The Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs: How to Choose the Right Type

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Shocked that your dogs are struggling or suffering from diabetes? Wondering how are you going to proceed?

Diabetes is an endocrine problem that is not only a concern for humans but also among dogs. This is characterized by improper functioning of the pancreas. The lack of a healthy pancreas gives dogs a lot of troubles when it comes to proper regulation of blood sugar levels.

When left unchecked or untreated, this condition can be a serious threat leading to severe complications and even death. Dogs prone to diabetes are those who consume lots of carbohydrates without getting a lot of exercise.

With that, keep your dogs as healthy as possible by feeding them with the right kind of nutrition coming from the best dog food for diabetic dogs. These will maintain a well-balanced glycemic level, which ensures protection or recovery from the diabetic state.


Top 7 Dog Foods for Diabetic Dogs

best canned dog food for diabetic dogs

Diabetic dogs require specialized foods to promote better health and longer life. While there are many food options available on the market, we've selected some of the best dog food for diabetic dogs.

Editor's Picks

Product​​​​ Name


Best Choices

Orijen Original Dry Dog Food

Best Ketogenic Dog Food

Ketona Chicken Recipe Dry Food 

Best Wet Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural

Free Dog Food

Nulo Adult Grain Free Dog Food, Best Grain

Best Dog Food for Weight Management

Hill's Pet Nutrition W/D Multi-Benefit Dry

Best Dry Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs

Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry 

Best Adult Diabetic Dog Food

Acana Heritage Adult Dry Dog Food

Orijen Original Dry Dog Food - Best Overall Food for Diabetic Dogs

Orijen Original Dry Dog Food is regarded as a very impressive formula that contains rich amounts of protein and low in carbohydrates, making it a perfect food for dogs with diabetes.

Its simplicity makes it a healthy choice as it comes with limited ingredients, all working together to ensure better dog nutrition. Protein, being its prominent ingredient, is sourced from wholesome and high-quality meat ingredients from chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs.

When it comes to carbohydrates, Orijen Original Dry Dog Food has a low glycemic index. It takes up only about 20 percent of the formula, without any additional grains. Instead, this dog diet has a wide range of vegetables, including peas and beans, as their powerful source of carbohydrates.

Additionally, this dog food contains plenty of fiber-rich food sources such as kale, whole pumpkin, and spinach. Also, its fish components offer valuable fatty acids that support better skin and coats.

At its higher price, this trusted brand of dog food is a balanced diabetic food option. Orijen Original Dry Dog Food also offers better digestion and absorption due to its enough fiber content from legumes. 

  • Unmatched fresh and all-natural ingredients
  • Rich in meat proteins
  • Low carbohydrate content
  • Contains a high amount of fiber
  • Quite expensive

Ketona Chicken Recipe Dry Food for Adult Dogs - Best Ketogenic Dog Food

Ketona Chicken Recipe is an all-natural ketogenic dog food that is scientifically formulated and designed with high protein and very low carbohydrate content.

This recipe contains a whopping 46 percent of proteins, five percent of digestible carbohydrates, and a very minute percentage of sugar, thus, making it a worthy consideration for dogs suffering from diabetes.

Each of the kibbles came from raw, non-GMO, and antibiotic-free chicken raised by ranchers using only sustainable practices and technologies.

Being a grain-free dog food, Ketona Chicken Recipe comes with less carbohydrate as compared with other leading brands. It contains no corn, wheat, soy, potatoes, sorghum, rice, barley, and rye in its components, making it safe for diabetic dogs, especially in maintaining their blood sugar levels.

To ensure the best and well-balanced nutrition for your dogs, it is enriched with naturally sourced vitamins and minerals for more sustainable and optimum wellness.

The only downsides of Ketona Chicken Recipe are that it has a quite expensive price and is best used for adult dogs. While some dogs may not seem to enjoy the taste of this food, it is one of the well-loved options available on the market.

  • Contains a high amount of proteins
  • Tangibly low amount of carbohydrates
  • Ideal for blood level management
  • Lacks insulin surge inducing components
  • Very expensive
  • For adult dogs only
  • Unlikable taste to some picky dogs

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Adult Wet Dog Food - Best Wet Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wet Dog Food mainly features a holistic and healthy approach to ensure the wellness of your diabetic dogs.

With its real meat content, your dogs will surely have a protein-rich and grain-free diet. Its delicious taste and formulation provide the wholesome nutrition no matter what dog breed, dog size, and life stage your dog may be.

This adult dog food is made from fresh and wholesome beef and chicken as its main ingredient. The actual meat of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wet Dog Food gives not only excellent taste but also ensures perfect nutrition and health benefits to your dogs.

It is enhanced with vitamins and minerals coming from only the finest sources. Also, it is made without any wheat and chicken by-products in their formulation. These components make them an ideal treat for older dogs with a sensitive digestive tract.

With its soft and wet texture, dogs will find Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wet Dog Food a perfect treat suitable when their teeth start to get weak. However, a major downfall of this dog formulation is the high-fat content, which poses a problem of your dogs getting overweight.

