If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best food for diabetic dogs is, then we recommend Orijen Regional Red for Diabetic Dogs as the best one.
Just like humans, it’s common for dogs to suffer from diabetes mellitus. This is more common in the Western world, where obesity amongst dogs tends to be prevalent.
The type of diabetes dogs suffer from is commonly referred to as canine diabetes. It happens when dogs fail to produce adequate amounts of the hormone insulin.
To keep your diabetic pooch healthy, you need to feed them dog foods that are responsive to his special needs. Ensure that you scrutinize the ingredients in the food product before you feed it to your dog.
Otherwise, you may give your dog something that will make their conditions worse.
But, don’t worry. We got your back! In this article, we give you all the information you need pertaining to feeding your diabetic dog.
Here’s a quick overview of the recommended formulas we’ll review in this article:
- Orijen Regional Red for Diabetic Dogs
- Purina Beyond Dog Food
- Whole Earth Farms
- Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- Nutrisca Grain Free
What to Consider in Selecting a Diabetic Dog Food
Here are the important things to consider when selecting food for your diabetic dog.
• Portion Control
It’s important that you control the quantity of food your dog eats. This is more so if your dog is suffering from Type 2 Diabetes, which arises from obesity.
The portions you dogs take are related to its caloric intake. As you control the food portions, encourage your dog to exercise regularly. This will help to control its weight gain.
A vet comes in handy in such matters. They will advise you on the ideal calories your dog needs to remain happy and healthy.
The main idea here is to match their caloric intake with their levels of activity. This should enable you to create a deficit that helps them to lose weight.
• Use High Fiber Ingredients
Fiber makes your dog remain full for longer. Once eaten, it expands the dog’s stomach. As such, your pet will not crave extra calories.
At the same time, fiber slows that rate of glucose release in the blood. This means that your dog has more time in which to process the glucose.
Since a diabetic dog has issues creating insulin, it’s unable to process glucose quick enough. Too much of glucose released at once leads to dangerous spikes in blood sugar levels.
Fiber prevents this and eases the absorption process.
You can find fiber in a number of ingredients. These include a variety of green vegetables, sweet potato, pumpkin, and oats.
• Use Low Fat Ingredients
Granted, fat is as important as protein in dog food. However, we do not recommend fat for diabetic dogs.
This is because fat is a major source of calories. The more calories your dog consumes, the more weight he/she will put on.
Also, fat has very high levels of glucose. As noted earlier, diabetic dogs have issues processing glucose in their systems.
• Low Glycemic Index
When certain dog food takes longer to process into glucose, it has a lower glycemic index. This index is indicated as a number.
Different ingredients have different glycemic indices. Most dog-food makers indicate an overall figure.
For your diabetic dog, you need to choose a dog food that has a low glycemic index. Then, stick with it, and do not add any extra sugars.
• Decreased Carbohydrates
Most dog foods have carbohydrates in their list of ingredients. Carbs come in many forms and offer different benefits – depending on the form.
Take care as you choose carbohydrates for your dog. You see, they are not all the same. Complex carbohydrates are better than simple ones.
Simple carbs are very dangerous for your dog, considering its diabetic condition. They contain very high levels of sugars, which are processed very fast.
They are likely to cause dangerous spikes in your dog’s body.
Simple carbs include corn, soy, and wheat products.
On the other hand, complex process slower, and they add more nutritional value to your dog food. They include brown rice, peas, and sweet potatoes.
So, as you shop for your dog’s food, be keen on the types of carbs the manufacturer has used.
Also, do not choose any food that lists carbohydrates in its first ingredient.
Good carbohydrates appear down in the list of ingredients.
If you can avoid it, do not feed your diabetic dog any carbs all.
• Stick with Wholesome Ingredients
Artificial ingredients are not good for your dog. Chemical ingredients are more harmful than beneficial. They will compromise your dog’s healthy body functions.
On the other hand, wholesome ingredients are very nutritious. They will support the healthy functions of your dog’s body.
• Healthy Proteins
Ensure that you know the source of proteins for your food. Good sources include fish, beef, turkey, and chicken.
