Is there a low calorie wet dog food?

in Pets & pet care
19 replies 6.2K views
longwalks1longwalks1 Forumite
3.6K Posts
Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
Our cav king charles spaniel is a little overweight so we are exercising her more and slowly cutting back on her food, we usually feed her twice a day a mixture of dry food (Arden Grange low calorie) and mix it with 1/3 or 1/2 a tray of cesar (usually meat and veg in gravy).

We was wondering what wet food tray/pouches were lowest in calories, if there is such a thing?
Kitchen project - Apologies in advance for all the questions! 


  • krlyrkrlyr Forumite
    6K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    The problem with a lot of the 'light' foods is that they're just full of unnecessary, hard to digest fillers (usually cereals). Not only does this mean you're paying for food that is just getting pooed out, but you're putting excess strain on the kidneys etc. too.

    You'd be better off buying a high quality food (wet or dry - or both) and feeding enough for a slow, healthy weightloss. Feed for the dog's ideal weight - i.e. if she should be 6kg but is currently 7kg, feed for a 6kg dog.

    I'd be ditching the Cesar - not really much or very good quality meat in it, there are much better wet food brands available. I'd go for a high quality brand and, if needed, mix with a little bit of water before serving to make it go further for less (saves pennies and calories!). Arden Grange isn't too bad - but if you're sticking with it, personally I'd switch to the normal version and feed less, bulked out with veggies, you'll achieve the same goal and it'll probably cost less (and be better for the dog). Again, though, there are better brands out there - and feeding less of them will make it more affordable if you're on a budget. is a great sight for rating the commercially available foods. I personally raw-feed, which is great (no fillers at all - though you can bulk out meals with raw/lightly cooked veg which is handy with a dog on a diet..this works for commercial foods too) but understand it isn't for everyone. There's lots of information online, and some ready-prepared balanced diets available if it's something you'd consider (e.g. Nutriment, Natural Instinct, etc.)
  • longwalks1longwalks1 Forumite
    3.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    Thanks krlyr
    I was thinking of raw, but know nothing about it. Cost isn't an issue thankfully so I'll take a look. Ideally like to buy raw in bulk and freeze it if possible then serve up each day.

    Is there a preferred raw supplier please?
    Kitchen project - Apologies in advance for all the questions! 
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
    15.7K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 10,000 Posts I've been Money Tipped! Name Dropper
    Most people use a supplier that is convenient for them.

    I use foods for Durham Animal Feeds but get it from a local supplier.

    If you Google 'raw dog food' you can search for local stockists.

    There are some companies that will supply by courier if you live in an area where that would be suitable.

    Do you your research on feeding raw food before you start. Some information is available on the above sites.
  • teddysmumteddysmum Forumite
    9.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    My two cavaliers have only one meal a day, at which they share a 400g tin of Butcher's tripe and a tiny few mixer biscuits. Joly, the elder, used to be a little over weight, but both are fine now.

    As Joly can have a slight bile upset,if not fed a little something, they get two or three Gravy Bones or three or four Fish4Dogs sea biscuit cubes.

    They sometimes have a complete meal such as Fish4Dogs, Wainwrights or JWB, but about half the 'recommended' amounts.

    Our former vet said that dried food manufacturers, especially, over recommend and when my brother-in-law got his guide dog's food supply (for a lab) the charity suggested half the manufacturer weights, too.
  • SensibleSarahSensibleSarah Forumite
    491 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Although it's certainly not the best food out there (and is far far from the worst) tinned Chappie is low in fat and my dog does really well on it. She seems to struggle on dry only diets as I think she never feels full so has been much happier since I switched to primarily wet.

    She certainly gets less than the daily recommended amount though. Probably about 60% of what the packaging says. Split into 2 meals + some small treats as rewards on walks & a kong before bed.
  • longwalks1longwalks1 Forumite
    3.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    Thanks everyone, @krylr I had a long read last night on Natural Instinct website and about the gradual transition, and have ordered 5Kg of the raw chicken and the probiotic syringe to ease her into raw food. Once the rest of the dry and cesar is used up, will be trying her on raw
    Kitchen project - Apologies in advance for all the questions! 
  • NewlyboughthouseNewlyboughthouse Forumite
    352 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Raw, raw, raw! :) If you're in West Mids, TPMS is an excellent raw supplier.
  • GwylimTGwylimT Forumite
    6.5K Posts
    britishboy wrote: »
    Thanks everyone, @krylr I had a long read last night on Natural Instinct website and about the gradual transition, and have ordered 5Kg of the raw chicken and the probiotic syringe to ease her into raw food. Once the rest of the dry and cesar is used up, will be trying her on raw

    If you email enquiring about a sample pack you may get one for free, they recently sent me 5kg of cat food and 5kg of dog food.
  • krlyrkrlyr Forumite
    6K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Yes, I got a sample from Natural Instinct too - though it took several weeks to arrive due to high demand.

