Overweight Labrador

The Best Low Fat Dog Food Australia - A Low Fat Diet Guide

Our #1 Pick

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The Best Value for Money

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Recipe for Dog

  • All the meat and seafood ingredients are locally sourced in New Zealand
  • Only top quality ingredients
  • No growth hormones used in source cattle
  • Low heat air dry preservation to boost natural nutrients
  • No unnecessary fillers
  • Extremely nutrient-dense 

Looking for low fat dog food? If you want the best for your dog, the key is finding food that is not just low in fat, but also offers a wholesome meal for your canine companion. 

Today, we discuss the best options available in Australia for dog’s that need to cut down on their weight.

Overweight Beagle

How To Choose The Right Diet Dog Food

Sometimes dogs need to go on a special diet. No matter if it’s because of a specific condition or simply because they are overweight, there are some general rules you can follow to ensure you’re choosing the best food for your dog’s needs. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Fat content is not the only important factor. Finding a wholesome, well-balanced formula that provides proper nutrition is more important. Your pup still needs to get all the nutrients. In addition, dogs still need some fat in their diet. If they don’t get any fat, there is a high chance dogs will remain hungry all the time (1) and that’s not really what you want to achieve.

High-quality protein is still important. Protein is the basis of a dog’s natural diet, so choosing feed based on high-quality protein is still important even if your dog is overweight. The best option is choosing feed with named protein as the first ingredient, but meals are also ok (like chicken meal, for example). Try to avoid foods that list meat by-products in the ingredient list as that generally points to low-quality food.

As always, avoid artificial additives. Wholesome food is always healthier and more easily digestible. Artificial flavours and preservatives, or basically any ingredient on the list you can’t recognise are best avoided.


Which Dogs Need a Low Fat Diet?

Overweight Dogs

Obesity in dogs is a much more common problem than one might suppose. In fact, it often happens that pet parents think their dog is too skinny when their weight is actually at a perfectly healthy level. While we often can’t resist those puppy eyes asking for food, obesity can lead to a variety of other health problems, and research seems to suggest that leaner dogs live longer in general (2).

This, of course, doesn’t mean you should immediately start reducing your dog’s daily food intake. To determine the ideal weight, it’s best to consult your wet. However, if it’s obvious that your dog is overweight, a low fat diet might just be what they need.

Senior Dogs

Older dogs can be more prone to obesity and gaining weight in general:

“As pets age, they may become less active. Less exercise may lead to an increase in weight, requiring changes in your dog’s diet to compensate and avoid obesity.” - Lorie Huston, DVM, PetMD

For this reason, sometimes older dogs need a diet that’s lower in fat, but it’s still essential that it contains all the necessary nutrients. However, you should also keep in mind that that’s not always the case. Not all dogs get overweight as they age - sometimes exactly the opposite happens and they start losing weight. The key is keeping a close eye on your dog and introducing diet dog food if needed.

Related: Best Senior Dog Food Australia.

Dogs With Pancreatitis

Another key group of dogs that benefit from a low-fat diet are dogs recovering from pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can be caused by different factors, but one of them can be consuming too much fat.

“Most veterinarians recommend that dogs eat highly digestible, low-fat dog food as they are recovering from pancreatitis. Dietary fat is thought to be a major stimulus for the pancreas to secrete digestive enzymes, which may worsen pancreatic inflammation.” - Jennifier Coates, DVM, PetMD

When recovering from the inflammation, what dogs need is to start eating again as soon as possible - and an appropriate low fat dog food formula can help with that. When it comes to low fat dog food brands for pancreatitis, you’ll find a variety of different options. Some are very low in fat but also contain low-quality ingredients, so make sure to read through the ingredient list and decide for yourself. 


