Dogs can suffer from the same health problems that humans do. One of the most common examples is canine diabetes. This disease can cause serious complications if left untreated.
Attentive care and a balanced diet can help manage your dog’s diabetes. Without a healthy diet, your dog will have trouble regulating its blood sugar levels. Wholesome and nutritious dog food will help your diabetic dog maintain a healthy bodyweight. In this guide, we’ll explore the subject of canine diabetes and review the best dog foods for diabetic dogs.
Let’s get started.
The Best Dog Foods For Diabetic Dogs
|Top Products||Rating||Top 5 Ingredients|
|Wellness CORE Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Grain-Free Recipe Dry Food||4.7||Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Lentils, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes|
|Farmina Natura Delicious Chicken & Ancestral Low-Grain Formula Dry Food||4.5||Deboned Chicken, Dehydrated Chicken, Whole Spelt, Whole Oats, Chicken Fat|
|Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe Dry Food||4.6||Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Turkey Meal|
|Nulo Freestyle Turkey And Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food||4.6||Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, Chickpeas, Chicken Fat|
|Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Healthy Weight Chicken Recipe||4.6||Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Tapioca, Menhaden Fish Meal|
|American Journey Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe||4.6||Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes|
|BIXBI Liberty Original Recipe Fresh Turkey, Chicken & Fish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food||5.0||Deboned Turkey, Red Lentils, Whole Yellow Peas, Egg, Deboned Chicken|
|Taste of the Wild – Southwest Canyon Grain-Free Dry Dog Food||4.6||Beef, Peas, Garbanzo Beans, Lamb Meal, Canola Oil|
Wellness CORE Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Grain-Free Recipe Dry Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Lentils, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes
If your diabetic dog is obese and needs to lose weight, this lean animal protein recipe is a great choice. This Wellness CORE Turkey & Chicken Recipe Dry Food features turkey and chicken as low-fat protein sources, making it ideal for diabetic dogs. Additionally, this dog food is grain-free and has low-glycemic carbohydrates like peas for optimal nutrition. It has essential nutrients and dietary fiber to support your dog’s digestive health and overall wellbeing.
This dog food contains wholesome fruits and vegetables to provide vitamins and chelated minerals supplements. It’s a delicious recipe and has fewer calories than the average kibble.
Farmina Natura Delicious Chicken & Ancestral Low-Grain Formula Dry Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Dehydrated Chicken, Whole Spelt, Whole Oats, Chicken Fat
Farmina Natural and Delicious Chicken Dry Food is a grain-free option for dogs with diabetes. This recipe contains low-glycemic ingredients and powerful nutrients to strengthen your dog’s immune system. It features deboned chicken as the primary ingredient and lean protein sources, including eggs and herring.
The recipe has limited carbohydrates and low ash content, making it a great option for diabetic dogs. All the ingredients are fresh and organic for optimum nutrition. Whole grains like spelt and oats deliver a healthy blend of fiber, energy, and essential nutrients. Overall, this recipe is a good choice if you’re looking for a low-glycemic, grain-inclusive food product for your dog.
Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe Dry Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Turkey Meal
This dog food provides complete and balanced nutrition to help your dog live longer. It has low-fat content and features premium protein sources such as deboned beef, chicken, and turkey meal. This recipe contains highly digestible, low-glycemic carbohydrate sources like peas and sweet potatoes.
It provides a natural source of essential nutrients such as fiber and probiotics for healthy digestion. This recipe contains vitamins and chelated minerals to increase nutrient absorption. Overall, it is a great option for diabetic dogs that need to lose weight healthily.
Nulo Freestyle Turkey And Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, Chickpeas, Chicken Fat
This grain-free recipe contains easily digestible ingredients to fulfill your dog’s dietary requirements. It has premium protein sources like deboned turkey and salmon meal for lean muscle growth. Also, this recipe is completely free from artificial additives and provides balanced nutrition. It contains complex, low-glycemic carbohydrates like chickpeas and sweet potatoes to support diabetic dogs.
This formula is rich in omega fatty acids for healthy skin and a lustrous coat. Plus, it has plenty of probiotics and healthy fiber for easy digestion. It contains nutrient-rich dried fruits and vegetables to keep your dog healthy and strong.
Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Healthy Weight Chicken Recipe
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Tapioca, Menhaden Fish Meal
The Nature’s Variety recipe can help your diabetic dog maintain healthy body weight. This recipe features high-protein kibble and freeze-dried raw bites that provide essential nutrients to support your diabetic dog. If you’re looking for a nutrient-rich recipe for your dog, this one is a great choice.
This recipe has fresh chicken as the primary ingredient and has additional lean protein sources like chicken and turkey meal. It also features a low glycemic rating and contains moderate fat content. Finally, this recipe has vitamins and chelated minerals for complete and balanced nutrition.
American Journey Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe
Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes
This is one of the best dog food options for diabetic dogs. This recipe has high protein content and is free from high-glycemic grains. If you’re looking for easily digestible ingredients, the American Journey Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe is a great pick.
This recipe features real chicken as the main ingredient to fuel lean muscles. It also contains turkey and menhaden fish meal for a protein-rich diet to improve your dog’s health. Additionally, this recipe has fresh fruits and vegetables to deliver natural nutrients for whole-body health.
BIXBI Liberty Original Recipe Fresh Turkey, Chicken & Fish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Red Lentils, Whole Yellow Peas, Egg, Deboned Chicken
This protein-rich dog food is ideal for diabetic dogs. It has real chicken, deboned turkey, and trout to help support your dog’s lean muscle mass. Grain-free carbs like whole yellow peas provide essential nutrients and fiber for healthy digestive function. This recipe also contains probiotics, fresh fruits, and veggies for complete and balanced nutrition.
Taste of the Wild – Southwest Canyon Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Beef, Peas, Garbanzo Beans, Lamb Meal, Canola Oil
This is one of the most popular recipes for dogs with diabetes. If you’re not sure what to feed your diabetic dog, you can always choose a reliable option like the Wild Southwest Canyon dry dog food. The grain-free recipe features novel proteins, including wild boar and low-glycemic carbohydrates like garbanzo beans and peas. It has moderate fat content and plenty of fiber, making it suitable for dogs with diabetes. The recipe also has natural antioxidant support from real fruits and vegetables. It’s a rich source of nutrition and has everything your diabetic dog needs for a healthy life.
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Glycobalance Formula Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Barley, Corn Gluten Meal, Powdered Cellulose, Wheat Gluten
This dog food is affordable, making it an ideal option for pet owners on a budget. It helps balance blood sugar levels and can also reduce diabetes symptoms.
This recipe features chicken and barley as the primary ingredients. It has a perfect blend of soluble and insoluble fiber to strengthen your dog’s digestive system. Additionally, this recipe has a low glycemic index and is vet-recommended for weight management. It also contains vitamins and minerals to support your dog’s immune health.
Acana Free Run Poultry Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Whole Red Lentils, Whole Pinto Beans
Acana delivers key nutrients to keep your dog healthy, happy, and strong. This recipe features free-range chicken and turkey and cage-free eggs to provide balanced nutrition. It also has wholesome fruits and vegetables, including whole pumpkin, collard greens, and apples. These natural ingredients supply dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals for optimal health.
This recipe is protein-rich and has fewer carbohydrates, making it a great choice for your diabetic dog. Lastly, this recipe is grain-free and contains no artificial preservatives.
Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Tapioca, Menhaden Fish Meal
The Instinct Raw Boost recipe has premium animal proteins and high fiber content to keep your dog healthy and fit. It’s one of the most flavorful, nutrient-dense dog foods out there. If your diabetic dog is a picky eater, you may want to consider buying this dog food.
This recipe features cage-free chicken for muscle growth and development. It is a highly digestible recipe free from grains, corn, soy, wheat, and by-product meals.
Plus, this low-fat diet features raw nutrition that helps unlock your dog’s potential to thrive.
Earthborn Holistic Weight Control Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Peas, Tapioca, Pea Fiber, Tomato Pomace
If your diabetic dog has trouble maintaining optimal weight, consider buying the Earthborn Holistic Weight Control Dry Dog Food. This recipe is a delicious, low-fat option rich in fresh fruits and vegetable fiber. It features a precise blend of apples, spinach, blueberries, peas, carrots, and cranberries. These wholesome ingredients improve the taste and add minerals and vitamins to the meal.
