The Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs for 2022

Written by Kirstin Opal
Updated: September 10, 2022

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Key Points:

  • If you have a diabetic dog, what they eat is of great importance for maintaining healthy blood sugar.
  • An increase of soluble fiber in a dog’s diet can slow down the absorption of glucose. If your vet recommends this, find a dog food high in fiber, but make the transition slow while monitoring for GI issues.
  • Look for protein-rich varieties, as diabetic dog food usually replaces unneeded carbs with more meat.
  • Carbs give your pup energy but can be dangerous for the diabetic dog. Slow-release carbs are recommended over “white” grains.
  • Watch your dog’s fat intake. Obesity in diabetic dogs can lead to further issues.
  • Feed your diabetic dog 2-3 times a day on a regular schedule to avoid drops in insulin levels.

If you have a pooch with diabetes, what they eat is incredibly important. Their diet should be highly-monitored by their pet parent, along with insulin injections to keep your dog’s blood sugar at proper levels. 

Because diabetes is incurable, it’s a disease you’ll have to manage for the entirety of your dog’s life. We’ve scoured the web to find the ultimate list of the best dog foods for diabetic dogs. 

The ingredients in their kibble have a direct effect on their blood sugar. You’ll want to find a food that’s high in protein, with enough fat to keep your dog happy and healthy. We’ll discuss our top four picks for diabetic dog food and the importance of being mindful of carbs. 

Below you’ll find in-depth, honest reviews, pros and cons of diabetic dog food, and a look into real-life experiences from pet parents that have already been using the foods we’ve reviewed. Let’s start out with our number one choice! 

  1. Ketona Chicken Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food, Natural, Low Carb (only 5%), High Protein (46%), Grain-Free, The Nutrition of a Raw Diet with The Cost and Convenience of a Kibble; 4.2lb
  2. Ketona Chicken Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food, Natural, Low Carb (only 5%), High Protein (46%), Grain-Free, The Nutrition of a Raw Diet with The Cost and Convenience of a Kibble; 4.2lb
    • 85% fewer carbs that other top brand grain-free foods
    • Chicken-based kibble is high-protein
    • Added vitamins and minerals for optimal nutrition
    • No antibiotics or GMOs
    Check Amazon
  3. Wellness CORE Canned Dog Food
  4. Wellness CORE Canned Dog Food
    • Fish and flaxseed provide beneficial omega-3 fatty acids
    • High-protein turkey recipe PLUS spinach
    • Wet food can be served alone or mixed with kibble
    • High-quality carbs don't spike blood sugars but boost puppy growth
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Royal Canin Glycobalance Dog Food
  6. Royal Canin Glycobalance Dog Food
    • Specifically designed formula includes fat and fiber
    • Complex carbs control glycemic response
    • Prescription-required food is top-notch
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon
  8. Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon
    • Wet food is easy to consume for older dogs
    • Available in several meaty flavor options
    • Contains pre-biotic fiber aids in digestion
    • Packed with protein and fatty acids to promote muscle health and happy joints
    Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

Because the ingredients in diabetic dog food are so important, we wanted to focus mainly on that when teaching dog parents what to look for when choosing a dog food. Let’s take a look at some of the most essential macros to keep your pooch healthy.

Fiber

The absorption of glucose into the blood can be slowed by increasing soluble fiber. If your veterinarian suggests boosting fiber, your diabetic dog will benefit from dog food that maintains blood glucose levels without rapid peaks and eventual drops. 

Several mainstream dog kibbles are deficient in fiber and contain fillers such as wheat and rice, which are abundant in carbs but poor in fiber. High fiber foods can promote weight loss in dogs that are otherwise healthy, and they can have some negative effects in dogs, such as lack of appetite, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

Adverse effects from high-fiber dog meals are far more likely to occur if the boost in fiber occurs abruptly, therefore it’s always better to gradually introduce new dog foods. If your veterinarian recommends adding more fiber to your dog’s diet, start simply by mixing in a little amount of the new food with their regular meal. 

Continue to keep a watch on your dog throughout this period to ensure that the increased fiber contents aren’t giving them any gastrointestinal issues, and to watch their blood sugar levels more closely. 

Since fiber takes a lot of water from the body, it can induce diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues. Ensure you always have drinkable water on hand.  

Protein

You may also choose a grain-free variety, that will have a larger amount of protein from meat or fish origins and will not include high carbohydrate components such as maize, rye, corn, or soy. These products are made to look like a wild dog’s natural diet, and the high protein content will keep them satiated for longer.