Low Fat Diet For Dogs 2021: Our Top Picks

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What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • All the meat and seafood ingredients are locally sourced in New Zealand
  • Only top quality ingredients
  • No growth hormones used in source cattle
  • Low heat air dry preservation to boost natural nutrients
  • No unnecessary fillers
  • Extremely nutrient-dense 

Ziwi Peak - 4.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Mackerel, Lamb, Lamb Heart, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Liver, Lamb Lung, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Bone, Lecithin, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfaphe, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Selenium Yeast), Salt, Parsley, Preservative (Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Grain-Free
  • Recipe Range: Lamb, Mackerel & Lamb, Beef, Venison, Tripe & Lamb, Free Range Chicken
  • Suitable For: Dogs of all breeds and life stages
  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Australian Owned: No (but NZ owned).

Nutritional Analysis (Mackerel & Lamb Formula)

Protein

43%

Fat

25%

Fibre

2%

Let’s address the tricky question first: one thing you might have noticed about this option from Ziwi Peak is that the fat content is 25% which is significantly higher than some other diet options. However, you can also see that the protein content is extremely high. So what’s the trick? Due to the quality of ingredients and the gentle air-drying process, all Ziwi formulas are extremely nutrient-dense.

This means that, in general, you’ll need to give smaller portions to your dog than with other commercial dog foods. Therefore, the fat content per portion is still on the lower side. Plus, this feed is great as a combination with a raw diet. For the same reason, this feed comes out quite expensive per pound - but keep in mind that you’ll feed lower quantities, which brings down the price considerably.

Related: Ziwi Peak Dog Food Review.

Other than that, this food is the cream of the crop. Ziwi names each ingredient they use, and makes sure these ingredients are top notch. The first ingredient in this feed is mackerel which is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids (the good kind of fat). The second ingredient is ethically and locally sourced grass-fed lamb. The formula is also etched with superfoods like New Zealand Green Mussel.

Ziwi Peak is also completely grain free and also tops our list of the best grain free dog foods available in Australia.

If you want only the best for your dog, Ziwi is the way to go.

Verified Review - 4/02/2021
Good Quality Food
"My puppy loves it. I mix it half and half with his kibble so it lasts longer as it is a bit pricey but really good quality."

Pros

Cons

  • All the meat and seafood ingredients are locally sourced in New Zealand
  • On the expensive side
  • Only top quality ingredients
  • Higher fat content than some other options
  • No growth hormones used in source cattle
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  • Low heat air dry preservation to boost natural nutrients
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  • No unnecessary fillers
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  • Extremely nutrient-dense 
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  • Balanced low fat formula
  • Grain-free
  • No added preservatives and fillers
  • Single-protein recipe
  • Superfood additions

Ivory Coat - 3.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Turkey, Pea Fibre, Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ground flaxseed, salmon oil, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, broccoli, spinach, parsley, apples, blueberries, vitamins A, B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, D3, E, Beta-Carotene, Niacin, d-Calcium pantothenate, Biotin, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Natural Prebiotic, Rosemary Extract & Green Tea Extract. This is a naturally preserved product.
  • Named Protein First: No, but meal is OK
  • Dog Food Type: Grain-free
  • Recipe Range: Chicken with Coconut Oil, Lamb & Kangaroo, Lamb & Sardine, Lamb with Coconut Oil, Ocean Fish & Salmon, Turkey & Duck
  • Suitable For: Adult and senior dogs
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: Yes.

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

32%

Fat

10%

This formula from Ivory Coat is another great option for dogs who need to cut down on fat. The recipe was designed for senior dogs, but the well-balanced ingredient list is suitable for dogs of all ages too (except puppies).

This food is reasonably priced and features a great mix of ingredients, especially for this price range. The ingredients are not over the top, like Ziwi Peak for example, but definitely enough to fulfill all the needs of a dog.

Related: Ivory Coat Dog Food Review.

The first ingredient is turkey meal which is a good source of protein that’s also low in fat. Other than that, this feed contains some nutritious fruits and veggies like carrots, blueberries, and spinach. Ground flaxseed and salmon oil are added into the mix to increase the levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are essential for healthy skin and coat.

Verified Review - 8/07/2020
Quick Shipping And As Promised!
"Our dogs have food allergies and this food is great for them and they love the taste."

