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The 8 Best Dog Foods For Diabetic Dogs In 2024

It can be shocking and overwhelming to learn that your beloved dog has been diagnosed with diabetes.

The good news is that with proper nutrition, lifestyle, and care, your dog can lead a long and healthy life. By providing the right diet, you can effectively manage your diabetic dog's blood sugar levels.

BestForPets has evaluated and chosen the best dog foods for diabetic dogs to assist you in selecting the optimal options for your diabetic dog.

However, it is essential to consult with your veterinarian before making any dietary modifications for your pet.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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A Rapid Look at Our Preferred Picks

Image Product View on Amazon
1 Hill's Prescription Diet w/d Hill's Prescription Diet w/d View on Amazon
2 Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe View on Amazon
3 Visionary Pet Foods Visionary Pet Foods View on Amazon
4 ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food View on Amazon
5 ACANA Grain Free Dry Dog Food ACANA Grain Free Dry Dog Food View on Amazon
6 Dave's Pet Food Dave's Pet Food View on Amazon
7 Hill's Science Diet Wet Dog Food Hill's Science Diet Wet Dog Food View on Amazon
8 Wellness CORE Grain-Free High-Protein Dry Dog Food Wellness CORE Grain-Free High-Protein Dry Dog Food View on Amazon

Reviews

1. Hill’s Prescription Diet with Multi-Benefit Supplements

Hill's Prescription Diet w/d

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  • Whole grain wheat, powdered cellulose, and chicken meal are the first three ingredients.
  • Food Type: Dry food
  • Adult life stage

Hill's Prescription Diet is a specialized diet developed by veterinarians for dogs with digestive issues.

This diet is formulated by veterinarians and nutritionists to address various conditions, including weight management, glucose management, digestive health, and urinary health.

The effectiveness of this diet has been supported by clinical evidence and has shown positive results in managing obesity and blood sugar levels in many dogs.

However, it is important to regularly consult with your veterinarian to ensure that your dog’s diet is providing the necessary health benefits.

It is worth noting that premium quality comes with a higher price, which may accumulate over time.

Furthermore, purchasing this product online requires a prescription from your veterinarian, which can be a time-consuming process for some pet owners.

The Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit is specially formulated to address multiple conditions, including fiber, weight, and glucose management, as well as digestive and urinary health.

It contains therapeutic levels of L-carnitine, which supports lipid metabolism and helps maintain lean muscle mass.

The combination of soluble and insoluble fiber, along with controlled calorie intake, promotes healthy weight management. Additionally, controlled levels of magnesium and sodium contribute to urinary tract health.

Veterinarians in the United States highly recommend and trust Hill’s Prescription Diet. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if the Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit is suitable for your dog.

Hill’s Prescription Diet aims to provide your furry friend with love, quality, and optimal health in every delicious meal.

Pros

High fiber and protein content

Effective in assisting fat dogs in losing weight

This meal is more easily digested by most dogs than other alternatives

Cons

Extremely costly

Only with a prescription is this medication available


2. Puppy Formula Taste of the Wild High Prairie

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe

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  • Water buffalo, lamb meal, and sweet potatoes are the first three ingredients.
  • Food Type: Dry food
  • Life Stage: Puppy

Taste of the Wild High Prairie is a premium dry dog food specifically designed for canines.

This grain-free diet is formulated with high-quality protein sources, such as bison and lamb, to provide optimal nutrition for your furry companion.

Our High Prairie puppy formula is packed with essential nutrients to support your puppy’s growth and development.

With real meat as the first ingredient, it offers a high protein content of 28%, promoting strong muscles and healthy bones and joints. It is also suitable for nursing or pregnant mothers who require additional nourishment.

We understand that puppies can have sensitive stomachs, so our formula is free from grains, wheat, soy, and other potential irritants. This ensures that your puppy’s digestive system remains healthy and happy.

However, it is important to note that not all dogs require a grain-free diet. It is always advisable to consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet.

Their guidance will help determine if Taste of the Wild High Prairie is the right choice for your puppy.

In addition to its high-quality ingredients, our puppy formula is fortified with nutrients, providing essential vitamins and minerals to support your dog’s overall health.

Omega fatty acids promote a shiny coat and healthy skin, while our proprietary probiotics, antioxidants, and prebiotics aid in digestion, immune support, and overall wellness.

As a family-owned business, we take pride in producing our products in the United States using premium ingredients sourced from reputable domestic and international suppliers.

We prioritize the health of your companion and strive to provide them with the proper nutrition.

