13 Best Low Carb Dog Foods

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Why dogs need carbs?

Dogs are omnivores with a digestive system geared for high-protein animal foods..

Carbohydrates may help your energetic puppy get the energy he or she needs, but fats are generally the primary source of energy in dog diets.

Carbs and protein and fat all generate energy at different rates. Carbohydrates are readily broken down into glucose, which the body can use right away for energy.

The canine body prefers to utilize carbohydrate energy first before seeking for additional sources of power.

VIDEO: Benefits of Low Carb Grain Free Dog Food

Table of Contents

Carbohydrates are an essential component of a balanced diet for dogs, and while 20% is often mentioned as the proper amount, it’s really determined by your dog’s lifestyle and characteristics. Carbohydrate-rich diets, on the other hand, might have an impact on your dog’s behavior (high carbs diets and dog behavior) [1]


Excess simple carbohydrates in dog foods can promote weight gain and elevated blood sugar levels, and you must consider the source of the carbohydrate since not all carbohydrates are equal. You must also pay attention to the ingredients’ percentages of protein and carbohydrates.

Can dogs lose weight on a low carb diet?

The simple answer is yes! Just like humans, eating and exercise are key for dogs, and the diet you choose doesn’t have to be difficult for your dog.

New research from Pedigree Food for Dogs, found a high-protein, low-carb diet helped dogs lose weight, while helping maintain muscle

What foods are low in carbohydrates for dogs?

Veggies like carrots, peas, yams, sweet potatoes, squash, and pumpkin are all healthy carb ingredients that provide your dog with the necessary nutrients.

Your dog can also enjoy fresh or frozen carrots, peas, or green beans occasionally as healthy snacks

best low carb dog foods

What percentage of carbohydrates should be in dog food?

What is the recommended amount of protein and fat for my dog? Protein should make up 10% of a dog’s daily calories, and fat should make up 5.5%. A dog’s diet can contain up to 50% carbohydrates, including 2.5% to 4.5% fiber.

I’m a vet tech who has been advising low-carb diets for overweight dogs with diabetic issues for many years. The best overall low-carb dog food, in my opinion, is Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dog Food.

Every pup is unique, therefore I went through the top low carb recipes in each category to assist you in making the best selection for your four-legged companion.

Best Low Carb Dog Foods

Whether you go dry or wet food, one of the easiest ways for you to determine good dog food is by reading the label and looking out for the AAFCO Statement. [2] Always consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s diet. 

All of the dog foods on this list are in accordance with the AAFCO nutrient profile [3] recommendations for dogs.

Blue Buffalo Low Carb Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca
  • Key Feature: High protein recipe designed to replicate the ancestral canine diet
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 34%, Crude Fat: 15%, Crude Fiber: 6%, Moisture: 10%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 35%
  • Caloric Content: 409 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, High-Protein, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Overall

This grain-free dog food formula features a high protein content to replicate your pup’s wolf ancestors’ natural diet.

The 34% protein from chicken helps maintain healthy lean muscle mass for dogs who lead an active lifestyle.

The recipe excludes by-products, wheat, corn, soy, or artificial additives. Wholesome ingredients ensure that this dog food is suitable for sensitive pups.

These whole food ingredients also maximize the bioavailability of nutrients provided by this food. [4]

Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource bits contain a concentrated blend of the precise amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants required by your dog.

High levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids also help support immune function. 

Most dog owners notice improvements in overall health after switching to this dog food. But the high 406 kcal/cup caloric content may not be suitable for obese pups.

Low Calorie Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Beef Whole Food Clusters Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Dehydrated Beef, Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes, Dehydrated Potatoes, Organic Flaxseed, Dried Organic Coconut
  • Key Feature: Human Grade, High protein recipe
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 31%, Crude Fat: 14%, Crude Fiber: 7.5%, Moisture: 7.8%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 35%
  • Caloric Content: 514 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No preservatives, by-products, fillers, GMO ingredients, corn, wheat or soy.
  • Life Stage: Puppies & Adults
  • Best For: Overall

100% Human-Grade! Unlike most pet food, this recipe is 100% human grade – made with human-grade ingredients & produced in a human food facility.