Pros

Cons

  • Balanced low fat formula
  • Turkey meal is the first ingredient
  • Grain-free
  • List Element
  • No added preservatives and fillers
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  • Single-protein recipe
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  • Superfood additions
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  • Named protein first
  • Fortified with probiotics and antioxidants
  • Easily digestible
  • Balanced formula

Canidae - 3 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, sweet potatoes, peas, chickpeas, potatoes, sun cured alfalfa, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavour, minerals (iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulphate, zinc sulphate, copper sulphate, potassium iodide, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese sulphate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid + More.
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Grain-Free
  • Recipe Range: Lamb & Pea, Salmon & Sweet Potato, Duck & Sweet Potato, Bison & Lentil & Carrot, Wild Boar, Multiprotein
  • Suitable For: Puppies, adult and senior dogs, depending on the recipe
  • Cost: $$$$
  • Australian Owned: No

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

28%

Fat

9%

Fibre

5%

Canidae is a favourite among pet owners whose dogs have special dietary needs. Their Chicken & Pea formula was designed specifically for weight management - without compromising on nutrition.

The main ingredient in this formula is chicken, followed by chicken meal and turkey meal - all of which are good sources of protein. Besides the meat, this feed does not contain any grains or useless fillers that don’t provide nutrition like corn or soy. Instead, it contains nutritious veggies and legumes like peas and sweet potatoes. The formula is enriched with probiotic cultures for better digestibility and added vitamins for an overall healthy profile.

Related: Canidae Dog Food Review.

What makes this food especially suitable for dogs recovering from pancreatitis and overweight dogs is the low-fat content - only 9%. At the same time, this food is rich in protein and has a moderately high fibre content which makes the feed filling but also easy to digest.

Verified Review - 4/01/2019
Highly Recommended For Weight Management
"Switched to this brand as my dog had gained a few kilos- it hasn’t been long and she’s been able to shed those kilos and back into shape! We’re onto our second bag and she’s still not sick of it!"

Pros

Cons

  • Named protein first
  • A bit pricey considering the ingredients.
  • Fortified with probiotics and antioxidants
  • List Element
  • Easily digestible
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  • Balanced formula
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  • Formula specifically designed for weight management
  • Extremely low fat content
  • Enriched with prebiotics and probiotics to aid digestion
  • Wholesome ingredients
  • Balanced nutritional profile

Holistic - 3 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Lentils, Dried Molasses Beet Pulp, Pea Fiber, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Pumpkin, Cranberries, Apples, Brewers Dried Yeast, Papayas, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Blueberries, Pomegranates, Vitamin E Supplement, Inulin, L-Carnitine, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Sulphate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulphate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Glucosamine Hydrochloride + More.
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Grain-Free
  • Recipe Range: Salmon Anchovy & Sardine, Duck, Chicken, Deboned Turkey & Lentils, Rabbit & Lamb for adults and Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken for puppies
  • Suitable For: There’s a recipe for dogs of all ages and levels of physical activity
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: No

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

26%

Fat

8%

Fibre

2%

If you are looking for low-fat grain-free dog food to help a dog who has trouble staying lean, this feed from Holistic Select might be a great option. This formula is extremely low in fat (only 8%), but it still manages to offer a balanced nutritional profile for your dog.

As we mentioned before, when a dog’s diet is too low in fat, they might be left feeling hungry even after eating enough food. Well, this formula offers a solution for that: it is also high in dietary fibre, which contributes to the feeling of fullness. All these fibres can be difficult to digest, but Holistic Select balances that out too by adding prebiotics and probiotics such as yoghurt cultures to this formula to enhance digestibility. 

The first ingredient in this formula is chicken meal. While not as good as pure meat, this is generally an ok option and one that is easily digestible.

