Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs — Diets for Regulating Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes is a disease caused by the body’s inability to produce insulin, which causes your dog to have high blood sugar levels.

Canine diabetes may not be reversible, but it is manageable with a special diet.

The diet you choose should be balanced to support long-term maintenance, regulate blood sugar levels, normalize body weight, and achieve an optimal metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

The choice of diabetic dog nutrition is huge; though, and you have to do a little research to find the most ideal choice.

So, in my selections of the best dog food for diabetic dogs, I took into account all the important nutritional factors such a diet needs to have.

The Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Glycobalance Canned Dog Food is the most recommended diet for diabetic dogs and the bestseller. The diet helps regulate blood sugar levels, maintain a healthy weight, and preserve lean muscle mass.

The Best Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs Are:

ProductDetails
1. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Glycobalance Canned Dog Food

  • It is water sufficient for processing
  • Contains high-quality protein
  • Supports healthy blood glucose levels
  • Features moderate fat level
  • Contains reduced starch levels
Check Current Price
2. Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • Grain-free and gluten-free nutrition
  • Fortified with powerful antioxidants
  • Enriched with taurine
  • Contains canola oil for lowering blood sugar
Check Current Price
3. Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Dry Dog Food

  • Clinically tested nutrition
  • Moderately high fiber content
  • Enriched with optimal levels of L-carnitine
  • Promote urinary tract health
  • Contains powerful antioxidants
Check Current Price
4. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets OM Dry Dog Food

  • Lean protein source for weight management
  • Fortified with isoflavones
  • High protein to calorie ratio
  • Contains considerably high fiber levels
  • Enriched with calcium and phosphorus
Check Current Price
5. Nutrisca Grain-Free Chicken & Chickpea Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • Grain-free and gluten-free diet
  • High-protein and low glycemic
  • Fortified with fiber and folic acid
  • Contains powerful antioxidants
  • Enriched with chelated minerals
Check Current Price
6. Brothers Compete Ultra-Premium Healthy Weight Control Dry Dog Food

  • 100 percent bioavailable animal protein
  • Features optimum amounts of high-quality calories
  • Fortified with encapsulated probiotics and long-chain prebiotics
  • Supports nutrient absorption
  • Enriched with low GI carbs
Check Current Price
7. Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Adult Salmon & Peas Dry Dog Food

  • Maintains lean muscles and healthy heart
  • Pure probiotic strain
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Omega 3 fatty acids from real salmon
  • Enriched with calcium and phosphorus
Check Current Price
8. Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • Grain-free and gluten-free diet
  • Features powerful antioxidants and added vitamins
  • Real beef is the first ingredient
  • Augmented with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Rich in zinc, selenium, and vitamin E
Check Current Price
9. Merrick Grain-Free Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • Deboned beef is the first ingredient
  • Features 65 percent protein and 35 percent fiber
  • Has optimum levels of omega fatty acids
  • Fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Multivitamin nutrition
Check Current Price

 

1. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Glycobalance Canned Dog Food — Best Dog Food for Dogs with Diabetes

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Glycobalance is a really smart choice for diabetic dogs because it supports healthy blood glucose levels.

Specs

  • Limited ingredient grain-free diet
  • Real salmon is the first ingredient
  • Fortified with prebiotics and probiotics
  • Enriched with organic flaxseed
  • Doesn’t contain wheat, gluten, or grains

This diet is water sufficient for processing, which is great because it helps to break down the food and assist in the absorption of nutrients.

This nutrition is packed with high-quality, easily digestible protein, promotes weight loss, and helps preserve lean muscle mass.

This diet is specifically designed to promote healthy blood glucose levels in your dog, which helps to relieve the symptoms of diabetes.

I also appreciate the fact that this diet has reduced starch levels, which help to reduce blood sugar spikes and promote weight loss.

But the thing is, the formula is only available in a package of twenty-four cans and not twelve cans.

Pros

  • Water sufficient diet helps with nutrient absorption
  • Preserve lean muscle mass
  • Healthy blood glucose levels help relieve diabetic symptoms
  • Reduced starch levels prevent sugar spikes

Cons

  • The formula is only available in a package of 24 cans
  • Contains animal by-product that may not be suitable for allergic dogs

Verdict

If you are looking for a diet that will help your pooch maintain a healthy blood glucose level and help her fight diabetes, then consider Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Glycobalance Canned Dog Food.

