When your dog is suffering from a condition like diabetes, it is even more important that you feed them the right food to give their body the best chance of battling the condition successfully. As time goes on, there are more and more dog food brands out there, so making your choice can be more and more tricky. Here, we have selected the best food for diabetic dogs, taking into account their nutritional needs and looking closer at the key features. By the end, you should have a better idea of some of the main dog food for diabetic dogs that are available to you in the current marketplace.
The Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs
The first choice on our diabetic dog food list provides plenty of protein for your dog from a combination of chicken and turkey sources. This helps to improve your dog’s body mass and muscle tone. As well as being completely grain-free, the nutrition is complete and balanced, which is always worth looking for in a dog food. The real vegetables provide the essential vitamins and minerals.
All of the ingredients in the food are natural, meaning that you don’t have to worry about artificial soy, corn, wheat, artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors etc. It also contains fatty acids for the support of your dog’s healthy coat.
Essential vitamins and minerals from real vegetables
Contains Omega fatty acids
No wheat, corn or soy
- BrandWELLNESS CORE
- Weight26.2 pounds
Another grain-free dog food, this one has put real salmon as its number one ingredient. While protein is obviously important, you need to look closer at the other ingredients too. One of these is chickpeas, which are rich in fiber and help to support healthy digestion. There are also vitamins and minerals from various fruit and vegetables.
Other essential substances include the antioxidants and omega fatty acids. It is also important to mention what a dog food does not contain too, and this one has no potatoes, corn, wheat, or soy. It has been formulated in such a way that it is for dogs of all life stages.
High protein source
Contains chickpeas high in fiber
No corn, wheat, or soy
Contains antioxidant nutrients
Real salmon is primary ingredient
Grain-free dog food
No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Weight28 pounds
Helping dogs to maintain a healthy weight, this dog food provides complete nutrition for adult canines. As well as the protein from the farm-raised chicken, it has been fortified with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to give your dog everything they need for their healthy lifestyle.
On top of this, there is plenty of fiber to keep your dog’s digestive system regular. And then there are the essential antioxidants such as vitamin E which helps to support your dog’s healthy immune system. All the ingredients are non-GMO.
High-quality protein is the primary ingredient
Made with non-GMO ingredients
Tailored blend of protein and fiber
Natural fiber helps healthy digestion
Essential antioxidants boost immunity
- Weight30.8 pounds
Now, we have the premium pick on the list, which contains a balanced blend of fiber to moderate your dog’s glycemic response. When your dog has diabetes, controlling their sugar levels is all-important, and this Royal Canin diabetic dog food contains complex carbohydrates to help you in this task.
While managing your dog’s condition is obviously important, the still needs to have the right combination of vitamins and minerals to support your pooch’s other functions. As always, it is worth consulting with your vet about the properties of the food that you offer.
Moderates glycemic response
Reduces symptoms of fiber-responsive conditions
Fortified with vitamins and minerals
- BrandRoyal Canin
- Weight7.8 pounds
An alternative to the types of food that we have discussed so far, this one is a non-thermal freeze-dried raw option. It is high in both protein and natural fat content. There is an array of ingredients including prebiotics, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals.
This is the type of food that is made with raw food credentials in mind, mimicking what your canine companion would have eaten in the wild. There are no non-nutritional additives included, which provides you with additional peace of mind.
Non-thermal, freeze-dried product
Starch-free and meat-based
Non-nutritional additive free
High in protein and natural fats
- Weight8 ounces
Our next choice of glucose management dog food on the list is this one, which combines high levels of protein with grain-free kibble to make a dog food that is both nutritious and palatable. Helping your dog’s digestive system are the fat burning L-carnitine and optimized fiber levels that allow your pooch to feel fuller for longer.
As we mentioned earlier, it is always important to mention what is not included in a dog food too, and this one is free of artificial colors and preservatives, as well as not having and potato, corn, wheat or soy.