Choose the tasty and nutritious Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy for your furry friend. Feed your puppy a diet that supports their growth, vitality, and overall health for the best possible start in life.

Taste of the Wild will help your puppy flourish with our expertise.

Pros

The first component is real beef

Made with high-quality ingredients sourced locally and globally

There are no grains, maize, wheat, artificial tastes, or colors

Even the pickiest puppies enjoy this chow

Cons

Berries and carbohydrates are present

Grain-free formula may be more difficult for some puppies to digest


3. Keto Visionary Pet Foods

Visionary Pet Foods

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  • Chicken meal, chicken, and chicken fat are the first three ingredients.
  • Food Type: Dry food
  • Adult life stage

Visionary Pet Foods is a brand dedicated to providing high-quality, specialized nutrition for dogs. Our grain-free, low-carbohydrate, high-protein dry dog food is ideal for maintaining a dog’s healthy weight and digestive system.

It is especially beneficial for diabetic canines because the extremely low carbohydrate content helps maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Visionary Pet Foods stands out by using limited ingredients, ensuring easily digestible food that is free of preservatives or additives that could cause allergic reactions or skin irritations.

Our carefully formulated recipe ensures consistent nutritional value and quality in every bag.

In addition to being grain-free, our formula is also free of artificial flavors, harmful compounds, and preservatives.

We prioritize the use of real chicken meat, providing a delicious flavor that dogs love without compromising their health. We believe in feeding your furry companion a natural and nutritious diet.

To promote healthy digestion and reduce the risk of choking, our dry dog food has a large particle size. This encourages dogs to thoroughly chew their food, ensuring proper digestion and enjoyment of their meal.

Our formula is suitable for large, medium, and small dog breeds, providing optimal nutrition for canines of all sizes.

It is important to note that while our low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet can be highly beneficial for many dogs, some dogs may experience bloating or excessive thirst, especially if the diet is changed too quickly.

Always consult with your veterinarian to ensure that this option is suitable for your dog’s specific needs and health conditions.

Choose Visionary Pet Foods for a grain-free, low-carbohydrate, and high-protein dry dog food that prioritizes the health and nutrition of your dog.

With our limited-ingredient formula and commitment to quality, your furry companion will receive the highest-quality nutrition to support their overall health.

Trust in our expertise and provide your dog with the proper nutrition they deserve with Visionary Pet Foods.

Pros

Extremely low carbohydrate

Made in the United States

Protein content is really high

Cons

Expensive

Some dogs may experience bloating and excessive thirst


4. ORIJEN Grain-Free Original

ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food

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  • The first three ingredients are chicken, turkey, and flounder.
  • Food Type: Dry food
  • Adult life stage

Orijen is a highly respected and popular dog food brand among pet owners. They offer a grain-free variety that is packed with an exceptional amount of high-quality protein and contains only a minimal amount of carbohydrates.

This makes it an excellent option for diabetic dogs who require a low-carb diet.

It is important to note, however, that Orijen’s premium quality comes at a higher price, which may deter some potential customers.

Additionally, the size of the kibbles may pose a challenge for small dogs, and some dogs may be selective and reject these high-quality ingredients, despite their suitability for the majority of dogs.

To address these concerns, it is recommended to start with a smaller bag and test it with your dog before purchasing a larger quantity.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the Orijen Amazing Grains Original Dry Dog Food. This grain-free, nutrient-dense formula is specifically designed to support your dog’s immune system, digestion, skin, and coat throughout all life stages.

It is meticulously prepared using the most succulent and nutrient-rich parts of the prey. In fact, it contains an impressive 85 percent animal protein and includes Orijen’s unique WholePrey ingredients, such as organs and bones.

The first five ingredients in this dry dog food are free-range chicken, free-range turkey, flounder, whole mackerel, and chicken liver.

These ingredients provide an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals for your furry companion.

Orijen takes pride in sourcing high-quality ingredients from around the world and manufacturing their dry dog food in the United States.

Choose Orijen for a premium grain-free dry dog food that prioritizes the health and happiness of your pet.

With its carefully selected ingredients and emphasis on quality, Orijen provides the nutrition your dog deserves. Trust in our expertise and give your dog Orijen.

Pros

Probiotics are present

Made in the United States from natural ingredients

Fresh flesh, organs, cartilage, and bone are all included

Cons

Kibbles may be too large for little dogs to chew

Expensive


5. Recipe for ACANA Red Meat

ACANA Grain Free Dry Dog Food

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  • The first three ingredients are beef, deboned pork, and beef meal.
  • Food Type: Dry food
  • Adult life stage

Acana is a reputable and popular brand among dog owners and their canine companions. Acana offers a Red Meat Recipe that includes high-quality protein sources such as beef and pork.

