“High triglycerides” isn’t a term many people are familiar with. But since you’re reading this, your vet probably told you that your dog has high triglycerides, and you need to do something about it. It’s not something you want to hear, but something can be done about the issue.
Simply put, having high triglycerides means your dog has a lot of fat in its blood. Some fat is good, but too much fat can lead to serious health problems, especially with the heart.
Think about it like a clogged drain. When you take a shower, you expect the water to flow from the shower head down the drain effortlessly. If it doesn’t, the water lingers in the tub and leaves behind a disgusting residue that builds up over time. This can happen to your dog’s body if the issue isn’t handled. Thankfully, a few lifestyle changes can help.
A low-fat diet with only 10% fat content is a good place to start. Since there are so many dog foods available, we’re helping you out by reviewing nine low-fat dog food recipes that hover around this percentage.
Let’s take a look.
Disclaimer: The foods reviewed here were chosen because they have certain characteristics that might help with some of the causes or consequences of this medical condition. However, they are not a medical treatment or a substitute for medical treatment. Keep in mind that each medical case is different and what works for some pets may not work for others. Your veterinarian is the right person to advise you on the best diet for your pet’s individual case.
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The 9 Best Dog Foods for High Triglycerides
1. Ollie Fresh Dog Food Subscription – Best Overall
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, Carrots, Peas, Rice, Chicken liver|
|Calories:||1298 kcal ME/kg|
Our best overall choice for dogs with high triglycerides is Ollie fresh dog food. It’s not the most cost-effective, but it ranks number one on our list for a reason. Ollie offers some of the freshest pet food on the market as a customizable meal plan. All you do is type in your dog’s age, weight, breed, activity level, and health concerns.
Each recipe is free of fillers, artificial flavors, and by-products, and cooked at low temperatures for maximum nutrition.
Ollie offers several protein options packed with natural vitamins and minerals, but the best option is the chicken recipe. It’s made with real chicken and chicken liver, carrots, spinach, rice, and chia seeds. And the best part? It’s only 3% fat.
You can choose between fresh food or gently baked food. Or mix it up and get fresh and gently baked in your biweekly deliveries.
The downside of fresh food is it doesn’t last long. The other downside is how little fiber this recipe contains. You may have to mix this with something that’s filling for your dog. But many owners say their dogs are full afterward, so you’ll have to make the call.
2. Wag Wholesome Grains Dry Dog Food – Best Value
|Main ingredients:||Lamb, Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Grain sorghum|
Wag Lamb & Brown Rice recipe is the best for the money. You had to be an Amazon Prime member to order this food in the past, but now anyone can order it. This is Amazon’s very own dog food brand, and we must admit it’s not bad.
Here’s what we like about this food: it’s affordable, it’s easy to order, and the ingredients are above average. And it’s free from artificial colors, preservatives, and artificial flavors. But keep in mind that there may be trace amounts of by-product, wheat, corn, or soy in it because it’s manufactured in a place that makes other pet foods.
The first two ingredients are a meat product (real meat being the first ingredient). It even has glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health. There are grains in this Wag recipe, but you can also find a grain-free option.
The downside to this recipe is the fat content, which is the most important factor. Wag’s Lamb recipe has 14% fat, a higher amount than the other options on this list. But if you have to stretch the dollar, we recommend this brand.
3. Nulo Freestyle Adult Trim Recipe Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Deboned cod, Turkey meal, Salmon meal, Lentils, Yellow Peas|
If you’re ready to spend a few extra dollars on your dog, Nulo Freestyle Adult Trim Recipe is the best choice. Nulo is well-known as a high-protein pet food brand that’s mostly grain-free, although they do have an ancient grain recipe.
This recipe is their Adult Trim formula. It has 30% protein, well over the average you see in most dog food brands. The first three ingredients are meat-based ingredients with deboned cod as the primary protein source. About 74% of the protein content is animal-based, so you know your dog is getting a good natural source of taurine.
We also like the added veggies. Since dogs are omnivores, it’s important they have some plant matter in their diet. This diet also contains L-carnitine1, an amino acid that may help burn fat. If your dog needs to lower its triglyceride levels by losing weight, this could be a great option.
Of course, the downside is the price. But it’s less expensive than Ollie’s fresh dog food and has great ingredients. So, if you want to dish out some extra cash on your dog, we highly recommend Nulo.
4. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Dog Food – Best for Puppies
|Main ingredients:||Dehydrated chicken, Organic barley, Dehydrated potatoes, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Oats|
Certain breeds can be predisposed to high triglycerides, so it’s nice to know there are low-fat puppy recipes out there. Our favorite is The Honest Kitchen’s Whole Grain Chicken recipe. This recipe has a higher fat content (14%) than most of the other options on this list because puppies need more fat in their diet. Still, it’s lower than many other puppy foods.