Avoid any proteins that include by-products. Also, don’t purchase any food that doesn’t list its sources of protein.
• Healthy Fruits and Vegetables
A diabetic dog requires a healthy mix of vitamins and fruits. Wholesome fruits and vegetables will help your dog get the nutrients it needs.
Also, fruits have the necessary antioxidants that will strengthen your dog’s immunity.
THE TOP 5 DOG FOOD FOR DIABETIC DOGS
#1 – Orijen Regional Red
This diet has very good nutrients for diabetic dogs. Its proteins are obtained from 6 sources, which are good for your dog’s health. The first 18 items in its list of ingredients are proteins.
Its carbohydrates are low-glycemic index. As such, they are unlikely to cause dangerous spikes in your dog’s blood sugar levels.
Also, the food has strong probiotics, which are good for digestive functions.
- It very tasty
- Rich in nutrients
- Has lots of nourishing protein
- Has plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Suitable for dogs of all life stages
- Made in the USA
- It comes with a high price tag
This dog food has its main ingredient as white chicken. It is grain free. Thus, it helps in stabilizing the blood sugar levels of your dog.
Its all-natural ingredients are suitable for diabetic dogs. Its high levels of vitamins and minerals are what a diabetic dog needs to withstand opportunistic infections.
It has about 5% crude fiber from beet pulp, cassava root flour, and pea starch. As such, it is easy to digest. Also, it will give your dog a fullness that will ward off any craving for glucose.
Its 27% crude protein is good for weight management.
- One (1) 13 lb. Bag - Purina Beyond Grain Free White Meat Chicken & Egg Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food
- White meat chicken is the number #1 ingredient
- Grain-free option for your adult dog
- Very rich in protein
- 100% grain-free
- 100% natural ingredients
- Has all the necessary vitamins and minerals
- Contains too much fat
- Some dogs dislike its tasty.
#3 – Whole Earth Farms
This is Grain-free holistic dog food. Its ingredients are fresh, giving you the best value for money.
The food has Turkey Meat and Chicken Meal as its first ingredients. This contributes to 26% crude protein in this food.
It is rich in fibers from potatoes, dried sweet potatoes, and peas. These are easy to digest and provide rich nutrients for your diabetic dog.
All the carbohydrates in this food are obtained from reliable sources. As such, it is unlikely to cause dangerous spikes in the blood sugar levels in your dog.
In addition, the product does not contain any poultry by-products, colors, artificial flavors, and dangerous chemicals.
- First Ingredient Is High Quality Protein
- Grain Free Recipe For Easier Digestibility
- Supports A Shinier Coat, Less Shedding & Healthier Skin
- Uses 100% local ingredients
- Does not contain corn, wheat, or soy
- Helps improve your dog’s skin
- Great for digestion
- Rich in good meat based proteins
- Has high-fat content
- May cause vomiting in some dogs
This food is designed to promote the total health of your diabetic dog. It has such high-quality ingredients as vegetables, fruits, and fiber.
In addition, the product doesn’t contain any unhealthy carbohydrates (soy, corn, or wheat).
It favors healthy carbohydrates that promote the proper glucose processing in the body.
The product contains no artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors. This is good for the overall health of your diabetic dog.
- Grain Free: 100% Grain Free, Complete And Balanced Everyday Nutrition For Your Dog
- Protein Focused Nutrition: Naturally Grain Free, Rich With Delicious Premium Proteins Including Turkey And Chicken Combined With Real Vegetables And Essential Vitamins And Minerals
- All Natural: Contains Only Premium, All Natural Ingredients With No Wheat, Corn, Soy, Meat By-Products, Or Artificial Colors, Flavors And Preservatives
- Rich in fruits and vegetables that are good for diabetic dogs
- Rich in antioxidants
- Has 4 different probiotics
- Made in the USA – a guarantee of quality
- Has potatoes, which are high in glycemic index
#5 – Nutrisca Grain Free
This food has 32% crude protein. This is very beneficial for dogs that are diabetic.
Its first ingredient is Chicken meat. Its other source of protein is chicken meal.
To make it taste better, the manufacturers use peas, vegetables, and fruits. These ingredients are easy to digest and are thus friendly to diabetic dogs.
