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12 best high-calorie dog food to boost energy [2023]

Best high-calorie dog food can help you balance the energy and body weight of your dog. Who can resist a playful dog with bright eyes and a smooth and shiny coat?

best high calorie dog food

Choosing a good diet for your dog is not always easy. As a caring dog parent, you must be concerned about which food contributes to the overall health of your dog. A high-calorie canine food can support your dog’s healthy weight and overall wellbeing.

List of high-calorie dog food options

For this article, we’ve evaluated different high-calorie dog food options and selected the best products. Below you’ll find reviews on each food product with the pros and cons. If you know what you need, click directly to products.

  1. ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Grain-Free, High Protein, Fresh and Raw Animal Ingredients
  2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
  3. Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food
  4. Crave High Protein White Fish & Salmon Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  5. Nature’s Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
  6. Kinetic Performance Power 30K Formula Dry Dog Food
  7. Purina Pro Plan All Life Stages Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
  8.  Adirondack Dog Food 30% Protein High-Fat Recipe For Puppy & Performance Dogs
  9. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Senior Dog Food, Chicken & Barley
  10. Bully Max High-Performance Super Premium Dog Food for All Ages
  11. Elite K9 Maximum Bully All Stages Dog Food
  12. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dry Dog Food

Is High-Calorie Dog Food Better?

Feeding your dog high-calorie dog food is an obvious choice when considering your pet’s wellbeing. There are many reasons why more and more people want to include high-calorie dog food in their furry family members’ diets.

Let’s have a look at the most common reasons for feeding high-calorie dog food to your dog:

  • Good muscle tone: Dogs need protein in their diet to maintain their muscle tone. High-quality proteins ensure that your dog gets the amino acids that they need
  • Overall well-being: It provides necessary proteins, vitamins, and minerals. These are important for a dog’s general well-being. These canines thrive and their bodies function optimally if given high-calorie food.
  • Appropriate energy levels: Your canine’s body requires energy to function. High-calorie dog foods provide great energy sources that your dog can use over a longer time.
  • Feeling of fullness: High-calorie dog food gives your dog a satisfying feeling of fullness after a meal.
  • Healthy immune system: High-calorie dog food provides an overall boost to the immune system.
  • High-calorie dog food is a good choice when your dog is pregnant.

Top 12 Best High-Calorie Dog Foods of 2020

We are here to facilitate you in selecting the best high-calorie dog food for your furry friend. Here are the top 12 best high-calorie dog foods of 2020, all available for you to buy today.

1. ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Grain-Free, High Protein, Fresh and Raw Animal Ingredients

orijen dry dog food grain free high protein fresh and raw animal ingredientsOrijen Dry Dog Food is a grain-free formula that nourishes dogs at any stage of life. These nutrient-dense and biologically appropriate dog foods contain fresh and raw whole-animal ingredients.

Orijen dog food does not contain plant proteins, synthetic additives, or harmful ingredients. About 85% of this high-calorie dog food is all meat-based ingredients.

Orijen dog food incorporates a balance of meat, organs, cartilage, and bone in ratios that mirror whole prey. Approximately 38 percent of the formula is protein. Your canine will thrive and stay healthy with this high protein dog food.

Key Features

  • Brand: Orijen
  • Item form: dry
  • Weight: 12.9 Pounds
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Breed: All Breed Sizes
  • Protein-Rich
  • Wheat-free
  • Fresh and raw animal ingredients
  • Biologically appropriate
Pros Cons
  • Nutritionally complete and balanced
  • Rich in protein
  • Contains superior quality and ethically sourced meat
  • Grain free dog food
  • Free of potentially harmful GMOs
  • Expensive
  • Some dogs experience diarrhea after taking this food

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2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

blue buffalo wilderness high protein natural adult dry dog foodBlue Buffalo Wilderness natural dry dog food is intended for adult dogs with an active life. This delicious formula is rich in protein and features antioxidant-rich LifeSource Bits.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness dog food has a minimum crude protein of 34% and crude fat of 15%. The recipe is grain-free and does not use wheat, soy, or corn.

The protein-rich formula is enhanced with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. This dog food is formulated with balanced protein to fuel your dog’s active lifestyle.