That means higher quality ingredients & more safety standards, just like you’d expect from your own food.

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Beef Clusters Dry Dog Food is too good to be called kibble because it truly stands out from the rest with fresh, clean ingredients and minimal processing.

The whole food clusters purposely don’t look like your traditional dry dog food and that’s because they’re made in small batches, cold-pressed, and then slow-roasted and dehydrated. This process locks in the aroma, nutrients, textures of whole foods like beef, peas, lentils, eggs, carrots, and more!

Nutritional Profile Includes:

  • GRAIN FREE, RANCH RAISED BEEF: The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Beef dog food is high in protein made with real whole food ingredients like ranch raised beef & kale, which are gently dehydrated for maximum nutrient retention & easy digestion.
  • SUITABLE FOR PUPPIES & ADULT DOGS: Complete & Balanced nutrition for adult dogs and puppies of all breeds and sizes, including large breed puppies, as well as adult mothers (gestation/lactation).
  • EASY HOMEMADE: Just add warm water for a wholesome & delicious meal. Serve alone as a complete meal for maximum nutrition, or use as a topper to their dry food.
  • NOTHING ARTIFICIAL:: This recipe contains no preservatives, by-products, fillers, GMO ingredients, corn, wheat or soy.

Best Low Carb Grain free Dry dog Food

Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Bison Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca, Dried Eggs
  • Key Feature: Made free of grain and gluten, this special formula is perfect as an alternative to grain-based foods
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 32%, Crude Fat: 18%, Crude Fiber: 4.%, Moisture: 10%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 
  • Caloric Content: 400 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: 
  • Life Stage: Growth
  • Best For: Adults

Our analysis of the ingredients shows that this product derives most of its protein from animal-based sources.

This is an excellent property because meat-based protein contains all of the necessary amino acids required by dogs.

In our option, this is one of the most important properties to judge when reviewing pet food, therefore we believe this is an exceptional product in this regard.

With lean, red meat bison meal as the first ingredient, your dog is ensured high protein levels that help develop and sustain energy and lean muscle mass. Bison meal is a lean, red meat protein that is rich in balanced amino acids which are important building blocks for a healthy body.

Egg protein is the biological standard that all other proteins are compared against. Rich protein sources like these help build a strong foundation for your dog’s overall health. L-Carnitine helps convert fat into energy promoting lean muscle mass and healthy body condition.

A proper ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids helps support a lipid balance for healthy skin and coat.

While guaranteed levels of antioxidant nutrients like Vitamin E and Vitamin C blended with nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits such as peas, apples, blueberries, carrots, spinach, and cranberries help support the immune system and optimal health.

Natural fibers from vegetables and fruits help support excellent digestibility and nutrient absorption.

Best Low Carb Grain free Puppy Food

Merrick Real Texas Beef Recipe Puppy Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Lamb Meal, Potatoes
  • Key Feature: Grain-free puppy food with high protein ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 28%, Crude Fat: 15%, Crude Fiber: 4.5%, Moisture: 11%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 41.5%
  • Caloric Content: 400 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free
  • Life Stage: Growth
  • Best For: Puppies

This low carbohydrate puppy food offers the concentrated nutrition that growing dogs need in a grain-free formula.

 Deboned beef is the first ingredient, providing a high-quality protein source that is also rich in vitamins and minerals.

The 41.5% estimated carbohydrate content boosts energy for playful pups without contributing to excessive weight gain.

There are no refined carbohydrates used in this grain-free recipe. Instead, the ingredient list is 55% proteins and 45% whole produce.

Whole fruits and vegetables act as bioavailable sources of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Growing dogs need adequate nutrients to support healthy development.

Diets that are deficient in essential minerals like calcium or phosphorus can cause skeletal problems. [5]

Additional glucosamine and chondroitin provide advanced support for joint and bone development. DHA from salmon meal helps promote healthy brain development.

Other healthy fats from sunflower oil and flaxseed oil ensure that young pups consume enough energy.

Reviews share that pet parents often noticed improvements in the stools of puppies fed this formula. But some picky puppies may not like the taste.