Overall Rating – 4.8  

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

2. Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This holistic nutrition from Dr. Gary has lots of goodness in every bite because only the highest quality protein, vitamin, and minerals are used.

Specs

  • Grain-free and gluten-free nutrition
  • Fortified with powerful antioxidants
  • Enriched with taurine
  • Contains canola oil for lowering blood sugar

This is a grain-free, gluten-free diet, which is great because it mimics your dog’s natural ancestral diet and it is hypoallergenic, making it ideal for diabetic dogs.

The food contains vitamin E and taurine, which help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of heart diseases in diabetic dogs.

I appreciate the presence of canola oil in this nutrition, given the fact that it helps lower bad cholesterol and blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs.

The optimal levels of natural fiber in the diet help slow down digestion to prevent spiking or fluctuating blood sugar levels.

But the thing is, some picky eaters may refuse the taste and texture of Dr. Gary’s kibbles.

Pros

  • It is free of food items that may cause allergy
  • Improves insulin sensitivity and heart health
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and prevents spiking sugar levels
  • Natural fibers help maintain optimal sugar levels
  • Promotes urinary tract health

Cons

  • May be rejected by picky eaters
  • Quality control seems to be an issue with some bags

Verdict

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a great option for diabetic dogs, thanks to its wholesome ingredients and powerful antioxidants.

Overall Rating – 4.8

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

3. Hill’s Prescription Diet W/D Dry Dog Food — Best for Glucose Control

This is a digestive, weight, and glucose management nutrition that will help diabetic dogs and dogs who are prone to diabetes.

Specs

  • Clinically tested nutrition
  • Moderately high fiber content
  • Enriched with optimal levels of L-carnitine
  • Promote urinary tract health
  • Contains powerful antioxidants

This formula contains optimal blends of soluble and insoluble fibers, which is great because they help improve blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar.

It is packed with clinically proven antioxidants to support your pooch’s immune system. Vitamin E, in particular, improves glycemic control in diabetic canines.

While this food is nutrient-packed to support your pooch’s overall health, it is also low in fat and calories with reduced levels of magnesium and sodium.

Another good feature is the S+OXSHIELD seal that does an incredible job of promoting a healthy urinary tract to prevent the development of struvite as well as calcium oxalate crystals.

What I particularly don’t like about this nutrition is the inconsistent quality control from one bag of food to another.

Pros

  • Improves blood sugar levels to help manage diabetes
  • Promotes glycemic control in diabetic dogs
  • Supports a healthy digestive tract
  • Supports fat metabolism and lean muscle preservation
  • Promotes a healthy urinary environment

Cons

  • Quality issues are possible from one bag of food to another
  • Some ingredients may be unfavorable to allergic dogs

Verdict

This incredible diet will work naturally with your pooch’s unique metabolism to manage and prevent diabetes.

Overall Rating – 4.8

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

4. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets OM Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets OM is formulated to help dogs lose weight and fight diabetes while maintaining muscle.

Specs

  • Lean protein source for weight management
  • Fortified with isoflavones
  • High protein to calorie ratio
  • Contains considerably high fiber levels
  • Enriched with calcium and phosphorus

This food has a high protein to calorie ratio, which is good for your diabetic dog because it promotes loss of body fat while helping her maintain lean body mass.

It is fortified with optimal levels of isoflavones that help lower blood cholesterol to prevent your dog from regaining weight.

I like the fact that this food is enriched with natural fiber that plays a vital role in slowing digestion to prevent blood sugar levels from spiking.

The food is also augmented with dietary calcium and phosphorus, two essential minerals that will help promote your dog’s bone and cartilage health.

There seems to be an issue with quality control because one bag may have larger kibbles while another has smaller kibbles.

Pros

  • Promotes loss of body fat
  • Helps with the preservation of lean body mass
  • Lowers blood cholesterol to prevent weight regain
  • Natural fiber prevents blood sugar levels from rising
  • A wholesome diet for bone and cartilage health

Cons

  • Kibble size may change from one bag to another
  • The price tag may be too high compared to other brands

Verdict

Help your dog watch her waistline and manage diabetes with the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets OM Dry Dog Food.

Overall Rating – 4.8

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

5. Nutrisca Grain-Free Chicken & Chickpea Recipe Dry Dog Food

Nutrisca Grain-Free diet is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of your diabetic dog. It is a high-protein and low glycemic diet.

