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5 Best High Calorie Dog Foods

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best high calorie dog foods.
We’ve compared quality of ingredients, nutritional information, and value for money
to give you our top recommendations below.

Breed Advisor only recommends products that we’ve tested, or significantly researched . This page contains affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, may earn a small commission for the site. Find out more here.

What is the Best High Calorie Dog Food?

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Vet’s Advice

There may be scenarios where your dog requires high-calorie dog food to maintain optimum health. High-calorie diets are needed for many high-energy working breeds of dog because they may struggle to keep weight on due to the amount of physical activity they do. Other pets suffering from certain health complaints may also benefit from a high-calorie diet to help keep condition on.

It can be hard to determine the number of daily calories a dog needs, as it depends on age, breed, neutering status, and exercise levels. You may find a calorie calculator helpful to work out your dog’s individual needs and resting energy requirements (RER). Some working dogs will require two to five times their RER! Here’s what to look for generally when selecting a high-calorie food for your dog.

Choose a calorie-dense food

Compare the number of calories per cup between different brands to see which delivers the most energy for the same volume of food. Feeding your dog with energy-dense portions may be easier than trying to increase the amount of their regular diet which may make them feel overly full.

Select calories that come from protein

Many diets contain calories that come from fat as the diet’s primary energy source. Whilst fats do provide useful calories and are part of a balanced diet, they don’t help to build lean muscle mass. So, you should be looking for a diet that contains a higher proportion of protein compared to fat, with whole meat or meat meal appearing at the top of the ingredients list.

Avoid junk foods

Steer clear of overly processed foods and treats. It can be tempting to get calories into your dog in this way, but they won’t be receiving a nutritious wholesome diet. The calories should come as part of a balanced diet with the right number of vitamins and minerals, too, so choose a diet that meets AAFCO requirements.

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Compare Our Recommended Dog Foods

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that’s most important to you.

  • Top 5 Ingredients
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score

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High Calorie Dog Food Reviews

Adirondack 30% Protein High-Fat Recipe Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Puppy & Performance Dogs Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken Meal
    2. Brown Rice
    3. Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
    4. Dried Plain Beet Pulp
    5. Ground Grain Sorghum

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult and puppy
  • Calories: 522 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 30%
  • Fat: 20%
  • Fiber: 3.8%

Adirondack 30% Protein High-Fat Recipe is a top quality diet whose high calorie formulation is a great help for dogs that need to gain weight. A diet that is exceptionally flavorful, Adirondack packs a powerhouse punch of protein with its inclusion of chicken meal in its formulation. This meat is rich in amino acids to promote healthy muscle development.

Adirondack places a high priority on the use of natural ingredients obtained from reputable sources to ensure maximum nutrition for dogs. A diet that is considered to be among the best high calorie dog foods on the market today, Adirondack is manufactured in the United States.

This premium tier diet is free from artificial colors, flavors, fillers, corn, wheat, and soy. The omega 3 and 6 fatty acid content included in Adirondack fuels energy reserves and helps support coat and skin health.

For families looking for the best high calorie food for their dog, it’s hard to go wrong with Adirondack.

Pros

  • This diet is highly flavorful, encouraging even the pickiest of eaters to consume their meals heartily.
  • Owners like that this diet is calorie dense, meaning they have to feed less of it for their dogs to reach eating satisfaction. This increases the value of the food.
  • Dogs struggling to maintain a healthy weight found relief from this problem when fed this diet on an ongoing basis.
  • Owners noted that dogs fed this diet regularly had improved levels of energy.
  • Owners love that this diet includes nutritious whole grains in its recipe, believing these ingredients are an important help in achieving ideal digestion.

Cons

  • Some owners were disappointed that this diet is not recommended for large breed puppies because of its high protein content.
  • The kibble pieces in this diet are quite small. Some owners felt they may pose a choking hazard for medium to large breed dogs.
  • Some dogs disliked the taste of this food and would not eat it.
  • In rare cases, some dogs became itchy after a steady diet of this food. This is likely the result of a sensitivity to one of the ingredients in this kibble.
  • Some owners expressed they would prefer to feed a diet that is grain-free, particularly those with dogs suffering from allergies.

