The best non-prescription dog food for diabetes is often a high-fiber diet that is wholesome and nutritious. Low-fat diabetic dog food will help your puppy maintain a healthy body weight by eliminating excess carbs and sugars from his diet.
In this review, we’re going to discuss diet and supplements and how by maintaining a healthy weight with exercise and non-prescription diabetic dog food, you may be able to beat diabetes and keep your dog at a healthy weight. Keep in mind that these foods are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Working together with your veterinarian is always recommended. Dogs with diabetes need proper monitoring, treatment and diet together with daily exercise so that they can lead a healthy and long life.
We’ve explored dozens of dog food brands and narrowed our list to 6 to find you the best non-prescription dog food for your pup. But first, here’s some brief information about dogs and diabetes. This review will discuss the best non-prescription dog foods and what makes them so good.
In a rush? Here are our top picks!
Not only is Purina affordable for multi-pet homes, but all their products feature high-quality ingredients. Nestlé Purina Petcare, or simply Purina, is an American subsidiary of Nestlé and is based in St. Louis, Missouri. Purina manufactures and markets pet food, treats, and cat litter.
Some pet food brands include Purina Pro Plan, Purina Dog Chow, Friskies, Beneful, and Purina One. We like the Purina ProPlan Weight Management Adult because this is part of their specialized product line, which includes specialized nutrition for overweight and less active dogs. It’s a great cheaper diabetic dog food when compared to prescription foods.
- Priced affordably for multi-pet homes
- Specialized formula with less fat
- Includes fortified live probiotics for optimal digestive health
- The great-tasting formula that all dogs enjoy
- Small breed and large breed formulas
- Purina features various formulas to help meet your pet’s unique needs based on life stage, lifestyle, and breed size.
- Over 3,000 positive reviews
Natural Balance also features high-quality dog products, and all their formulas are tested for food safety. Founded in 1989, Natural Balance offers a wide range of expertly crafted dog food & extensively tested dog food at affordable prices.
We like Natural Balance Fat Dog Low-Calorie Dog Food because it’s an affordable low-carb dog food for premium weight control. This is an adult dog food formula that features a special fiber and protein blend to help your puppy feel fuller. We really like this dry dog food for canine diabetes because it’s healthy for your dog.
- Priced well
- Great reviews
- Crafted with targeted levels of L-carnitine to help maintain a healthy weight
- Suitable for all breed sizes
Blue Buffalo is another of our favorites. The Blue True Solutions line is crafted with ingredients that are clinically proven to support your dog’s digestive, weight, skin & coat health, as well as mobility.
This is a veterinarian-recommended brand. Both True Solutions dry and wet foods are made with high-quality real meat as the first ingredient. We like this formula because it’s science-based and helps manage weight naturally with proven ingredients of BLUE True Solutions Fit & Healthy weight control wet dog food.
- Canned moist food
- Provides moderate calories
- Contains twelve (12) 12.5 oz. cans of BLUE True Solutions Fit & Healthy Weight Control Adult
- Wet Dog Food Chicken.
- Priced well and can be added to dry food
- Features 33% less fat to manage caloric intake
- No artificial flavors or preservatives
This low-fat dog food for diabetic dogs is specifically formulated for weight loss. Paradigm’s 6-pound bag conveniently makes 56 one-pound finished meals for your pup. The number of meals depends on the weight of your dog.
This is a green food pre-mix that makes an ideal base for a nutritionally complete low-carb diet. It’s 100% grain-free. The holistic blend of six (6) nutritious dehydrated vegetables contains absolutely no dyes, fillers, wheat, corn, soy, or preservatives. We like this because it’s easy to prepare. All you need to do is add hot water to the base mix, stir and wait for 12 minutes, then add your choice of protein and oil. We like this brand because it is a grain-free diabetic dog food when compared to most choices on our list.
