Best Dog Foods for Diabetic Dogs to Buy in 2020

best diabetic dog food

Paws, claws, snouts, sharp teeth, tails, fur… all of these things differ us from dogs. We do not look familiar at all. But look closer in their eyes. So smart, beautiful and conscious… Dogs can feel love, hatred, fear, pain as we all can. And sometimes, to my regret, even disease of these wonderful creatures comply with humans. One of the widest spread «human» diseases that is diagnosed with dogs is diabetes. It characterizes with glucose processing problems.

Sadly, this condition is incurable. The only way to make your pet’s life a little bit more comfortable is to arrange it’s nutrition in the right way. So, to my personal and quite humble opinion, you should look through this article and I promise you will find a lot of useful tips here.

How to Select Diabetic Dog Food?

However, it is essential to be always attentive while selecting the food both for you and your dog, diabetic food nutrition is without any doubt requires much more attention. Of course, nowadays due to the wide choice of dog products, you can find low-fat and high fiber food without breaking a sweat. Nevertheless, not all of it is beneficial for your four-legged friend.

Here are some things you should pay attention to:

  • Protocols of safety

Every manufacturer that produce food should make it under the safety protocols that are valid in the country where the fabrication is situated. It should be noted that not all countries take that seriously. That is why it is better to buy food that was made in such countries as England, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, France, Germany, and the USA of course.

  • Meat – yes, by-products – no

Without no doubt, protein is essential for dogs. The quality of that protein is also matters. Remember, that meat should stand on the first place in the composition. In the case of chicken, there are some acceptable by-products, but that works only with chicken. The by-products of another type though contain the big amount of protein can be dangerous for your pet.

  • Additives are not allowed

The dog food producers, especially the one that belongs to the economy class, make their products look, taste, and smell better than others employing artificial additives. These substances are at the top of the allergy-triggers list. That is why do not forget that first-rate ingredients will be tasty without admixtures.

  • Not more than 25% of carbs

The question about carbs is a debatable question for veterinarians. Some of them claim that carbohydrates are useless for dogs, while others prove that these elements are salutary. The main thing in this matter is not to go to extremes. Avoiding carbs can lead to the lack of essential elements that are in the makeup of carb-containing products. That is why my suggestion would be to find the gold mine.

  • Consider the needs of your dog

Unfortunately, diabetes is not the only problem your dog can face. Sometimes there are other issues you need to think about. That is why foods of the premium class have divisions in their product lines to differentiate dogs’ needs. Some products have glucosamine and chondroitin, those elements care for joints. Other foods were enriched with antioxidants that will make the immune system of your dog much stronger. So, you need to consult the vet and choose the best option for you and your pet.

Top 9 Diabetic Dog Foods List

Adult Grain Free Dog Food: All Natural Dry Pet Food for Large and Small Breed Dogs, Lamb, Salmon, or Turkey Recipe by Nulo

Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food

Photo: Amazon

Nulo Adult Salmon & Peas is 100% natural food for your doggo. The protein source is for 80% consists of animal protein. There is a wide range of main ingredients, depending on your dog’s taste. You, well, your dog probably, could try salmon, turkey meal and chicken. All ingredients are low-glycemic and there are only 38% of carbs.

+ The producers are focused on natural ingredients.– This is the product of the premium class, so the price is considered high.
+ The elements are low-glycemic.
+ There are not many carbohydrates.

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Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Original Turkey & Chicken by Wellness Core

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Original Turkey & Chicken

Photo: Amazon

This item is 100% grain-free and enriched with vital vitamins and minerals. There is no wheat, soy, corn and what is more there is no by-products and chemical preservatives. This food is 421 kcal/cup and according to buyers responds, helped their dogs to lose some weight.

+ Grain-free.– Some people complain on shipping.
+ Premium quality of protein source.– High price.
+ This food according to the customers contribute to weight loss.

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Chicken Recipe Dry Food for Adult Dogs by Ketona

Ketona Chicken Recipe Dry Food for Adult Dogs - Low Carb, High Protein, Grain-Free Dog Food

Photo: Amazon

This food was grown and manufactured in the USA. It is GMO-free and contains 46% of the meat protein. There is no soy, corn, wheat and it is also potato-free. The recipe contains only 5% of carbs and 0.05% of sugars. This is one of the best decisions for diabetic dogs according to consumers.