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

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Bison Meal
    2. Peas
    3. Pea Protein
    4. Tapioca
    5. Dried Egg

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 400 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 32%
  • Fat: 18%
  • Fiber: 4%

Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food offers dogs in need of weight gain a high calorie nutritious diet to fuel their active lifestyles. This top tier diet has been enriched with l-carnitine to encourage a strong metabolism to assist with burning fat efficiently and building healthy muscles.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are present in abundance in this diet, providing a vital help for coat and skin health. The main ingredient in Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast is bison meal, a lean meat and novel protein source that is unlikely to trigger allergic reactions in dogs.

This diet, rated one of the best high calorie foods for dogs, contains no grains or glutens. It is rich in carbohydrates derived from antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables to support good digestion and the development of a thriving immune system.

Pros

  • Owners like that this food is available in several different flavors, allowing them to offer their dogs some variety in their diet without sacrificing any nutritional quality.
  • Owners are pleased that this food contains no grains, believing it is a great help for dogs suffering from recurring allergies.
  • The stool quality of dogs fed this diet regularly was excellent.
  • Owners love that this food offers exceptional quality nutrition at a price point that is very reasonable.
  • Even the pickiest of eaters enjoys the taste of this food. Dogs lick their bowls clean after every meal.

Cons

  • Several owners expressed the kibble pieces differed in size with each different flavor. They disliked this.
  • A few owners indicated that there is three pounds less food in their bags now, but the price has remained the same.
  • Some dogs dislike the taste of this food and will not eat it. Thankfully, Earthborn Holistic has many different formulations with other proteins as their foundation. One of these foods may be a better choice for those dogs.
  • In rare cases, some dogs experienced recurring itchiness after a steady diet of this food. This is most likely the result of a sensitivity to one of the diet’s ingredients.
  • Some owners related that they prefer to feed their dogs a diet that includes some grains in its formulation.

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Nature’s Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast All Life Stages Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken Meal
    2. Millet
    3. Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
    4. Pumpkin Seed
    5. Yeast Culture

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: All life stages
  • Calories: 417.95 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 36%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Fiber: 5%

Nature’s Logic Chicken Meal Feast offers dogs all of the high quality nutrition they need to achieve and maintain their optimal body condition.  A food that prioritizes the use of only natural ingredients in its formulation, Nature’s Logic is free from corn, wheat, soy, and rice, common allergens that can negatively impact the health of dogs.

Nature’s Logic includes both highly palatable whole grains as well as fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants to encourage fluid digestion and a flourishing immune system. Among the superfoods found in this diet are kelp, blueberries, spinach, and cranberries.

To boost digestion, probiotics and digestive enzymes have also been supplemented.

For one of the best high calorie dog foods, it’s hard to go wrong with Nature’s Logic.

Pros

  • Owners like that this diet prioritizes the use of all natural ingredients, giving them confidence that it supports optimal health and wellness in dogs.
  • Owners report the kibble size and shape is perfect for their dogs.
  • Dogs fed this diet regularly saw improved coat quality and an increase in their energy levels.
  • Dogs enjoy the taste of this food. They look forward to their every meal with great enthusiasm.
  • Owners note that this food is fresh smelling, helping them to feel this diet is nutritionally sound and of the highest quality to assist their dog’s with maintaining ideal wellness.

Cons

  • Some dogs had loose stools when fed this diet. This may be the result of too quick a dietary change and will resolve in time.
  • Some dogs disliked the taste of this food and would not eat it.
  • In rare cases, some dogs struggled to find eating satisfaction when fed this diet. When owners upped their portion sizes to help their dogs feel full, the dogs began to gain weight.
  • Some owners expressed they felt the protein content in this food was too high and interfered with proper digestion in their dogs.
  • A few owners indicated they found the kibble pieces in this diet were too small and may pose a choking hazard.
  • This diet does not contain any supplements to assist with joint health in dogs.