- Green superfood for dogs
- 100% grain-free
- Holistic blend of 6 nutritious dehydrated vegetables
- made with minimally processed whole foods
- Suitable for all breed sizes
- Climate Pledge Friendly product that uses sustainability certifications
KetoPet is a non-profit focused on optimal canine nutrition. They craft low-carb, ketogenic dog food. Their premium keto dog food has everything your dog needs. KetoPet has spent several years and millions of dollars investigating low carb, ketogenic diets in dogs of all breeds and life stages. This is a low carb; keto diet specifically formulated to keep insulin levels low and reduce inflammation.
Visionary pet proudly supports KetoPet through food donations and a percentage of every sale. We like this affordable diabetic dog food because it features no fructose, or added sugars. It also contains no antibiotics or added hormones. A diet low in sugars and carbs can help normalize your pup’s sugar levels and help with weight loss.
- Low carb dog food has less than 1g net carbohydrate per cup
- Grain-free & gluten-free, high protein dog food formula
- For all life stages
- Made in the U.S
- No fruit fructose or added sugars
- The body burns ketones instead as its primary fuel and not glucose.
The foundation of Ketogenic Pet Foods™ is a natural protein and fat-rich meats and organs, minus starch ingredients. Healthful micronutrients are incorporated to maximize nutritional value and help encourage proper metabolic balance.
This is a complete turn-around formula from most kibble pet foods that feature a high starch/carbohydrates content. We like this formula because it’s predominant in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates. This natural diet encourages burning fats for fuel and contains no starch fillers, which can spike insulin, disrupt metabolism, and ultimately compromise your pet’s well-being. Ultimately, you should be looking for a low carb dog food for your diabetic dog!
- Priced well
- Protein & fat-based formula
- Features more than twice the protein content (60+%) of most pet foods
- Keta-kibble provides a protein, fat, and micronutrient-rich meal designed to encourage proper metabolic balance.
What is Diabetes in Dogs?
Diabetes in dogs usually comes about from a problem with insulin. This often happens later on in life. Type 1 diabetes is an adult-onset disease, and not a condition developed early on in a dog’s life. Using Banfield’s Pet Hospital stats, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) adds that a higher percentage of dogs were affected by weight gain in 2019 than reported in other years.
They also explain that 51% of more than 1.9 million adult dogs were classified as obese in 2020. AAHA explains that what’s most troubling is that less than 10% of those pets successfully lost weight. So if your pup has diabetes or is obese, you should explore our six best affordable diabetic dog foods.
We love our dogs so much, and there’s nothing nicer than seeing them healthier and happier. Even if your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes, a healthy diet combined with adequate exercise and weight control together with an integrative treatment plan may be beneficial in helping manage the condition.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says, “Diabetes mellitus, or diabetes, is a condition that occurs when the body cannot use glucose (a type of sugar) normally. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body’s cells. The levels of glucose in the blood are primarily controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is made by the pancreas.”
The AVMA also explains that certain breeds may be predisposed to diabetes. Additionally, obesity is a considerable risk factor for the development of this disease, and that other diseases may result from diabetes.
“Dogs may also develop other diseases that can result in diabetes or could significantly affect their response to treatment for diabetes, including overactivity of the adrenal gland in dogs (hyperadrenocorticism) or overactivity of the thyroid gland in cats (hyperthyroidism), pancreatitis, heart disease, kidney disease, urinary tract infections, and skin infections.” Pet medications containing corticosteroids may also contribute to diabetes.
Leading Causes of Canine Diabetes
Obesity and metabolically “bad” foods are by far some of the main ways dogs become diabetic. The optimal way of preventing diabetes is by maintaining your dog’s ideal weight throughout his life.
You can encourage this by daily exercise, off-leash trips to the dog park and beach, and feeding your puppy a portion of high-quality dog food. This should feature a variety of high-quality proteins sources, healthy fats, low glycemic vegetables, and fruit in moderation with nutritional supplements. You should avoid excess starch and grains.
Signs of Diabetes in Dogs
Signs can develop over time and very gradually. These include the following:
- Increased appetite: Your pup may seem to be hungrier over time. This is because the amino acids and glucose needed inside the cells are not getting there or are not being used appropriately.
- Increased Thirst and Urination: these are the main symptoms that you need to watch out for as the hallmarks of this condition and tend to occur in senior dogs. Both may also indicate other serious health issues, so see your vet if you notice this.