High Protein Low Carb Dog Food

Stella and Chewy’s Raw Blend

  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Pork, Pork Meal, Sweet Potato, Tapioca
  • Key Feature: Low Carbs, High Protein
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 36%, Crude Fat: 18%, Crude Fiber: 5%, Moisture: 12%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 28%
  • Caloric Content: 432 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: NO: grain, gluten, potato, corn, wheat, soy, poultry-by products
  • Life Stage: Puppy, Adult, Senior

They call this Raw Blend because it is a blend of Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried raw pieces and baked kibble that is coated in their freeze-dried raw food.

It is made of a whopping 65-70% meat ingredients and the other 30-35% is made of fruits, vegetables other wholesome ingredients.

This protein-packed food is crafted with multiple meat sources, including beef, pork, lamb, bison, venison, and goat—plus, the “whole prey approach to creating a wholesome meal means muscle meat, organ meat, and cartilage are all used.

Better yet, it’s low in carbohydrates and free of artificial ingredients, fillers, preservatives, grains, potatoes, and legumes.

Nutritional Profile Includes:

  • Packed full of protein with beef, pork, lamb, bison, venison, and goat.
  • Crafted without grains, potatoes, or legumes.
  • Freeze-dried raw meat coats every delectable bite with added raw chunks.
  • 90% of its yummy protein is from actual animal sources!
  • Recipe uses “whole prey” ingredients, including muscle meat, organ meat, and cartilage.
  • In Stella & Chewy’s Raw Blend dog food there is NO: grain, gluten, potato, corn, wheat, soy, poultry-by products

In every recipe, real meat is the first ingredient. They use grass-fed red meat, cage-free chicken, and wild-caught fish. The company also uses organic fruits and vegetables.

As you can see, Stella & Chewy’s Raw Blend dog food has added probiotics, which are also beneficial for digestion. It is also rich in omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.

Best Low Carb Dog Food For Seniors

Nulo Freestyle Senior Trout & Sweet Potato Recipe

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Trout, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, Yellow Peas, Sweet Potato
  • Key Feature: Specialized nutritional support for seniors in a low carb formula
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 30%, Crude Fat: 12%, Crude Fiber: 5%, Moisture: 10%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 43%
  • Caloric Content: 396 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, High Protein, Low Glycemic
  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Best For: Seniors

Senior dogs often require advanced nutritional support for common health conditions. This grain-free formula is also low-glycemic [6] to help manage the risk of diabetes in older pups.

The high 30% protein content comes from deboned troutturkey meal, and salmon meal.

These diverse animal protein sources work together to provide a comprehensive amino acid profile to limit muscle loss in seniors.

Added L-Carnitine also helps promote lean muscle development by supporting a healthy metabolism and fat burning. [3]

Therapeutic levels of glucosamine and chondroitin provide the building blocks necessary for healthy joint cartilage. These chondroprotective ingredients are vital for managing joint discomfort in older arthritic joints.

Pure probiotic strains help ensure that seniors’ sensitive digestive systems can easily digest and absorb the nutrients provided by this diet. Probiotics introduce good bacteria into the gastrointestinal tract that allow food breakdown.

Some pet parents report that this dog food helped improve their older dog’s energy and mobility. But the recipe may not be suitable for pups with the pickiest tastes

Best Low Carb Hypoallergenic Dog Food

Zignature Turkey Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Sunflower Oil
  • Key Feature: Low Carbs, High Protein, Food sensitivietes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 32%, Crude Fat: 15%, Crude Fiber: 4%, Moisture: 10%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 43%
  • Caloric Content: 394 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Low Glycemic, Limited Ingredient Diet, Gluten Free, Chicken-Free, Natural
  • Life Stage: All Life Stages
  • Best For: Adult, Food Sensitivities

Limited Ingredients:

Zignature create natural dog food that limits the number of ingredients in it’s recipes.

This ensures proper digestion for your dog while minimizing possible allergens and food sensitivities that can affect their health.

Low-Glycemic Carbs:

You should be counting carbs, at least when it comes to your canine.

