Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs

Dog Food Nutrition June 25, 2019
diab dog food_1

Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs

diab dog food_1

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that affects millions of people, but did you know that dogs can get it too? In fact, a dog’s risk for diabetes increases as it ages.

Though diabetes is considered a chronic illness for dogs, it is entirely manageable with a healthy diet and insulin injections.

The key to a healthy diet for diabetic dogs is controlling fat and carb intake and increasing fiber content to help moderate blood sugar levels.

Keep reading to learn more about diabetes in dogs and the special dietary needs of diabetic dogs.

You’ll also receive our top picks for the best dog food for diabetic dogs.

Quick Look At Our Picks For Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs:

ImageProductFeatures

Best Overall

Nutrisca Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dry Food
  • Very rich in dietary fiber
  • Rich in lean animal proteins
  • Grain-free and low-carbohydrate
Check Price

Best Affordable

Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dry Food
  • Grain-free and made with complex carbohydrates
  • Rich in lean animal protein
  • Plenty of dietary fiber for blood sugar control
Check Price

Best for small breed

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small-Breed Recipe
  • Grain-free and low-glycemic for blood sugar control
  • Plenty of animal protein for lean muscle mass
  • Moderate fat content (15%) for energy
Check Price

Best for Large Breeds

Nature’s Recipe Large-Breed Grain-Free Recipe
  • Rich in lean proteins like chicken
  • Grain-free and made with complex carbohydrates
  • Easy to digest formula
Check Price

Best for Allergies

Solid Gold Barking at the Moon Duck Recipe
  • Rich in premium animal proteins
  • Grain-free and low in carbohydrates to control blood sugar
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics
Check Price

Special Dietary Needs of Diabetic Dogs

Diabetes is a metabolic condition usually triggered by high blood sugar, low insulin production, or both.

When your dog eats food, its body breaks it down into glucose which enters the blood stream so it can be utilized by cells as energy.

This triggers the production of insulin which enables the cells to absorb that glucose, helping reduce blood sugar levels back to normal.

If your dog has diabetes, it may not produce enough insulin or utilize it well enough to keep blood sugar levels in the healthy range and this can lead to a whole host of problems. A specialized diet paired with insulin injections is the best treatment plan for diabetes in dogs.

Here are some things to look for in a dog food for diabetic dogs:

  • Quality Protein. Protein is essential for maintaining lean muscle mass which helps your dog maintain a healthy body weight. Look for a recipe with about 30% protein or more.
  • Moderate Fat. High-fat diets can contribute to obesity in diabetic dogs and cause problems with the pancreas (where insulin is produced) as well. Look for a dog food with low to moderate fat content from healthy sources.
  • Low Glycemic Index. Refined carbohydrates will cause your dog’s blood sugar to spike so look for low glycemic, complex carbohydrates like whole grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables.
  • Dietary Fiber. A fiber-rich diet is healthy for your dog’s digestion, but it will also help minimize blood sugar spikes after eating. It also helps your dog maintain a healthy body weight.

Keeping all of these things in mind, you’re now ready to learn how to choose the best dog food for diabetic dogs. Here’s what you need to know:

How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs

When it comes to keeping your diabetic dog healthy, keeping its blood sugar levels stable is the highest priority. While insulin injections can help, a high-quality diet is important as well.

Editor’s Note

To choose the best dog food for diabetic dogs, start with your dog’s basic nutritional needs. All dogs need a blend of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in their diet and these nutrients should come from digestible, high-quality sources – preferably animal-based. Your dog needs at least 18% crude protein and 5% crude fat in its diet, with vitamins and minerals for balance.

Start with a protein-rich recipe made with premium poultry, meat, or fish that provides about 30% protein. Next, check for healthy animal fats like chicken fat or salmon oil, but no more than 10% crude fat. Plant-based fats like canola oil and flaxseed can also be beneficial to ensure a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

For carbohydrates, look for low glycemic-indexed options that won’t cause your dog’s blood sugar to spike. Whole grains are great for dogs that can digest them or, if your dog is allergic or sensitive to grains, try something like legumes, sweet potatoes, or peas.

Fresh fruits and veggies are great sources of complex carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals, though you may still need synthetic supplements to make sure the recipe is complete and balanced.

