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Best Dog Food For Diabetic Dog

Knowing Your Dog’s Specific Needs

Homemade Food for Diabetic Dogs (Cheap and Easy to Make)

Finally, if your dog is a well-managed diabetic, do not change their diet. Even changing protein sources like switching from a chicken-based recipe to a lamb-based one can influence blood glucose levels.

Changes in your dogs diet may require corresponding changes in insulin. The ideal diet and feeding regimen for your diabetic dog is the one that keeps their glucose at a steady level.

This article has been reprinted with permission from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicines DOGWatch Newsletter, published by Belvoir Media Group.Subscribe online to DOGWatch Newsletter here.

The Best Dog Food For Dogs With Diabetes Mellitus

The goal for choosing a dog food for dogs with diabetes is not to cure the dog. But instead to minimize the clinical signs and complications that can arise in a diabetic dog. The nutritional management of each individual dog with diabetes is unique. And we can see that consistency is probably the most important factor for successful blood glucose management of diabetic dogs.

Diabetic Dog Food: The Top 5 Best Dog Foods For Diabetic Dogs In 2021

The growing diabetes epidemic is not only affecting humans. Diabetes is increasing among dogs as well. Based on research studies, one in every 200 dogs is at a risk of developing this disease. Now, if your pooch is diagnosed with diabetes, you may feel like its a death sentence. Although complex, canine diabetes is a manageable condition. In fact, your pup can live many healthy years after a diabetes diagnosis. This article highlights everything you need to know about canine diabetes while also recommending the best diabetic dog food.


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Protein In Dog Food For Dogs With Diabetes

If tolerable diabetic dogs should be on a diet that contains moderate to high protein that is highly digestible. The reason why higher protein diets are recommended is because many diabetic dogs can have issues with amino acid metabolism. This is due to metabolic changes associated with the disease process. These changes can cause dogs to have issues with building and maintaining lean muscle mass.

This couples with the fact that the typical onset of diabetes in dogs is older 7-9 years of age. And older dogs already tend to have a slightly lowered ability to utilize protein and amino acids due to in the gastrointestinal tract.

For dogs who are overweight and diabetic a higher protein, low fat, high fiber diet may be recommended. This is because this composition helps with satiety and aid in weight loss over time. And as excess body fat can cause insulin resistance in dogs working towards ideal body condition is very important for blood glucose regulation.

Some of the reasons why we may need to lower protein within a diet would be due to severe pancreatitis, or due to other concurrent conditions like kidney or liver disease.

If no other concurrent medical conditions aim for diets with 30-35% protein on a caloric basis, with a dry matter protein digestibility of over 82%.

Ketona Chicken Recipe Dog Food

The Best Foods for Diabetic Dogs (Updated 2020)

About: Ketona Chicken Recipe Dog Food is a scientifically formulated dog food designed to have a very low carbohydrate content.

In fact, this recipe only contains 5% digestible carbohydrate content, 0.5% sugars, and a whopping 46% protein, making it a very intriguing option for diabetic dogs. The only downside is the price its quite expensive.

Best Overall Diabetic Dog Food

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

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Tips For Feeding Your Dog A Diabetic Dog Food

Part of managing your diabetic dogs health, of course, is overseeing his diet. For years the standard recommendation for diabetic dogs was to feed a high fiber/low fat diet.

Indeed, you can find many web sites today, some with recommendations from veterinarians, that suggest this kind of diet instead of a specific diabetic dog food.

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For example, we found this statement on one site: Most vets recommend a high-fiber, low-fat diet. Fiber slows the entrance of glucose into the bloodstream and helps your dog feel full. Low-fat foods have fewer calories. Together, the diet can help your dog eat less and lose weight.

The problem, of course, is that Type 1 diabetes does not necessarily develop because of diet or obesity. Dogs dont have to be overweight to become diabetic. There is no clear link between obesity and diabetes in dogs so feeding a dog this kind of diet may not be appropriate.

For humans and cats with Type 2 diabetes, which is related to obesity, a high fiber/low fat diet would be great. But thats not necessarily the case with dogs that have Type 1 diabetes.

For dogs that have Type 1 diabetes, there is no one recommended diet today but there are some ways to manage his diet that will help. Its important that your dog enjoys his food and eats it. A diabetic dog that skips meals will have problems.

Common Questions About Feeding Diabetic Dogs

Still, have questions about the right dog food for diabetic dogs? The following information should clear up any confusion about your dog’s diet and help him maintain the ideal blood sugar levels.

Remember that if you have any other questions about diabetic dogs or foods for diabetic canines, your vet is also a great resource.

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How Many Times A Day Should A Diabetic Dog Eat

A diabetic dog should eat twice per day, consistently on the same schedule. If it has one insulin injection, you should serve 2/3 of its daily food before the shot and the rest of its food 6-8 hours later.

If your dog needs two shots per day, they should get two equally sized meals 10-12 hours apart, just before each insulin injection.