Specs

  • Grain-free and gluten-free diet
  • High-protein and low glycemic
  • Fortified with fiber and folic acid
  • Contains powerful antioxidants
  • Enriched with chelated minerals

This incredible diet from Nutrisca is high in protein and contains two different kinds of chicken meat for building lean muscle mass.

Chickpeas, as well as peas, are well-known nutrient sources with a low glycemic index, which is good because they help improve blood sugar levels in diabetic canines.

The optimum levels of folic acid in the diet help reduce homocysteine levels in diabetic canines and it also promotes a healthy heart.

Another good thing about this food is that it is supplemented with chelated minerals, which improve nutrient absorption.

But my primary concern is with the smell of the kibbles, which tends to be rejected by picky eaters.

Pros

  • Doesn’t contain genetically modified ingredients
  • Lean protein helps build and maintain muscles
  • The low glycemic index improves blood sugar levels
  • Chelated minerals improve nutrient absorption
  • Supports a healthy immune system

Cons

  • The smell of the kibbles may be rejected by picky eaters
  • May not be an ideal choice for diabetic dogs with yeast infections

Verdict

This is a high protein, low glycemic index, natural dog food that can help your dog manage diabetes as long as she doesn’t have a yeast infection.

Overall Rating – 4.8

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

6. Brothers Compete Ultra-Premium Healthy Weight Control Dry Dog Food

Are you worried about your diabetic dog’s nutrition? Brothers Complete has you covered with this nutrient-dense, complete, and balanced food.

Specs

  • 100 percent bioavailable animal protein
  • Features optimum amounts of high-quality calories
  • Fortified with encapsulated probiotics and long-chain prebiotics
  • Supports nutrient absorption
  • Enriched with low GI carbs

The first ingredient is goat meal, which is good for your diabetic pooch because this protein source is low in fat and calories, making it ideal for weight management.

The encapsulated probiotics help improve insulin resistance, while long-chain prebiotics provide anti-inflammatory and metabolic benefits.

The diet is fortified with low GI carbohydrates, which not only help to control your dog’s blood sugar levels and improve heart health.

Another good thing is that this is a multivitamin diet that supplies your dog with all the essential vitamins for insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control.

But the thing is, the food lacks a meaty odor, which is what most picky eaters prefer.

Pros

  • Great nutrition for all dog breeds
  • Improves insulin resistance in diabetic dogs
  • Promotes healthy skin and a shiny coat
  • Low glycemic ingredients help control sugar levels
  • Supports healthy digestion

Cons

  • Lacks a meaty odor that’s usually preferred by picky eaters
  • Possible quality issues with some bags

Verdict

The Brothers Complete diet is fully-equipped with high-quality protein, low GI carbs, and powerful antioxidants to manage your diabetic dog’s health.

Overall Rating – 4.7

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

7. Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Adult Salmon & Peas Dry Dog Food

This recipe is power-packed with meat protein, low carbs, fiber, probiotics, calcium, phosphorus, the omegas, and vitamin E to help your dog manage diabetes.

Specs

  • Maintains lean muscles and healthy heart
  • Pure probiotic strain
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Omega 3 fatty acids from real salmon
  • Enriched with calcium and phosphorus

This recipe uses low glycemic carbohydrates like lentils and chickpeas, which are better assimilated in the canine’s body to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

This diet features natural probiotics that don’t lose any of their nutritional benefits when cooked, making them useful for modulating the immune system and supporting healthy digestion.

Deboned salmon is a great source of high-quality protein (containing essential amino acids) for building and maintaining lean muscle mass.

Another good thing about this diet is that it is high in omega 3 fatty acids that may help decrease insulin resistance in diabetic dogs.

But the thing is, the dry kibbles may be a little bit smaller for larger breeds to pick and munch comfortably.

Pros

  • It’s a great choice for allergic dogs
  • Promotes a reduced risk of obesity and early diabetes
  • Rich in essential amino acids for lean muscles
  • Omega fatty acids help decrease insulin resistance
  • Maintains strong bones and optimal immune health

Cons

  • Small bite kibbles may not be suitable for large breeds
  • The fish smell may not be appetizing for picky eaters

Verdict

Nulo Freestyle will provide your pooch with a hundred percent complete and balanced nutrition that features low GI carbs for proper management of canine diabetes.