Key Features

  • Brand: Blue Buffalo
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Item Form: Dry
  • Age Range: Adult
  • Wheat Free, Soy Free, grain-free
  • Blend of omega fatty acids
  • Contains calcium and phosphorus
Pros Cons
  • Rich in protein
  • Quality animal ingredients
  • Rich in fiber, probiotics for healthy digestion
  • Helps in healthy muscle development
  • Gives energy for an active lifestyle
  • Helps to maintain strong bones and teeth
  • Expensive

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 3. Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food

rachael ray nutrish bright puppy chicken brown rice dry dog foodRachael Ray Nutrish dog food is a complete and balanced formula to help meet your puppy’s nutritional needs. The formula is made with natural ingredients and provides your canine with the right amount of fatty acids and prebiotics.

Rachael Ray Nutrish dog food targets developing muscle mass, brain, and heart for an overall healthy body. It also includes veggies and fruits that provide a source of essential vitamins and minerals.

This dog food has a minimum crude protein of 28% and crude fat of 14%. Your dog will have a healthier and shiny coat, an improved immune system, and healthier digestion.

Key Features of this high-calorie dog food

  • Brand: Rachael Ray Nutrish
  • Flavor: Chicken & Brown Rice
  • Item Form: Dry
  • Age Range: Baby
  • Breed Recommendation: Small
  • No poultry by-product meal, artificial flavors, colors, or artificial preservatives
  • Includes fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals
  • Contains fruits rich in antioxidants
  • Minimum crude protein content: 28%
  • Minimum fat content: 14%
Pros Cons
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  •  Specially formulated for growing puppies
  •  Helps to maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat
  •  Supports healthy digestion
  • Helps support strong muscles and a healthy heart
  • Delicious
  • May cause diarrhea in some pups

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4. Crave High Protein White Fish & Salmon Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

crave grain free high protein adult dry dog food white fish salmonCrave High Protein Dry dog food is a high-calorie recipe that aims to satisfy your dog’s ancestral desires. This protein-rich recipe is crafted with real whitefish as the first ingredient.

It is a grain-free formulation that is designed to meet the nutritional needs of small to large adult dogs. It also provides energy dogs need with carbohydrate sources, like peas.

Crave High Protein Dry dog food has all the nutrients your dog needs to maintain a healthy body and strong immune system.

The recipe doesn’t contain any soy, corn, chicken by-product meal, wheat, or artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors.

Key Features

  • Brand: Crave
  • Flavor: Salmon
  • Item Form: Dry
  • Age Range: Adult
  • Breed Recommendation: All Breed Sizes
  • First ingredient: real white fish meal
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Grain-free, Soy-free
  • Includes vitamins and minerals
  • Minimum protein content: 34%
Pros Cons
  • Affordable
  • High-quality ingredients,
  • Rich in protein and fish oil
  •  Increases your dog’s energy
  • Cater to your fog’s instinctual needs
  • Contains fewer calories per cup
  • Contains some plant protein

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

natures logic dog food canine meal feast chickenNature’s Logic Dry Dog Food is designed as a nutrient-dense formula. It provides nutrition to dogs of all life stages. The recipe is primarily made of meat with concentrates of premium fruits and vegetables.

The formula contains probiotics and digestive enzymes. They increase nutrient absorption and aid in digestion. With chicken meal as the first ingredient, your dog will love the delicious flavor of this palatable kibble.

Nature’s Logic Dry Dog Food is free of ingredients like wheat, corn, rice, soy, potato, peas, or sweet potatoes. All nutrients are derived only from whole foods and natural ingredients.

Key Features

  • Brand: Nature’s Logic
  • Flavor: Chicken meal
  • Item Form: Dry
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Minimum crude protein: 36%
  • Minimum crude fat: 15%
  • No Wheat, Corn, Rice, Soy, Potato, Peas, or Lentils
  • 100% natural
Pros Cons
  • Made with 100% natural ingredients
  • Concentrated source of animal protein, chicken meal
  • Provide balanced nutrition
  • Provide a broad mix of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals
  • Probiotic supplements
  • Could be higher in fat
  • Expensive

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6. Kinetic Performance Power 30K Formula Dry Dog Food

kinetic performance power 30k formula dry dog foodKinetic Performance Dry Dog Food is a nutrient-dense formula. It is intended for dogs with frequent high activity levels. This dog food is also suitable for adult dogs that tend to have difficulty maintaining their weight.