Carbs

Carbohydrates are a type of substance that your pet’s body uses to produce energy. Slow-release carbs are preferable for diabetic dogs since they do not cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. Remove starchy ‘white’ carbohydrates like flour, corn, maize, and potatoes in marketed dog diets if your dog has diabetes

Any change in carbohydrate levels when altering your dog’s diet will influence the quantity of insulin required, according to veterinarians, so anticipate a lot of trial and error at the start of your diabetic healthy diet plan. This approach, though, will be worthwhile if you’ve found a feeding plan that both you and your pooch enjoy and can stick to.

Many various types of soft, wet dog meals that come in packets must be avoided by dog owners since they are typically heavy in sugar and poor in fiber, making things worse for diabetic dogs.

Fats 

Extra weight in pets can raise the risk of further health concerns in diabetic dogs, so if your canine is overweight, you should either gradually introduce a lower-calorie meal or decrease food portions somewhat if they are fussy eaters. 

Choose a high-quality brand with enough protein and no additives when looking for low-fat dog food. When fat in a dog’s diet is lowered, it’s typically suggested that protein be raised somewhat to avoid carbohydrate replacement.

Feeding Time

Feed Fido at regular times two to three times per day, and be sure to stick to the same schedule each day. This will keep your dog’s blood sugar levels consistent and enable you to establish a regimen. If your pet’s blood sugar levels drop too low between mealtime, it’s fine to offer them a nutritious snack or vet-recommended dog treats to get them back on track. 

It’s critical to serve steady meals at certain times each day to keep your diabetic pet’s sugar levels in check. To help battle a rise in blood sugar caused by dog food, timing your pup’s dinners to coincide with their insulin injection. 

The Different Types of Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs: Pros and Cons Compared

If you have a dog with diabetes, there are a couple of types of dog food on the market. Let’s take a look at what makes each one great, along with what they could improve upon. 

Soft Dog Food 

ProsCons
Easy to chewDoesn’t keep for long
Great for puppies and seniorsCan be spendy
Often tastes better than kibble
Available in many flavors 

Dry Dog Food 

ProsCons 
Available in larger quantities Some are by prescription only
More affordable Can be hard to eat for dogs with dental issues 
Comes in several flavors and sizes 

Our Criteria: How We Chose the Best

Finding the right food for your pooch can be life-changing. What you feed your diabetic dog is crucial to their overall health. Ketona, our top choice, has been known to help dogs maintain morning blood sugars between 100-150. Dogs love the flavor and texture too! We approve of the kibble size; it is small enough for a small dog to eat with ease. The right food for your diabetic dog can save its life.

Keeping insulin at proper levels can be difficult. Having the right dog food can make it a bit easier and take some of the stress away for you. Transitioning from their current food to a better choice from our list doesn’t have to be hard either. It may take up to two weeks. One user was able to reduce the amount of insulin they gave their dog by 25% by switching to one on our list. We care about your dog thriving. Replacing insulin injections with nourishing food is every diabetic dog parent’s goal.

Lastly, big dogs and little pups of all ages and breeds can enjoy the tasty and healthy choices listed above. From little Yorkies to Golden Retrievers, dogs of all sizes will benefit from our selections.

#1 Overall Best Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs: Ketona Chicken Recipe Dry Food

Taking the top spot for the overall best dog food for diabetic dogs is Ketona Chicken Recipe Dry Food. One reason that we love it is that it has 85% fewer carbs than other popular grain-free dog foods on shelves today.

Whether you have a puppy, an adult dog, or a senior pooch with diabetes, it is critical that you feed them the proper diet every single day. Ketona Chicken Recipe Dry Food contains premium ingredients that are specifically designed for dogs with diabetes. 

It’s packed with a plethora of tasty and high-quality protein to keep your dog full and its muscles strong. Ketona chooses to use only natural ingredients found from sustainable sources. 

Dogs of all sizes can enjoy the chicken-based kibble. It has added minerals and vitamins for your dog’s overall health. There aren’t any antibiotics of GMO’s found in Ketona kibble. For these reasons and more, it’s our overall best choice! 

Best Overall
Ketona Chicken Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food, Natural, Low Carb (only 5%), High Protein (46%), Grain-Free, The Nutrition of a Raw Diet with The Cost and Convenience of a Kibble; 4.2lb
  • 85% fewer carbs that other top brand grain-free foods
  • Chicken-based kibble is high-protein
  • Added vitamins and minerals for optimal nutrition
  • No antibiotics or GMOs
Check Amazon

#2 Best Dog Food for Diabetic Puppies: Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Dog Food

Do you have a puppy with diabetes? If so, Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Dog Food is a great choice for them. Many pet owners have said they’ve noticed positive changes in their dogs right away after switching to this soft food for puppies. 

