Diabetic Dog Food


The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisor’s most frequently asked questions about diabetic dog food.

Where can I get suggestions for specific dog foods for my diabetic dog?

Diabetes is a serious condition and can be life threatening. The food you select can play a crucial role in your dog’s treatment. Consult your dog’s veterinarian first for specific product recommendations.

What kinds of foods make the best candidates for my diabetic dog?

Public information regarding canine diabetes and diet appears to be somewhat limited.

To help keep blood sugar stable, one should look for foods that contain moderate dietary fiber and a low-glycemic index.

How much fiber should a diabetic dog consume?

Although higher dietary fiber was initially believed to be beneficial, recent studies have suggested there may be no real advantage to high fiber diets compared to the moderate type associated with most commercial foods.1

What is the glycemic index?

The glycemic index is a scientific measure of how easily a particular food can be converted to blood glucose (sugar).

Dog foods with a low glycemic index exhibit less of a tendency to raise a dog’s blood glucose (sugar) level than others.

What type of dog foods have a lower glycemic index?

In general, dog foods with the lowest carbohydrate content exhibit a lower glycemic index.

Since most kibbles are carbohydrate based, low-carb canned foods should be given serious consideration when selecting candidates for diabetic pets.


  1. Rand JS et al, Centre for Companion Animal Health, School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, “Diet in the prevention of diabetes and obesity in companion animals”, Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003;12 Suppl:S6
  • Sabrina

    Please don’t do vet foods unless you read the ingredients and think its ok to feed your dog that. Live free, orijen and nutrisca are grain free foods that have a very low glycemic level. I just helped a customer onto live free and its the 1st time in 2 years her dog Jesse’s levels were down. She was eating the purina diabetic food! (one of the most disgusting foods I’ve seen) Please get educated and don’t just listen to me, someone else on here, or your vet. Be informed!

  • dogist

    HI eileen,

    You don’t understand the first thing about what it feels like to have a blood sugar of 50, or a blood sugar of 500. You can only guess what it is your dog is going through. I live it.

    I have been fighting diabetes.for 30 years now. I know what it feels like to have wide blood sugar swings, and complications. I know what it’s like to take the well-meaning advice of some Doctor or organization that thinks high carb, low quality, or species inappropriate diets are OK for diabetics.

    I know what it’s like to live that lie and the toll it takes upon you.

    And that is why I have chosen to share what I know, and to help diabetic people and dogs live longer healthier lives.

  • Eileenindallas

    Hi EIleen We have the same name:)

    I foster pups with diabetes. The Vet sold me Hills W/D said it was the best for diabetes dogs. They never thrived. Always sluggish developed cataracts blindness. Blood tests all over the place. High sugar-low sugar never knew from day to day how my pups would be. Broke my heart.

    Went to see a holistic Vet in July. SHe Told me W/D was the worst food for a diabetes dog. Switched to Evo and Live-free-half wet half dry. It was a miracle:) Kidneys improved. Energy improved we lowered insulin, sugars improved- everything evened out. Threw out the lastbag of W/D. Never feed Hills W/D .

    The Holistic Vet told me W/D was killing lots of diabetes dogs and every diabetes dos dog she treated did a million times better after switching to higher quality food. SHe said the ingredients were so bad for diabetes dogs.

  • eileen

    Hi Rita,

    There is no one specific brand of dog food that works well for all diabetic dogs, it is dog individual,what works for one may not for the next.
    There are dogs well controlled eating Hills W/D, to Royal Canin, Wellness Core to Purina One…just to mention a few.
    Read labels, try a food…monitor carefully and you can determine how that food and insulin works for your pup.

  • dogist

    Hi Rita,

    If your dog doesn’t have a problem with fat, Wellness Core Dog Food (Canned) is a good food. You could also look through the 5 star canned foods for anything low-carb (below 10%) that meets AAFCO nutrient profiles.


    Good Luck!

  • Rita

    Can you please give SPECIFIC BRANDS of dog food for diabetic dogs?

  • eileen

    Hi dogist,
    Thank you for your offer, tho I’ve been actively treating canine/feline diabetes…hands on…day after day, month after month, year after year for 10.5 years now…living with the disease 24/7.
    I have every confidence in that I know what I am doing, maybe could even teach you a few things with how an ACTUAL diabetic dog owner lives with the disease.

    Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

  • dogist formerly usa dog treats

    Hi eileen,

    I would love to help you and anyone you know figure out a way to overcome whatever obstacles you are having in regards to diabetes control!

    Please let your friends know they can come to DFA and post about whatever issues they might be having.

    They could go over their dog’s current age, weight, health, lifestyle, diet, insulin regimen, blood tests, etc, and we would see what we can do to help them out!

  • eileen

    Not entirely true, our diabetic dogs often DO require a carb source to prevent the rapid drop in glucose levels that is sometimes seen post injection.
    This more so found to be the case with Vetsulin users as the 35% fast acting portion will send the glucose levels too low too quickly unless there is a carbohydrate available to gently prevent this drop from occurring.
    This is often why some dogs will see hypoglycemia and/or rebounding issues soon after injection.

