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The Best Foods for Diabetic Dogs


You might be surprised to know that your dog is suffering from diabetes. Many people assume that diabetes is only a human health concern, but dogs are also prone to the disease.

Prompt care and a balanced diet can help manage your pet’s diabetes.

Understanding What Your Pet is Suffering From

Diabetes results from either insufficient insulin production or an inability of cells to respond to it. The former, Type I diabetes, is more common among dogs than Type II, the latter.

A dog’s cells, like humans, need energy to thrive. But where does this energy come from?

The cells use glucose, taken through diet, as the primary source of energy. The pancreas releases a glucose regulating hormone, Insulin. This hormone is the most essential one to balance the amount of glucose in blood. In case of Type I diabetes, insulin is not produced to digest glucose.

Thus, glucose stays in blood and causes hyperglycemia.

This is how your dog might get diabetic. And now he or she may require insulin for the rest of their life.

Managing Diabetes Through Diet

Though Type I diabetes is not caused by diet, but it can be managed with diet.

Remember, the pancreas is not making enough insulin. So now you have to be careful to feed your dog food that induces insulin creation.

As their owner, it is your responsibility to develop an understanding of a healthy dog diet for diabetes. To help you, below we have provided a list of such food.

Before you select a healthy diet for your cuddling pet, you need to look for a diet that is low on all: carbs, fats and fibers.

Commercial Dog Food

There are a number of competitive brands that offer reliable and healthy food that can help manage your dog’s diabetes.

Orijen Dry Dog Food

Orijen has always been a famous and trusted brand for pet foods. This particular food type is best for your diabetic dog because of its richness in protein. The ingredients used in the recipe are also fresh. The major sources of protein in this dog food is chicken, fish or turkey. The best feature is that the diet is free from any additives. The food also contains vegetables or fruits, all organic in nature. So Orijen dry dog food is a balanced diabetic food choice.

However, it does have a higher price tag than most dog foods, understandably.

Orijen Six Fish Grain Free Adult Dog Food

Diabetes may cause your pet to lose weight surprisingly. That’s of course a matter of concern for you.

Feeding your dog with Orijen Six Fish Grain-free diet can help dog gain weight immediately and boost the muscles too. It is rich in proteins, coming through fish meat.

Acana Heritage Free Run Poultry Formula

Acana promises to keep your dog healthy, happy and strong. And the Free-Run poultry formula is the proof.

Acana dog food is loaded with 60% poultry meat of three types:

  • - Free run Cobb chicken
  • - Free-run Tom Turkey
  • - Nest laid eggs

The first two meat types come as meat, giblets and cartilage whereas the nest laid eggs are whole and fresh from local farms.

Acana emphasizes proteins and less carbs. Thus, it is a great option for your diabetic dog.

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

What a perfect diet for a dog with diabetes!

A 100% grain free diet, Wellness Core is a perfectly balanced and complete meal for a dog. Combined with essential vitamins and minerals, this meal has maximum proteins of chicken or turkey along with real fruits and vegetables.

The product is completely free from wheat, corn or soy, colors or any additional preservatives. Another feature making this food ideal for diabetic dogs is the presence of probiotics and antioxidants. The fibers present in it in the form of spinach, sweet potatoes, etc. are able to keep the glucose level balanced.

Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food

The original red meat buffalo plus sweet potato recipe is another option for a diabetic dog.

Free from grain sensitivity, this diet is rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, essential for skin and overall canine health.

Real deboned buffalo protein is what your dog will love. Buffalo protein eases out gastrointestinal health and balancing glucose levels. It also is enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin for additional health benefits.

This dog food is also free from additional preservatives.

Nutro Adult Lite Weight Loss Dog Food Chicken, Brown Rice and Oatmeal

Nutro Healthy adult dry food is a healthy formula carrying lamb and whole brown rice. It offers exactly what a diabetic dog needs with no extra calories.

The food is formulated not just with pasture-fed lamb, but contains omega 6 fatty acid, zinc and vitamin B. Thus, it proves to be a complete dietary package for your pet.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Glycobalance

A purposefully designed formula for diabetic dogs!

This diet is designed to help balance blood sugar levels after meals. Primarily made with chicken and barley, this formula yields a low glycemic index. It is famous as a perfect balance of both soluble and insoluble fiber, hence a recommended recipe for weight management among dogs. It also contains vitamins and minerals.

Home-Made Diabetic Dog Food

Diabetic dog food is not only available on the market. It can also be made at home. Although home recipes are notorious for being hard to prepare, in reality this isn’t true. These recipes can be super easy as well as effective.

Turkey and Fresh Veggies

This is a common home-made recipe: Turkey, spinach, carrots, pumpkins and cinnamon. Mix all the ingredients well and keep them in a dehydrating pan for 6 hours to overnight at 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chicken with Asparagus

Your diabetic dog will love this treat of chicken with asparagus and broccoli. It calls for 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes, mixed with asparagus, chicken stock, parsley and broccoli. Simmer the ingredients till tender and add cooked brown rice.

Tips for Managing Diabetes Using Diet

Remember, with Type I diabetes, there is no single recommended diet to use. But by following certain rules, you can help your dog live a longer and healthier life.

  • - Try feeding your dog at the same time in the same amount every day. Usually pets need food twice a day. Set the schedule and follow it strictly. Discipline is very important to regulate and control levels of insulin in your dog’s body.
  • - Keep a check and balance on carbohydrates and fibers intake.
  • - Don’t keep your dog away from eating fats unless they have other health issues like pancreatitis, high triglycerides, etc.
  • - Keep the protein source elevated when your dog is battling with diabetes.
  • - Never treat your dog with surprise meals at random. This will disturb glucose digestion and insulin balance in their body.

Managing Diabetes In Other Ways

Remember diet is not the only way to deal with diabetes in dogs. Dogs’ health can be managed well by keeping them lean.

The more calories your pet takes in, the higher the chances are for diabetes complexities. So, once you are wary of the number of calories given to your pet through diet, focus on the movements of your pet, as well.

For example, take your dog for a walk!

Walking and regular exercising can help a lot in keeping your pup fit. Follow the same discipline rule here again. Let your dog walk at the same time daily for the same distance and intensity. But don’t make the exercise effort too tiring as it may cause the blood sugar to drop too quickly.

The Final Word

Helping your pup manage their diabetes can seem difficult at first, but if you know what to do and get into a routine, it becomes easy and normal.

So, you and your four-legged partner with a little wagging tail can enjoy a healthy and exciting life!

Author Bio:

Mike Mark is a owner of a small pet house and a professional dog trainer as well who enjoys writing blog posts in his spare time and currently works at Pet Vet Animal Hospitals. I have been blogging here since the summer of 2015.

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