What stands out the most about this food is that it’s dehydrated. All you do is add warm water and serve it as if it’s a homemade meal. Easy. The largest box makes about 40 pounds of food. The price is a little high, but for the quality of ingredients and how easy it is to serve, it’s not bad.
We also love that there are EPA and DHA in this recipe, two omega-3 fatty acids excellent for the brain, heart, and immune system. This recipe also has a wonderful mix of fresh vegetables and added taurine for extra nutrition. There are no artificial ingredients, GMOs, preservatives, or fillers.
5. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dog Food – Vet’s Choice
|Main ingredients:||Brewers rice, Chicken by-product meal, Wheat, Barley, Natural flavors|
Royal Canin’s Gastrointestinal Low-Fat formula is our vet’s choice for dogs with high triglycerides. This recipe is very low fat, around 5.5%. It’s also low-calorie for dogs that need to lose a few pounds or prefer to eat smaller portions throughout the day.
Dogs have sensitive digestive tracts, so it’s common for them to struggle with GI upset like diarrhea. In this recipe, you’ll find highly digestible proteins and prebiotics for dogs with this issue. There’s also soluble and insoluble fiber for firm, bulky stools. There’s also EPA and DHA in this formula for the brain, heart, and immune system.
Overall, this food is expensive and requires a prescription to purchase, so it might not be ideal for everyone. But if your dog needs a prescription diet, this is our recommendation.
6. Nutro Ultra Weight Management Dry Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, Chicken meal, Whole grain brown rice, Whole grain sorghum, Whole grain barley|
Number six on our list is Nutro’s Ultra Weight Management Chicken, Lamb, and Salmon recipe. This grain-inclusive recipe is ideal for weight management with only 335 calories per cup and only 9% fat—not too much, and not too little. However, this recipe isn’t ideal for weight loss. If your dog needs to lose weight, it’s best to look at some other recipes on this list.
This recipe contains no artificial ingredients, is non-GMO, and is made in the USA. Real meat is the first ingredient followed by chicken meal, a great protein option.
The bag advertises that any breed size can enjoy this kibble, but some owners have stated the kibble appears bigger than before. It’s possible they changed their kibble sizes, so keep that in mind if you have a small dog.
7. Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe
|Main ingredients:||Deboned beef, Chicken meal, Sweet potatoes, Potatoes, Turkey meal|
Number seven on our list is Merrick’s Grain-Free Healthy Weight recipe. This is a high-protein recipe where 80% of the protein comes from animal sources. The fat content is no more than 10% on a dry matter basis, and the calorie content is average. This recipe also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health, and even contains salmon meal for a good dose of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
We speak highly of Merrick’s and so do their loyal customers. However, in 2015 they were bought out by Nestle Purina Pet Care. This means many of their ingredients are most likely sourced from other countries, including China. Overall, we do believe Merrick’s is a good brand.
8. Wellness Core Grain-Free Reduced Fat Dry Food
|Main ingredients:||Deboned turkey, Turkey meal, Chicken meal, Lentils, Peas|
Wellness Core’s grain-free Turkey and Chicken Reduced Fat recipe is number eight on our list. This food has a high protein count of 33% and double the fiber of the original recipe. We like this because foods with a lower fat and calorie content are typically less filling.
Overall, 74% of the protein found in this recipe is from animal sources, with the first ingredient being real meat. This is excellent because, aside from high-quality protein, your dog is also getting a natural source of taurine. There are also no fillers, meat by-products, or artificial ingredients.
You get about 4 cups of food per pound of kibble, and the kibble size is about the size of a chickpea.
This recipe contains GMOs, so if that’s important to you, it’s best to look at some other recipes on this list. Also, some of the ingredients are outsourced from different countries.
9. Holistic Health Extension Lite
|Main ingredients:||Organic deboned chicken, Chicken meal, Ground brown rice, Oatmeal, chicken fat|
Holistic Health Extension Lite is number nine on our list. This recipe contains organic deboned chicken as its main protein source and is free of GMOs, artificial colors, and preservatives. This recipe is 50% less fat than Health Extension’s original recipe and has a higher-than-average protein content than most dog foods.
Plus, it’s low-calorie. This could be a good thing for dogs needing to lose weight for lower triglyceride numbers. For active dogs, this may not be a good option since you’ll have to feed more food.
You get about four cups of kibble per one pound of food. The biggest con is the size of the kibble. It’s about the size of a pea and could be too small for larger breeds. So, keep that in mind if your dog is naturally bigger.
Buyer’s Guide: Picking the Best Dog Food for High Triglycerides
What to Look for in Pet Food
We’ve given you nine food options to choose from, now it’s time to show you how to choose your dog’s food.