Dogs thrive on a high protein diet that is rich in nutrients from meat sources. Carbohydrates do provide important nutritional benefits, but they have to be of the right kind.

Our limited ingredient recipes omit high-glycemic carbohydrates, which are often commonly used industry staples. Instead, we use low-glycemic legumes, such as whole Chickpeas, which promote stable blood sugar and provide valuable dietary fiber.

Meat First Recipe:

This meat-first recipe offers pups the protein they need to thrive, while Zignature’s limited ingredient recipe throws out troublesome ingredients like chicken, corn, wheat, soy, and potatoes, creating peak hypoallergenic, low-glycemic nutrition.

Combine that with key antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and a complete spectrum of vitamins and minerals for a well-rounded meal that goes beyond nature to become your pet’s signature food for life.

Nutritional Profile Includes:

  • This grain-free, limited ingredient formula is made with one protein source and only a handful of other ingredients, creating a clean recipe with ingredients you can count on.
  • As a natural source of prey in the wild, Turkey is an exceptional source of protein that’s also low in saturated fat, rich in Selenium, and a good source of Riboflavin and Phosphorus.
  • Free of the most common potential canine allergens: corn, wheat, soy, dairy, and chicken, making this recipe ideal for pups with sensitivities and picky eaters.

Best Budget Low Carb Dog Food

American Journey Salmon Grain-Free Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes
  • Key Feature: Affordable formula with high-quality ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 32%, Crude Fat: 14%, Crude Fiber: 5%, Moisture: 10%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 39%
  • Caloric Content: 390 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten-Free, High Protein
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Budget Low Carb Dog Food

This budget dog food formula offers low carb nutrition from high-quality ingredients at an affordable price.

Many budget recipes use refined carbohydrates as the primary ingredient, but this formula features real meat as the first ingredient.

A high 32% protein content comes from deboned salmonChicken and turkey meals provide additional sources of animal protein.

Meats like these should always be the foundation of the omnivorous diet of your dog.

Salmon, the first ingredient, is also an excellent source of healthy fats. Omega fatty acids from salmon and flaxseed help support skin and coat health. They also play a role in promoting healthy brain and eye function. [7]

The grain-free recipe uses fiber-rich sources of complex carbohydrates from ingredients like chickpeas and sweet potatoes. These starchy vegetables are ideal for low carbohydrate diets that require grain-free sources of energy.

Reviewers who feed this dog food mention improvements in the feel and texture of their pup’s coat. Pet parents frequently recommend this formula for other dog owners looking for a low carb dog food on a budget

Best Low Carb Dog Food

Origen Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Flounder, Eggs, Whole Atlantic Mackerel
  • Key Feature: High protein formula with multiple sources of animal protein
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 38%, Crude Fat: 18%, Crude Fiber: 4%, Moisture: 12%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 28%
  • Caloric Content: 449 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, High-Protein, Raw, Gluten-Free, Natural, Sensitive Digestion
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Premium Low Carb Dog Food

This premium low carbohydrate dog food features an impressive ingredient list made of 85% meat ingredients.

The multiple animal protein sources maximize protein and fat content to offer a high energy formula without large volumes of carbohydrates.

The first five ingredients are all based on raw protein. The exceptionally high 38% protein content results from the combination of chickenturkeyfloundereggs, and mackerel.

Many of these ingredients use the entire animal to provide comprehensive nutritional support.

A high protein and fat content significantly reduces the estimated carbohydrate content of this grain-free formula below 29%. It is an ideal diet for active dogs with high energy needs that cannot eat traditional foods that increase blood sugar.

Freeze-dried liver coats the kibble pieces to improve flavor and nutritional content. Dog owners highly recommend this recipe for the pickiest pups. But the high protein content may not be suitable for sedentary dogs

Best Low Carb Dog Food for Small Breeds

Wellness Core Grain-Free Small Breed Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Lentils, Peas
  • Key Feature: Low carbohydrate formula safe for small breeds with fast metabolisms
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 36%, Crude Fat: 16%, Crude Fiber: 5%, Moisture: 10%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 33%
  • Caloric Content: 412 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, High-Protein
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Low Carb Dog Food for Small Breeds

Most small breed dog foods use high levels of refined carbohydrates to meet the high-calorie needs of toy breeds. But not all small dogs do well on a high-carb diet.

