Feature image for diabetic but happy dog

Are you shocked by the discovery that your dog is struggling with diabetes? Do you know how to proceed?

Well, as it turns out, thousands of pet owners around the world face the same problem. But, let’s not despair!

There are various methods you can implement, which can help you battle this disease.

Here’s the deal:

You can minimize and even prevent this issue by subjecting your four-legged friend to a proper diet.

In today’s post, we will be reviewing the best dog food for diabetic dogs. It will balance their bodies and help them restore previous functions.

Our Top 5 Dog Food For Diabetic Canines – Compared

Our Top Pick

Small Product image of Orijen Original
Orijen Original
Our Top Pick
Deboned chicken
Deboned turkey
Yellowtail flounder
Whole eggs
Whole Atlantic mackerel
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Grain Free

Smal Product image of Merrick Best Grain Free
Grain Free
Chicken Meal
Sweet potato
Turkey Meal
Salmon Meal
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Active Adult Dogs

small product image of Solid God Grain Free recipe
Solid Gold
Active Adult Dogs
Ocean fish meal
Pea protein
Chicken fat
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Dry Food

Wellness Core Natural Small Product Image
Wellness Core
Dry Food
Boneless turkey and turkey meal
Boneless chicken and chicken meal
Potatoes and dried ground potatoes
Vitamin E

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Weight Management

Small Product image of Nutro Lite
Nutro Lite
Weight Management
Rice Bran
Chicken Meal
Powdered cellulose
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Orijen Original – Our Top Pick

First Five Ingredients:

  • Deboned chicken
  • Deboned turkey
  • Yellowtail flounder
  • Whole eggs
  • Whole Atlantic mackerel

Orijen Original is our top-rated choice for diabetic dry dog food. It is packed with nutrients and provides more than average quantities of protein and fat.

The food contains a wide range of high-quality meat ingredients, such as chicken and turkey, as well as some fish. The poultry will supply your dog with proteins, while the fish offers additional proteins and valuable fatty acids.

However, every food requires vegetables to balance their formula. That’s why Orijen Food has a wide range of veggies like beans and peas. They are considered to be a powerful source of carbohydrates.

Additionally, legumes offer enough fiber for digestion.

Based on the ingredient list, Orijen Food is suitable for the majority of canines. Its fantastic nutrition formula will be excellent for diabetic dogs.

Merrick – Best Grain Free

First Five Ingredients:

  • Buffalo
  • Chicken Meal
  • Sweet potato
  • Turkey Meal
  • Salmon Meal

Coming from a Merrick Pet Care, Inc., Merrick Grain Free – Real Buffalo + Sweet Potato recipe is another choice for diabetic dogs. Free from grain sensitivity, pet owners can avoid possible allergies with this formula.

The food contains Omega three and six fatty acids. These compounds are crucial for skin and overall dog health. Merrick Grain Free drives most of its proteins from animal-based sources.

Meat-based proteins are an excellent feature, and they offer necessary amino acids to your furry companion. They are one of the essential properties to judge when buying dog food.

In summary, this product doesn’t contain any artificial colors, nor preservatives. The buffalo protein balances gastrointestinal health, and it’s a perfect glucose management dog food. The formula also features glucosamine and chondroitin for additional health benefits.

Solid Gold – Ideal For Active Adult Dogs

First Five Ingredients:

  • Salmon
  • Ocean fish meal
  • Peas
  • Pea protein
  • Chicken fat

Solid Gold high protein food with salmon is one of the best products currently on the market. Its nutrient level is significant and well suited for active and mature dogs.

The formula is enriched with high-end ingredients and limits its fish-based meat to Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, and Krill. Solid Gold also contains peas and pumpkin, providing plenty of carbohydrates. Additionally, they will offer enough fiber for healthy digestion.

The well-balanced combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates make this recipe appropriate for the vast majority of canines. When we break down calories, you are getting 36% of proteins, 39% of fat, and 25% of carbohydrates.

In conclusion, if you are concerned about your pet’s health, then this non prescription diabetic dog food will be the right choice. It will not only affect his health but also improve physical activity.

Wellness Core – Best Dry Food

First Five Ingredients:

  • Boneless turkey and turkey meal
  • Boneless chicken and chicken meal
  • Peas
  • Potatoes and dried ground potatoes
  • Vitamin E

Wellness is one of the few brands in the pet care industry that hasn’t been involved in any significant scandals regarding the quality. If you are looking for diabetic dog food recipes that contain a considerable amount of animal-based proteins, then Wellness Core should satisfy your requirements.