This recipe also contains a significant amount of fiber from vegetables, beans, and fruits, which is beneficial for overall digestive health.

However, it is important to note that this particular recipe has a higher carbohydrate content compared to other alternatives, which may not be optimal for diabetic dogs.

Acana is considered a premium brand in terms of price, especially when compared to brands recommended by veterinarians.

Additionally, some dog owners have reported that their dogs have avoided this meal for unknown reasons, most likely due to individual preferences in flavor and texture.

Each 25-pound bag of Acana Grain-Free Red Meat Recipe Dry Dog Food is made with high-quality red meat. It contains a high amount of protein, with sixty percent of its ingredients sourced from high-quality animal sources.

The remaining forty percent consists of nutritious fruits, vegetables, and nutrients, including fiber, which promotes digestive health.

To enhance palatability, the kibble is coated with a freeze-dried coating that adds a flavorful taste that dogs crave. This recipe also includes Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which promote healthy skin and a glossy coat.

The combination of protein-rich animal ingredients, whole fruits, and nutrient-rich vegetables helps dogs maintain a healthy body weight.

It is worth noting that this grain-free dry dog food is proudly made in the United States with high-quality ingredients sourced from around the world.

Choose Acana for a premium dry dog food that prioritizes the overall health and well-being of your beloved companion.

With its carefully selected ingredients and emphasis on quality, Acana provides the nutrition your dog deserves. Trust in our expertise and give your dog Acana.

Pros

It has a high fiber content from vegetables, fruits, and legumes

Ingredients of superior grade

Made in the United States

Cons

It has more carbohydrates than the other alternatives

Expensive

Many dog owners say that their canines dislike the flavor


6. 95% Premium Chicken Dave’s Pet Food

Dave's Pet Food

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  • The first three ingredients are chicken, water, and chicken liver.
  • Food Type: Wet Food
  • Adult life stage

Introducing Dave's Pet Food , a wet dog food alternative to raw food that may be suitable for canines with high protein requirements.

The listed ingredients for this product are chicken, water, vitamins, and minerals. The high water content in this food can benefit diabetic dogs who may experience increased thirst.

However, it is important to note that this product may not be suitable for dogs with weight control requirements due to its lower fiber content and higher fat content compared to other options.

Additionally, it is worth mentioning that this diet can be expensive, especially if it is the sole source of nutrition for your dog.

Offering beef, poultry, and turkey formulas, Dave’s 95% Dog food provides an affordable alternative to a raw diet. It is designed to provide a complete and balanced diet for your companion.

This diet may be appropriate for diabetic dogs because it contains almost no carbohydrates, which helps prevent blood sugar spikes.

Choose Dave’s Pet Food for your furry friend’s nutritional needs. With its carefully selected ingredients and emphasis on providing a balanced diet, Dave’s Pet Food ensures that your dog receives proper nutrition.

Trust in our expertise and feed your dog Dave’s Pet Food.

Pros

Only chicken, water, vitamins, and minerals are used in this recipe

Recipe with less calories for dogs with weight management needs

Grain-free

Cons

Fiber content is low

For dogs with weight management needs, this may not be the ideal solution

Pricey


7. Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Wet Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Wet Dog Food

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  • Type of moist dog kibble
  • Ideal for: adult canines
  • Options for Flavor: Chicken & Vegetables

If you’re in search of a revolutionary dog food for weight management, Hill's Science Diet is an excellent choice for your adult dog.

This specially formulated dog food has been clinically proven to aid in weight reduction, with over 70% of dogs experiencing weight loss within 10 weeks.

One of the standout features of this dog food is its ability to provide sustained weight support for your adult dog. It is an excellent option if you want to help your furry companion maintain a healthy weight over time.

When it comes to nutrition, Hill’s Science Diet does not disappoint. This dog food is prepared with all-natural ingredients to ensure that your pet receives the proper nutrition.

It is also an excellent source of protein, which helps your dog maintain lean muscle mass as they embark on their weight loss journey.

This particular flavor of Hill’s Science Diet is guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. The kibble form of the food makes it easy to serve and ensures that your dog gets the desired texture.

Recommended for adult dogs that require fewer calories, such as those that are less active, neutered, or prone to weight gain, this dog food is formulated to meet their specific nutritional needs.