So this dog food features alternative sources of complex carbohydrates and a high protein content instead.

Turkey is the primary source of the high 36% protein content. All dogs, no matter how small, need high levels of quality protein in their diets.

This higher protein content combines with a high 16% fat content to ensure that this food meets your tiny friend’s daily caloric requirements.

Lentils and peas act as alternative sources of complex carbohydrates to ensure small breeds still get adequate glycogen from a low 33% carbohydrate recipe. Dogs with smaller muscle mass can’t store significant amounts of glycogen and are susceptible to hypoglycemia. [8]

Additional protein from turkey and chicken meal offer natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin. These chondroprotective ingredients are essential for protecting the weak joints of tiny legs.

Small breeds also often have difficulty chewing and swallowing the kibble of most average dog food formulas. Reviews from parents of tiny pets highly recommend the small shape and size of this kibble exclusively designed for little mouths

Best Low Carb Dog Food for Large Breeds

Nature’s Recipe Large Breed Grain-Free Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Pea Starch
  • Key Feature: Large breed-specific formula rich in fiber and antioxidants
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 27%, Crude Fat: 12%, Crude Fiber: 4%, Moisture: 10%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 47%
  • Caloric Content: 365 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Low Carb Dog Food for Large Breeds

Large breeds have relatively slower metabolisms than their smaller cousins. They are also more predisposed to issues associated with obesity due to their already large body mass.

This grain-free dog food helps manage their health risks with a lower carbohydrate content. The 27% protein content from chicken is ideal for gentle giants.

Chicken is lean meat that offers high-quality animal protein without extra calories or fat. The lower 12% fat content also helps limit the caloric content of this recipe to 365 kcal/cup.

Although the 47% carbohydrate content is higher than others on this list, it consists primarily of complex carbohydrates. Starchy vegetables like peas and sweet potatoes are lower in calories than alternative refined carbohydrates from grains.

Excluding grain-based products and other common causes of food intolerances also helps manage larger pups’ sensitive systems.

Giant breeds often experience a higher risk of bloat or gastric upset. Lower carb diets can help reduce the inflammatory response.

The alternative sources of carbohydrates included in this recipe are also rich in fiber. Fiber does not provide extra energy, but it is a valuable prebiotic that helps support the good bacteria in the gut responsible for breaking food down and reducing bloat risks. [9]

Owners of gentle giants recommend this dog food for pups with digestive issues and often notice improvements in stool frequency and consistency

What is the best high fiber low-carb dog food?

Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Weight Control Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Pea Fiber, Potatoes
  • Key Feature: Weight control formula with reduced carbohydrates and calories
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 26%, Crude Fat: 6.5%,
  • Moisture: 10% Crude Fiber 10%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 47.5%
  • Caloric Content: 320 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Weight Control, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, High-Protein
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Low Carb Dog Food for Weight Control

Weight control is the most common reason dog owners choose to transition their dogs to a low carb diet. This weight management formula limits carbohydrates and fats to control the caloric content of this dog food.

The moderate 26% protein content of this food is ideal for dogs on weight control diets. 

Chicken provides adequate levels of amino acids without drastically increasing the caloric amounts.

Higher levels of protein could also be too much for dogs with sedentary lifestyles.

An exceptionally low 6.5% fat content is essential for dogs who need to lose weight. Your dog needs fat for energy but will store it as excess pounds when he does not use it.

This crude percentage works together with the lower 47.5% carbohydrate content to manage weight gain.

Despite the low-fat content, ocean fish meal ensures that your dog still gets the healthy omega fatty acids he needs. These fats are especially vital for overweight dogs as they help reduce inflammation in stressed joints. [10]

The recipe is also free from grains, gluten, wheat, corn, and soy. These ingredients can irritate the digestive systems of sensitive pups. And unlike some low-fat formulas, most dog owner reviews recommend the natural flavor for picky pets.

