The Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs

Written by Opal
Updated: January 10, 2023
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Best forProduct
Best for Adult DogsRoyal Canin Glycobalance Dog Food
Best for PuppiesWellness CORE Canned Dog Food
Best For Senior DogsTaste of the Wild Southwest Canyon

Key Points:

  • The #1 Best Overall dog food for diabetic dogs is the Royal Canin Glycobalance Dog Food.
  • 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.
  • Carbs give your pup energy but can be dangerous for the diabetic dog. Diabetic dog food contains slow-release carbs over “white” grains.

If you have a pooch with diabetes, what they eat is incredibly important. Their diet needs to be highly-monitored and they likely need insulin injections to keep their blood sugar at a proper level. 

As diabetes is incurable, it’s a disease you’ll have to manage for the entirety of your dog’s life. The ingredients in your dog’s food will 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’ve scoured the web to find the ultimate list of the best dog foods for diabetic dogs. We’ll discuss our top picks as well as the importance of being mindful of carbs. Let’s get started!

  1. Royal Canin Glycobalance Dog Food
  2. 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
  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. Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon
  6. 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 which aids digestion
    • Packed with protein and fatty acids to promote muscle health and happy joints
    Check Amazon

#1 Best Overall: Royal Canin Glycobalance Dry Dog Food

Our selection as the best overall choice for diabetic dogs is the Royal Canin Glycobalance Dry Dog Food.

This veterinary-exclusive diet is uniquely formulated to control glucose levels while helping your dog to maintain a healthy weight. It has a moderate fat content but a high protein content (35%) to help to maintain lean muscles. It also has reduced levels of starch but it rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to promote overall good-health.

Although this is undoubtedly top-notch food, it is only available on prescription and it is an expensive option.

Pros and Cons of the Royal Canin Glycobalance Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This food contains 35% protein to maintain lean muscles.This food is prescription-only.
It has a low fat content to help dogs maintain a healthy weight.It is an expensive option.
It is uniquely formulated to help control glucose levels.
This food has reduced levels of starch.
It contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to promote well-being.
Best Overall
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

2. Best for Puppies: Wellness CORE Canned Dog Food

Do you have a puppy with diabetes? If so, Wellness CORE Canned Dog Food is a great choice for them.

We chose this food because it makes feeding a diabetic dog simple. Just because your dog has diabetes it doesn’t mean that feeding time has to be complicated. 

This food contains real turkey as its main source of protein. It also contains antioxidant-rich superfoods such as spinach to create a tasty yet healthy food for your pup. This food is also packed full of vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids to make it nutritious and completely balanced too. Not only that, but the high-quality carbs in this food boost growth without affecting blood sugar levels.

This food can be fed as a stand-alone meal or mixed with wet food. It is completely grain free and does not contain any wheat, corn, soy, or meat by-products. It is also free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. However, it’s important to remember that a grain-free option does not suit every dog. The only other drawback to this product is that some customers have reported it to have a mushy consistency at times.

Pros and Cons of the Wellness CORE Canned Dog Food

ProsCons
This food contains real turkey as the first ingredient.A grain-free diet does not suit every dog.
It contains antioxidant-rich superfoods.It sometimes has a mushy consistancy.
This food is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids.
The high-quality carbs in this food boost growth without affecting blood sugar levels.
This food is completely grain-free.
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 for Seniors: Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon 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! Plus, each can also contains real fruit and veggies that provide all the vitamins and minerals that your senior needs to thrive. Not only that, but the prebiotic fiber in this wet food is great for dogs needing help with their digestion. 

This food also has plenty of protein in each can that helps keep your old pup’s muscles strong and lean. There are also plenty of omega fatty acids in each bite to promote a health coat, skin, and joints. Also, unlike many other dog foods on the market, Taste of the Wild includes antioxidants from natural sources. 

Unfortunately, some customers have reported that some cans are contain less meat and more gravy than they expected.

Pros and Cons of the Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Canned Dog Food

ProsCons
This food contains prebiotic fiber to support digestion.Some cans contain less meat and more gravy than expected.
There are several flavors available.
It contains antioxidants from natural sources.
It contains omega fatty acids to promote a healthy coat, skin, and joints.
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 which aids 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 the diet of a diabetic dog are so important, we wanted to focus mainly on that when teaching dog parents what to look for when choosing a dog food for them. Let’s take a look at some of the most essential things 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 full 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 your dog 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, time your pup’s dinners to coincide with their insulin injection. 

Up Next

Best forProduct
Best for Adult DogsRoyal Canin Glycobalance Dog Food
Best for PuppiesWellness CORE Canned Dog Food
Best For Senior DogsTaste of the Wild Southwest Canyon
About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs 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 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. 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.

 

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