Overall Rating – 4.6  

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

8. Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Your diabetic dog needs nutrition that will help her manage the condition and also boost her digestive, skin, coat, and dental health. That diet is Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon.

Specs

  • Grain-free and gluten-free diet
  • Features powerful antioxidants and added vitamins
  • Real beef is the first ingredient
  • Augmented with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Rich in zinc, selenium, and vitamin E

This incredible diet from Taste of the Wild is made with beef and supplemented with fruits and veggies to help build lean muscles and improve immune health.

The food is augmented with a K9 strain probiotic that helps to prevent the growth of bad bacteria, support healthy digestion, and improve blood sugar levels.

This food has optimum levels of zinc, an important mineral that helps with insulin production and secretion in diabetic dogs.

Another good feature of this diet is the presence of vitamin E, ascorbic acid, and selenium, a powerful antioxidant blend that supports a strong immune system.

But the thing is, the food may have traces of genetically modified ingredients.

Pros

  • High-quality protein maintains lean body mass
  • Supports healthy digestion and gut line
  • Does a good job of improving blood sugar levels
  • Relieves insulin sensitivity and promotes heart health
  • Powerful antioxidants promote a healthy immune system

Cons

  • May contain traces of genetically modified food items
  • Picky eaters may have a problem with the smell of the kibbles

Verdict

As long as your dog likes it, the Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Grain-Free Dry Dog Food will help manage her diabetic condition.

Overall Rating – 4.6

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

9. Merrick Grain-Free Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food — Best Value Diabetic Diet

Formulated in an organically certified kitchen, Merrick Grain-Free diet is a solid choice for diabetic dogs of any breed.

Specs

  • Deboned beef is the first ingredient
  • Features 65 percent protein and 35 percent fiber
  • Has optimum levels of omega fatty acids
  • Fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Multivitamin nutrition

The first ingredient in this food is deboned beef, which is an excellent source of high-quality protein that is much easier for your dog to digest.

The nutrition is loaded with powerful antioxidants, vitamin E, and vitamin C to support healthy immune function and help improve blood glucose levels.

The food is augmented with salmon oil, a great source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which helps reduce insulin resistance and promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.

It is also fortified with naturally occurring glucosamine and chondroitin for promoting healthy joints.

This dog food; however, can cause bad gas.

Pros

  • Helps improve blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs
  • Powerful antioxidants support a healthy immune system
  • Does a great job of reducing insulin resistance
  • A great diet for hip and joint health

Cons

  • The food can cause bad gas
  • Kibbles are very small for large breed dogs

Verdict

This diet contains real wholesome ingredients for optimal nutrition that will help your dog manage diabetes and allow her to live healthily.

Overall Rating – 4.5

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Buying Guide: Things To Consider When Feeding Diabetic Dogs

cute bulldog outdoors

Canine diabetes is not reversible, but you can help your dog manage the condition and live a happy life with a specialized or therapeutic diet.

You might be an expert in selecting your dog’s general food, but when it comes to buying the best dog food for diabetic dogs some important factors need to be taken into consideration.

Here are a few things that you must take into account:

Consult Your Dog’s Veterinarian

It may seem easy to just go online and order a diet that comes highly recommended by most pet parents, but the vet’s recommendation matters.

You should know that even with a carefully selected and consistent food, your pooch’s condition may fail to improve due to underlying conditions, such as hyperglycemia.

A prescription diet may be of great help in such cases. A veterinarian’s diagnosis and diet recommendations/prescription will be precise.

But, the major downside to prescription diets is their high cost. Also, there is no guarantee that your dog’s transition to the vet recommended diet will be successful.

Wet Or Dry — Which Is Better For Diabetic Dogs?

Most dog parents believe that dry dog diets prevent dental issues in their furred friends. This is debatable but as a dog parent myself I would say dry dog food promotes dental health rather than preventing dental problems.

Dry dog food is very economical, easy to use, and easy to store. That’s why many dog owners would like that convenience.

Usually, dry diets have high amounts of carbohydrates compared to canned foods because carbs are necessary when processing the kibbles.

So, you should expect dry food to have lower amounts of protein compared to canned food. Dry nutrition can be less appetizing when your furred friend isn’t feeling well, and she may refuse to eat.

