Best Weight Management Dog Food for Large Breeds

best weight management dog food for large breeds

Unfortunately, obesity in dogs is becoming a common problem.

While there are indeed different causes, a great deal of this epidemic can be attributed to wrong dog food choices and portion control, as well as lack of physical activity and weight management in large breeds.

This obviously put our furry friends at risk for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other health concerns.

With large breeds, it’s even more concerning, as they’re already inclined to problems such as arthritis and joint displacement. These conditions can be exacerbated by holding on to unnecessary weight.

In the majority of cases, all you need to do is simply switch to a weight loss dog food that favors protein over fats. However, you should also look for the finest ingredients, so that your dog won’t eat a meal that’s full of junk and unnecessary fillers.

Below is a list of the best weight management dog food for large breeds.

What’s the Best Weight Management Dog Food for Large Breeds?

1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Large Breed Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Large Breed Dog Food - Natural Dry Dog Food for Adult Dogs - Chicken and Brown Rice - 30 lb. Bag

Top Ingredients

Deboned Chicken, Whole Ground Barley, Oatmeal, Whole Ground, Brown Rice, Chicken Meal

This is a natural dog food brand, and as you would imagine, I was glad to see that they offer a healthy weight recipe for large breeds where they removed the extra calories from fat.

It starts with a delicious deboned chicken, which means it’s rich in quality protein. But what’s better is that you won’t find any kind of poultry by-product meals in this food.

The carbs come from whole grains instead of corn, wheat, or soy. Yet, there are also many other wholesome ingredients included, such as blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, apples, and pomegranate that add vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Even though the fat content was reduced to 9%, your dog still needs to have it on his menu, as it’s important for a shiny coat, and can help with skin issues. Here you’ll find a good amount of flaxseed, which is rich in Omega-3, although it’s not the best source.

This dry dog food also contains glucosamine, which is important for your large breed dog since it supports healthy joint function, as well as overall mobility.

Pros

  • Natural, wholesome ingredients
  • Protein-rich
  • Low in fat
  • Contains glucosamine

Cons

  • Only planet-based Omega-3

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2. CANIDAE PURE Weight Management Premium Dry Dog Food

CANIDAE PURE Weight Management, Limited Ingredient Grain Free Premium Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas

This is a grain-free dog food for weight management that’s based on a simple recipe. It has only nine everyday ingredients, along with natural flavoring and supplements.

It includes a fresh chicken at the top to provide a lot of high-quality protein. In addition, it makes for better tastiness to be sure your dog doesn’t leave his bowl full.

Instead of grains, there are whole foods like sweet potatoes, peas, and chickpeas. This can be great as part of a limited ingredient diet, as it can benefit dogs who have sensitivities or digestive issues. Specifically, there’s no corn, wheat, or soy present.

The fat is reduced by 10% compared to the standard formula, but for reasons mentioned above, it’s still necessary that you include it in your dog’s diet. Here, most of the fat comes mainly from chicken.

This dry dog food also includes probiotics (which were added post-cooking) in order to aid with digestion, as well as antioxidants to help keep your dog’s immune system strong.

Pros

  • Grain-free
  • Only 9 key ingredients
  • Protein-rich
  • Low in fat
  • Contains probiotics

Cons

  • No Omega-3
  • No added glucosamine

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3. Merrick Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipes

Top Ingredients

Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Sweet Potatoes

This grain-free dog food is cooked in the US with real farm-fresh ingredients, and offer an optimal protein and fiber percentage for your large breed dog, but without the extra calories from fat.

It has 32% protein from beef and poultry, which are at the top of the ingredients list, and is more than enough to support large, active dogs, and their increased protein intake requirements.

There are also plenty of fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, blueberries, and peas to give your dog the energy, vitamins, and minerals he needs without worrying about grain sensitivities.

Digestive problems are kept to a minimum as well, as there’s no corn, wheat, soy, or gluten.

Fat is significantly low at 8%, but because this nutrient is necessary for all living creatures, there’s a small portion of chicken fat, flaxseed oil, and salmon oil (an excellent Omega-3 source) included.

In addition, this dry dog food contains both glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy hips and joints in large breed dogs.

Pros

  • Grain-free
  • Protein-rich
  • Low in fat
  • Contains Omega-3
  • Contains glucosamine

Cons

  • Protein may be high for non-active dogs

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4. Nutro Ultra Weight Management Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutro Ultra Adult Weight Management Dry Dog Food With A Trio Of Proteins From Chicken, Lamb And Salmon, 30 Lb. Bag

Top Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran

This dog food can help overweight or less active canines achieve and maintain a lean body. It uses only real, non-GMO ingredients, and doesn’t include artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

It uses three high-quality proteins, including real chicken, lamb meal, and salmon meal, with chicken being the first ingredient to provide ample protein.

There are also fifteen superfoods like kale, spinach, chia seeds, and eggs inside this formula, along with healthy whole grains to keep your dog’s energy and vitality levels up, all while being free of corn, wheat, or soy.

To avoid excess calories, the fat percentage is only 10%, but there’s still enough Omega-3 fatty acids from the salmon to improve brain function and cognitive performance.

On the flip side, this dry dog food doesn’t include a glucosamine supplement, and the only natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin are the chicken and lamb meals.

That said, you can always try this food out, as there’s a complete satisfaction guarantee.