A 100% grain-free formula offers a perfectly balanced and complete meal for your four-legged friend. It is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. The food features a maximum amount of chicken and turkey proteins, combined with real fruits and vegetables.

The product doesn’t contain wheat, corn, soy, or any additional preservatives. Probiotics and antioxidants make this recipe deal for diabetic dogs. Spinach, sweet potato and other vegetables keep the glucose level in check.

Overall, the Wellness blend will be an excellent choice for your pets. It will balance their health and provide more energy.

Nutro Lite – Ideal For Weight Management

First Five Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Lentils
  • Rice Bran
  • Chicken Meal
  • Powdered cellulose

The number of dog food brands and types has increased significantly in the last couple of years. It’s become quite challenging to find an appropriate diet for your furry companion. That’s why Nutro Light and Weight Management Adult Dry Dog Food formula contains a perfect mixture of natural ingredients, vitamins, and minerals.

It is composed of chicken, rice, lamb meat, and fibers for natural and healthy digestion. Pet owners can serve it alone, or it can be mixed wet dog food.

The recipe incorporates high-protein ingredient sources, such as real-based meat. It is free of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, corn, wheat, and soy. The product contains components which promote the growth of skin and coat.

This dog food for canines with diabetes is an excellent choice if you are trying to reduce their weight, without compromising their health.

What’s the bottom line? A perfect blend of ingredients will support your best companion through a weight loss journey.

Image of diabetic dog waiting meal

Buying Considerations


Keeping your canine serving sizes in check can help you battle diabetes. Food manufacturers have a portion size printed at packaging, so you don’t have to guess the amount.

However, canines with insulin intake, for their first meal, should have 1/3 of their daily portion. It allows owners to see how they react to sugar-free dog food.

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index is associated with the impact of carbohydrates. It shows how they affect the dog’s blood sugar levels. Food that has a low glycemic index, such as fruits, veggies, peas and beans, some whole grains, and fructose release glucose slowly and steadily.

However, high-glycemic ingredients, like wheat products, white rice, and different types of bread cause a fast rise in blood glucose level.


Carbohydrates are mainly responsible for the most significant changes in “after-eating” blood sugar levels. That’s why it’s imperative to keep the amounts of carbohydrates in diet steady.

They are digested faster than fats and proteins. Moist food usually contains carbohydrates like corn syrup or propylene glycol. However, you should avoid it.

High Fiber Ingredients

Dietary fiber is an indigestible part of any plant, and it’s an essential part of a dog’s diet. Fibers slow down gastric emptying, as well as absorption of carbohydrates.

They have the power to decrease the release of glucose. However, there is no need to pump your dog with fibers, regardless of its health condition. But, canines which lack glycemic control will undoubtedly benefit from it.

Fat Content

Canines struggling with diabetes may not need a low-fat diet unless they are suffering from concurrent pancreatitis, Cushing’s disease, elevated triglycerides and cholesterol, and lipemia.

That’s why numerous diabetic dog food brands have a balanced amount of fats in their formula. You should focus more on proteins, whether your furry companion is overweight, or underweight.

Plant-based Content

Plant-based components in dog’s food play a significant role in reducing inflammation and creating a formation of antibodies against the pancreas.

Canines mainly digest meat and other proteins. But, over the years, they’ve evolved in eating a minimal amount of plant-based material that won’t overly stress their pancreas.

Artificial Ingredients

Pet owners should avoid dog food with artificial ingredients. Components such as chemical additives can do more harm than good. This applies to any canine, regardless of his physical and health condition.

Considering that diabetic dogs require help in maintaining healthy body function, it’s even more significant to avoid them.


Even though byproducts may seem disgusting and unappealing, some of them can be nutritious ingredients. However, you shouldn’t buy food which has meat meals listed as the first ingredient.

For instance, in most cases, chicken by-products are acceptable components of dog’s food. But, generically labeled animal byproducts are not.

Place Of Manufacturing

It’s important to know the origin of your dog’s food. It should be a well-established and reputable brand, preferably manufactured in the state you reside.

In this case, you are limiting the risks of exposing your four-legged companion to life-threatening ingredients and components and further endangering his health.

image of the vet taking care of a diabetic dog

What Is Dog Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that doesn’t only affect canines, but also other animals. It falls into a category of hormonal illness, where pancreas loses the ability to produce insulin.