Canned food; on the other hand, has more protein and it is more appetizing, especially for picky eaters.

Canned diets also contain a lot of water. So, if your dog isn’t feeling very well, she will probably continue to eat the food and the high water content will help maintain hydration.

Ideally, you need to feed your diabetic dog a combination of wet and dry food. The wet nutrition makes for a tasty choice, better protein quality, and your dog might eat it more frequently.

The dry diet; on the other hand, adds to the economical aspect. So, the cost of the overall diet is reduced.

The most important thing to remember when feeding a combination diet; however, is that you have to be mindful of calories.

You have to account for the calories in the wet and the dry food. Make sure that the combination doesn’t exceed the daily calorie requirements of your dog.

Important Nutritional Factors

The most important nutritional factors in managing canine diabetes are protein, energy, carbohydrate, fat, and fiber.

Protein

The best dog food for diabetic dogs should have sufficient amounts of high-quality protein for maintaining lean muscle mass and weight management. Diabetic dogs tend to lose a lot of amino acids through urination.

Therefore, you must maintain a balance between providing enough protein to meet energy needs and replace the amino acids lost through urination.

But you should also be careful not to provide excess protein that may lead to increased insulin secretion.

Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber is indigestible plant material from the foods you feed your dog. This material cannot be digested or broken down by your dog’s body.

Although it is not a nutrient, dietary fiber is an important part of your pup’s diet. It is a complex carb. Dietary fiber can be insoluble or soluble.

Great sources of soluble fiber are vegetables, fruits, berries, and legumes. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, slows down digestion, regulates blood sugar levels, reduces sugar absorption rate, and nourishes good bacteria.

Insoluble fiber is found in veggies, seeds, nuts, and whole grains. Insoluble fiber absorbs water, controls acidity, and clears the digestive system.

Low Glycemic Carbohydrates

If you are a new dog parent, you might be confused by the word glycemic. This terminology refers to a rating system for foods, usually referred to as the glycemic index.

In other words, carbohydrates can cause a spike in your dog’s blood sugar and insulin levels.

Types of foods that are considered high glycemic do normally contain starches or sugars that are easily and quickly digested to sugars.

They tend to spike blood sugar levels. Dogs digest as well as absorb low glycemic carbohydrates more slowly, which is better for metabolism and regulation of blood sugar levels.

Fat

Our canine friends have abnormal fat metabolism and it is common for diabetic dogs to have spiked serum levels of cholesterol.

This means that high-fat dog nutrition can cause insulin resistance. So, you should avoid high-fat diet by all means, if your dog is diabetic or obese.

Instead, you should consider a diet that is augmented with long-chain omega 3 fatty acids.

These essential fatty acids have been shown to reduce bad cholesterol. But the good practice is always to choose dog foods with very low-fat levels, less than twenty percent.

Food Type

Commercial dog foods have all kinds of names, but the most important ones that you should consider are:

Grain-Free

As the name suggests, a grain-free diet has no grains and it is usually gluten-free. But a grain-free dog food often contains other food items instead of grains, such as legumes, potatoes, lentils, or peas.

These food items are necessary for kibble production and they also act as added protein boosts.

Limited Ingredients

Another popular name you will come across is limited ingredients. This type of diet normally includes a single protein source and one or a few easily digestible carbs.

A limited ingredient diet allows you to control what carbohydrates, proteins, and fats your pooch is eating.

This makes it easier for you to limit any food items that might trigger digestive upset, allergic reactions, or spiked blood sugar levels.

They are also known to use highly digestible carbohydrates sources like barley, brown rice, and sweet potatoes.

Organic

Any dog food that is marketed as organic is claimed to contain only organic materials. Most organic recipes contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients.

The claimed benefits of organic formulas are reduction of allergies and skin ailments, fewer digestive disorders, stronger immune health, and longevity.

Final Thoughts

The winner of this roundup is the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Glycobalance Canned Dog Food. A nutrient-packed food that is specifically designed for diabetic dogs.

What makes this diet standout is its ability to normalize blood sugar levels, weight management, and optimum metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

The diet is formulated with low glycemic carbohydrates, which are digested and absorbed slowly by the canine body to improve insulin resistance and prevent spiking blood glucose levels.

This is also canned food; so, it has optimum amounts of high-quality protein for lean muscle mass preservation and restoration of amino acids lost through urination.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top