It is one of the easiest foods to digest because of its 7% crude fiber.
Also, the fact that it doesn’t contain soy, wheat, corn, and potatoes is ideal for the maintenance of good blood sugar levels.
- Real salmon is the #1 ingredient
- Chickpeas rich in fiber
- No grains, potatoes, corn, wheat or soy
- 100% grain free
- Rich in good quality protein
- A high-quality formula for diabetic dogs
- Made in the US
- It’s a bit pricey
What Complications Can Arise from Canine Diabetes
Canine diabetes can lead to a number of serious health complications. These include:
• Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)
Some people don’t think of blood sugar a big deal. The truth is that this condition is very dangerous for dogs. When your body is unable to produce adequate amounts of insulin, its vital organs and cells become starved of essential nutrition.
This is a condition referred to as Diabetic Ketoacidosis. In extreme cases, your dog’s body breaks down stored fat, leading to grave health issues.
• Impaired Immunity
High blood sugar in dogs comes with a myriad of health problems. For example, it creates an environment that encourages the growth of bad bacteria.
When you combined this with your dog’s inability to produce or use insulin, it leads to immunity.
This condition manifests itself in reduced brain activity and fatigue. It comes about when your dog experiences extremely low blood sugar levels for long periods.
The dog shows severe signs such as lethargy, extreme weakness, seizures, and drooling.
The condition has been known to cause coma and even death in many dogs.
Unchecked high blood sugar levels can cause your dog to develop cataracts. This condition obstructs the lens of the eye, preventing the passage of light.
Dogs suffering from cataracts are unable to see well. Although the condition is not painful, it can be traumatizing.
• Diabetic Neuropathy
High blood sugar levels can cause the damage of peripheral nerves. This makes the victim develop limb weaknesses.
It is more common with older diabetic dogs than with younger ones.
• Uveitis and Glaucoma
These two conditions usually occur after cataracts. Excess protein leaks into the eye, creating an inflammation.
If unchecked, Uveitis soon develops into glaucoma, which is a permanent loss of vision.
How Do You Identify the Severity of Diabetes?
You now know the complications that can arise from diabetes. Also, you understand the right dog food for your diabetic dog.
Now, it’s important that you understand how to differentiate the two types of diabetes.
Dogs are affected by two variants of diabetes.
The first is Type 1 Diabetes. This happens when the dog’s body is unable to produce insulin completely.
Usually, most diabetic dogs with this condition are born with it. It is incurable, and you can only manage it with insulin therapy.
The second is Type 2 Diabetes. This happens when the dog is unable to either produce adequate amounts of insulin or utilize insulin properly.
Type 2 Diabetes is an acquired condition. Dogs get this from poor feeding habits, obesity, and such other lifestyle conditions.
Although the origins of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes are different, they cause similar symptoms in dogs.
If you see any of the following symptoms in your dog, have it examined for diabetes:
- Consumption of copious amounts of water
- Poor feeding patterns
- A drastic loss in weight
- High frequency of urination
- Sweet, fruity smell
- Formation of cataracts
- Loss of vision
- Fatigue and general weakness
- Urinary tract infections
- Infections on the skins
Science has not unraveled the real cause of diabetes. However, the main culprits seem to be obesity, chronic pancreatitis, autoimmune disease, and genetics.
Although all dogs can develop this condition, it is more prevalent in obese dogs and female dogs.
Also, certain breeds are more susceptible to the risk of diabetes. These include:
- Australian Terrier
Conclusion and Recommended Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs
If left untreated, diabetes if fatal. There are two ways to treat diabetes.
The first is insulin therapy. This helps in regulating your dog’s blood sugar levels.
The second is through dietary changes. Nutrition plays a major role in the management of this disease. By planning and monitoring your diabetic dog’s quality of food products, it can live a long, happy, healthy life.
We hope you’ll find our choice of five best foods for diabetic dogs helpful. Our star choice in this list is the Orijen Regional Red for Diabetic Dogs.
With 18 ingredients as protein, this product is a health powerhouse for your dog. And, it is easy to digest because of its high content of probiotics.