Best Low Carb Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach

Canidae PURE Limited Ingredients Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Key Feature: High protein limited ingredient diet that excludes grains
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 32%, Crude Fat: 18%, Crude Fiber: 4%, Moisture: 10%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 36%
  • Caloric Content: 496 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Sensitive Digestion, Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten Free, Limited Ingredient Diet, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Low Carb Dog Food For Sensitive Dogs

This grain-free limited ingredient diet features a base of only eight whole foods that provide balanced nutrition while eliminating common allergens.

The low carbohydrate content also helps prevent inflammation in sensitive digestive systems. [11]

Salmon is the single source of the high 32% protein content in this dog food.

Single source proteins are vital for limited ingredient formulas because they limit exposure to other proteins that may cause allergic reactions.

This fish is an ideal animal protein for sensitive dogs because of its high levels of healthy fats. The high 18% crude fat content contains significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. This fat helps boost immune function and reduce inflammation.

There are no fillers included in this recipe. Artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives often trigger adverse reactions in sensitive dogs. The formula is also chicken-free and excludes any grains that may cause a gluten allergy.

Fortification with Canidae’s proprietary blend of antioxidants, probiotics, and chelated minerals allows this simple recipe to meet your dog’s daily nutritional needs. Dog owners often report improvements in skin health on this diet.

High Protein Low Carb Wet Dog Food

Click this link to check out our expert review on the best high protein low carb wet dog food available on the market today.

Dog Food Labels Can Be Deceptive!

Ingredients on foods are listed in order of decreasing amounts.

Therefore a dog food with the listings of beef, wheat, rice, wheat germ, and corn should be primarily beef you would think?

But, in reality, it most likely isn’t! There is more beef than wheat, but there is no more beef than all of the cereal grains combined.

A label like that is probably a cereal-based food (read carbohydrates) with some beef!

This is why it is so important to read the ingredients AND find the percentages of protein and carbohydrates.[12]

Low Carbohydrate Dog Food Buying Guide

Carbohydrates can be a healthy component of a balanced canine diet, but some dogs need low-carb dog foods to flourish owing to medical issues.

What are Carbohydrates?

Despite the fact that milk products contain carbohydrates as well, carbohydrates are primarily derived from plants.

Simple carbohydrates contain only one or two units of sugar per unit. They are found in grains such as corn, wheat, rice, oats, barley, and millet.

A complex carbohydrate is made up of more than two units of sugar and is found in vegetables and fruits such as potatoes, beans, and many others.

Carbohydrates are the body’s first source of energy and provide it with energy. Carbohydrates provide energy first, followed by proteins and fats.

Carbohydrates also provide important dietary fiber which helps the digestive system function properly.

Simple carbohydrates contain only one or two units of sugar per unit. They are found in grains such as corn, wheat, rice, oats, barley, and millet.

How to Calculate Carbs in Dog Food

The carbohydrate content of most dog foods is not included on the label. Instead, you may use your dog food’s guaranteed analysis to calculate the predicted carbohydrate content for yourself.

Simply add together the total moisture, protein, fiber, and fat content of the food before subtracting the result from 100. The remaining percentage represents the estimated total carbohydrate content in the dog food!

Do Dogs Need Carbohydrates?

Dogs are omnivores that rely on protein and fat from their food to survive.

In fact, the National Research Council has stated that “no carbohydrates are necessary for a healthful canine diet.

Dogs don’t require corn, wheat, barley rice, or potatoes, but surprisingly carbs account for the majority of nutrients in most dry dog foods!

Dog foods with higher levels of carbohydrates may damage your pup’s metabolism and contribute to GI inflammation too.

Carbohydrates are utilized as an extra energy source in canine diets, but they are sometimes used as cheap fillers, so it’s essential to check the ingredients list to see what type of carbohydrate source and the proportion of carbohydrates the food contains.

pit bull dog eating whole corn on the cob
Carbohydrates are utilized as an extra energy source in canine diets, but they are sometimes used as cheap fillers

Benefits of a Low Carb Diet for dogs

Although not a necessary nutrient, digestible carbohydrates (DE) provide an easy-to-use source of energy and glucose, allowing for the development of moderate-fat diets and assisting with the creation of low-calorie diets to help manage weight issues.