Fat content is the first thing to cut back. According to The American Association of Feed Control Officials, adult dogs need at least 5% in their diet and puppies need at least 8% in theirs. Most of the food we listed above has a fat content of 10% or less with a couple of exceptions. Ideally, you don’t want to go above this percentage.
Fiber slows the absorption of fat and sugar in the lower intestine. A high-fiber diet also means your dog will stay full longer. Many low-fat foods tend to be low-calorie as well, so high fiber will keep your dog from feeling hungry or losing weight when it doesn’t need to.
Because hyperlipidemia affects the heart, a great ingredient to look for in your dog’s food is taurine. Taurine is an amino acid found in meat, fish, and dairy products. This amino acid assists the metabolic process and cardiovascular system.
Most dog foods add it to their food to increase the amount of taurine even if their recipe includes real meat.
Not every dog with hyperlipidemia needs to lose weight, but some dogs need to shed a few pounds to decrease their triglyceride count.
Looking at the calorie content of your dog’s food is a missed opportunity. Many dog owners don’t realize their dog’s food is calorie-dense and that they are overfeeding them, causing excess fat. Check how many calories your dog should eat per day and make sure you stay within that window.
How Does Pet Food Lower Triglyceride Numbers?
We mentioned earlier that the cardiovascular system is like a drain. If it gets clogged, all the waste backs up in the body. In a similar fashion, a healthy diet acts like Drano, cutting through the fat and reducing excess waste that would cause serious health problems.
Extra fat in the blood simply means the body consumes more energy than it can use. The body stores that energy, hoping to use it later. Eating a healthier, well-balanced diet typically leads to less fat consumption overall and therefore lower triglycerides.
The type of fat your dog consumes also matters. There are two kinds of fats: saturated and unsaturated.
A good example of saturated fat is butter. This kind of fat thickens at room temperature. Unsaturated fats are good fats. These fats remain liquid at room temperature, like olive oil and canola oil. These are what your dog (and you) should consume.
Triglycerides vs. Cholesterol
Let’s hit the brakes on food choices and talk about triglycerides for a moment. We mentioned earlier that having high triglycerides means your dog has too much fat in its blood. But isn’t that what high cholesterol is?
You’re on the right track. Triglycerides and cholesterol are both fatty substances called lips. However, triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood that the body uses for energy. On the other hand, cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by the liver. It looks like fat, but it’s produced by a different part of the body and serves a different function.
Doctors use triglycerides to measure cardiac health. When you have high triglycerides, it means there’s too much fat in the blood, otherwise called hyperlipidemia.
Why Would a Dog Have High Triglycerides?
So, how did we get here in the first place? What happened to cause more fat in your dog’s blood? There are three reasons why your dog could have high triglycerides, and sometimes these go hand in hand. Let’s look at what these are.
Hearing that your dog has high triglycerides can be defeating. We love our pets and want to do everything we can to ensure a good life. Sometimes, we go overboard and fill our dog’s tummies up with treats and table scraps that leave their blood fatty and hearts unhealthy.
Some dog owners feed their pets a healthy diet, but they end up feeding too much causing fat to slowly accumulate in the blood.
In either case, this shortens their life which is the last thing we want for our precious pets.
Feeding a poor diet isn’t always the cause of hyperlipidemia. Some dog breeds are predisposed to high triglycerides, such as Schnauzers, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Collies. If you have one of these breeds, it’s possible your dog’s parents also had hyperlipidemia.
Sometimes, illness can result in a dog having high triglycerides. If your dog is relatively healthy and still has high triglycerides, it could be a symptom of the following:
Other Ways to Reduce Your Dog’s Triglycerides
A great way to help keep your dog’s hyperlipidemia under control is through exercise. Exercise helps burn calories and use the fat stored away for energy.
If your dog isn’t used to exercise, it’s best to start small. Simple walks and throwing a ball around the backyard go a long way. Any kind of movement will help. You can increase the difficulty level as your dog grows stronger. Paired with a healthy, well-balanced diet, your dog will be unstoppable.
You also want to avoid fatty treats and table scraps. You may have to cut these out completely until your dog’s numbers are within a healthy range.
There you go—Nine low-fat dog foods for pups with high triglycerides. Let’s review our top five picks.
Our best overall option is Ollie fresh dog food. It’s human-grade fresh food catered to your dog’s needs. It’s low-fat and packed with nutrition, but pricey. For a cost-effective food, check out Wag. Amazon does a good job of offering dry food with decent ingredients that’s not too high in fat.
Nulo’s Adult Trim recipe is our favorite premium option. It’s high-protein, grain-free, and most of the protein is animal-based. You can tell just by looking at the kibble that it’s packed with nutrition and flavor.
For puppies, go with The Honest Kitchen. It’s higher in fat than the rest of the options, but puppies usually need more fat anyway.
Featured Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock