5 Best Food for a Diabetic Dog

If your dog has diabetes, you might be quick to panic. But finding the best food for a diabetic dog can help relieve some of that stress. Of course, no one wants their dog to get diabetes or any other medical concerns, but with proper care, you can help your dog feel better. So, if your dog has recently received an unfortunate diagnosis, then it’s probably time to switch them to a more suitable diet.

What is Diabetes for Dogs?

Diabetes for dogs is very similar to diabetes for humans. It’s a metabolism disorder that causes your dog’s body to not be able to use glucose properly. Glucose, which is also known as sugar, is essential for giving your dog energy, with the help of insulin, which is a hormone released from the pancreas. If a diabetic dog is not cared for early on, they could develop more health concerns too, including blindness, and in extreme cases, death.

There are two types of diabetes for dogs:

  • Type I Diabetes (Insulin-Deficiency) – This is more common for dogs. It occurs when the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, which is often caused by an autoimmune disease. You will need to closely manage your dog’s diet and give them daily shots of insulin to keep them healthy.
  • Type II Diabetes (Insulin-Resistance) – This is more common for humans. This is when the body produces too much insulin, so it becomes resistant to it. This is most commonly associated with obesity, and a healthier diet should help manage it.

Giving your dog the proper amount of food and nutrients is the key to keeping your diabetic dog healthy. Your vet should be able to give you an estimate of how many calories your dog needs in a day, depending on their weight and activity level. Professionals are still trying to find the perfect diet for dogs with diabetes, but the bottom line is that it should be full of beneficial ingredients. High-fiber, low-fat diets are often recommended. It’s also good to avoid high-carb diets, especially since most kibble brands are packed with unhealthy carbs, even the ones vets recommend.

Best Food for a Diabetic Dog

There are so many dog foods out there, and everyone will give you different suggestions for your diabetic pup. So, we’re going to narrow down the search for you. Here are five of the best dog food products for your diabetic dog.

#1 – Merrick Grain-Free Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Dry Food

This is a grain-free recipe that uses beef as the primary protein, followed by sweet potatoes, which promote a healthy digestive system. It has a total of 34% protein and 15% fat, both of which are higher than your average dog food, meaning that it has less room for unhealthy carbs. The first three ingredients are deboned beef, lamb meal, and salmon meal. Lamb meal and salmon meal are meat concentrates with about 300% more protein than fresh meat.

The recipe contains a total of 65% protein and healthy fat, along with 35% produce, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It has high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for added hip and joint health. This food steers clear of common allergens, such as chicken, corn, wheat, soy, gluten, and artificial preservatives. This makes it perfect for dogs with allergies and sensitivities. It can be purchased in three sizes, ranging from 4 pounds to 22 pounds.

Pros:

  • It’s high in protein.
  • It lists animal protein as the first three ingredients.
  • It’s low in carbs.
  • It has no controversial ingredients.
  • It’s great for dogs with allergies.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.
  • It promotes healthy joints.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • It might have too much fat for diabetic dogs.
  • The food could arrive damaged.
  • The kibble pieces could be too small for large dogs.

#2 – Nulo Freestyle Salmon & Peas Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Nulo’s food specializes in being high in protein and other essential ingredients in order to avoid unnecessary fillers. This particular formula is the Salmon and Peas recipe for adult dogs. It has a total of 30% protein and 16% fat, both of which are higher than most dog foods. Similarly to Merrick, this high protein percentage means that the food also has limited carbs in it. The first three ingredients in this formula are deboned salmon, turkey meal, and menhaden fish meal, all of which are real animal proteins.

This food is made of 80% animal-based protein, which has plenty of amino acids to promote lean muscles and healthy hearts. The rest of the food is made up of wholesome fruits and vegetables to promote healthy immune systems. It also has added probiotics to promote healthy digestion, along with calcium and phosphorous for strong bones. This food can be purchased in three different sizes, ranging from 4.5 pounds to 24 pounds.

Pros:

  • It’s high in protein.
  • It’s low in carbs.
  • It lists animal protein for the first three ingredients.
  • It promotes healthy hearts.
  • It promotes healthy immune systems.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It promotes strong bones.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • It’s expensive.
  • It might have too much fat for diabetic dogs.
  • The pieces might be too small for big dogs.

#3 – Orijen Original High-Protein Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This is another dry dog food that’s high in protein and low in carbs. This is the Original flavor, which uses chicken as the primary protein, but you can also purchase other formulas, such as Six Fish or Regional Red. This food has 38% protein and 18% fat, making it a much higher quality than similar brands. It also lists deboned chicken, deboned turkey, and flounder as the first three ingredients. It also has some chicken and mackerel in it, so there are plenty of unique flavors for your dog to enjoy.

It’s made with 85% quality animal ingredients, and the chicken and turkey are all free-run while the fish are wild-caught. It uses a mixture of fresh and raw animal products, which includes meat, organs, cartilage, and bones. It’s also a grain-free diet to benefit dogs with lots of allergies. Unlike most dry dog foods, Orijen is formulated specifically to reflect your dog’s ancestral diet. It can be purchased in three sizes, ranging from 4.5 pounds to 25 pounds.

Pros:

  • It’s high in protein.
  • It’s low in carbs.
  • It lists animal protein as the first three ingredients.
  • It closely resembles a dog’s ancestral diet.
  • It’s good for dogs with allergies.
  • It comes in three sizes.

Cons:

  • It’s expensive.
  • It might have too much fat for diabetic dogs.
  • It’s not a good choice for dogs with specific protein allergies.

#4 – Ketona Chicken Recipe Dry Food Low Carb

Ketona dog food is made specifically to have the lowest amount of carbs possible. While most dog food brands have over 40% carbs, this brand has less than 5%, which is great for diabetic dogs and dogs with allergies. Less carbs means more room for healthy foods like quality meat sources. So, this food has 46% protein and 16% fat, which makes it much more expensive than other dry dog food, especially since it only comes in a 4.2-pound bag.

Chicken is the primary protein in this dog food, and it’s listed as the first ingredient. Unfortunately, pea protein is listed as the second ingredient, which is a controversial item that is clearly not an animal source. However, it is high in fiber, which is what diabetic dogs need. This food is grain-free for dogs with allergies, and it’s made with non-GMO, antibiotic-free ingredients. Plus, the chicken is sustainably raised.

Pros:

  • It has less carbs than all other kibble brands.
  • It’s very high in protein.
  • It’s high in fiber.
  • It’s good for dogs with allergies.
  • It’s easy to digest.

Cons:

  • It’s very expensive.
  • It only comes in one small size.
  • It has some controversial ingredients.

#5 – Wysong Epigen 90 Starch-Free Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This dog food has much higher protein percentages than any other dry dog food. Because of this, it’s more expensive, but it also has much less carbs and fillers. It lists animal protein as the first three ingredients. It has a total of 63% protein and 16% fat to closely resemble your dog’s ancestral diet. However, this means that it has less fiber than other brands, which might be a negative for diabetic dogs.

It uses probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to ensure that your dog’s digestive system and immune system stay healthy. It also has omega fatty acids to keep their skin and coat silky smooth. It has no starch in it because dogs didn’t have any in their ancestral diets. The formula is approved by the USDA and FDA. However, you should do a very slow transition from your old food to new food due to the extremely high protein levels. Some dog parents even just use this food as a healthy topper.

Pros:

  • It’s very high in protein.
  • It’s low in carbs.
  • It lists animal protein as the first three ingredients.
  • It promotes healthy digestion.
  • It promotes a healthy immune system.
  • It benefits your dog’s skin and coat.

Cons:

  • It’s expensive.
  • It only comes in one small size.
  • It has a few controversial ingredients.
  • It has been recalled a few times.
  • It’s low in fiber.

Choosing Food for Your Diabetic Dog

If your dog is diabetic, you’ll need to closely monitor what they eat. This means that their serving sizes should be measured out exactly and the ingredients in their food should be inspected closely. Make sure your dog is getting more healthy ingredients and less fattening foods. It can be difficult not to spoil your dog, but in the long run, it’ll be best for their health.

When choosing the best food for a diabetic dog, make sure you find a high-fiber, low-fat, and low-carb diet. It should also ideally have real quality meat in it, along with superfood ingredients to give your pup added health benefits. That way, your dog can still thrive without their diabetes holding them back.

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