It also aids in the reduction of animal protein consumption, which is a scarce resource in pet nutrition and has an associated carbon footprint.

Dietary fiber isn’t a necessary nutrient, but it does have advantages such as promoting a healthy intestinal microbiota, effective transit time, and satiety.

Managing your dog’s weight with low carb food may also help you avoid heart and kidney issues associated with obesity.


dog on a table being examined by a vet
Managing your dog’s weight with low carb food may also help you avoid heart and kidney issues associated with obesity.

Diabetic dogs must eat low-carb diets to avoid severe blood sugar spikes. Some low-carb recipes, on the other hand, may provide more protein, which can aid with healing processes in sick pups by supplying extra amino acids.

Excess carbohydrates can also promote inflammation in the gut, low-carbohydrate diets might help calm their stomachs and provide relief. Furthermore, carbohydrates may induce allergic reactions. Low-carb dog food can assist sensitive dogs deal with these responses.

What to Look for When Buying Low Carb Dog Food

Not all carbohydrates are created equal. And without carbohydrate content explicitly included on the dog food label, it can be challenging to determine the best low carb diet for your dog.

Simple vs. Complex Carbs

Carbohydrates are found in almost every low-carb dog food. Complex carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grains and grain alternatives, are the healthiest carbs for dogs.

Refined grains, on the other hand, are high in sugar and low in fiber and nutrients, making them low-fiber, low-nutrient carbohydrates.

Whole grains include the plant’s fibrous portions that are generally higher in vitamins and minerals.

Dogs who require a low-carb diet generally do best on grain-free formulas that use starchy vegetables as alternative sources of complex carbohydrates.

These ingredients take longer to break down and will not cause sharp blood sugar spikes

small board with words healthy carbs written on and surrounded by fruit and carbs

Protein Source

If a dog food has fewer carbohydrates, it usually needs to compensate for the loss of energy with greater protein content.

Protein is the most essential macronutrient in any canine diet, providing the amino acids that are required for growth and bodily processes.

Dogs have stomachs adapted to ingesting actual meat. Instead of using plant protein, look for a recipe that includes animal protein. The first ingredient should always be real meat since animal protein is far more bioavailable to dogs than plant protein.

Healthy Fats

Carbohydrates are a good source of consumable energy, but fat is the main energy source in dog diets. Fat calories can be used quickly by dogs to maintain a healthy metabolism and active lifestyle.

Omega fatty acids can help your dog be healthier in a variety of ways. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support excellent skin, coat, and immune function. These healthy fats have anti-inflammatory properties and may aid in the production of natural skin oil.

White Sammoyed dog close up with healthy coat
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support excellent skin, coat, and immune function.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals must be supplied in a balanced form in any canine diet.

These components are essential for keeping your dog happy and healthy.

Whole fruits and vegetables are the best bioavailable sources of vitamins and minerals in low-carb diets.

Check out our expert review on the Best Multivitamins to give your dog.

sad dog looking at a sponnfull of vitamins

Best Probiotic for Dogs

Did you know that a dog’s gut health has a significant influence on its overall health? A recent scientific study reports that 70% to 80% of all illness begins in the gastrointestinal tract!

Discover why this supplement is vital for your dog’s immune system and overall health-read our blog on: The Best Probiotics for Dogs.

Our Verdict

A low-carb diet can assist you to manage the health problems linked with canine obesity.

Carbohydrates can be a great source of quickly accessible energy for active dogs. However, an excess of carbohydrates can cause undesirable weight gain and increase the risk of high blood sugar in sedentary dogs.

Dogs need a diet that is high in protein and relies on fats as a major source of energy. They do not always require the enormous amounts of carbohydrates commonly found in commercial dog foods today.

I like Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dog Food because it’s the best overall low-carb dog food. This high-protein, grain-free diet delivers concentrated nutrients without having a lot of carbohydrates.

Consult your veterinarian today to see if switching to a low-carb diet could be beneficial for your four-legged companion.

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