In some cases, your pet can experience the overproduction of the glucose, where pancreas releases hormone glucagon.

Symptoms of Dog Diabetes

Increased Thirst

Increased thirst is one of the most visible signs of diabetes. If you notice an increased demand for water with your furry companion, then something is wrong.

These little sings can lead to severe health disorder such as diabetes. So, watch closely and pay attention, especially as your pet ages. If you’re not sure how to estimate that read more about optimal water intake for your dog.

Frequent Urination

Frequent urination is another issue that comes with this severe disorder. Increased demand for water and frequent urination are indicators of diabetic condition.

Make sure to schedule an appointment with your wet and perform necessary testing. In some cases, these symptoms can lead to serious health problems which aren’t connected to diabetes.


The lack of energy and lethargy are pretty standard with diabetic dogs. When cells are stripped of sugar, your pet won’t have a desire to run, to take a walk with you, or engage in play.

You will see the lack of activity and constant need for sleep. In this case, you are dealing with type II diabetes.

Unstable Appetite

If you notice your furry companion is always starving, despite eating his daily portion, then something is wrong with his blood sugar level.

The continuous need for food might be a sign of the diabetic condition. Your pet will experience extra hunger because cells in a dog’s body are screaming for glucose.


Depression is not such a common symptom, but it can appear with canines struggling with diabetes. There are different types of depression.

Some of them are triggered by the owner’s death, while others by the increased blood sugar levels. If you have a diabetic dog not eating, just laying around, disinterested in his regular activities, then something is wrong.

image of sleepy black dog

Weight Loss

Cells in your pet’s body require essential nutrients. When they are being starved, it can lead to an increased appetite.

The body cells don’t utilize food energy efficiently, which results in diabetic dog losing weight. Canine can lose weight even when he’s taking in more calories.

Chronic Skin Or Yeast Infections

Malassezia Dermatitis or yeast infection can occur with diabetic dogs. Usually, the infection is itchy, crusty, and smelly.

However, before you panic and start thinking the worst, take your pet to the vet. There are other causes, such as oily skin, immune deficiency, and seborrhea.

Fruity Breath Scent

If your canine’s breath began smelling fruity and sweet, rather than its usual dog’s breath, then you should rush him to the vet immediately.

It could be ketoacidosis at its highest peak, which is a deadly condition if not treated right away. On the other hand, if you notice shaking and shivering for no reason, then it can be a sign of hyperglycemia or low blood sugar.


Advanced diabetes in dogs causes cataracts, which is an opacity in the lenses of the eye. At some point, they will lose the ability to see. If the cataract is matured, then your pet can go bling in the matters of weeks.

However, early administration of Kinostat can delay or even entirely stop this condition.

Urinary Tract Infection

Repeated urinary tract infection is another sign of diabetes. The more sugar there is in urine, the higher the chances that bacteria will grow in your dog’s bladder.

Sometimes these symptoms will stay hidden, so perform regular blood tests. It will give you peace of mind and prevent fatal diabetes in dogs.

Possible Causes

Certain factors may trigger diabetes with your canine:

  • Mature age – when its five or older
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Obesity and consumption of carbohydrates
  • Long-term use of steroid medications
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Intact female dogs have bigger chances of developing this condition than male ones.

Ways To Test Your Dog’s Blood Sugar Levels

There are two ways to test your pet’s sugar level:

  • Checking your dog’s urine – you should be able to detect the presence of glucose and ketones. You can perform this test at home, but it’s not accurate.
  • Test your canine’s blood – the most precise method, implemented at clinics, or home.
preparing canine for blood testing image

Breeds That Are More Prone To Diabetes

The ongoing research following diabetic canines has drawn some pretty impressive conclusions. The clinical trials have established that some breeds are more susceptible to developing this condition.

However, if your pet is obese, then he is at higher risk of suffering from diabetes.

The most impacted breeds are:

  • Miniature Schnauzers
  • Australian Terriers
  • Standard Schnauzers
  • Dachshunds
  • Poodles
  • Keeshonds
  • Samoyeds
  • Beagles
  • Bichons Frises
  • Cairn Terriers
  • Fox Terriers
  • Keeshonds
  • Pugs

Juvenile diabetes can happen with Golden Retrievers and Keeshonds. If your pet falls into this category, then pay close attention to his behavior.