Additionally, this recipe has a good balance of proteins, antioxidants, fatty acids, and other micronutrients to enhance your dog’s health and vitality.
Solid Gold Fit and Fabulous Fresh Caught Wild Alaskan Pollock Adult Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Pollock, Pollock Meal, Pea Fiber, Parled Barley, Brown Rice
This recipe features novel proteins and is a great choice for diabetic dogs. It features fresh-caught, omega-rich Alaskan Pollock as its primary ingredient and has high fiber content. It also includes probiotic support for your dog’s gut health. Consider this dog food if you’re looking for a nutritious and delicious option.
This dog food contains a unique blend of superfoods for overall immune support. Plus, it has brown rice and pearled barley to supply essential vitamins and minerals for your companion. This food is also free of corn, wheat, soy, and artificial preservatives.
Nutrisca Grain-Free Salmon & Chickpea Recipe
Top 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Salmon Meal
If you want to increase your dog’s fiber intake, this recipe may be the perfect option. This grain-free recipe contains 6% dietary fiber and has antioxidant-rich ingredients such as cranberries, carrots, blueberries, and apricots.
It features premium animal protein sources, including wild-caught salmon and menhaden fish meal, to help your dog maintain a healthy immune system. It also has chickpeas and peas to help your dog maintain a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, chickpeas and peas act as great sources of fiber, protein, and folic acid.
Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Chicken Fat, Sweet Potatoes,
If you’re looking for a highly palatable option for your dog, this dog food from Whole Earth Farms is all you need. This healthy high-fiber option is completely free of artificial additives, grains, fillers, and by-products. It’s a great option for diabetic dogs with sensitive stomachs. Plus, this dog food has high protein content to support your dog’s strong muscles.
Peas, potatoes, and apples provide natural dietary fiber, and dried blueberries add a delicious blend of antioxidants. Overall, this recipe is a fantastic choice for dogs with diabetes.
Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit Digestive, Weight, Glucose, Urinary Management Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: Whole Grain Wheat, Powdered Cellulose, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal
Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d is a vet-recommended food product for dogs with diabetes and weight management problems. It helps dogs maintain normal blood sugar levels and promotes healthy digestion.
The high levels of L-carnitine boost your dog’s metabolism and strengthen immunity. Also, this dog food contains moderate fiber levels to keep your dog full between meals. It offers clinically tested nutrition to maintain lean muscles and a healthy weight. You’ll need a prescription from your veterinarian to purchase this dog food.
High Protein Content
High protein content is the foundation of a healthy diet for diabetic dogs. Focus on high-quality animal protein sources like chicken, turkey, lamb, and fish.
High Fiber Content
Both soluble and insoluble fibers improve digestive function and help your dog maintain a healthy weight. The best diet for diabetes contains high fiber content. Dietary fiber may help control your dog’s blood sugar level. It also helps prevent obesity and anal gland disease. Finding the right amount of fiber for your diabetic dog can be tricky, so read these feeding guidelines if you’re unsure about what’s right for your dog.
Low-to-moderate Fat Content
Healthy fats provide a good energy source for dogs. They also help your dog maintain healthy skin and a lustrous coat. However, you may want to limit fat content for diabetic dogs. High fat content can cause insulin resistance, making it hard to control and manage canine diabetes.
Low Glycemic Index
Complex carbohydrates that come from nutritious, digestible sources are great for most dogs. For dogs with diabetes, you may want to limit the carbohydrate content and choose low-glycemic carbs to avoid spiking your dog’s blood sugar levels after meals.
Look for highly digestible ingredients like meat and eggs for faster nutrient absorption.
Diabetic dogs need all-natural ingredients for optimal health. Avoid artificial preservatives and allergy-triggering ingredients to help your dog live their best life.
What is Canine Diabetes?
Symptoms of Canine Diabetes
Recognizing early signs of diabetes is the most important step in managing your pet’s disease. If you notice any of the following symptoms, consider getting your pet examined by a veterinarian. Early diagnosis can help your dog live a longer and healthier life.