The dog food contains essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals to let your dog stay in top shape. It is a perfect choice for sporting or working dogs who need the extra boost.

Key Features

  • Brand: Kinetic Dog Food
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Item Form: Dry
  • Age Range: Adult
  • Designed for highly active dogs
  • 30% protein, 20% fat
  • Fortified with vitamins and trace minerals
  • Made from multiple protein sources
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Nutrient-dense
Pros Cons
  • Contributes to healthy skin and a rugged, durable coat
  • Supports good digestion
  • Promotes happy and healthy hips and joints
  • Some dogs dislike the taste
  • Contains 21 synthetic ingredients

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7. Purina Pro Plan All Life Stages Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

purina pro plan sport energy vitality support high protein dry dog foodPurina Pro Plan dry dog food is a high-performance formula with 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat. It is specially designed for performance dogs, growing puppies, and dogs that have a hard time maintaining weight.

This antioxidant-rich recipe nourishes and strengthens your dog’s immune system. It also helps defend him against free radicals. It helps to meet your dog’s metabolic needs and helps him maintain strong muscles. Purina Pro Plan provides complete and balanced nutrition to sporting dogs and canine athletes.

Key Features

  • Brand: Purina Pro Plan
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Item Form: Dry
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Breed Recommendation: All Breed Sizes
  • 1st ingredient: real chicken
  • Contains 30% protein and 20% fat
Pros Cons
  • Affordable
  • Helps your dog gain weight and muscle
  • Dogs like the taste of this dog food
  •  Contains multiple protein sources
  • Lacks the caloric density

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8. Adirondack Dog Food 30% Protein High-Fat Recipe For Puppy & Performance Dogs

adirondack dog food protein high fat recipe for puppy performance dogsAdirondack dog foods are made using premium, all-natural ingredients, and proven probiotics. The formula contains fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6 to both boost healthy skin and coat. The high-quality dog food contains 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat.

The all-natural and balanced food contains vitamins and essential minerals. Your pup needs them for their healthy digestion. Adirondack dog food helps your dog gain weight by improving their digestion and overall metabolism.

Key Features

  • Brand: Adirondack Pet Food
  • Flavor: Chicken Meal
  • Age Range: Baby
  • Premium, all-natural ingredients
  • No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • With Omega 6 & 3 free fatty acids
  • Crude protein: 30%
  • Crude fat: 20%
Pros Cons
  •  Nutritionally complete and balanced
  • Supports healthy digestion
  • Rich in protein
  • Contributes to a healthy and shiny coat
  •  It is not grain-free

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9. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Senior Dog Food, Chicken & Barley

wellness complete health natural dry senior dog food chicken barley 1Wellness Complete Health dog food provides high-quality proteins, nutrients, and wholesome grains. Your senior dog needs them all to thrive. The natural and delicious ingredients provide a guaranteed great taste for your canines.

Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food supports your dog’s healthy body weight, overall health, and vitality. The antioxidant-rich ingredients support strong immune systems and promote optimal energy.

This dog food contains Omega Fatty Acids that ensure healthy skin and coat. The formula also provides beta carotene that protects against cataracts and heart disease. The optimal balance of nutrient-rich dog food fulfills the unique health needs of your aging dog.

Key Features of Wellness Natural high-calorie dog food

  • Brand: Wellness Natural Pet Food
  • Item Form: Dry
  • Age Range: Senior
  • Breed Recommendation: All Breed Sizes
  • 1st ingredient: chicken
  • High in antioxidants
  • Rich in fiber and Omega 3 fatty acids
Pros Cons
  • Provides optimal energy
  • Contributes to healthy skin and a shiny coat
  • Supports your dog’s immunity
  • Nutritionally complete and balanced
  • Highly digestible
  •  Rich in protein
  • It is not grain-free

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10. Bully Max High-Performance Super Premium Dog Food for All Ages

bully max high performance super premium dog food for all agesBully Max High-Performance dog food is a high-protein and high-calorie food formula to fuel your dog’s performance. This food gives your dogs the energy they need to look and feel their best.