Why Is It Important To Serve My Dog Simultaneously Every Day

Homemade Diabetic Dog Food Recipe (Cheap and Healthy)

A consistent meal schedule ensures that your dogs blood sugar levels remain stable. If your pet goes too long without food, they are at risk of low blood sugar, which may spike if they have a treat or snack. Feeding your pet quality food simultaneously every day will prevent any erratic change in their blood glucose level.

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Causes Of Diabetes In Dogs

Dog diabetes most commonly happens due to reduced insulin production in the pancreas. Thats why we shared our diabetic dog food list in the first place. Less commonly, resistance to the effect of insulin may cause this disease.

Hormones like cortisone and progesterone naturally work against insulin to help the body increase blood sugar when it needs it. Synthetic drugs mimicking these hormones can also lead to diabetes.

Pancreas inflammation or cancer can also lead to an insulin reduction or elimination. Obesity and excessive carbohydrate injection are major risk factors. Thats what ketogenic dog food brands aim to avoid.

Conditions such as Cushings Syndrome, cystic ovaries, and an infected uterus can also cause diabetes. But we should never forget that genetics also plays a role. Diabetes is most common in breeds like the Beagle, Keeshond, Poodle, Pug, Fox Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Bichon Frise, and Dachshund.

Monitoring And Transitioning To A New Routine

When you just get the diagnosis of diabetes in your dog it can be overwhelming. Suddenly you may need to be hyperaware of how much and when your dog eats. Instigating a strict routine where before you had so much flexibility.

The transition is the hardest part. You dont know exactly what protocol is going to work best, you may need to see your vet every one to two weeks for rechecks. You might be scared and overwhelmed. All of this is normal.

Dont feel bad about asking questions or getting a second opinion. If you are struggling with management reach out to an internal medicine specialist in your area.

Usually at the start of your journey you will be asked to keep a detailed log of when you give the insulin to your dog, how much you are giving, when and what you are feeding. If your vet does not give you a Nutritional Monitoring Chart you can use this chart to log your dogs food and insulin. The chart can then be used by your vet to help with adjustments of your dogs diet and insulin depending on blood glucose levels.


Delamarter, Marissa. Nutrition and Diabetes Mellitus. Todays Veterinary Practice, 15 Oct. 2019,

Hand, Michael, et al. Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, 5th Edition. 5th ed., Mark Morris Institute, 2022.

Nutritional Management of Diabetes Mellitus. School of Veterinary Medicine, 22 June 2018, .

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Can You Prevent Liver Disease In Dogs

Unfortunately, not all cases of liver disease are preventable. However, certain precautions can help to reduce the risk to your pooch. Your dog should receive vaccinations for infectious canine hepatitis and, if applicable, leptospirosis. Keep your pup away from toxins in your home and when out on walks. And, be sure to read up on the signs of liver disease.

Its always best to see your vet sooner than later if you have any concerns for your dogs health. Especially with liver disease, early intervention is crucial for treating liver problems successfully.

Prescription Dog Food: Hills Prescription Diet W/d Multi

The Best Foods for Diabetic Dogs (Updated 2020)

Your vet may insist that you feed your dog a prescription diet. They may also offer you other options. Always follow your vets advice because they know your dogs specific information. Most dogs that have diabetes do fine with non-prescription diabetic dog food. Hills Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit is a popular option .

Starts at: $45.99

Canned Food

In general, canned dog food is better for dogs that have diabetes. Thats because they dont require the same fillers as dry dog food does. Dry dog food is typically high in carbohydrates because these are what they tend to use to form the chunks that make up dry dog food.

Low Glycemic Index

Dogs with diabetes require dog food with a low glycemic index. The glycemic index is the number that tells you how fast food is converted to blood glucose or sugar. The lower the number, the longer it takes the body to convert the food.

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What Is Critical Nutrition

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Critical nutrition is a term used to describe the science of how nutrients interact with one another in the body to support health and prevent disease. It is an emerging field of study that is still evolving, but the goal is to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how nutrients work together to support health and prevent disease.

Nutrition Facts To Consider


Protein should be the main component of a diabetic dogs diet. Roughly about a third of their calories should be from protein. The best type of protein will be from whole meats, not meat by-products.

Fat should make up about 30% of your dogs daily calories. Fat is important because it gives your dog energy and helps them stay nutritionally balanced throughout the day. Fat will not make your dog overweight by itself weight gain can occur if given too many carbs or overfed in general.


Carbs in your diabetic dogs diet need to be low glycemic. Examples of this are barley or sorghum. Carbs should generally be restricted or at least monitored, as they can interfere with the balance of your dogs blood sugar.


High-fiber diets are not proven to be beneficial or harmful to a diabetic dog. There are a few studies that indicate benefits for some dogs, but the same diet could cause intestinal side effects or weight loss. Sometimes, weight loss can be good, but it can be inappropriate for already thin diabetic dogs.