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Kinetic Performance Power 30K Formula Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken Meal
    2. Chicken By-Product Meal
    3. Chicken Fat (mixed tocopherol preservative)
    4. Brewers Rice
    5. Ground Sorghum

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 462 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 30%
  • Fat: 20%
  • Fiber: 3%

Kinetic Performance Power 30K Formula Dry Dog Food, an American made diet, has been carefully crafted to support the nutritional needs of highly active dogs. The basis of this high quality food is several different meat proteins including chicken, menhaden fish, and eggs. This powerhouse helping of amino acids ensures excellent support for strong, lean muscle development.

There are healthy doses of essential fatty acids present organically in the included ingredients to help ensure good coat and skin quality and to provide excess energy to fuel an active lifestyle. Kinetic Performance Power 30K is free from corn, wheat, and soy. Both digestive fiber and prebiotics have been added to this recipe to promote fluid digestive processes.

To ensure good joint health, glucosamine and chondroitin are also sprinkled liberally throughout this diet.

With so many nutritional benefits to its credit, it is not hard to see why families believe Kinetic Performance Power 30K is among the best high calorie foods for dogs.

Pros

  • Owners are pleased to report their dogs saw an increase in energy when fed Kinetic Performance Power 30 K on a steady basis.
  • Dogs saw an improvement in their stool quality when fed a regular diet of this food.
  • Dogs fed a steady diet of Kinetic Performance Power 30 K displayed coats that were shiny, soft, and healthy.
  • This food is very calorie dense, and as a result, dogs need to eat less of it to reach full eating satisfaction.
  • Most dogs love the taste of this food. They consume their every meal with hearty enthusiasm.

Cons

  • Some dogs developed mild gastrointestinal distress when fed this food. This may be from too rapid a dietary change and will resolve in time.
  • Some dogs are uninterested in this food and will not eat it. A different Kinetic formulation may be a better choice for those dogs.
  • A few owners felt this diet was a little on the costly side.
  • This diet contains by-products, meat proteins that are considered to be less than optimal for dogs.
  • Kinetic Performance Power 30 K contains no supplements to help support optimal joint health in dogs.

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VICTOR Classic High Energy Formula Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Beef Meal
    2. Grain Sorghum
    3. Whole Grain Millet
    4. Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols)
    5. Chicken Meal

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 412 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 24%
  • Fat: 20%
  • Fiber: 3.8%

VICTOR Classic High Energy Dry Dog Food is a high protein diet that meets all the marks of what active dogs need to fuel their daily activity. This formulation’s protein base includes beef meal, chicken meal, and pork meal, ensuring this diet is rich in the amino acids energetic dogs need to support the development of muscle mass.

VICTOR Classic High Energy makes use of whole grains that are easily digestible to promote fluid elimination and to keep energy levels stoked for performance.

One of the best high calorie dog foods available today, families will be quite pleased with the results of VICTOR Classic High Energy.

Pros

  • Dogs fed VICTOR Classic High Energy on a regular basis had coats that were shiny, healthy, and soft.
  • This diet is so flavorful that owners are able to use it for their dogs’ meals as well as for training treats.
  • Even very picky eaters love this food and look forward to their every meal.
  • Owners are pleased to report their dogs had improved energy levels when fed a steady diet of VICTOR Classic High Energy.
  • Owners report that this diet does not have a strong or unpleasant smell to it.

Cons

  • In rare cases, some dogs had mild gastrointestinal distress such as nausea, loose stools, and gas when fed this diet. This may be the result of transitioning from the old food to the new too quickly. If this is the case, the problem will resolve in time.
  • Some owners noted their dogs’ breath took on a strong smell of fish when fed this diet consistently.
  • Some dogs disliked the taste of this food and would not eat it.
  • A few owners wondered if this food had recently undergone a formula change as their dogs were no longer doing as well on it as they once were.
  • Some owners expressed they would prefer to feed their dogs a grain-free diet, believing this is key to helping dogs suffering from allergies to find relief from their symptoms.