Bully Max contains no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or hidden ingredients that may harm your dog. It provides the amino balances your dog needs to thrive.

Bully Max dog formula uses real meat and contains 30% protein and 20% fat. It is effective for all breeds ages four weeks and older.

Key Features

  • Brand: Bully Max
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Breed Recommendation: For all breed
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Contains 30% protein and 20% fat
  • 535 calories per cup
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • No corn, wheat, soy
Pros Cons
  • Protein-rich food
  • Full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Increases strength, energy, and alertness
  • Never been recalled
  • Expensive

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11.   Elite K9 Maximum Bully All Stages Dog Food

maximum bully elite k9 nutrition chicken and pork dog foodOffer your furry member a delicious kibble made with a high percentage of real chicken and pork. In this formula, the protein content is a total of 32% and is balanced with a 22% fat content.

Elite K9 Maximum Bully dog food is made with multiple protein sources, with real chicken and pork meal as the first two ingredients. It is designed to ultimately achieve a healthy weight in adult dogs.

The formula contains oatmeal, cranberry, probiotics, and pumpkin. These ingredients promote a healthy digestive system. Your dog will get all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed for long and healthy life.

Key Features

  • Brand: Maximum Bully
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Item Form: Dry
  • Age Range: Adult
  • Contains 32% protein and 22% fat
  • Calories: 481 KCAL per cup
  • First two ingredients: real chicken meal and pork
  • Packed with amino acids, vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients
Pros Cons
  • Includes a broad combination of protein sources
  • Low carbohydrate content
  • Promotes a healthy digestive system
  • A perfect option for dogs who need to gain weight
  • Contributes to strong muscles and optimum health
  • Affordable
  • May give diarrhea to some dogs

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12.  Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dry Dog Food

taste of the wild roasted bison and roasted venison high protein real meat recipes dry dog food with superfoods and nutrients like probiotics vitamins and antioxidants for adult dogs or puppies‘Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dry Dog Food’ is formulated with high-quality ingredients. It includes premium roasted meats, grain-free carbohydrates, and useful supplements. The formula contains 32% proteins while providing dogs with the highly digestible energy they need to remain active.

This complete and balanced dog food comes in Roasted Bison & Venison flavor. This dog food is gluten-free. It contains nutrients like Probiotics, Vitamins, and Antioxidants for adult dogs. The grain-free recipe is supplemented with vegetables and fruits. They provide antioxidants to help give your canine a healthy lifestyle.

Key Features of Taste of the Wild high-calorie dog food

  • Brand: Taste of the Wild
  • Item form: dry
  • Flavor: Roasted Bison & Venison Grain Free
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Gluten-free
  • Age range: adult
  • Includes optimal levels of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids
Pros Cons
  • Nutritionally complete and balanced
  • Suitable for lean strong muscles
  • Highly digestible
  • Contributes to healthy skin and a   shiny coat
  • Includes premium roasted meats
  • Rich in protein and fat

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Pro Tip: When switching from one dog food brand to another, always allow 7 – 10 days for the transition. Gradually add more of the new food and less of the previous to your dog’s meal until the switchover is complete. This will prevent dietary upsets.

Ran out of Dog Food?

If you just ran out of your kibble, then what’s next? You can try some healthy homemade high-calorie dog food recipes for your furry pal. Just be careful about the calories you are feeding him!

Some healthy alternatives of packed dog food are:

  • Meat
  • Complex carbs
  • Fruit and vegetables

Some foods to avoid are:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Milk
  • grapes

If you are looking for homemade high-calorie dog food recipes, check out 20 healthy dog food recipes that you can easily prepare at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What can I feed my dog to help her gain weight?

Yes, many dogs can benefit from a high-calorie diet to support weight gain as well as other changes to their diet and lifestyle.

To help your underweight dog gain weight, look for high-quality dog food that is rich in protein, fat with more calories. Aim for a minimum of 30% protein and about 20% fat and include high-calorie snacks to make up 10% to 15% of your dog’s daily diet.