Combination of kibble and raw
Contains natural probiotic boost
Fat burning L-Carnitine for healthy metabolism
Optimized fiber content
- Weight20.3 pounds
The proper blend of fiber is all-important when it comes to choosing food for diabetic dogs, and this one contains an optimized mix of soluble and insoluble fiber. As well as helping with blood glucose management, it can also assist your pooch in maintaining a healthy weight.
The blend of fiber and other nutrients helps your dog in improving their digestive flow. Rated very highly by previous customers, it is very useful for a particular type of pooch who needs their dog diabetes diet to be carefully managed.
Helps with blood glucose management
Chicken flavor for palatability
Avoids weight gain
- BrandHILL’S PRESCRIPTION DIET
- Weight8.8 pounds
The final choice on our list of non prescription diabetic dog food is also the best price option from highly popular brand Purina. The grain-free formulation contains farm-raised chicken as the primary ingredient. As ever with this brand, there are no filler ingredients.
It has been accented with vegetables to boost your dog’s immune system. These ingredients include blueberries, pumpkin and spinach. It has also been formulated in such a way that it provides complete and balanced nutrition to adult dogs.
Farm raised chicken
No animal by-products
No corn, wheat, or gluten
- BrandPurina Beneful
- Weight12.8 pounds
Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs Buying Guide
Here, we have the buying guide section where we go into more detail about the best food for diabetic dogs. First, we will mention what to look for in a dog food for diabetic dogs, before offering one or two diet tips. And then we have the frequently asked questions section (FAQ) which answers some of the outstanding queries that you may still have.
What to Look for in Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs
Wondering what to feed a diabetic dog? Well, there are a few things to add to the list which we will look at below.
- Weight Management
As you will have been able to tell from looking at the food above, many of them are focused on maintaining a healthy weight for your four-legged friend. When you are feeding your dog, you are adding to the glucose present in their blood, which results in a rise. Therefore, calorie counting is more important in diabetic dog food than in regular dog food. You don’t want your dog to get into a state of obesity as this could lead to other health complications, which are obviously not desired when your pooch is already suffering from a serious issue like diabetes. Weight loss will be needed if they are obese.
- High Fiber Content
Another point that you may have been able to glean from the food choices above is that the fiber content is high. It is also worth mentioning here the differences between soluble and insoluble fibers. The former attracts water, slowing down digestion, while the latter adds bulk to the stool, helping more efficient waste removal. Both of them can play their part in helping with diabetic dogs. Common soluble fibers include lentils, peas, nuts, and some fruit and vegetables. These slow the absorption of glucose from the small intestine, thereby helping control levels. Insoluble fibers are those that help your dog to feel full, which helps in the weight management that we discussed above.
- Low Fat
Dogs with diabetes typically need a lesser amount of fat than other canines as fat contains more calories per ounce than other ingredients. And this means that your dog could end up putting on weight, which is a big no-no for those suffering from diabetes. Fat also tends to contain higher levels of glucose. Diabetic dogs need to maintain a low glycemic index and not get into a state of hyperglycemia.
- Specific Carbohydrates
While carbs are present in most dog food, they are not all created equal, so you need to pay attention to what is going into your dog’s body. Complex carbs process much slower, while still containing essential vitamins and minerals for your pooch to survive and thrive. Some typical examples include peas, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. Simple carbs are the ones that are more dangerous, and these include corn and soy, which contain high levels of sugar, leading to glucose spikes. The first ingredient in your dog’s food should never be a carb.
- Natural Ingredients
Look for dog food that proudly boasts being all-natural, while not containing any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives etc. You should always be looking at the protein ingredient in dog food anyway, but a real listed meat ingredient is always going to be best. Avoid anything that lists byproducts and those without specific animal sources. It is also worth buying from trusted brands which have controlled manufacturing processes. Look for food that is manufactured in the USA or another country in the western world which need to adhere to stricter regulations.
- Healthy Fruit and Vegetables
Since your dog is suffering from a health condition, it is even more important that they get vitamins and minerals in their diet. Look for food that contains antioxidants as these help in improving the immune system of your pooch. After all, not all vegetables were created equal and there are some that are more beneficial to dogs than others.
