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Diet For Dogs With Diabetes: What To Feed And What To Avoid

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Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Roberston

Diet For Dogs With Diabetes What To Feed And What To Avoid

VET APPROVED 👩‍⚕️

✔️ REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Joel Robertson

Veterinarian, BMT

The information in this article is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research

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Knowing what foods cause a spike in blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs and which are perfectly safe means a lot.

Basically, when feeding diabetic dogs, look for any foods that have a low glycemic index.

That means that these foods slowly digest and do not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels.

Read on to find out more about what you can add to your diabetic dog’s diet.

What To Feed A Diabetic Dog

Diet For Dogs With Diabetes What To Feed And What To Avoid
FoodsGlycemic IndexAllowed for Diabetic Dogs?
Chicken0Yes
Turkey0Yes
Lean beef0Yes
Cottage cheese27Yes
Plain yogurt55Yes
Broccoli15Yes
Spinach15Yes
Green beans32Yes
Carrots16Yes
Pumpkin75Yes
Blueberries53Yes
Cranberries42Yes
Strawberries41Yes
Nectarines35Yes
Pears38Yes
Watermelon72Yes
Brown rice50Yes
Quinoa53Yes
Boiled eggs0Yes
Zucchini15Yes
Cucumber15Yes
Popcorn55Yes

Chicken

Chicken is an ideal protein source for diabetic dogs due to its lower glycemic index (0) than many other types of meat, making it suitable for these pups.

Moreover, chicken can be served boiled or baked and also used in treats like small minced pieces mixed in with other low-glycemic foods.

Learn more about chicken.

Turkey

Turkey is an ideal meal choice for diabetic dogs due to its low fat and carb content.

Furthermore, with a glycemic index of zero, turkey provides essential vitamins and minerals like B vitamins and selenium – both important in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels – along with low levels of fat.

Lean beef

Lean beef is an ideal protein source for diabetic dogs due to its low glycemic index (zero), meaning it won’t cause sudden spikes in blood glucose levels.

Make sure the beef you feed your pup doesn’t contain added fat and should be cooked without oils or butter.

Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is an ideal food choice for diabetic dogs due to its low glycemic index of 0.6, helping keep blood sugar levels stable and decreasing the risk of diabetes-related complications.

Furthermore, cottage cheese provides essential proteins and vitamins which benefit your pup’s overall well-being.

Be sure to read labels carefully when purchasing cottage cheese as some brands may add ingredients that could be hazardous for your furry friend; opt for plain unsweetened varieties instead for optimal results.

Learn more about cheese.

Plain yogurt

Plain yogurt is an ideal food to include in a diabetic dog’s diet. With a low glycemic index (55 or lower), it can be given as an occasional treat or added to meals.

Plus, plain yogurt contains beneficial probiotics which help maintain healthy bacteria levels in the gut – essential for overall wellbeing.

Just be sure to read labels carefully when selecting plain yogurt – some may contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Learn more about plain yogurt.

Broccoli

Broccoli is an ideal food choice for diabetic dogs due to its low glycemic index of 15 (the amount of sugar it contains).

Not only that, broccoli also supplies vitamins A and C as well as minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.

Furthermore, broccoli contains dietary fiber which aids with regularity while decreasing cholesterol.

With its low-calorie content and high nutritional density, broccoli makes for a great weight-maintaining choice when managing diabetes.

Due to its high antioxidant content, it may protect your pup from developing any potential complications caused by diabetes.

Spinach

Spinach is an ideal food choice for diabetic dogs due to its low glycemic index of 15.

It’s packed full of essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, vitamins A and C as well as fiber which helps regulate blood sugar levels in the body.

Furthermore, spinach contains antioxidants that may protect against certain forms of cancer or heart disease as well as lutein which supports eye health and overall well-being.

When adding spinach into your diabetic pup’s diet make sure to mix it with other veggies like carrots for variety or steam before feeding to avoid digestive issues.

Green beans

Green beans are an ideal food choice for diabetic dogs due to their fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help control blood sugar levels.

Their low glycemic index of 32 also means they don’t cause sudden spikes like other processed foods do.

Additionally, green beans have a relatively low cost so they’re easy to include in your pup’s diet at no extra cost.

Be sure to measure out servings accurately so you don’t overfeed your pup and cook them thoroughly before serving as raw green beans may be hard for some dogs to digest.

Carrots

Carrots make an ideal food choice for diabetic dogs due to their low glycemic index (16), which helps keep blood sugar levels steady.

Furthermore, carrots contain essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium and manganese which aid digestion while aiding weight maintenance in dogs.

Moreover, carrots contain antioxidants that protect the body against free radical damage while supporting overall wellness.

Learn more about carrots.

Pumpkin

One of the healthiest foods you can feed your diabetic dog is pumpkin. This popular squash has a low glycemic index (75), meaning it won’t spike blood sugar levels.

Furthermore, pumpkin contains fiber which aids digestion; ensure you use pureed canned pumpkin instead of sugary pie filling.

You can add some pureed pumpkin to regular food or offer it as an occasional healthy snack for your pup.

Learn more about pumpkins.

Blueberries

Blueberries are an ideal food choice for diabetic dogs due to their low glycemic index of 53, making them a low-glycemic option.

In fact, blueberries help maintain blood sugar levels by acting as an intermediary, keeping spikes in glucose levels at bay.

Plus, blueberries contain antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and boost overall health in diabetic dogs.

Plus they offer plenty of dietary fiber which aids digestion and absorption of essential nutrients. All in all, blueberries make an ideal diabetic dog treat.

Learn more about blueberries.

Cranberries

Cranberries are an ideal food choice for diabetic dogs due to their low glycemic index of just 42.

This makes them a perfect fit in your pup’s diet; just remember to feed them in moderation and avoid overfeeding on any single item.