  • Protein-rich and grain-free
  • Enhanced with vitamins and minerals
  • No harmful by-products
  • Soft and delicious taste
  • High-fat content

Nulo Adult Grain Free Dog Food - Best Grain-Free Dog Food

Nulo Adult Grain Free is an all-natural dog food that consists of a wide range of ingredients, including 80 percent of animal protein and 38 percent of carbohydrates.

It is composed mainly of high-quality ingredients combined to come up with a good foundation of a healthy and balanced diet.

The primary protein source comes from real animal sources such as turkey and trout for leaner muscle mass and a healthier heart. It is free from any chicken and egg proteins, which help reduce the risk of allergies and sensitivities.

Additionally, Nulo Adult Grain Free uses grain-free carbohydrates from sweet potatoes and chickpeas, which are also known to have low-glycemic amounts.

The formulation is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which contributes to healthy skin and luscious coats of your dogs.

As an added feature, this diet is supplemented with healthy fibers and probiotics for proper digestion and absorption. It has no artificial preservatives and flavorings that can cause harm to your dogs.

Lastly, this diet formula contains nutrient-rich chicken fats, which is a concentrated source of energy. When combined with fruits and vegetables, Nulo Adult Grain Free provides a natural source of nutrients for better health of dogs with diabetes.

  • Rich in lean animal proteins
  • Contains highly digestible and grain-free carbohydrates
  • Comes with omega fatty acids and probiotics
  • High in fiber content
  • Too high-fat content for some dogs

Hill's Pet Nutrition W/D Multi-Benefit Dry Dog Food - Best Dog Food for Weight Management

Hill's Pet Nutrition W/D is a low-fat dog food that helps manage your dog's glucose level, making it an ideal food for diabetes management.

It is specially designed for several benefits, including digestive difficulties, blood sugar problems, and weight management issues.

With its gastrointestinal benefits, you are guaranteed to help your dog digest food more efficiently and evenly. Its formulation also ensures excellent support for your dog's immune system.

The high levels of L-carnitine present in Hill's Pet Nutrition W/D help speed up the metabolism and absorption of nutrients, thus ensuring better weight management.

Since it also contains moderate amounts of fibers, you are keeping your dogs full in between meals while helping them metabolize fat and maintaining lean muscles.

Moreover, this prescription diet food comes with added antioxidants to help control cell oxidation and promote a healthy and functioning immune system.

Each pack of Hill's Pet Nutrition W/D contains chicken, whole grain wheat, powdered cellulose, corn gluten, and whole-grain corn. Thus, allowing you to mix them with other normal foods easily. This will not cause your dog to lose their appetite despite eating diabetic foods.

  • Works well for diabetes control
  • Low-calorie diet
  • Clears up diarrhea
  • Suitable for all breed size
  • Prescription-only
  • A bit higher price

Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food - Best Dry Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free has significantly been regarded as an ideal dog food due to its considerable amount of animal-based proteins.

This 100 percent grain-free formula gives a perfect balance and a complete meal for your dogs. It comes with the essential vitamins and minerals from real fruits and vegetables combined with chicken and turkey proteins.

As an added feature, Wellness Core Natural Grain Free is a delicious dog food that doesn't contain any artificial additives, preservatives, and other unhealthy fillers that can harm your dogs. It also lacks any harmful carbohydrates such as wheat, soy, and corn.

Instead, it has probiotics, antioxidants, and other nutrients that help keep the glucose level in normal conditions. The inclusion of kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, and other sources of fibers also help in addressing diabetic problems in your dogs.

Overall, Wellness Core Natural Grain Free is an excellent choice that provides proper nutrition, balanced health, and more energy to your furry buddy. Its formulation ensures optimum conditions of both small and large dog breeds, whether they are on their puppy or adult stage.

  • Grain-free formulation
  • Minimum protein and fat content
  • High fiber components
  • Rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids
  • Not poultry-free
  • More expensive than regular dog foods

Acana Heritage Adult Dry Dog Food - Best Adult Diabetic Dog Food

Acana Heritage Adult Dry Dog Food promises to keep dogs healthy, strong, and happy with its free-run poultry formula coming from the finest and freshest ingredients from local farmers.

It emphasizes mainly on high proteins and fewer carbohydrates, thus an ideal option for dogs with diabetes.

The high levels of protein give an impressive formula that nearly doubles the number in standard dog foods. Its protein source comes from a combination of Yorkshire pork, Angus beef, and grass-fed lamb. These sources include not only meat but also cartilage and organs, providing plenty of nutrients to your dogs.

Its carbohydrates components include peas, pinto beans, and a collection of fibrous vegetables such as kelp and greens. Thus, Acana Heritage Adult Dry Dog Food gives a slow down in the glucose conversion in your dog's body.

Moreover, its formulation contains no gluten, potato, tapioca, and other artificial additives that can be harmful and detrimental to the health of your dogs.

Lastly, Acana Heritage Adult Dry Dog Food is crafted from a whole and high-quality ingredients to ensure a biologically appropriate diet depending on your dog's needs.

  • Rich in naturally sourced protein
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Gluten-free formulation
  • A bit pricey

Doggie Diabetes FAQs - Overview

best dog food for diabetic dog

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects dogs and other animals. This falls under the category of hormonal illness, wherein the pancreas tends to lose its ability to produce insulin.

