Wellness CORE Reduced Fat Dry Dog Food.
- Moisture Content — If you’ve got your dog on a diet, you may want to consider foods with higher moisture content. More moisture means that more volume is being taken up for the same amount of nutrition. This, in turn, makes your dog feel fuller faster and helps to minimize overeating.
Choosing the right low fat dog food for your four-legged friend can be tough! We hope our reviews have helped guide you in the right direction when making this critical selection.
Our top pick for the best low fat dog food is Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care Low Fat Dog Food. It’s an amazing option that provides top-notch nutrition and easy to digest food for your pup in need. However, it’s only available as part of a veterinary diet as described by your pet’s doctor.
If you’re looking to find a great low fat dog food without a script, we recommend Evanger’s Low Fat Vegetarian Dinner Canned Dog Food. Not only is it a quality low-fat vegetarian option, it’s the best bang for your buck in terms of quality/price comparison.
Featured Image Credit: Boryana Manzurova, Shutterstock