Keep reading to see our top 5 recommendations for the best dog food for diabetic dogs.

The Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Diabetic Dogs Reviewed

The best dog food for diabetic dogs will be nutritionally balanced and made from high-quality ingredients. It should be rich in lean protein with low to moderate fat content, a low glycemic index, and rich in dietary fiber from digestible carbohydrates.

Here are our top 5 picks for the best dog food for diabetic dogs that you should consider:

Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs: Nutrisca Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dry Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 32% Min
  • Fat – 18% Min
  • Fiber – 7.0% Min
  • Moisture– 10% Max
  • Caloric Content: 405 kcal/cup
Click here to see full list of Ingredients
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Menhaden Fish Meal (a Source of Fish Oil), Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Pea Fiber, Pea Starch, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Tomato Pomace, Salmon Oil (a Source of DHA), Apples, Carrots, Cranberries, Blueberries, Apricots, Choline Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Iron Proteinate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Proteinate, Biotin, Selenium Yeast, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Rosemary Extract.

Pros:

  • Rich in lean animal proteins (32% crude protein)
  • Grain-free and low-carbohydrate
  • Very rich in dietary fiber (7% crude fiber)

Cons:

  • Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients
  • May be too high in fat for dogs with pancreas problems

If your dog suffers from diabetes, you should consider a grain-free and low-carbohydrate recipe like this Nutrisca Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dry Food.

Rich in lean protein, this formula is completely free from grains as well as high-glycemic carbohydrates like potatoes.

It features digestible carbohydrates like peas and chickpeas with supplementary fiber and other beneficial nutrients.

Best Affordable Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs: Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dry Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 26.0% Min
  • Fat – 14.0% Min
  • Fiber – 5.0% Min
  • Moisture– 10% Max
  • Caloric Content: 313 kcal/cup
Click here to see full list of Ingredients
Salmon, Chicken Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Dried Peas, Pea Flour, Tapioca, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Whole Flaxseed, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Protein, Natural Flavor, Salt, Dicalcium Phosphate, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Pros:

  • Grain-free and made with complex carbohydrates
  • Rich in lean animal protein (salmon is the main ingredient)
  • Plenty of dietary fiber for blood sugar control

Cons:

  • Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients (chicken meal)

If you’re looking for a diabetic-friendly dog food that won’t break the bank, try this Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dry Food.

Not only is this recipe grain-free, but it features digestible, complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes which help with blood sugar control.

It is also protein-rich with plenty of fiber for healthy digestion and glucose control. This recipe also contains chelated minerals for nutritional balance.

Best Small Breed Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs: Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small-Breed Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 36% Min
  • Fat – 16% Min
  • Fiber – 5.0% Min
  • Moisture– 10% Max
  • Caloric Content: 396 kcal/cup
Click here to see full list of Ingredients
Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Broccoli, Carrots, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Taurine, Spearmint, Mixed Tocopherols Added to Preserve Freshness, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Chicory Root Extract, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

Pros:

  • Plenty of animal protein for lean muscle mass (36% crude protein)
  • Moderate fat content (15%) for energy
  • Grain-free and low-glycemic for blood sugar control

Cons:

  • Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients
  • May be a little too high in fat for some dogs

Small-breed dogs have higher energy requirements per pound of body weight than larger dogs which is what makes this Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small-Breed Recipe a great choice.

It contains plenty of protein to support your dog’s lean muscle mass with 15% fat for energy.

It is also rich in fiber which helps slow glucose absorption and, as a grain-free recipe, it is also low glycemic.

Best Large Breed Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs: Nature’s Recipe Large-Breed Grain-Free Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 27.0% Min
  • Fat –12.0% Min
  • Fiber – 4.0% Min
  • Moisture– 10% Max
  • Caloric Content: 337 kcal/cup
Click here to see full list of Ingredients
Salmon, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Pea Protein, Salmon Meal, Poultry Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Pumpkin, Natural Flavor, Dried Tomato Pomace, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), Inositol, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Beta-Carotene, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Lactic Acid, Citric Acid (Used As A Preservative), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Rosemary Extract.