- Excessive thirst and increased urination
- Weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Cloudy eyes
- Chronic or recurring skin and urinary infections
Avoid Overfeeding Your Dog
One of the best ways to help diabetic dogs is to stop overfeeding them. It’s easier to manage diabetes if your dog is a healthy weight.
Avoid Overfeeding Diabetic Dogs
The best way to support diabetic dogs is to stop overfeeding them if they’re overweight. That’s because it’s easier for dogs to manage diabetes if they are a healthy weight.
Your veterinarian will determine how many calories your dog needs every day, based on their activity level and weight. Once you know that number, it’s important to keep a close eye on what your dog eats and how much. Most vets recommend a low-fat, high-fiber diet. Low-fat dog foods have fewer calories, and fiber helps your dog feel full. This diet plan can help your diabetic dog eat less and lose weight.
Here are some additional tips to prevent overfeeding:
- Check dog food labels to find the correct feeding guidelines for your pet’s size, breed, and age.
- Avoid giving your dog table scraps and sugary treats.
- Establish a schedule and feed your dog at the same time each day.
Make Sure Diabetic Dogs Get the Right Amount of Exercise
Daily exercise is vital for a diabetic dog’s health. Exercise is particularly beneficial for obese dogs as it can lower their insulin resistance. There are many ways to make sure your diabetic dog gets adequate physical exercise every day. Taking your dog for a walk is a great start, and it is enough for dog breeds with lower exercise requirements. Other ways to enhance physical fitness include:
Hiking: Dogs enjoy the great outdoors just as much as humans do. Take your dog on your next adventure or explore some new trails and parks in your area.
Swimming: Most dogs love water sports, and swimming is a great low-impact exercise for dogs with diabetes. A life jacket can help your pet stay in the water longer for a great cardio workout.
Fetch: Fetch doesn’t have to be boring for dogs. Shake up their fetch routine by making them run uphill to retrieve a ball or by tossing a ball into the swimming pool. Alternate between balls, Frisbees, or other toys to keep your dog on its toes.
Draft Work: Draft work isn’t just for sled dog breeds. Dogs with diabetes can enjoy draft work involving a sled, a cart, or skijoring. These activities are fun and keep your dog in shape.
Obedience: Obedience work might not seem like exercise, but practicing recall, retrieving, and reinforcing basic commands offers mental stimulation and physical exercise. You can also teach your dog new tricks like weaving and twirling.
Dog Sports: Your dog can try a variety of activities, including lure coursing, agility, scent work, flyball, dock diving, and Schutzhund.
Note: Your dog must get the right amount of exercise. So, seek your vet’s advice to work out the best fitness regimen for your dog.
Spaying Your Female Dog
If you have a female dog, your vet will recommend that you have your dog spayed as part of the diabetes treatment. That’s because female sex hormones can interfere with the normal action of insulin.
Regular Veterinary Checkups
Regular veterinary checkups are critical if your dog is diabetic. It’s the best way to manage and control your dog’s diabetes. It can also prevent long-term side effects and keep your dog healthy. Your vet will recommend a bi-annual physical examination and laboratory testing. Sometimes your dog may need new insulin treatments after a long period of stability. These updated treatments are necessary due to changes such as:
- Weight loss or gain
- Changes in the exercise regimen
- Presence of other infections or diseases
- Progesterone in unspayed females
- Additional medications
If you’ve noticed any of these changes, consult your vet for quick advice on your dog’s health.
Living With a Diabetic Dog
The life expectancy of diabetic dogs treated with insulin is similar to other healthy dogs. Attentive care, dietary changes, and regular insulin doses can help your dog live a happy and normal life. Good communication between you and your veterinarian and following a diabetes diet plan will help keep your dog healthy.
If you think your dog is at risk for developing diabetes, consider having it tested during a regular veterinary checkup at least once a year.
Home-Made Diabetic Dog Food
Most dogs do fine with commercial food you can buy at the store. But your vet may recommend a home-made diet. Home-made dog food recipes are super effective and easy to make. Here are our favorite recipes for dogs with diabetes:
Turkey & Fresh Vegetables
This is a popular home-made recipe. To make this recipe, you’ll need turkey, carrots, spinach, pumpkins, and cinnamon. Mix all these ingredients and keep them in a dehydrating pan for up to six hours at 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chicken & Fresh Vegetables
Your diabetic dog will love this recipe with chicken and fresh veggies. To make this recipe at home, you’ll need two chicken breasts, chicken stock, parsley, asparagus, and broccoli. Boil these ingredients until they’re tender, and add cooked brown rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find more information about managing canine diabetes.