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How to Choose the Best High Calorie Dog Foods

For dogs that are highly active or that have difficulty maintaining a healthy body weight, it is a good idea to consider feeding a diet that is calorie-dense. The best high calorie dog foods derive their calories from top quality ingredients that are included in their most natural form and that are rich in nutritional value.

Many dog foods that are high in calorie content take their calories from fats. Though healthy fats are an important part of any diet, calories taken primarily from this food group do not help dogs to develop the muscle mass they require to remain highly active.

The average dog owner owns a dog whose weight should remain status quo or that could benefit from some weight loss. This means that most owners are looking for diets that help prevent weight gain not encourage it. However, some dogs are picky eaters and others enjoy performance sports or an active lifestyle and need the extra calories to avoid becoming too thin.

In addition to this, some dogs may experience health conditions that make maintaining a healthy body condition very difficult. For owners whose dogs fall in this category, it is very important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and together come up with a diet that will be the most beneficial to the dog.

Among the health issues which can lead to weight loss in dogs are:

  • Parasites
  • Worms
  • Dental issues
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Advanced kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Allergies
  • Stress
  • Anxiety

To help dogs that struggle with maintaining a healthy body weight, owners should look for a dog food that ideally has a minimum of 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat. For dogs in desperate need of weight gain, it may be preferable to transition the dog to canned food or to feeding a homecooked or raw diet to encourage a hearty appetite of more calorie-rich meals.

Experts agree that dogs that are extremely active do require more food to sustain their energy levels and keep their bodies in good condition. As a general rule of thumb, these types of dogs require 1.5 to 2.5 times more food than their less active canine counterparts.

Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Dog Foods with High Calories

Determining how much of the best high calorie foods to feed a dog can be challenging. The best place to start is through selecting a diet that is naturally high in calories. These types of diets offer a power packed calorie count packaged in normal-sized meal portions, allowing dogs to get maximum nutrition from servings of average size.

To ascertain precisely how much to feed an active or underweight dog, it is best to use the suggested serving size printed on the bag as a starting point. This amount can be adjusted until the dog’s weight reflects the correct amount. For dogs that are poor eaters, free feeding is also an option that may encourage dogs to consume more daily calories.

Dietary Requirements for High Calorie Dog Foods

The best dog foods with high calories to assist with weight gain contain only the highest quality nutrition obtained from the most reputable sources. As a general rule of thumb, the diet should contain a minimum of 30 percent protein. These proteins should be meats and included in their whole form if possible.

Meat meals offer a concentrated amount of protein that is sufficient quality to fuel the energy levels of very active dogs or dogs in need of weight gain. However, by-products and plant-based proteins such as soy, corn, and wheat are not ideal and are best avoided.

Care should be taken for any increase in weight to occur very gradually. Just as with weight loss, any accelerated gain in body mass puts strain on the body and can lead to the development of further health problems in the future. The most effective way to allow for incremental weight gain is to begin feeding the dog smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. This slight increase in food amounts will yield the desired rate in a manner that promotes good health.

Carbohydrates can be taken from whole grains, fruits, or vegetables. The primary importance is that they be in high in fiber and rich in antioxidants to encourage good digestion and a healthy immune system.

Healthy fats are an important component of any excellent quality diet for dogs. These should be taken from animal sources and include such foods as chicken fat and oily fish. Healthy fats contribute to overall coat and skin health and also help to keep a dog’s energy reserves fuelled for performance.

Other helpful supplements which can greatly benefit dogs through their nutrition include prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

Another alternative for dogs in need of weight gain is feeding a high quality puppy formula that is rich in calories, protein, and optimal fats.

Things to Look for in the Best High Calorie Dog Foods

Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a high calorie dog food:

  • Whole meat or meat meal proteins heading up the ingredients list
  • Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
  • Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
  • Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
  • Contains healthy amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support coat and skin health
  • Formulated to include at least 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat if possible

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