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Types Of Diabetes In Dogs

Learning about the disease classification is as crucial as knowing the canine diabetes diet. Here are the three types of diabetes that are most prominent in dogs:

  • Type 1 diabetes destroys inflamed insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Breeds like the Samoyed, Miniature Schnauzer, Poodle, and Keeshond are highly susceptible to it.
  • Type 2 diabetes causes high blood sugar levels, leading to fatigue and issues with the eyes, heart, and nerves. Fortunately, dogs rarely get it.
  • Diabetes Insipidus is another rare dog condition characterized by increased thirst and increased peeing. Some dogs create too much pee to regulate it.

What Is The Dry Food For Diabetic Dogs

The Best Dog Food For Diabetic Dogs

Sorry if youre perplexed. I know its not an easy choice! But its one of the most crucial choices youll ever make. If youre still unsure which type of dry food for diabetic dogs is best for you, I recommend comparing the characteristics and functionalities of the dry food for diabetic dogs listed above. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

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The Benefits Of Critical Nutrition For Your Pets

Critical care nutrition is the provision of safe and optimal nutrition to patients admitted to an intensive care unit using evidence-based practice. It is suggested that early nutrition therapy may reduce disease severity, complications, length of stay in the intensive care unit, and mortality. When a person is ill or undergoes surgery, he or she requires a specific type of diet to assist with recovery. It is a high-fat, protein-rich formula that promotes tissue repair, recovery, and weight maintenance. It is formulated with key nutrients. CN Critical Nutrition is a canned diet developed by Purina ProPlan for dogs and cats recovering from illness or surgery. Make sure your pet has Purina ProPlans CN Critical Nutrition diet after surgery or an illness.

Best For Omega Content: Nulo Adult Dog Food

Product Rating

Some claim its hard on digestion


We found that Nulo delivers in perfect style if you need to give your diabetic dog some extra nutritional help. What do you get for your money, then?

We love that the formula contains all-natural ingredients, so your pups weight should stay in check, as well as his glucose levels. Grains frequently trigger allergies in dogs, so its important that there is no corn, wheat, soy, gluten, cheap fillers, or bulking agents.


Nulo is formulated to be high in lean protein and low in fat the optimum combo for diabetic dogs. Designed with the needs of adult breeds of all dogs in mind, youll be doing your part to keep your dog strong and healthy while living with diabetes.

We chose this brand because the protein comes from real salmon as the first ingredient. Our lucky test dog adored the flavor, and your dog will benefit from getting the fatty acids he needs for immune system support, a healthy coat, and comfortable skin.

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Best Wet Dog Food For Diabetic Dogs: Weruva Dogs In The Kitchen Grain

Whether youre looking for an occasional healthy treat meal for your diabetic dog or a topper you can use to entice them to eat their new prescription food, this canned dog food is a solid option. It is made from healthy, natural ingredients, produced in Human Food Facilities under the Strictest B.R.C. Global Standards for Food, and contains no grain, gluten, soy, or carrageenan. To boot, there are 6 recipes available to suit even the finickiest of eaters , including those made with shredded chicken and pumpkin, beef and wild salmon, and lamb and pumpkin to name a few.

What Human Food Can I Feed My Diabetic Dog

15 Best Diabetic Dog Food Brands in 2021

In general, dogs with diabetes should avoid carbs and anything that will adversely impact their blood sugar level. If youre looking to make your own dog food , squash, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, and peas tend to be safe options. Just make sure their diet consistents of primary protein.

Its also a misconception that dogs with diabetes should avoid grains. But thats not entirely true. Grains help support digestion and give your dog the energy they need. Just avoid starchy, complex carbohydrates. The best whole-grain options are amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa.

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What Are Thesymptoms Of Diabetes In Dogs

The most common symptoms that can be encountered in diabetic dogs are:

  • Increased urine production

If diabetes in dogs is not properly treated, the following consequences can also be encountered:

Warning: Our reviews on the Best Dog Food For Weight Loss are mostly based on information from experts and manufacturers. We test many products, but it is impossible to test them all. That said, we ask that you remember that the recommendations above are opinions, and before using a treatment, we recommend that you consult with your veterinarian.

Diagnosis Of Canine Diabetes

Usually veterinarians will diagnose diabetes by a combination of bloodwork , along with urinalysis. The reason why veterinarians do not just test suspected diabetic dogs for blood glucose is because there are many other diseases and conditions that can artificially inflate blood glucose values. Including even just stress.

Once diagnosis occurs dogs are typically started on insulin to help regular blood glucose levels.

Are Dogs Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetic?

The typical classification system of type 1 and type 2 diabetes doesnt really apply to dogs , but diabetes in dogs tends to fit the model for type 1 diabetes closest. In the sense that they require insulin in order to regulate their condition. The full term for this is Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. Cats on the other hand are closer to type 2 diabetics in the sense that they can go into full remission with diet change alone.

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