Pros

Cons

  • Formula specifically designed for weight management
  • Long list of ingredients might not be good for dogs prone to allergies
  • Extremely low fat content
  • List Element
  • Enriched with prebiotics and probiotics to aid digestion
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  • Wholesome ingredients
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  • Balanced nutritional profile
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#5: Best Low Fat Wet Dog Food: Ziwi Peak Wet Venison Recipe

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  • Single protein formula perfect for dogs with food sensitivities
  • 91% meat, organs, and New Zealand Green Mussels
  • Ethically sourced ingredients
  • No grains or fillers

Ziwi - 4.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Venison, Venison Broth, Venison Heart, Venison Lung, Venison Liver, Venison Kidney, Venison Tripe, Chick Peas, New Zealand Green Mussel, Venison Bone, Dried Kelp, Sea Salt, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Selenium Yeast, Manganese Amino Acid Complex), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B1 Supplement, Vitamin B5 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Grain free.
  • Recipe Range: Venison or Beef or Lamb or Tripe & Lamb or Mackerel & Lamb or Chicken plus more
  • Suitable For: Ziwi Peaks recipe range can be suitable for puppies, adult and senior dogs depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Australian Owned: No (but NZ owned).

This option from Ziwi is the perfect wet food for dogs that need a special diet. The Venison formula is basically just venison stew with the addition of a small amount of chickpeas and New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel. We chose the venison formula because it’s lower in fat than some other options, but Ziwi also offers other single-protein wet food recipes, so you can find one that fits your dog’s needs perfectly.

There is not too much to say about this food. It’s almost entirely made of pure meat and organs, with the addition of New Zealand green lipped mussels which are a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin (especially important for older dogs). The meat is free-range venison ethically raised without the use of antibiotics or growth promotants. The only downside is the high price, but it’s justified by the quality of ingredients.

Pros

Cons

  • Single protein formula perfect for dogs with food sensitivities
  • On the expensive side
  • 91% meat, organs, and New Zealand Green Mussels
  • List Element
  • Ethically sourced ingredients
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  • No grains or fillers
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Final Verdict

If you are looking for low fat dry dog food, our vote goes to Ziwi Peak.

At first glance, this feed does not have the lowest fat content, but this is because this feed is extremely nutrient-dense and smaller portions are needed. With the right dosage, it can work just right for dogs who need to lose weight for whatever reason. This feed is the best of the best, but also a bit pricey.

If you are looking for something more affordable (or just want to skip Ziwi for whatever reason), the Holistic Select Weight Management Chicken Meal & Peas Recipe is also a good choice.

Want to learn more about dog food in Australia? Check out our below guides:

FAQ

What percentage is considered low fat for dog food?

Dog foods that are marketed as “low fat” or “weight management” formulas usually have 10% or less fat. Foods with fat contents between 10% and 20% could be considered moderate in terms of fat levels. Keep in mind that fat is not all that matters and a good nutritional profile with a slightly higher fat content might actually be better for your dog if dosed right.

What is a good low fat dog food?

Good low fat dog food is one that, obviously, has low fat levels. However, the feed should also be made with high-quality ingredients. The rules are the same as with any other type of food: look for feed with named protein first and ingredients you can recognise on the list.

Do senior dogs need different food?

It depends. While some seniors do fine with the same feed they’ve been eating most of their lives, often the dog’s dietary requirements can change as they age. Often, but not always, seniors need help keeping their weight down in the form of a formula that’s lower in fat.

References
  1. Flaim, D. March 21, 2019. “Keeping Your Dog Thin is a Lifesaver”. Whole Dog Journal. Retrieved June 1, 2021. https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/health/keeping-your-dog-thin-is-a-lifesaver/
  2. Straus, M. July 30, 2019. “Helping Your Dog Lose Weight”. Whole Dog Journal. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  3. Houston, L. January 05, 2021. “Does My Senior Dog Need Special Dog Food?”. PetMD. Retrieved May 31, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_special_dog_food_for_senior_dogs
  4. Coates, J. May 8, 2020. “What You Need to Know About Dog Food for Pancreatitis”. PetMD. Retrieved June 1, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/what-you-need-know-about-dog-food-pancreatitis-0
Vedrana Nikolic

Vedrana Nikolić is a professional writer, anthropologist & dog lover with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Semiotics studying the communication between animals and humans. Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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