With Hill’s Science Diet, you can provide your dog with a well-balanced diet that supports their weight management goals without compromising on flavor or nutrition.

In conclusion, Hill’s Science Diet adult dog food for weight management is a reliable and effective option.

With its clinically proven weight loss results, natural ingredients, and focus on maintaining lean muscle mass, it is a top-tier choice for weight management.

This high-quality dog food not only offers delectable Chicken & Vegetable flavor but also provides long-lasting weight support.

Pros

Designed to aid in weight loss

Balanced protein and nutritional content

A delicious recipe stimulates appetite

Maintains trim and robust musculature

Made in America

Cons

Containing rice flour


8. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free High-Protein Dry Dog Food

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  • Type: dry canine diet
  • Ideal for: adult canines
  • Choices of Turkey and Chicken

Wellness is a reliable brand when it comes to providing your mature dog with a nutritious and balanced diet.

Their grain-free adult dry dog food is loaded with premium protein sourced responsibly from turkey, combined with nutrient-rich ingredients to ensure that your dog receives all the essential nutrients required for optimal health.

This dog food is distinguished by its emphasis on fostering lean body mass and muscle tone. Wellness believes that a natural diet consisting predominantly of meat is optimal for dogs.

Because of this, this dog food is formulated with 42% high-quality protein ingredients, providing your canine companion with the protein they need to maintain a healthy body composition.

In addition to promoting your dog’s overall health, this dog food provides additional advantages. Omega fatty acids from flaxseed and salmon oil are included to promote healthy skin and coat.

Glucosamine is included to promote healthy joints, while probiotics promote digestive health. It is suitable for weight management due to its high fiber and low-calorie content, and it contains taurine for a healthy heart.

Wellness is distinguished by its commitment to using only premium, natural ingredients. This dog food contains no corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-products, artificial colors, or preservatives.

It is a wholesome and healthy option for your furry friend.

You can rest easy knowing that Wellness dog food is made in the United States. They source only the finest ingredients from around the world and prepare each recipe in a state-of-the-art facility.

The recipes are composed of nutritious, non-GMO ingredients selected for their nutritional value.

Wellness grain-free adult dry dog food is a dependable option for supplying a complete and balanced diet to your adult companion.

With its high-quality protein, support for digestive health and weight management, and commitment to natural ingredients, it meets all the requirements for a nourishing and nutritious option for your furry companion.

Pros

Low-calorie recipe is optimal for dogs with diabetes.

Aids in maintaining healthy epidermis and coat

Designed to promote digestive health

The primary ingredient is premium turkey

Grain-free foods contain fewer carbohydrates.

Cons

Only one flavor is available

Purchasing the Best Diabetic Dog Food: A Buyer's Guide

1. What Exactly Is Canine Diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic condition characterized by insulin deficiency.

This means that the pancreas produces insufficient insulin or that the receptors in the cells do not respond appropriately to this hormone, resulting in reduced insulin effectiveness.

Insulin is the primary hormone that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and sugars. Additionally, it plays a role in the metabolism of fats and proteins.

When there is a lack of this hormone, it impairs overall bodily function.

2. Diabetes is classified into two categories in dogs, just as it is in humans:

  • Type I diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, is characterized by a complete cessation of insulin synthesis in the pancreas. Without insulin, sugar remains in the bloodstream, and cells cannot function properly. Type I diabetes is most common in dogs, and these dogs require daily insulin injections to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
  • Type II diabetes is a form of insulin-resistant diabetes. The dog’s pancreas can still produce insulin, but the cells in its body do not respond appropriately, resulting in insulin resistance. This type of diabetes can affect dogs of all ages, although it is particularly common in senior or heavier dogs.

Diabetes in dogs manifests with symptoms such as increased thirst, weight loss, and extreme lethargy.

Blood tests, urinalysis, and a comprehensive assessment of the dog’s symptoms will help the veterinarian make a diagnosis.

While diabetes cannot be cured, proper veterinary-recommended therapies and a suitable diet can improve the dog’s quality of life.

Sad dog waiting alone at home

3. What Should Diabetic Dog Food Include?

What is the best diabetic dog food? This topic cannot be addressed in a single line, just as discussing one ideal food for a perfectly healthy dog is impossible. Because every dog is unique, they all have distinct dietary needs.

Large dogs have different energy and nutritional requirements than small dogs, and active dogs and sedentary dogs will not have the same diet. Senior dogs will also have different needs than puppies.

To determine the best diet for a diabetic dog, consider factors such as age, breed, weight, gender, and activity level.