  • Tangibly lower amount of carbs.
  • Blood levels management.
  • No insulin-surge inducing.
  • High-protein.


  • Some customers wish this food had probiotics in its composition.
  • Very expensive.
+ Tangibly lower amount of carbs.– Some customers wish this food had probiotics in its composition.
+ Blood levels management.– Very expensive.
+ No insulin-surge inducing.
+ High-protein.

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Regionals Dry Dog Food by ACANA

ACANA Regionals Dry Dog Food

Photo: Amazon

The composition of this brand is made according to the producer, out of 0% grain, 30% vegetables, and 70% meat. It was grown on the fertile farmlands and prepared not more than 48 hours after the ingathering. It contains no gluten or tapioca which contains starch. The protein is of the super-premium class: pork, beef, and lamb deboned meals.

+ Highly-priced protein list.– Some customers consider it as too pricey.
+ 100% natural.
+ 100% fresh.

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Grain Free Premium High Protein Dry Dog Food High Prairie Adult by Teste of the Wild

Taste of The Wild Grain Free Premium High Protein Dry Dog Food High Prairie Adult - Roasted Bison and Venison

Photo: Amazon

This item contains premium ingredients is enriched with vitamins and minerals. The 32% formula protein and free of chemical additives and preservatives. It is well-digestive and contains no gluten. Also, this food has an unusual taste of roasted bison and venison which is, according to the buyers’ reviews liked by their pets. Moreover, you have an option. You can choose a smoked salmon taste to diversify the ration of your pet.

+ Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.– Comparably less amount of protein.
+ 100% natural.– Some people report that dogs were gassy after this food.
+ Gluten-free.

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Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food by Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

Photo: Amazon

This grain-free dog food is manufactured with health-friendly carbs and contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This makeup supports the dog’s skin and fur. Also, it is important to note that the product packed with 100% natural chicken meat and it helps to preserve the fine fettle of the joints.

+ Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.– Several consumers prevented gulping best tasting and revealed that their dogs had severe diarrhea.
+ 100% natural chicken protein.– Some people report that dogs’ skin began to flake after they had this food eaten.
+ Chemical additives free.

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Grain Free Easy to Digest Dry Dog Food by Nature`s Recipe

Nature's Recipe Grain Free Easy to Digest Dry Dog Food

Photo: Amazon

Buying this item you can choose the protein source among several options: chicken, lamb or salmon. All of these meat meals are accompanied by sweet potato and pumpkin. Those ingredients stand for carbohydrates and are 100% grain-free. The 30 years of experience on the market resulted in the 4.4 out of 5 stars on the

+ Variety of tastes.– Some customers reported about shipping issues.
+ 100% natural protein.– Several cases of diarrhea have been noticed.
+ Chemical additives and grain-free.
+ Relatively lower price.

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Grain Free, Natural Dry Dog Food by Whole Earth Farms

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free, Natural Dry Dog Food

Photo: Amazon

As well as the previous item this dog food also has a great choice of tastes. Your dog has an opportunity to try food by Whole Earth Farms in style “Pork, Beef & Lamb”, “Chicken & Turkey”, “Salmon & Whitefish”, and “Turkey & Duck ”. This item is made in the USA and comprises no soy or poultry by-products.

+ A lot of tastes available.– 5% of customers have reported some shipping issues.
+ 100% natural protein.– There is tapioca in the composition.
+ Grain-free.
+ Not very high price.

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Original Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food by Instinct

Instinct Original Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food

Photo: Amazon

Fabricated from the real meat with the addition of probiotics that support the pancreas. There is 70% of real meat and 30% of photogenic products. All of the meat was grown on USA farms. And the protein source range is quite wide. Your dog can try beef, chicken, duck, rabbit, and salmon flavor.

+ Wide range of tastes.– Some consumers reported on the formula changes. This caused several cases of allergy.
+ 100% natural protein.
+ Grain free.

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What Not to Feed a Diabetic Dog?

Look through the food makeup carefully, as these products shouldn’t appear in your pet’s diet:

  • Simple carbs such as soy and corn;
  • Simple sugars (no sweetmeat);
  • Chemical additives;
  • Byproducts ( chicken skin);
  • High-fat diets (no rich cream cheese, cream, etc.);
  • Bread (probably any pastry);
  • Milled rice;
  • Sweet fresh and dry fruits (especially grapes);
  • Onion;
  • Garlic.