What are the most common signs of canine diabetes?
The most common signs of canine diabetes include unexpected appetite changes and weight loss. You may also notice your dog is thirstier and urinating more than usual.
What can I feed a diabetic dog?
Many pet owners choose weight management formulas for their diabetic dogs. These formulas are perfect for diabetic dogs because they are high in protein and fiber. Also, these formulas are lower in fat and calories than the average kibble. Just make sure that your dog’s food is free from high-glycemic carbs and features highly digestible natural ingredients. You can also feed your dog a formula designed for its breed, size, and life stage.
Why is my diabetic dog always hungry?
Excessive hunger is a sign that your dog isn’t able to absorb energy or nutrition to maintain a healthy body. When your dog’s body stops using insulin properly, the cells are less able to absorb glucose from the bloodstream to use as an energy source. As a result, your dog’s body may start tapping into other energy sources such as fat stores. And when your dog starts to lose weight and still can’t absorb nutrition, it may become very hungry.
How can I manage canine diabetes naturally?
If your dog can’t produce enough insulin, it’ll need injectable insulin treatments to stabilize the blood sugar levels. In addition to medical treatments, there are some natural methods for managing canine diabetes. Try to keep your dog’s stress levels and exercise habits as consistent as possible. You may also try to fulfill your dog’s dietary requirements for optimal health. A highly digestible, balanced diet can help manage dog diabetes naturally. The food should be high in protein and fiber with limited fat and carbohydrate content. Also, the food should have low-glycemic ratings to avoid spiking your dog’s blood sugar levels.
How much should my diabetic dog eat?
Diabetic dogs should eat the same amount of food as normal dogs. However, you may need to adjust serving portions if your dog is overweight. Consider buying a healthy weight formula if your dog needs to lose weight. Alternatively, you can feed your dog the vet-recommended amount to reach the goal weight.
How many times a day should my diabetic dog eat?
You should be giving your dog two daily meals. Many vets recommend administering insulin injections after each meal so you can adjust the dosage according to your dog’s food intake.
How can I treat my dog if he has diabetes?
Diabetic dogs will need a regular physical examination and laboratory testing. They’ll also need a nutritious diet and maintenance doses of insulin to remain healthy. Consult with your veterinarian to explore the best treatment options.
Is portion control important?
Yes. Portion control is important with diabetic dogs. Obesity in dogs can lead to health conditions like Type II diabetes, so always feed your dog the right amount of dog food for its life stage and breed. Consult with your vet to find out what’s best for your dog’s unique dietary needs.
What is the life expectancy of a diabetic dog?
Dog’s with diabetes can have a lifespan similar to non-diabetic dogs with proper care and treatment.
Is diabetes in canines similar to that of humans?
Yes, it is very similar. Your dog will need similar medications and monitoring methods as human diabetics.
What side effects are associated with canine diabetes?
The most common problems associated with canine diabetes include cataracts and recurrent infections in dogs. Cataract surgery is available for dogs and can easily restore vision.
My dog is having problems holding his urine; does that mean he has diabetes?
No, your dog might have a bladder or kidney infection or some other medical condition. If your dog is having problems holding his urine, you should schedule a visit to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
What is the importance of diabetes treatment?
Untreated diabetes can cause many health complications. These include blindness, cataracts, and kidney and liver problems.
How much water should I let my diabetic dog drink?
You should give diabetic dogs as much water as they can drink. Your dog’s body may be trying to combat high blood sugar levels by expelling the excess glucose out of its body through urine.
My dog was recently diagnosed, what advice would you give me?
Learn everything you can about canine diabetes. Talk to your vet and other owners of diabetic dogs for useful information. Your dog’s recovery will depend a lot on what you know.
You will need to work closely with your vet, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. You can also ask for training from your vet on giving insulin injections and monitoring blood sugar levels.