Consult your veterinarian or a canine nutrition specialist to determine the most suitable diet for your dog’s specific needs.

However, it is important to understand which foods are necessary for a diabetic dog and which should be avoided.

Whether it comes in cans or kibbles, or if you prepare it at home, your dog’s food should be high in protein and fiber.

This is because fiber helps stabilize insulin levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Carbohydrates and fats, on the other hand, are difficult to digest and can contribute to obesity.

Therefore, they should be consumed in moderation, with no more than 20% to 25% carbohydrate content on a dry matter basis.

4. What to Never Feed a Diabetic Dog

Avoid treats as much as possible, as they are usually high in sugar and can contribute to canine obesity. What is the rule to follow? Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s diet.

Mealtimes are just as crucial for dogs with diabetes as they are for healthy dogs. A consistent daily routine is even more important for diabetic pets.

It is best to divide your dog’s daily food allowance (which must be strictly followed) into two or three portions, to be given at different times throughout the day.

Set specific times to fill your pet’s bowl and remove it afterward, especially if your dog hasn’t eaten his food.

Cute Puppy Overeating Dog Food

5. Diabetes Prevention in Dogs

A healthy lifestyle is the most effective strategy to prevent diabetes in dogs. Feed your dog a high-quality diet that is rich in protein and fiber, and low in carbohydrates.

Ensure that the food is given at regular intervals and in appropriate portions. Monitor your dog’s weight and minimize the consumption of snacks, sweets, and table scraps.

Lastly, make sure your dog has ample opportunities to expend energy each day through walks, physical activities, and plenty of playtime!

FAQs

1. What is the best food to feed a dog with diabetes?

To effectively manage diabetes in dogs, it is essential to provide them with a well-balanced diet that regulates blood sugar levels.

Opt for food options that include lean sources of protein like skinless chicken, turkey, lean beef, or fish. This helps maintain their overall health and supports diabetes management.

2. What are the best carbs for diabetic dogs?

For diabetic dogs, a highly recommended diet consists of a high-protein, meat-based approach with moderate levels of fat and carbohydrates.

It’s important to choose carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, such as barley or sorghum. This type of diet can greatly support the management of diabetes in dogs, ensuring their overall well-being.

3. What not to feed a diabetic dog?

While it is permissible to give treats between meals for diabetic dogs, it is not necessary. To promote better regulation of blood sugar levels, it is recommended to stick to regular meals without any snacks.

It’s important to avoid treats that contain ingredients like syrup, molasses, fructose, dextrose, or maltose.

Instead, consider options such as homemade dehydrated proteins, carrots, snap peas, and even canned pumpkin. These choices provide healthier alternatives that can support the well-being of diabetic dogs.

Shih tzu dog eating

4. What protein is good for diabetic dogs?

Diabetes-friendly dog foods typically contain high fiber and have a low glycemic index. This category includes berries and vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, and zucchini.

In addition, you can add high-quality proteins to their diet, such as lamb, beef, poultry, turkey, and various types of fish. These options provide a well-rounded and nutritious meal plan for diabetic dogs.

5. What vegetables are good for dogs with diabetes?

Canines absolutely adore broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and cucumber slices. These vegetables can be served to your dog in their raw, cooked, or frozen form, providing them with a delightful and nutritious treat.

6. Can a diabetic dog eat once a day?

Diabetic canines require insulin injections when they are fed due to their inability to produce insulin. To maintain consistency, it is crucial to feed your dog at the same time every day to align with the insulin dose.

Diabetic dogs should be given two meals each day, with a 12-hour gap in between. This routine helps ensure proper management of their condition and promotes their overall well-being.

7. How long can a dog live with sugar diabetes?

Indeed, it is true that if left untreated, a dog can experience fatal consequences within a month or two of showing diabetes symptoms.

However, with the appropriate treatment and care, many diabetic dogs can enjoy an extended lifespan of an additional year or two.

This emphasizes the importance of timely intervention and diligent management to enhance their overall well-being and quality of life.

Conclusion

A dog with diabetes will have a decent quality of life if properly cared for, and while the diabetes is still incurable, medication will allow the dog to live normally.

You may assist your dog’s health by selecting one of the alternatives from our list that works best for your pet.

We strongly advise you to try Hill's Prescription Diet first, since you will need to obtain a prescription from your veterinarian. This will allow you to speak directly with the specialist about your options.

BestForPets hopes our evaluations and guide assist you in finding the best dog foods for diabetic dogs.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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