Some Treats for a Diabetic Dog?

Two or three meals that not everything that your fur friend can have during the day. Constant checking of glucose level and injections could be disturbing, that’s why you should think about the possibility of how to sweeten the pot.

You should get out of treats that have too many carbohydrates or sugar, including all semi-moist advertisement foods and treats that have propylene glycol or ingredients that are similar to it.

Dehydrated meats could be first-rate treats, but avoid those that were made in China. Chicken tenders or strips, or it may also called jerky treats according to many consumers caused kidney failure in dogs. Just imagine what a hit it is to an already damaged organism.

Here is the list of some other products you may use as between-meals treats:

  • dried salmon;
  • hard-boiled eggs;
  • peas (of any kind);
  • carrot sticks;
  • bully sticks;
  • most low-carb treats;
  • plain canned pumpkin;
  • sardines or tuna packed in water.

And remember that those are only treats for your dog. Do not make the separate meal out of it!

What Causes Diabetes in Dogs?

To answer this question, we need to get acquainted with some terminology. Diabetes involves two main constituent parts: glucose and insulin.

Glucose is an engine of cells. Glucose is also a type of sugar that should be observed or in other words delivered to the different organs, and simply make them work.

Insulin is an engine of that delivery system. It is originated in the pancreas and help glucose accompanied with other nutrients not to be lost in the bloodstream.

The destruction of that delivery system is the reason for diabetes appearance. Though, the background for the system failure is still unknown for 100%. Nonetheless, there is a whole list of root causes that can lead to that horrible and incurable sickness.

  1. Morbid obese leads to pancreatitis which in its turn causes the pancreas dysfunctions.
  2. Autoimmune disorders affect the general condition of the dog and have a great negative influence on the organs of your pet.

3.Though gender is only statistically distinguished as an assumption of diabetes, it was found out that female dogs suffer more frequently from this condition in two times than male dogs.

  1. Age is other “irreversible givenness” which can play a dirty trick. Senior dogs are more likely to have diabetes.
  2. The long use of steroid medications is also extremely dangerous for your fluffy buddy.
  3. Another statistics investigation claims that there is a bunch of breeds that among others are leaders in diabetes. So, Pugs, Pomeranians, For Terriers, Beagles, German Shepherds, Dobermans, Poodles, and Labrador Retrievers are known to be the most vulnerable of all.

So, sadly, there are, as you can see, no exact reason for diabetes, and all the above-mentioned factors, to my mind, means only one thing. At any age, regardless of gender or breed, dogs should be treated as children, as an equal member of the family and then, if there are no birth defects, of course, your dog will live a long and happy life!

Stages of Dog Diabetes

Generally, when the food comes to the stomach it divides into some constituent parts such as fats, proteins, and glucose (sugars). This process, which characterized by the converting food to energy, is called metabolism. Diabetes, or in the more scientific way Diabetes mellitus, is the matter of the latter constituent part – glucose. Due to the dysfunction of the pancreas dog have problems with regulating blood sugar levels. As I said earlier, this condition is incurable today. But that doesn’t mean that you could leave it without treatment. The «neglected» disease can lead to such complications as the following:

  • Retinopathy – the blood vessels are changing owing to diabetes that makes them flowing to the dog’s eye.
  • Cataracts – this condition could be treatable with surgery, however, sometimes it leads to the complete blindness.
  • Unitary Infections (Cystitis in particular) – affects diabetic dogs because of the micturition difficulties and big amount of sugar in the urine that makes fertile ground for the bacteria.
  • Overdose of insulin – more doesn’t all the time mean better. Insulin should be injected strictly scheduled. In the opposite situation, your pet could obtain seizures and brain damage.
  • Ketoacidosis – the most severe complication. This condition can lead to diabetic coma when the cells do not have glucose. In this case whether brain swelling or heart failure, unfortunately, is inevitable.

It is also noteworthy, that the above-mentioned conditions may appear without your awareness of diabetes itself. In other terms, these diseases may be just symptoms. You should also keep under the radar and call to your vet if your dog has the following symptoms:

  • Depression;
  • Sudden fatigues;
  • Heavy breath;
  • Skin and mucosal infections;
  • Frequent urination;
  • Weight problems (both unexpected weight loss and weight gain is a reason to ask for expert help);
  • Constant thirst.

There are two types of doggie diabetes:

Type I – Lake of insulin production

The most common type of illness. Though it occurs due to the unknown reasons. In this case, the insulin-producing cells which are situated in the pancreas are attacked by the autoimmune disease. And there is no enough insulin in the dog’s body. The type 1 or in other words insulin-deficiency diabetes, requires shots of insulin daily.

Type II – Insulin-resistance diabetes

Some veterinarians agree that the main reason for diabetes type II development is obesity. In this particular case, there is the plunk of the insulin in the organism and the glucose does not metabolize. Also, it is believed that this type of diabetes is the old dogs’ disease. More than that doctors confirm that it may occur during the pregnancy or on the extreme heat.

How to Prevent Dogs Diabetes?

Even though diabetes is believed to be incurable and even reasons for its appearance are rather debatable, I am sure that this information would be also beneficial. As a matter of a healthy lifestyle at least.


As the obesity marked as the main reason for diabetes, I may say with confidence that this tip is as well as about weight control. Simple every day walk around the house, though it would be better to go a little bit further and maybe meet some new friends, would make a good service. The ordinary stroll controls hormones pathway, generates muscle, and enhances cardiovascular functioning. Well, all the above-mentioned effects would be looked-for not only by dogs. Our fluffy companions, by the way, are predators. The mother nature wanted them to have an energetic lifestyle. That is why the body of dogs originated to do lots of workout day by day. Their bodies flourish when granting with the chance to do aerobics habitually.

Support of the Immune system

Some people believe that health is not valued till sickness comes. I believe that prevention is better than cure, so it is principal to strengthen the dog’s immunity from the moment your pup was born. Let’s face the question head-on – Is vaccination important or useful at all? Of course, the answer is positive! And the earlier you decide this problem the more chances you give to your doggo. Even though vaccines are a vital preventative for disease in your dog, you should find the applicable vaccination calendar, so that your dog’s immune system is not weakened from being over-vaccinated. And surely do not hesitate to ask about the best vaccine your veterinarian.

There is nothing better, in my opinion than insuring yourself against diseases from which it is possible to insure. Yes, I remind you that there is no vaccination against diabetes, but this preventive measure helps with many risky autoimmune diseases. And all of them, by the way, hit hard on the pancreas, the dysfunction of which, in any case, increases the chances of having diabetes in old age.

Disease and Hormone Function

As you already know the prolonged practice of using steroids is one of the factors that make diabetes more likely. Do not go against nature, it will punish you sooner or later anyway. That’s why I would classify artificial muscle building in dogs as a cause of diabetes, and abstaining from this method of “improving the appearance” of your dog is one of the most effective preventive measures.


And here we go again – diet. It is important, even better to say a crucial point in the health of every live creature on the earth. Pay attention to the composition of the food for your dog, not only when it already has diabetes but also when, especially when it does not have it yet. Namely, be afraid of bad carbs like you are afraid of fire and exclude too fatty foods from the diet. The excess of calories, as well as problems with the pancreas – that what can happen. Well, dogs also get used to the delicious. Why should your dog have bad habits?

Necessary Tools for Dogs with Diabetes

Zoetis AlphaTRAK Blood Glucose

As you know testing the insulin level of your dog’s blood is crucial. So these test stripes are irreplaceable things for you as an owner. They are ready to use and extremely simple in consumption. This product is appropriate for both cats and dogs and requires only a little amount of blood sample. Such monitoring will help you to follow the veterinarian’s prescription more accurately. And more than that you don`t need to go to the clinic every time to make a glucose test. It will save you lots of money. It doesn`t cause an allergy and is suitable for all ages. More than that, the majority of consumers are satisfied with these test stripes.

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PetSure Blood Glucose Test Strips

This item is also a reliable way to examine the pet`s blood glucose level. The pack comprises out of 30 or 60 test strips depending on the package. Also, you will find 100 Care Touch lancets. For someone unaware, lancets are small tools that were specially designed for easing the pain while checking your dog`s blood every day. But take to the consideration that it doesn`t suitable for humans at all. Though some customers complain that they haven’t check their pets’ blood level properly as the sticks do not work well, the overwhelming majority on the regarded this product as the best among other similar items.

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Automatic Pet Feeder by Iseebiz

The key element of the dogs with diabetes lifestyle is to eat at fixed hours. This device is a revolutionary dog bowl to pace and arrange up to 4 meals per day. You just must decide on the volume and time when your 4-legged friend should be fed. More than that, there is an in-built voice recorder, which will call your puppy instead of you, when you are at work. Remember that dry food shouldn’t be larger than 1 cm³. In other cases clogging is impossible. Simply do not forget to clean this device every 30-40 days. The rating of the tool is very high. The great majority of people are gratified with the tool.

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Extra tips for dogs with diabetes

  • Calories management

Except for birthday both humans and dogs should be eaten not more than the average amount of calories per day. In the case with dogs in such condition calories management is a necessary thing. Depending on the weight, breed and the liveliness your veterinarian will tell you an exact number of calories per day. Moreover, it is important to know that high-fiber foods will help your dog to eat less, thus feel plump for a long time. On the other hand, a low-fat diet will be also useful as it contains fewer calories.

  • Everything should be confirmed with the vet

Your dog’s nutrition without a doubt should vary. Though, remember that any changes in the diet will in a jiff affect the blood sugar levels. So, just do not forget to call your doggy’s doctor before adding something into its bowl!

  • Watch the time

Diabetes is not only about diet, but it is also about a strict schedule. The insulin-dependent dogs should be given the medicine every 12 hours and fed 2-3 times a day. It is important to give insulin between meals and surely not on an empty stomach!

  • Dog-walking ritual 

Yes, your dog is ill, but that doesn’t mean that it should be excluded from normal pup daily routine. On the contrary, you should play and walk with it, pet it even more. One of the key reasons for diabetes development is extra weight. So, it is preferable to have a special set of dog exercises and make it regularly in the play form. But be careful and do not overdo it. Too intensive workouts can make blood levels get down on the lower border.    


How is diabetes in dogs diagnosed?

As every serious illness diabetes is diagnosed only when there are severe symptoms and the time in the very beginning of the disease is squandered. Sometimes, though it happened with reckless owners often, the dog is delivered to the vet clinic in extremely bad condition with cataracts or, God saves, ketoacidosis. So, the answer is simpler then you can think – whatever happens – visit the doctor first!

Can dogs be diabetic?

Unfortunately, they can. There are many reasons for that, but the main is neglected of the owner. More than that two types out of two need insulin which should be injected regularly.

Can diabetic dogs be treated at home?

Yes, absolutely! And do not believe for those who say that you can`t. Just remember about three pillars that are necessary for dogs on such condition. They are diet (to slow the consumption of the glucose or to lose some weight), workout (regular walks with your doggie), injections (should be made daily according to the strict schedule developed by your dog’s veterinarian ).

How do I care for a diabetic dog?

The first thing to mention should be love!! And only then you can remember about the nutrition, exercises, and injections. It is also very important that all treats should be verified. So, avoid feeding your dog with ordinary foods.

What is the average life expectancy of a diabetic dog?

With a high quality of care, the dog has a chance to live a normal life. Thus it concerns only dogs that obtain diabetes not earlier than 2 years. Little puppies that obtained the disease before their five-month would live for about 2-3 years after that.

What human food can I feed my diabetic dog?

Surely it is better to eat the food that was specially designed for the dog needs. Plus dry food has the complete contamination of all elements that needed. But you can always add some extra protein. The perfect source would be low-fat meat such as chicken or turkey. 

The Final Word

It is obvious that diabetes is tremendously dangerous and even I would say life-threatening sickness. On the other hand, history knows a lot of examples when due to the owner’s love and care dog with such condition ended its life happily in the senility. Well, it’s only up to you. Yes, my dear reader, you’ve heard such smashing news, but take a deep breath, think for a moment, let this news settle in your mind, and look in the eyes of your pet again. You will find there only hope for your kindness and help, for your concern. So, maybe the final and the most important tip out of all – do not hesitate, grab you, fluffy friend, hug it, kiss it, pet it and get out of that vet, who will suggest you euthanize your dog. Call the one that will be ready to fight and just buy everything is needed.

I sincerely hope that you found something useful out of that article. You must also bear in mind the fact that the protraction won`t lead to any result, except the negative one. And what is more, I hope that it is needless to say, that nonprescription diabetic dog food is not safe. Misregulation of injections can lead to such severe conditions as ketoacidosis and overdose of insulin. The conclusion is simple – check the dog’s glucose level daily and visit a vet minimum every 2,5 month if everything is okay.

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