Pros:

  • Rich in lean proteins like chicken (27% crude protein)
  • Grain-free and made with complex carbohydrates
  • Easy to digest formula

Cons:

  • Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients
  • Contains an unnamed fat (poultry fat vs chicken fat)

If you’re looking for a diabetic-friendly dog food for your large-breed dog, this Nature’s Recipe Large-Breed Grain-Free Recipe is a good choice.

Not only is it grain-free, but it also contains complex carbohydrates like garbanzo beans and sweet potatoes for blood sugar control. This recipe is rich in lean proteins like chicken and it is formulated to be easy to digest.

Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs with Allergies: Solid Gold Barking at the Moon Duck Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 38% Min
  • Fat – 18% Min
  • Fiber – 4.0% Min
  • Moisture– 10% Max
  • Caloric Content: 535 kcal/cup
Click here to see full list of Ingredients
Duck, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Whitefish Meal, Egg Product, Pea Protein, Tomato Pomace, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, L-Carnitine, Carrots, Pumpkin, Apples, Cranberries, Blueberries, Broccoli, Parsley, Spearmint, Almond Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Sesame Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Kelp, Thyme, Lentils, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Reuteri Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid.

Pros:

  • Rich in premium animal proteins (41% protein)
  • Grain-free and low in carbohydrates to control blood sugar
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics

Cons:

  • Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients
  • Fairly expensive compared to other brands

If your dog suffers from food allergies as well as diabetes, a grain-free and low-carbohydrate recipe might be the best choice.

This Solid Gold Barking at the Moon formula is a great option. With 41% crude protein, this recipe will help your dog maintain lean muscle mass but it is low in carbohydrates to prevent blood sugar spikes.

It also contains beneficial supplements like chelated minerals and probiotics.

Best Wet Dog Food: Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Canned Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 9.5% Min
  • Fat – 6% Min
  • Fiber – 1.4% Min
  • Moisture– 78% Max
  • Caloric Content: 428 kcal/cup

If you want to feed your dog wet food but you’re worried about the cost, Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Canned Food is an excellent option. This brand is made by Merrick, so you can rest easy knowing it is high in quality. Choose from several recipes including adult and puppy recipes as well as multiple protein options – you can also choose between traditional and grain-free recipes.

Each formula contains real meat as the first ingredient with digestible carbohydrates, healthy fats, and chelated minerals. Plus, it is free from artificial additives and low-quality fillers.

Click here to see full list of Ingredients
Chicken, Chicken Broth, Turkey, Chicken Liver, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Yeast Culture, Organic Alfalfa, Calcium Carbonate, Salmon Oil, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Guar Gum, Choline Chloride, Xanthan Gum, Cinnamon, Flaxseed Oil, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodate, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Yucca Schidigera Extract.

Pros:

  • Real meat is always the first ingredient
  • Grain-free digestible carbohydrates like peas and sweet potatoes
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption

Cons:

  • Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients
  • No probiotic supplements

How Much Should You Feed Diabetic Dogs?

When it comes to feeding a diabetic dog, how much you feed it is just as important as what you feed it.

The goal is to keep your dog’s blood sugar stable all day, so you may want to feed several small meals spaced out evenly instead of going for two large meals.

Control your dog’s portion as well because obesity is a significant risk for diabetic dogs and you want to avoid that.

In terms of how much you should actually be feeding your dog, it depends on the calorie content of the recipe.

Editor’s Note

Check the feeding recommendations according to your dog’s size, age, and weight then adjust your dog’s intake accordingly. Keep an eye on your dog’s body weight as well, weighing it every few weeks, to make sure it isn’t gaining or losing weight.

What About Food Allergies and Sensitivities?

Many dogs have food allergies and sensitivities which may add an additional challenge to finding the best dog food for diabetic dogs.

Allergies and sensitives to grains are particularly common. Fortunately, because refined carbohydrates like wheat and corn are also high-glycemic, most of the best dog foods for diabetic dogs don’t contain these ingredients anyway.

Still, you may want to try a grain-free recipe if your dog is sensitive or allergic to grains. A limited ingredient diet may also be a good choice.

Final Remarks

The ideal diet for a diabetic dog is rich in protein, moderate in fat, and low glycemic-indexed to prevent spikes in blood sugar.

As long as you stick to those guidelines, you can choose whatever dog food you think is best. To help you get started, consider one of our top 5 picks for the best dog food for diabetic dogs reviewed above.

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *