Diet For Diabetic Dogs

Diet is a crucial component in successful canine diabetes management. There is no one-size-fits-all diet for every diabetic dog. However experts in canine health agree on some points for a good diet for diabetic dogs.

  • Be fed the same food daily (good tip for any dog really).
  • Try to give the same treats (number of treats) every day
  • Be fed and injected with insulin at the same time every day.

These practices are vital in preempting unhealthy blood sugar fluctuations and ensuring balance in your dog’s blood sugar levels. 

Key Components in a Diet For Diabetic Dogs

While every diabetic dog has unique needs, there are key nutritional components that must be contained in every diabetic dog’s diet. Find out about these dietary ingredients in the rest of the article. 

Nutritional components in dog's diet


One of the core symptoms of canine diabetes is increased thirst. For this reason, your diabetic dog needs to drink water frequently. As such, freshwater should always be available so your dog can drink as much as he needs.


Calories are the amount of energy produced when a dog’s body breaks down food. The ideal amount of calories your diabetic dog requires daily will vary from dog to dog depending on your dog’s condition and if he has the ideal weight or needs to lose some. 

Talk to your dog’s vet to determine how many calories your diabetic dog should consume daily.


Carbohydrates are typically known as energy foods because they provide most of the blood glucose that’s turned into energy. 

Although most people know that they should feed their diabetic dog on a high-protein, low-carb diet for better blood glucose control, they may not know that their diabetic dog still needs to feed on complex carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates help glucose to be evenly released in your dog’s body. They are mainly derived from whole grains and starchy vegetables.

Always work with your dog’s vet to determine what complex carbs are best for your diabetic dog.


Fiber, specifically insoluble fiber, is essential in your diabetic dog’s diet because it slows down digestion and the absorption of food into your dog’s bloodstream. This is beneficial to your diabetic dog because it regulates blood sugar levels. 

In addition, a fiber-rich diet makes your dog feel full, reducing your pet’s appetite. Remember, increased appetite is a common diabetes symptom in dogs, but that does not imply they should eat continuously.

Insoluble fibers are found in whole grains, bran, and vegetables. Also, high-fiber diets are not recommended for underweight dogs. So, talk to your vet about how much fiber you should feed your diabetic dog since too much of it can also compromise your dog’s bowel movement. 

Other Diet Considerations for Diabetic Dogs

Below are other diet considerations to bear in mind for your diabetic dog’s diet: 

  • Reduce the amount of fat in your diabetic dog’s diet to avoid complications.
  • Avoid fiber supplements that have added sweeteners or flavors like xylitol, as this can disrupt your dog’s blood sugar levels.
  • Keep a feeding journal for your diabetic dog as this can be of primary reference if your dog develops diabetic-related complications and needs emergency veterinary care.

Dog Diabetes Diet FAQs

Here’s a couple of questions you may still have about the dog diabetes diet. 

Your diabetic dog can consume a homemade diet. However, it is more difficult to consistently take care of all the diabetic dog’s nutritional needs with homemade food, which can cause problems to your diabetic dog’s blood sugar levels in the long run. 

Considering the unique nutritional needs of a diabetic dog, it is recommended that you work with a vet to decide on commercially prepared food for your diabetic dog. If you still decide to go homemade, ensure you use a prescription diabetic diet for your dog.

Use only vet-approved dog diabetic food recipes if you decide to feed your diabetic dog with homemade food. Though you will find many dog diabetic food recipes online, most of them are not created by experts. Besides, every diabetic dog has unique needs, and using a recipe created for another dog can put your diabetic dog’s health at risk.