Diet For Diabetic Dogs

There is no ‘one-diet-fits-all’ approach to diabetes: body condition, pet preferences, and other diseases or medical conditions will guide the best diet for a dog with diabetes. Here we list some diet for diabetic dogs



4 min read

Dog with Diabetes: Managing the Diet

brown french bulldog in yellow shirt holding blue ceramic mug
Determine a Calorie Count

Remember that food is a form of fuel for living beings at the end of the day. Hence, the calories that your dog gets are extremely important. If you don’t know where to start, you should go to the vet. They can determine according to your lifestyle how much your dog needs every day. Based on your dog’s weight and activity level, they can recommend an exact calorie count and a specific diet plan if they are diabetic as well.

After you’ve arrived at a number, you need to stick to that number. Hence, keep an eye on what your dog eats and how much it eats. You can use a calorie calculator to help you regulate the diet.

While researchers are still looking at the best diet for a diabetic dog, vets recommend a high fiber, low-fat diet. Fiber reduces the speed of the entrance of glucose into the bloodstream. Hence, it helps your dog feel full. Low fat foods have lesser calories. Hence, your dog can eat a lot and not gain much. This combination can help your dog eat less and lose weight.

Make sure that your dog drinks a lot of water along with this diet. Fiber absorbs water from the body. That can cause a lot of pain to your dog via constipation. It can also result in other problems. In the most severe cases, it may cause rectal bleeding as well.

Most dogs will do fine with the stuff that is available at the store. If your vet recommends a certain brand of dog food or a homemade diet, then stick to it. If you get your diet approved by a veterinary nutritionist, that’s all the better. Your vet can tell you the best way to change your dog’s food if it doesn’t agree with him/her.

You can access many resources for diabetic pets here or find useful downloads like glucose calculator or pet diabetes tracker.

Insulin Shots

It’s important to remember that Insulin shots can’t be given to a dog on an empty stomach. So it’s important to give your dog food that it actually loves as well as food that is healthy Make sure that your dog is eating something at least. Steer clear of any soft, moist dog foods in packets. These are usually very high in their sugar content.

Ways to entice your dog to eat include:
· Stirring a tablespoon of canned food into their regular food
· Scatter shredded chicken or scrambled eggs into their kibble
· Add low sodium chicken broth into their dry food; a tablespoon ought to be enough

If your dog doesn’t eat too much, it may not like the food, or it may have other diabetes related complications. Talk to your vet if this happens.

How Many Carbohydrates are in Your Dog’s Food?

Carbohydrate percentages aren’t often displayed on food packaging. That can be frustrating for most owners with diabetic dogs. Luckily, there’s an easy way to find out.

Add up the percentage of protein, fat, moisture, and ash in the GA. Then subtract that amount from 100. That’s the percentage of carbohydrates in your food.

If perchance, the ash isn’t listed, then suppose that it’s about 5-8%. That’s the usual amount in most foods.

Time Your Dog’s Meals

The best diet for a diabetic dog doesn’t just depend on what you feed it, but how often you do. Balancing insulin with food is like balancing two weights on a scale. Your body is constantly processing and storing food. It is also constantly processing the insulin between meals and injections.

Dogs do their best on a regular schedule of 2-3 meals a day. So, as a rule, you should give an injection every 12 hours. Talk to your vet about getting your dog on the right schedule for it.

Walk Your Dog Regularly

Walking your dog is an essential part of its health. It will do wonders for your health as well. Your mutt will drop pounds and lower blood sugar levels too. It’s best to have your dog exercise for the exact length of time and intensity every day. That will put its body clocks into a tight schedule. Everything will be balanced out well.

If your pup’s blood sugar levels aren’t under control almost immediately, you shouldn’t worry. The body needs a while to adjust. Losing weight can also lessen your dog’s need for insulin. So check their levels often. If you do plan a hike or a more intense physical work out with your dog, talk to your vet. You may need to adjust insulin doses.

Best Foods for the Diet for Diabetic Dogs
Chicken-based Dog Food

Chicken-based dog food is chock full of protein. It’s scientifically formulated so that it has a low carbohydrate count. The recipe has very little digestible carbohydrate content in most cases.

Grain Free Dog Food

Grain free dog food keeps your dog largely free of carbohydrates. While it’s not completely free of the sugary stuff, your dog won’t have high blood sugar even if it overeats. Make sure that the dog food is high in protein though. That’s important for energy and for cell development in your dog.

Salmon & Peas Kibble

Get the kind of kibble that has a solid protein count (~30%). Your dog can also be fine with plant proteins. Make sure it’s low in carbs however.  

Canned Dog Food

Canned dog food can help other foods taste better. You can try adding just a tablespoon to some bland brand of diabetic dog food. This will help your pup digest it better. The recipe for most canned foods contain beef, lamb, wild boar, or some form of red meat, as well as proteins. This will add a lot of flavor to your pup’s food.

Whichever dog food you choose, remember that it’s a schedule combined with exercise that helps your dog fight diabetes.