    Natural Instinct, Nutriment, etc. are designed as 'complete' foods, though it's wise to rotate through several flavours (different proteins offer different nutritional benefits) and to check that they have adequate levels of offal in them (offal is full of nutrients, so it's important to include). They come either in tubs (about the size of a plastic takeaway tub) or 'chubbs' (big sausage shaped packets) and you literally defrost and feed (you can defrost, reportion into small meals, and refreeze though - dog's stomach acids work well at dealing with bacteria etc. so food poisoning doesn't tend to be an issue). They're the easiest way to raw-feed usually, though more expensive (and some dogs aren't keen on the mushy texture)

    There's then raw food suppliers like DAF, Bulmer, The Dogs Butcher, etc. who sell individual meats. You buy 1lb/500g/1kg packs of chicken mince, lamb mince, beef chunks, chicken breasts, etc. along with offal (whole liver or kidney, chunks, offal minces, etc.) and bones (from chicken necks to carcasses, lamb or beef ribs, pigs feet, etc.) and you may have to split these out into meals to achieve the ideal ratio (raw food should be 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver and 5% other offal) yourself. ~

    I've always done "DIY" raw, i.e. portioning into meals myself, but have always found it's pretty easy to do. My dogs are bigger and eat about 3lb a day between them - so breakfast might be a 1lb block each, fed straight from the freezer, and dinner might be a 1lb block defrosted and split between them. A chicken carcass might place a block for one meal in the week, and for their offal, I defrost a few bags (half liver, half other offal - usually kidney), blitz in a food processor and freeze in single portions using silicone bakeware, which I feed frozen (my girl is fussy with offal, she's happier to eat it this way)

    Sometimes I get a bit more complex and I weigh things out, add supplements, etc. - for example, my girl has just had leg surgery and it's important she doesn't gain weight with the reduced exercise, so I've portioned out all her food into exact weights at slightly under her usual quota, bulked them out with blended vegetables to fill her up (dogs can't digest plant matter, hence the blending so she gets some nutritional benefit too), and each portion has some helpful supplements in too - e.g. nettle powder which is a natural anti-inflammatory, green lipped mussel for the joints, etc. This takes a little bit longer - you have to defrost all the meat, then weigh it out, etc., I use plastic takeaway tubs to portion it into and freeze, then remove from the tubs so that it all takes up a bit less space in the freezer.

    I also prep meals for my brother's dog, as he's so small a 1lb block would last him days. Similar to above, I defrost several blocks, and I've found some silicone XL ice cube moulds that happen to fit 75g - one meal's worth of food - each section. So I put his 75g meat into each section, with just under 10g of blended offal, and for his bone allowance he tends to have a chicken neck or two as a meal once or twice a week.

    You can make it complex, or you can make it simple. Some factors are out of your control - e.g. no matter how I try, I can't get Kiki to take offal any other way but blended and frozen, so it's a bit of extra prep I have to do. But I've got it down to a fine art and it takes me 5 minutes to do a fortnight's worth, so it's not a lot of faff.
    The size of the dog/meals is another - I couldn't feed my brother's Pom x a 1lb block of meat so it's necessary to defrost and portion smaller. But he could just defrost that 1lb block and feed the same meat for several days running, it would keep fine in the fridge - but he's a little fussy too so I tend to mix his favourite meats (chicken and turkey) with the ones he's not so keen on (red meats) in his portions, which is easier if I just prep them all in advanec.

    In terms of cost - as I say, Nutriment etc. will be the priciest, and you can go all the way down the scale to costing nearly nothing (sourcing from abbatoirs direct is cheap, butchers can do deals, but watch out for overly cheap pet mince with rusk etc. dumped in it, friends or family who farm, hunt, are having a freezer clearout, etc.).
    Depends how much you want to spend, if you're particular about sourcing freerange/organic/ethically, how much effort you want to be. Buying in bulk does help, so a large freezer is useful - but I've coped going from about a 275l just for the dogs, down to a 215l shared with our shopping, and then recently down to just a 99l undercounter freezer (thankfully found a stockist that delivers weekly!), though about to upgrade to a whopping 540l commercial freezer in the shed so I can really make the most of some good bulk deals.

    If you're on Facebook, the group Rawfeeding Rebels is a good one, with helpful starter guides. This site is pretty good too -
  • *zippy**zippy* Forumite
    3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    We changed our schnauzer over to nutriment a few months ago now, she doesn't have a lot to lose, but has a lot of health problems and can't get a lot of exercise, but her weight is coming down nicely on it. I've changed our pup now over to raw too, I'm vegetarian so did find the tripe ones a bit much in the morning's to begin with, but I don't even notice a smell now.

    Basils dog food do a sample pack, you get 4 x 500g chubbs and just pay delivery, which was £8 or £9 and very quick and well packed.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Boost your Nectar points

Get up to £25 in bonus points

MSE News

Ask an Expert: Scams

Watch MSE Katie's answers to your questions

MSE Forum

Hot Diamonds 40% off code

Including already-reduced outlet stock

MSE Deals