Link Between Dog’s Diet And Diabetes

Diet plays a significant role in lessening the symptoms and managing the disease. It is considered to be a dog diabetes natural treatment.

However, some ingredients can speed up the process:

  • Carbohydrate – cause an inflammation.
  • Starches – similar to grains and potatoes, quickly break down sugar.
  • GMOs – be aware of “Bt,” naturally-derived pesticide engineered to live inside the plant cell.
  • Vegetable oils – corn, sunflower, safflower, and soybeans.
  • Poultry – fed with GMO corn.
  • Heat – processed proteins – they can cause an inflammatory immune response.
  • Dairy products – dairy cows often receive hormones and antibiotic.

To avoid further issues, you can treat your pets with homemade diabetic dog food, or diabetic canned dog food.

image of diabetic snacks on the floor

What Should A Diabetic Dog Food Contain?

Based on the American Animal Hospital Association guideline, the progression of diabetes in dogs isn’t determined by the type of food. The consistency of diet has a significant impact.

As long as you feed them with a high-quality formula, which offers complete and balanced ingredients, your canine should be fine. One of the things to avoid is simple sugars. They will increase the blood sugar level.

Also, snacks for diabetic dogs can be a double edge sword. Consult your vet before using them. If your pet is overweight, then increase the intake of fibers. It will help with the weight management.

Try to change diabetic dog supplies and choose the ingredients that will accommodate their needs. Canines suffering from pancreatitis should avoid a diet high in fat.

How To Lower A Dog’s Blood Sugar

With some breeds, it is tough to regulate blood sugar levels. While the 170 is normal, 330 is unacceptably high. We recommend the following steps in such a situation:

  • Regularly administer insulin – check your injection technique and apply it at the same time every day.
  • Incorporate proper diet – focus on low – carbohydrate ingredients, and increase the consumption of protein and fibers.
  • Check the type of insulin – maybe some other brand will provide better results.
  • Switch to a different testing.

Diabetes in dogs’ complications can happen when all these steps fail. Some canines produce insulin at an unpredictable rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are There Treats That are Safe for Them?

A lot of dog food manufacturers develop diabetic treats. But, don’t buy a treat because it’s labeled for diabetic dogs. Learn how to read the ingredient list!

Generally, you should avoid treats that contain corn and soy because they are full of sugar. Also, forms of sugar such as corn syrup and fructose may cause a weight gain and worsen your pet’s condition.

  • How Often Should I Feed Them a Senior Dog With Diabetes?

Well, several factors will determine the feeding schedule:

  • Weight
  • Age
  • Type of diabetes
  • Type of food

In most case, diabetic canines should have two meals per day. Remember, consistency is essential for feeding. The same quantity of food, at the same time!

  • Are There Foods that They Should Avoid?

You must be wondering: Can dogs eat sugar? No, they can’t, and simple sugars must be avoided at all costs.

What not to feed a diabetic dog? GMOs, artificial, soy, corn, and wheat ingredients are a big NO NO. Read a label before serving your dog with a proper meal.

  • Can Diabetes be Prevented in Dogs?

There is an old saying, better be safe than sound. To prevent diabetes with canines, you should:

  • Go to regular checkups
  • Combine a pre-diabetic diet food list
  • Get female dog spayed
  • Keep your four-legged friend active
  • Purchase high-quality food
  • Avoid obesity
  • Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • Is a Dog Glucose Meter Accurate?

Yes, and it’s more accurate with canines than with humans. If you want to fight this life-threatening condition, then you will get this gadget. However, you should buy a glucose meter designed for animals. It will provide better results than a human one.

  • What is the Life Expectancy of Dogs With Untreated Diabetes?

Many pet owners fail to notice initials symptoms, which leads them to a question: how long can a dog live with untreated diabetes? Well, to be brutally honest, not long. Without treatment, your dog will develop the end stage diabetes symptoms and likely die from them.


If your furry companion is diagnosed with diabetes, don’t panic! Detecting this condition on time is crucial. Unless you are dealing with the end stage diabetes in dogs, you still have time to improve the health of your canine.

With proper vet support, you should be able to provide adequate care for your pet. We understand that diabetes in dogs’ treatment cost can be expensive, but they are worthy of your money.

Even though diabetes can’t be cured, there are many methods, techniques, and treatments, which will guide your dog through this challenging condition.