- Weight Loss: Your pup may lose weight because the cells are being starved of essential nutrients. Your puppy will also seem hungrier but will lose weight because the energy from the food is not being used efficiently by the cells.
- Lethargy: your dog may sleep more and seem more lethargic because his cells are deprived of blood sugar. He may not want to engage in play and not be his usual self.
- Vision Problems: (Cataracts) Dogs may also suffer from blindness stemming from diabetes. This happens together with a host of inflammatory and degenerative eye complications that result from high blood sugar.
- Urinary tract infections: This occurs when diabetic dogs acquire secondary urinary tract infections, and there is more sugar present in the urine, resulting in more bacteria growing in the bladder.
- Kidney Failure: This is another common secondary symptom stemming from diabetes. Sugar that’s present in your dog’s bloodstream gets into the urine and damages their kidneys.
What Dog Foods to Avoid
High glycemic foods are corn, whole wheat, rice, potatoes, carrots, and beets. Carbs make up at least 80% of the ingredients in low-quality cheap dog food that’s highly processed and turns into sugar in your dog’s body. Choosing low glycemic foods will help your dog reduce pancreatic stress and lowers the risk of developing diabetes.
Diabetic dogs that are fed low glycemic foods have less dietary stress. The goal with diabetes is to keep your dog’s blood sugar levels (glucose levels) close to normal. The glycemic index (GI0) measures how fast blood sugar levels rise after consuming a particular food.
It approximates how much each gram of available carbs (total carbs less fiber) in dog food will raise your dog’s blood glucose levels relative to eating pure glucose. Glucose features a glycemic index of 100. Thus, choose a non-prescription diabetic dog foods that is low in carbohydrates.
High-Quality Dog Food Formula
The protein needed in a dog food formula is difficult to determine because you’ll need to think about the quality of the protein, the amino acid composition, diet energy density, activity level of your pup, and the nutritional status involving the protein requirements.
If a lower quality protein is fed, the protein requirement can be as high as 20% of M.E. You’ll also need to keep in mind that growing animals have a higher protein requirement.
Today, AAFCO requires that all dog diets have 18% protein for maintenance and 22% protein growth and reproduction. Researchers are still exploring the best diets for dogs with diabetes, and most veterinarians will advise feeding a high-fiber, low-fat diet.
Your dog will also need to drink plenty of fresh water because high-fiber diets remove water from the body and may result in constipation and bloating.
It’s essential to read through the entire diabetic dog food review so that you can keep up with the necessary dietary adjustments and monitor your dog’s blood glucose levels.
If you’re working together with a holistic veterinarian, he may prescribe certain herbs and nutraceuticals that may be good for reducing the amount of insulin your dog may need. These may include the following:
- Banaba leaf
- Lipoic acid
Keep in mind that carbs break down into sugar, and if you’re feeding your pup a low-quality carb-packed diet, you’ll end up affecting his pancreas and his ability to produce and be sensitive to insulin. By exercising together with your dog and eating right, you’ll both be benefiting health-wise.
Thanks to numerous high-quality non-prescription low carb dog food for diabetic dogs, finding the right dog food formula for your pup today is pretty simple-especially with our reviews here to help you. As usual, always work together with your veterinarian to avoid diabetes-related complications. Here’s the take on our top 6 affordable diabetic dog food.
Conclusion for Best Non-Prescription Diabetic Dog Foods
Although research is still ongoing, your best bet is to keep your dog fit and healthy and not allowing him to become obese. Feed a balanced, high-quality diet that is carbohydrate-free and species-appropriate. When looking for affordable diabetic dog food, you should always control your dog’s daily caloric intake so that you can help him maintain his ideal weight throughout his life.
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Claudia Bensimoun is a writer who specializes in dog content and veterinary topics! Aside from writing for We Love Doodles, Claudia also writes for other major dog blogs like Fido Friendly, Animal Wellness Magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA). She has a ghostwritten over 50 different dog e-books. Her passions include animal welfare, veterinary research, and wildlife conservation.
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