    The right carbs are NOT the enemy when matched to the injected insulin.

  • dogist

    Hi Jill,

    A low carb high protein, fresh, lightly cooked or canned diet is much more appropriate for ALL dogs than a starchy kibble. It is especially beneficial for Diabetic dogs.

    Thy Glycemic Index measures the Glycemic Load of different foods. Foods with a lower score release the sugars they contain SLOWER than foods with a higher score. So 28 grams of carbohydrates from table sugar is released faster than 28 grams of sugar from sweet potatoes.

    Unfortunately diabetes is a disease where the body is unable to break down carbohydrates and use them for energy. Since dogs have NO need for dietary carbohydrates and they are responsible for the complications that result from high blood sugars, I think you should look into a properly balanced, ultra-low carbohydrate diet for your diabetic dog instead of a starchy, overly processed kibble.

    Good Luck and give your pup a hug for me!!!

  • eileen


    Altho I think sources such as the GRI can be beneficial with general information I do not think they should be used as a determining factor with whether one food may work better than another for all diabetic dogs in general.

    With our dogs being type 1 insulin dependent diabetics and not type 2 where one works at controlling the blood sugar levels thru diet the glycemic index does not necessarily apply in the same fashion.
    I’ve seen many diabetics dogs who do require a carb source in their diets to help achieve good glucose control as many see a fast action from the injected insulin so require these carbs to help prevent that drop and to help flatten the curve.

    I do not believe the nutritional needs can be lumped into one category for every diabetic dog.

    As an example, for some dogs oatmeal causes a tremendous glucose spike, while for others when fed oatmeal it shows a slow release.

    Every single dog is different.

    Not sure if this even answered your question.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    I remember there was some controversy about the owner of the site. I just looked at the site and it hasn’t been updated with any new foods. Even previous formula lines are listed.

  • DogFoodie

    Hi Eileen,

    I’d be curious to know your opinion of the GRI. At one time, I once thought that it looked like a valuable source of information, but then it didn’t appear that the website was updated with any sort of regularity, so I stopped making referrals to it.


  • eileen

    Hi Jill,

    As stated in the text above, ” In general, dog foods with the lowest carbohydrate content exhibit a lower glycemic index.”

    Check labels, what works for one may not for the next, much also depends upon how your dog digests his food as well as processing his insulin, even the type of insulin being used matters when choosing a food.

    The glycemic index is based on human needs, it does not always work the same for our dogs.

    Our diabetic dogs generally do require carbs to some extent, again dependent on the dog.
    Some that feed grain free choices end up having to add an additional carb source to their dog’s diet to help prevent the sharp drop post injection that some will see.

    Much is trial and error.

  • Jill

    I really wanted to know what Kind of dog foods offer a low glycemic count. I have tried reading through your posts, but frankly it’s as if a bunch of children were on the play ground bickering. Could someone give me a few suggestions of dry foods that might be worthy? I know this sounds harsh, but I have just wasted a great deal of my time trying to read through this. I know your intentions are to help others, but it is all very over whelming. Thank you.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Do you seriously want me to post how USA dog treats links back to you? And fyi..all the info I found is PUBLIC and mostly provided by you directly.

  • dogist

    You just wrote:

    “When you use a business name as your “handle” on a public forum, its not rocket science to think someone would type said business name into google at some point in time. Not a whole lot of tracking involved in that”

    So when you previously wrote:

    “I did not find a single mention of your medical or veterinary degrees.”

    You were expecting to find that information in a search you did for USA Dog Treats?

    And are you also claiming that a search for USA Dog Treats is how you found:

    “great reviews on your (my) Pomeranian shaving and bathing skills”

    I don’t think you are telling the truth Melissa.!

    The truth is you used my name and other private information in your attempt to track me down.

  • dogist

    Amen to that.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Honestly I dont really care. I asked for credentials. If you are in fact a health care provider, great. If not then simply do not use language that may lead people to think you are. I am done with this conversation as its really nor fair to draw attention away from the purpose of this website.

  • dogist


    If you have any questions please contact me privately and I will be happy to answer them!

  • Melissaandcrew

    Lets get something clear. When you use a business name as your “handle” on a public forum, its not rocket science to think someone would type said business name into google at some point in time. Not a whole lot of tracking involved in that.

  • dogist

    She did try to track me down. In case you missed it:

    “You see, I had some free time this am, and while I found great reviews on your Pomeranian shaving and bathing skills, I did not find a single mention of your medical or veterinary degrees.”

  • dogist

    I thought it fair to let you know I edited my comment above.

  • theBCnut

    I felt that him saying you are trying to track him down was character assassination. Talk about pot calling kettle…

  • Bobby dog


  • Melissaandcrew

    I hardly find asking someone for credentials, who has given themselves a professional title of a medical care provider to be character assassination or accusation. However, the fact that you are removing that title (Diabetes Counselor) from your postings is answer enough.

  • eileen