2. Why my dog is having trouble putting on weight?

There are many reasons why a canine may have trouble putting on weight. Some of the reasons include:

  • Your dog is a picky eater
  • The dog is ill, has stomach or GI tract issues
  • Your dog is stressed or suffering from separation anxiety

 3.  How can I fatten up my dog?

In order to fatten up your dog, you need to increase his calorie intake. Here are a few steps that you can take for your dog’s weight management:

  • Improve the quality of your dog’s diet to increase digestibility and nutrient absorption.
  • Feed your dog small meals. Three or four times a day instead of larger meals twice a day.
  • Encourage your dog to exercise as much as is safe—it will help him build muscle and strength while also increasing his appetite.
  • Switch to a wet food formula or use a meal topper to make your dog’s food more appealing.
  • Feed your dog small amounts of high-calorie snacks such as cooked beef (or other meat) and cooked eggs throughout the day.

Helping your dog gain weight may involve more than simply increasing the amount of food you give him. His diet still needs to be nutritionally balanced and formulated to help him gain lean muscle instead of just fat.

dog sitting on the grass

4. What is the best dog food for weight control?

Some dogs are greedy eaters while some breeds have a laid-back energy level. These breeds tend to gain weight easily and end up bulging at their seams. The best dog food for weight control include

  • Orijen Fit and Trim Dog Food
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight
  • Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dog Food

5. What are some high-calorie foods to gain weight?

If your dog is underweight, he needs high-calorie food to get back to a healthy weight. Here are some of the high-calorie foods to help your dog gain weight:

  • Eggs – Raw, scrambled, boiled.
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Lean meat – Raw, boiled, roasted
  • Quinoa – This is a carb that provides usable energy to your dog. It contains essential amino acids required for muscle building.

Pro tip: Never feed your pooch any dog food that does not meet international standards.

What is my take-home message?

A healthy dog can save you from a lot of stress in the long run. If you want your pooch to be in a good physical condition and full of energy, it is essential to feed him properly. If your dog is energetic and you need to help him release some of it then a self-play toy is a great option.

The ideal food is the one that ensures all the nutrients your dog needs for growth and development. High-calorie dog food will help your dog build muscles over time without developing stomach problems. If you are not sure what is good for your dog – we’d be happy to help!

Dog standing on the grass

Your dogs deserve only the best high-calorie dog food!

If you have any comments, please do let us know. We would be happy to hear from you.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Georgette Mansfield

    I have two German Shepherds. These working dogs have a very high energy demand. They also have the tendency to burn out energy very quick due to their very active nature. I find that Elite K9 Maximum Dog Food and Wellness Complete Health Dog food along with some supplements do well at providing all the energy requirements needed to take them through the day.

    1. Priit Kallas

      Hi! Thank you for your input. Like with humans if you are very active physically you need more calories. For dogs, it’s the same way the more they work, run, or play the more calories they burn. High-calorie dog food is a great option in this case. However, sometimes you could give them regular dog food and just let them eat more of the lighter stuff. This way they will feel more full and for longer.

  2. Mildred Winston

    I came across a stray dog recently and he completely stole my heart. I intend on keeping him but he is under-weight and needs a lot of care and attention. It’s actually really helpful to know I have a lot of options to explore with regards to his diet. Thanks for the guide.

    1. Priit Kallas

      Thank you for your comment and for taking the stray in! In the beginning, you may need to nurture the dog back to normal with high-calorie dog food but be sure to switch to something less fattening later. Some owners give their dogs too many calories. And it’s easier to overeat when the food is nutritious.

  3. Joe Pratt

    I tried the kinetic performance dry dog food and cherry completely dislikes it. I definitely agree it might not be the best fit for most dogs.

    1. Priit Kallas

      Hi, Joe! Sometimes it’s not the taste that’s the problem but the unexpected change. If you want to change your dog’s food then do it gradually. Start with 90/10 mixing the familiar food with the new one. During a week or two gradually increase the part of the new dog food in your dog’s diet. Finally, you get to 0/100 new food and your dog doesn’t even notice.

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