However, there are cases when your dog's pancreas over releases the hormone glucagon, thus experiencing glucose overproduction.

The Symptoms of Dog Diabetes

The symptoms experienced by dogs with diabetes may vary. However, here are the most common signs exhibited by those suffering from the disease.

  • Increased Thirst: This is most likely one of the visible signs of diabetes in dogs. An increase in the normal demand for water indicates that something is wrong.
  • Frequent Urination: The increased demand for water will then lead to frequent urination of your dogs.
  • Fatigue: The lack of energy and anxiety is pretty common in dogs suffering from diabetes. The cells are already stripped of sugar, causing a decrease in your dog's desire to run, walk, play, and perform other activities.
  • Unstable Appetite: The continuous need for food despite eating the recommended daily portions is a sign of the diabetic condition. Dogs tend to become extra hungry as a result of their body's screaming need for glucose.
  • Weight Loss: While the dog's body requires essential nutrients, diabetic dogs tend to lose weight as a result of the inefficient utilization of food energy.
  • Yeast Infections: Yeast infections can occur with dogs with diabetes. This is usually characterized by itchy, smelly, and crusty infections.
  • Fruity Breath Scent: Dogs with diabetes have a fruity and sweet-smelling breath as a result of increased ketoacidosis.
  • Cataracts: Advanced diabetes in dogs can lead to cataracts or opacity in the eye's lens, thus causing loss of sight.
the best dry dog food for diabetic dogs

Breeds Prone to Diabetes

Unfortunately, some dog breeds are more likely to develop diabetes. Be extra vigilant and carefully watch the signs of diabetes if you are a parent of the following fur babies.

  • Schnauzers
  • Australian Terriers
  • Poodles
  • Dachshunds
  • Samoyed

Other than these most impacted breeds, dogs who are obese are at higher risk of suffering from diabetes. Also, female dogs are more likely to develop diabetes later in life as compared to male dogs.

Choosing Foods for Dogs with Diabetes

In selecting the best dog foods for diabetic dogs, try to consider these things:

1. High in Protein

The foundation of a healthy diabetic diet in dogs is lean protein. This usually comes from high-quality animal sources like chicken, fish, and turkey.

Other than being a rich protein source, this type of protein is also best for dogs who want to lose weight.

2. Low to Moderate Fat Content

Healthy fats tend to provide a concentrated energy source for your dogs. This also helps support healthy skin and a luscious coat.

However, overweight dogs should limit their fat content consumption to control their calorie intake.

3. Low Glycemic Index

what's a good dog food for diabetic dogs

For dogs suffering from diabetes, limiting their food, which contains high carbohydrate content, is an excellent option to ensure a low glycemic index. This will also prevent spiking their blood sugar levels after each meal.

Try to look for foods with a low glycemic index such as vegetables, fruits, peas, beans, and whole grains. These sources are guaranteed to release glucose steadily and slowly.

4. Highly Digestible

Dog foods for diabetes should contain supplemental fibers for easier digestion and proper absorption of nutrients. The presence of fibers will also slow down the rate of glucose absorbed in your dog's bloodstream. 

5. All-Natural Ingredients

Dogs should be given a natural and wholesome diet to ensure proper nutrition. These should lack any artificial ingredients such as additives and preservatives to maintain healthy body functions.

Also, foods containing natural ingredients, particularly plant-based contents, help reduce inflammation by creating antibodies against pancreatic infections.

Care Tips for Diabetic Dogs

best dog foods for diabetic dogs

Other than the food criteria listed above, managing your dog's diabetes is made easier with these three helpful care tips.

1. Feed Dogs on a Regular Schedule

Providing your dogs with a proper and well-balanced diet is not enough. You should also feed them on a consistent schedule to ensure the stability of their blood sugar levels.

Know your dog's optimal feeding schedule by consulting your veterinarian. Always try your best to feed them at the same time each day.

2. Avoid Switching Foods Unnecessarily

Try to avoid changing your dog's diet unless there is a compelling reason behind it. Food switching can cause a fluctuation in your dog's blood sugar levels, thus putting his health in jeopardy.

Think carefully about the food you'll give your dogs and seek advice before changing them to a different variety or recipe. 

3. Think Twice About Giving Treats

best wet dog food for diabetic dogs

Giving treats to your dogs can make them happy; however, it can also represent a significant portion of their daily calorie intake. Avoid sabotaging your diabetic's dog diet by refraining from giving high calorie and sugary treats.

You can still give dog treats, but be sure to limit them and select protein-based types of treats.

Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs - Final Thoughts

If your dogs are diagnosed with diabetes, then don't panic. You can deal with the condition as long as you provide adequate care and nutrition to your dogs. Yes, it can't be cured, but treatments can be given to lighten up this challenging condition!

Among the options listed above, one of which is supporting them with optimum nutrition from the best dog food for diabetic dogs, Orijen Original Dry Dog Food is our top choice as it comes with an unmatched formulation containing an impressive amount of nutrients needed by your dogs suffering from diabetes.

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