Pros

  • Real, non-GMO ingredients
  • Protein-rich
  • Contains superfoods
  • Low in fat
  • Contains Omega-3
  • Complete satisfaction guarantee

Cons

  • No added glucosamine

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5. Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Adult Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Low Fat Large Breed Weight Management Dry Dog Food, FOCUS Weight Management Large Breed Formula - 34 lb. Bag

Top Ingredients

Chicken, Brewer’s Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Poultry By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal

This dog food is manufactured in the US, and specially formulated to meet the needs of dogs over 50 pounds to help them maintain a healthy weight.

It got 26% protein that comes from high-quality sources, including chicken, which is the first ingredient, as well as fish. It does, however, also contain poultry by-product meal.

The primary energy sources are rice and whole grains, as well as corn gluten. To make digestion easier for your dog, there’s also a natural prebiotic fiber, derived from wheat bran.

Fat content is as low as 9%, and it mostly comes from fish and fish oil, which are the best sources of Omega-3, and may help promote heart health. But keep in mind that you probably shouldn’t go lower than that, since dogs do need some healthy fat in their diet.

While this dry dog food doesn’t contain a glucosamine supplement, both the poultry and fish meal are natural sources of glucosamine.

Pros

  • Protein-rich
  • Low in fat
  • Contains Omega-3
  • Contains prebiotic fiber

Cons

  • Contain by-product meal
  • Contain corn
  • No added glucosamine

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6. Wellness Core Natural Dry Dog Food Reduced Fat

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Reduced Fat, 26-Pound Bag

Top Ingredients

Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas

This is a 100% grain-free dog food that has been reduced in fat to support your dog’s healthy weight. It’s a US-based product, and contains only premium, all-natural ingredients.

It contains mostly turkey and chicken, which is why it’s full of high-quality protein. In fact, this is almost like feeding your dog raw food in kibbles form.

Although it may be a bit too high, larger dogs need enough protein in their diet, so they can increase lean muscle mass, and burn excess fat and calories.

Instead of grains, there are potatoes, peas, and carrots that help provide a daily energy boost for your dog. Additionally, the green vegetables and fruits add antioxidants and fiber that enhance your dog’s overall nutrition, and help him feel full for a long time.

Fat is 25% lower than the regular recipe, but the product still contains a fair amount of Omega-3 from flaxseed and salmon oil to balance the Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio, and reduce inflammation.

It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for hip and joint support, and has vitamins, minerals, and green tea extract for general health. Additionally, the kibbles are coated with probiotics to make sure your dog digests them well.

Pros

  • Grain-free
  • All-natural
  • Protein-rich
  • Low in fat
  • Contains Omega-3
  • Contains glucosamine
  • Contains probiotics

Cons

  • Protein may be high for non-active dogs

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Choosing the Right Food for Your Dog

Whether your pup has to lose a few pounds or more, you should start by picking a dog food with fewer calories to help him get rid of the extra weight and get his lean physique back.

Generally speaking, you want to keep the protein and fiber high, and the fats low.

Other than that, you need to have specific nutrients intact that won’t only help keep your dog balanced on a reduced-fat diet, but also protect him from future health complications.

These are the most important qualities I want to find in dog food for overweight large breed dogs.

1. High Protein

Protein is necessary to reduce hunger and boost metabolism. Also, large breed dogs, especially active ones, need to have enough protein in their diet, so they can grow new muscle tissues and maintain lean mass.

Always make sure the first ingredient is a solid source of protein.

2. Low Fat

Less fat will reduce the excess calories your dog is taking in. As there’s not much fat in these foods, make sure you pick a product that includes healthy sources, such as fish and seeds.

3. Whole Grains vs Grain Free

Grains in their bran and germ helps to keep your dog satisfied as the body has to break down the complex carbohydrates. Brown Rice is a good example, and most brands use it as their primary energy source.

On the other hand, grain-free food is used to avoid food allergies or digestive difficulties in sensitive dogs.

These formulas replace grains with vegetables that are high in fiber, like sweet potatoes, since they take longer to digest, and your dog can feel full while eating less of them.

Like with any other dog food, pick the one that has the least fillers, which add no benefit to your dog’s diet.

3. Glucosamine and Chondroitin

This natural supplement improves lubrication in your dog’s joints, and can also prevent hip dysplasia. Chondroitin is usually paired with glucosamine to have a more significant effect.

How Much Should You Feed an Overweight Dog?

If your dog is overweight, you don’t want to continue to overfeed him, but you also don’t want him to starve.

Ideally, he shouldn’t lose more than 1-2% of his total body weight per week. So make sure you’re weighing him regularly, because any more weight loss than that is unhealthy and dangerous.

The best way to manage your dog’s diet is to feed him two to four carefully measured small portions of food per day. The portion sizes will vary based on your dog’s size.

Usually serving sizes according to weight are included on the packaging of any dog food, or your vet can help you establish the correct portion size.

Timed feeders can also help by automatically dispensing measured amounts of food throughout the day. The important thing is, don’t leave food out for your dog so he has access to it at all times, since this can lead to overeating.

And of course, limiting or eliminating treats and table scraps will go a long way in reducing your dog’s weight.

Bottom Line

Being overweight is more than just an aesthetic problem. It can cause many serious health issues, and affect the quality of your dog’s life. As his loving owner, you want your furry pal to be able to run and play without experiencing pain or difficulty breathing.

Set your dog on a diet in case he’s carrying more weight than he should, or take precautions as he gets older and becomes less active. You can do this by feeding him low-calorie food, and even taking him outside for longer walks.

It’s safe to say that dogs who maintain a healthy weight will live a longer life than their heavier counterparts, since there’s less chance of chronic diseases.

It’s also worth mentioning that in some cases, medical conditions such as hypothyroidism can cause your dog to get a bit chunky. So always talk to your vet if you can’t find a reason why your dog is putting on weight.