- Protein as a Primary Ingredient
Just as in other dog food, you should look for protein as a primary ingredient in their diet, as this allows your dog to have the lean, strong muscles that they need to power their exercise sessions. Dogs in the wild would have relied on high protein diets, so this needs to continue in our domesticated canines.
Diet Tips for a Diabetic Dog
It should have become obvious by now that keeping on top of your dog’s diet when they are suffering from diabetes is all-important. First and foremost, you should be ensuring that it is healthy, which means being a discerning customer and looking at the back of the packaging. Not only this, but you need to understand what it actually means! Food should be generally low in fat and carbohydrates, while remaining high in fiber. One of the best ways of managing a diabetic dog is simply by avoiding overfeeding them. The actual among varies based on a number of different factors including activity level, breed, size, and age.
Another useful tip in managing your dog’s diet is to time your dog’s meals appropriately. Otherwise, they can suffer from low glucose dips. Get into a habit of feeding your dog at the same time every day, which will stabilize their blood sugar levels. If you offer diabetic dog treats in between meals, you should make sure that these are healthy. We will talk about these in more detail in a section later in the post. You need to be more careful about offering scraps from your table, which you would perhaps not give a second thought to when feeding a healthy pooch.
Other Ways for Managing Diabetes in Dogs
The most obvious way that canine diabetes is treated is through regular blood testing and insulin injections. This helps your dog to process the glucose in their blood. You will generally need to give these treatments from home, but your vet should be able to teach you to do them safely. There are other dogs who can get along with just oral medication, but your vet will tell you about this.
Another important way of managing diabetes in dogs is ensuring that they stay active, so you should take your dog out for the exercise they need based on their breed requirements. While some will just need short walks, others will need more intensive sessions. Finally, it helps to know about the common signs of low and high blood sugar so you can respond accordingly and that you know what not to feed a diabetic dog.
Homemade Diabetic Dog Food & Treats
There are plenty of different diabetic dog food treats that you can prepare from the comfort of your home. The guiding principle is that you should aim to prepare food that is not going to impact your dog’s blood sugar levels. Treats should be meat-based, whole grains, or vegetables. If you plan on buying dog treats, you should always check the label carefully.
Some typical examples of diabetic dog food include dehydrated meat like turkey, vegetables like broccoli, and grains like brown rice. There are all sorts of different recipes out there, so this could be the time that you start to exercise your culinary muscles!
Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs FAQ:
Q: How do I know my dog has diabetes?
A: It can be tough to spot the early signs of whether your dog is suffering from diabetes, but there are a few things to look out for including increased thirst and urination, appetite changes, fatigue, depression, and a urinary tract infection. If you are worried that your dog has diabetes, you need to take them in for an official diagnosis from the vet. Ideally, you will get the condition diagnosed as early as possible so you can start treatment.
Q: How much fiber should a diabetic dog consume?
A: The exact amounts of fiber that your dog should consume varies based on different factors including your dog’s breed, activity levels etc. If your dog is overweight, they tend to require more fiber in their diet – 15% or greater of the dry matter as fiber. As for average-sized dogs, they should eat fiber in more moderate amounts – 5 to 15%. You will need to check the ingredient list to check if fiber is soluble or insoluble.
Q: Should I give insulin to my diabetic dog?
A: Giving insulin is the main treatment for managing your dog’s glucose levels, but you should always be adhering to the advice given to you by your vet. You will need to know the correct way to administer this insulin, which your vet will also be able to tell you about.
Q: What is the expected life span for a diabetic pet?
A: There are various factors that can impact your dog’s lifespan including their age at diagnosis. If they are diagnosed later in life, their life expectancy can be shorter. You can also have a big impact on this figure based on how seriously you take their treatment and follow all the guidance given by medical professionals closely. You need to be prepared to monitor their condition and make adjustments to it as needed. Other factors include the severity of the disease, as well as factors like their diet and lifestyle.
Our Top Pick
Looking back at the number one choice on the list, it is this one, which is entirely free of grain. The nutrition is largely focused on protein including turkey and chicken. Essential vitamins and minerals are also included in the food, which is made from all-natural ingredients. And there are no wheat, corn, soy, artificial colors etc.