Nowadays, diabetes has become a major health concern in dogs. According to recent research, 1 out of every 200 dogs in the US has diabetes. Diabetes is a serious and chronic disease characterized by improper pancreas function which requires proper and diligent treatment.
The first step to treat diabetes is by feeding your dog with proper food. In this article, we are going to give you some guidelines what you should look before buying diabetic dog food and recommend 3 brands which we believe the best dog food for diabetic dogs available today.
Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs – Comparison Table
**Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Understanding Diabetes in Dogs
We would recommend spending 5 minutes watching the following videos first before reading further since they can help you understand a lot better about diabetes in dogs.
According to WebMD, diabetes in dogs is a complex disease caused by lack of insulin. While the exact cause is still unknown, but we do know from some research that dog diabetes can be influenced heavily by some factors such as autoimmune disease, genetics, obesity, chronic pancreatitis, certain medications and abnormal protein deposits in the pancreas.
Some symptoms of diabetic dogs include excessive thirst, decreased appetite, weight loss, increased urination, lack of energy, depressed attitude, and vomiting. If you notice some of the symptoms described that’s the time to bring your dog to the nearest Vet for further examination.
What Should You Look For Before Buying Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs?
Getting more control over the diet of your dog living with diabetes is one of the most important things you can do to treat the disease effectively, short of injecting insulin at periodic intervals if your dog is really struggling.
It’s critical that you do everything you can to regulate the blood glucose levels of your dog as much as possible, as that will help you to control and treat the symptoms of the disease rather than allowing it to run wild and devastate your animal’s health from the inside out.
Of course, different dog food options out there are going to be smarter choices than others when it comes to effectively treating diabetes in your dog. Not only that, but you’ll also want to make sure that you time the feeding of your dog as intelligently and systematically as possible as well – as this will go a long way towards helping you control insulin levels, too.
Let’s dive right in!
An Ideal Diet for Diabetic Dogs
Premium dog food options are going to contain a considerable amount of protein versus filler ingredients, but they are also going to contain vegetables and other natural ingredients that increase their bioavailability for your dog – which may or may not be a good thing, depending upon their carbohydrate and sugar count.
Obviously, you want to keep the carbs and the sugar levels as low as possible in your dog food while the protein level without allowing it to get too high. Good sources of diabetic dog foods are going to include plenty of healthy fats, keeping the vegetables at an all-time high in these foods to promote a lower Glycemic Index impact in your dog as well.
Ideally, you want to see 30-40% of the calories in your diabetic dog’s food come from protein and less than 30% of calories come from fat and carbohydrates.
Portion Control for Diabetic Dogs
Controlling the amount of food that your dog is consuming is the best way to control your diabetic’s dog sugar level. It is important to feed consistent meals that contain the same portion of calories and ingredients at fixed times each day. Feed them several small meals throughout the day, and time your dog’s insulin injection, generally, many vets will recommend giving insulin within 1 hour after feeding time to control the blood sugar rise.
High Fiber Diet
Some people believe that a high fiber diet can help to slow down the blood sugar fluctuation. The premise is high fiber ingredients (such as oats, pumpkin, and sweet potato) will make your dog feel fuller for a longer time. While it is true that some dogs may be benefited from the high-fiber diet, but there is no scientific evidence that can back up the premise.
Furthermore, some dogs might experience negative side effects from high fiber diets such as decreased appetite, flatulence, diarrhea, and constipation. It is better to add supplemental fiber to your dog’s regular diabetic diet rather than changing to a high-fiber diet completely.
Look for Diabetic-Specific Brand
In fact, it might not be a bad idea to look into diabetic-specific brand options or “flavor runs” from brands that you know you can trust. There are a variety of different manufacturers out there – like Merrick, CORE, Orijen, Purina Veterinarian Diets, Hills Prescription Diet, and Royal Canin – that all have diabetic dog options available with specific formulations of ingredients designed to lower the negative impact of this disease on your furry little family member.
You must always stick with wholesome ingredients and avoid artificial ingredients. This applies to any dog, and even more important for diabetic dogs to stay away from chemical additives since they can do more harm.
Stick with dog foods that provide healthy natural sources of protein as the first ingredients such as chicken, turkey, beef, and fish. And avoid byproducts meats derived from slaughtered, roadkill, and even euthanized animals.
Regular Exercise is Also Important
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to regularly exercise your dog to keep them clean while at the same time avoiding any overfeeding issues. This is when things can get really bad with diabetes, had a situation that you want to do everything in your power to avoid as much as possible.
It may even be advantageous for you to look into quality dog health insurance if your veterinarian accepts it, all in an effort to make sure that your dog is able to enjoy as long and as happy a life as possible as part of your family!
The Best 5 Dog Foods for Diabetic Dogs
1. ROYAL CANIN Glycobalance Dry Dog Food
- Controlled amounts of fat
- Balanced fiber blend to moderate your pet's glycemic response and reduce the symptoms of fiber-responsive conditions
The Royal Canin Glycobalance Dry Dog Food (link to Amazon) has been hailed for years as the best dog food for diabetic dogs. This dog food has been specifically designed with a specific formula to control your dog’s blood sugar level. While we don’t know the exact formula but we do know the formula used in making this dog food follows the exact same principles that we outlined before.
This dog food contains complex carbohydrates that has an overall low glycemic index content. Carbs with low glycemic index are more slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolized and cause a lower and slower rise in blood sugar level. The food is also enriched with a blend of different fibers which help to moderate dog’s glycemic response and alleviate any digestive issue.
2. Orijen Original Dry Dog Food
- ORIJEN Original dog food delivers a diet rich and varied in fresh, whole animal ingredients from free-run chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, and cage-free eggs
- With 85% quality animal ingredients, ORIJEN nourishes dogs according to their natural, biological needs
The Orijen Original Dry Dog Food (link to Amazon) offers plenty of high-quality protein sources and low glycemic index carbohydrates. While the food is not specifically designed for diabetic dogs, but the ingredients content contained inside fits well for diabetic dogs. In fact, this dog food contains 38% protein and 20% low glycemic index carbohydrates.
The protein sources come from turkey, chicken, fish, and eggs and supported with several low-glycemic carbohydrates such as whole green peas, whole navy beans, whole red lentils, and more. Not forget to mention the addition of plenty of fibers in form of kale, spinach, whole pumpkin, and more.
3. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- Grain Free: 100 percent Grain Free, Complete And Balanced Everyday Nutrition For Your Dog
- Protein Focused Nutrition: Naturally Grain Free, Rich With Delicious Premium Proteins Including Turkey And Chicken Combined With Real Vegetables And Essential Vitamins And Minerals
The Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food (link to Amazon) is a grain-free dog food which contains high-quality proteins including turkey and chicken. This food doesn’t contain byproduct meats, wheat, corn, soy, or any other artificial colors, flavors, or additives.
It is packed with fruits and vegetables such as spinach, kale, and sweet potatoes to help control your dog’s glucose levels in check. Not forget to mention there are four different probiotics, omega fatty acids, and a variety of antioxidant-rich foods included. While this dog food is not specifically designed for diabetic dogs, but the ingredients contained make the food great for diabetic dogs.
Royal Canin Glycobalance Dry Dog Food is our recommendation for the best dog food for diabetic dogs. The food that is made with Royal Canin’s secret formula along with high-quality ingredients has been proven to effectively control blood sugar level of many diabetic dogs.