Cranberries can be served pureed or dried depending on preference; furthermore, adding some to their meal may reduce inflammation which may be an issue with those living with diabetes.

Learn more about cranberries.

Strawberries

Strawberries make an ideal snack for diabetic dogs, as they have a low glycemic index (GI) of 41 or lower.

Not only that, but strawberries also boast high amounts of fiber and antioxidants that aid in overall well-being.

Plus, they supply essential vitamins like Vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium which help regulate blood sugar levels in pets.

When purchasing strawberries make sure you opt for organic varieties as these will be free from added pesticides.

Learn more about strawberries.

Nectarines

Nectarines are an ideal food choice for diabetic dogs due to their low glycemic index (35). The glycemic index is a rating system that assigns numbers to foods based on how quickly blood glucose levels rise after eating them.

Nectarines have an average GI of 35, meaning their carbohydrate content is slowly absorbed, leading to lower and more stable blood glucose levels.

Furthermore, nectarines contain vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, and Potassium – all essential nutrients essential for good overall health.

For best results when feeding your pup these nutritious fruits make sure you select fresh or frozen varieties instead of canned varieties as canned products often contain added sugars or additives detrimental to your pet’s well-being.

Learn more about Nectarines

Pears

Pears make an ideal food choice for diabetic dogs!

Their low glycemic index (38) helps regulate blood sugar levels while providing Vitamin C, copper, and dietary fiber that may improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation in dogs with diabetes.

Furthermore, pears contain natural fructose and complex carbohydrates which provide sustained energy without causing sudden spikes in glucose concentration.

Learn more about pears.

Watermelon

Watermelon is an ideal fruit to offer diabetic dogs due to its low glycemic index (GI) of 72, meaning it digests slowly and absorbs into the body without causing a sudden spike in blood sugar levels.

Furthermore, watermelons contain fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and niacin–all essential ingredients for your pet’s healthy diet.

Additionally, since 92% water is contained within them, they will help keep your pup hydrated too! Finally, make sure all seeds are removed before offering these snacks to your furry friends!

Learn more about watermelon.

Brown rice

Brown rice is an ideal choice for diabetic dogs due to its low glycemic index of 50, making it easier and safer to digest for your pup.

Furthermore, brown rice provides essential nutrients like fiber, protein, and B vitamins essential for overall well-being.

Moreover, its slow rate of digestion and absorption into the bloodstream helps regulate normal blood sugar levels without causing sudden spikes in insulin production.

Therefore, feeding your diabetic pup brown rice not only keeps their condition under control but also provides them with beneficial nutrition.

(Related: 7 Homemade Diabetic Dog-Friendly Treats and Snacks)

Quinoa

Quinoa is an ideal grain for diabetic dogs due to its low-fat content and glycemic index of 53, meaning it won’t cause major spikes in blood sugar after eating.

Additionally, quinoa can be cooked like oatmeal or added as a substitute for rice in food recipes; not only does it provide beneficial fiber but it’s packed with essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium and manganese too – great for overall well-being!

Plus, with all nine essential amino acids included, quinoa provides complete protein that keeps energy levels stable throughout the day.

Simply add cooked quinoa into their food or serve it as its own meal to ensure your pup gets all necessary nourishment without raising blood sugar levels too much.

Boiled eggs

Eggs are an ideal option for diabetic dogs as they do not have a high glycemic index (0), meaning they won’t cause an abrupt spike in your dog’s blood sugar level.

Eggs provide numerous health benefits being high in protein and essential vitamins/minerals like selenium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Boiled eggs make for easy feedings since they’re low in calories and fat compared to other meals; you may add vegetables or yogurt on top for extra nutrition if desired.

Learn more about boiled eggs.

Zucchini

Zucchini is an ideal choice for diabetic dogs due to its low glycemic index of 15. This vegetable can be fed cooked or raw and provides them with plenty of nutrition without adding too many carbs to their diet.

Plus, zucchini contains dietary fiber which aids digestion as well as essential vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium – and anti-inflammatory properties which may help with allergies too.

So for diabetic dogs who require special dietary considerations when feeding their pups, zucchini could be just what the doctor ordered!

Learn more about zucchini.

Cucumber

Cucumbers are an ideal food choice for diabetic dogs due to their low glycemic index, making them a slow-release carbohydrate that won’t cause sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.

They can be offered raw or cooked and added as occasional treats into your dog’s regular diet; additionally, cucumbers contain minerals, vitamins, and fiber which make them excellent sources of nutrition for diabetics.

To maximize these benefits, avoid adding any condiments like salt or dressings when offering your pup their cucumber snack.

Cucumbers have a glycemic index of 15 which means they don’t cause sudden spikes in glucose levels like some other carbohydrates may.

Popcorn (air-popped with no butter and salt)

Popcorn is a low-glycemic food, making it one of the best snacks for diabetic dogs. The GI (glycemic index) of popcorn ranges from 55-65 depending on the type and preparation method.

Additionally, popcorn has high fiber levels as well as essential vitamins and minerals that help regulate blood sugar levels.

When feeding your pup popcorn, be sure to remove any additional salts or sugars beforehand; store-bought varieties may contain extra fat, salt, and sugar.

Providing only plain popcorn without butter or oil is recommended.

Foods To Avoid Feeding a Diabetic Dog

Here are foods to avoid feeding a diabetic dog:

  • White bread
  • White rice
  • Pasta
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Beans (black and kidney)
  • Fruit juice
  • Soda
  • Candy
  • Chocolate
  • Ice cream
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Cakes
  • Cookies

In Conclusion

Giving the wrong foods to diabetic dogs can make things worse.

However, if you are familiar with low glycemic index foods, you can safely feed your dog without worrying about any blood sugar spikes.

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