You can use the food as a meal alone or you can mix it with dry food. We all know how picky some dogs can be and Wellness CORE makes the switch easy. The mineral levels are closely regulated to ensure your dog’s metabolism works to the best of its ability. 

We chose Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Dog Food because it makes feeding a diabetic dog simple. Just because your dog has this condition doesn’t mean feeding time has to be complicated. 

There are fish and flaxseeds packed with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy acids benefit your pup’s vision, skin health, gut health, hair, and joints! There are no unnecessary animal by-products used as fillers in this food either. 

Wellness CORE uses high-quality carbohydrates to help your puppy grow without increasing their blood sugar. There’s no wonder why this tasty wet dog food made the cut! 

Best for Puppies
Wellness CORE Canned Dog Food
  • Fish and flaxseed provide beneficial omega-3 fatty acids
  • High-protein turkey recipe PLUS spinach
  • Wet food can be served alone or mixed with kibble
  • High-quality carbs don't spike blood sugars but boost puppy growth
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#3 Best Dog Food for Diabetic Adult Dogs: Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Glycobalance Dry Dog Food

While our overall top choice is great for dogs of all ages, if you’re looking for a second option that works well for adult dogs with diabetes, consider Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Glycobalance Dry Dog Food.

Royal Canin is known for its premium dog food made for specific breeds and health ailments. The people behind this kibble work hard to make sure every ingredient in each bite serves a purpose. 

There is a controlled amount of fiber and fat in Royal Canin’s dog food for diabetes. This helps to regulate your pooch’s glycemic response in addition to complex carbohydrates. One thing to note about this brand is that it’s very expensive. 

You’re paying for the utmost quality when it comes to diabetes-friendly dog food. Another thing to keep in mind is that you’ll require a prescription from your vet to buy Royal Canin. It’s a great choice to mindlessly feed Fido a perfectly balanced diet. 

Best for Adult Dogs
Royal Canin Glycobalance Dog Food
  • Specifically designed formula includes fat and fiber
  • Complex carbs control glycemic response
  • Prescription-required food is top-notch
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#4 Best Dog Food for Diabetic Senior Dogs: Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Grain-Free Recipe Canned Dog Food

Last but certainly not least, we’ve found a delicious diabetic-friendly dog food for older dogs. Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Canned Dog Food is a wet dog food that’s easy for senior dogs to eat. 

There are several tasty flavors available including lamb, venison, salmon, bison, duck, and wild boar! No matter which one you choose, the reviews speak for themselves when it comes to how much dogs love the taste. The prebiotic fiber in this wet food is great for dogs needing help with their digestion. 

It has a healthy dose of protein in each can that helps keep your old pup’s muscles strong and lean. There are fatty acids in each bite that are beneficial to Fido’s coat, skin, and joints. Unlike many other dog foods on the market, Taste of the Wild includes antioxidants from natural sources. 

Best For Senior Dogs
Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon
  • Wet food is easy to consume for older dogs
  • Available in several meaty flavor options
  • Contains pre-biotic fiber aids in digestion
  • Packed with protein and fatty acids to promote muscle health and happy joints
Check Amazon

Summary of the Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs

RankBest ForProduct
1OverallKetona Chicken Recipe Dry Food
2PuppiesWellness CORE Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Dog Food
3AdultRoyal Canin Veterinary Diet Glycobalance Dry Dog Food
4SeniorsTaste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Grain-Free Recipe Canned Dog Food

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs, her 14-year-old dog, or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

The Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs for 2022 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

When a dog develops diabetes, what happens? 

Excessive urination and thirst are caused by the body’s attempt to eliminate excess sugar by excreting it in the urine together with water that binds to the sugar. Loss of weight. Despite eating regular meals, the dog might lose weight.

 

Is it possible to treat diabetes in dogs? 

Diabetes is an incurable condition in dogs that must be regularly watched and managed in order for your pet to live as long as possible.

 

Do diabetic dogs require special nutrition? 

A diabetic dog will be OK eating it as long as it is a high-quality, full, and balanced diet. If you haven’t been paying attention to your pet’s nutrition, consult your veterinarian for advice on a healthy diet. Foods high in simple sugars should be avoided.

 

Are eggs beneficial to diabetic dogs? 

Yes, eggs are healthy for diabetic dogs since they are a rich source of protein and do not cause blood sugar levels to rise. One of the cornerstones to general health is eating the right, nutritious, and well-balanced diet.