This article will guide you through the process of caring for a diabetic dog using both natural and traditional methods.

But first, lets talk about how Diabetes affects our canine friends.  The disease is caused by either a lack of insulin or an insufficient response to the hormone.

In a dog’s typical digestive process, the system breaks food down into components like glucose.

Those components are carried to cells by pancreas-secreted insulin. When a dog doesn’t produce enough insulin or is unable to use it properly, glucose has nowhere to go. This elevates blood sugar levels, resulting in hyperglycemia and a number of associated health complications.

The good news is that canine diabetes is adaptable; many diabetic dogs lead long hearty lives.

Natural Alternatives and Care for Canine Diabetes

We’ve put together the best options for your diabetic dog with regards to diet and supplements.  Please be sure to read everything carefully.

Product NameDescriptionImage
Paradigm Dehydrated Dog FoodThis is in our opinion the best dog food for dogs with diabetes if you're looking to purchase a commercial dog food. It is specifically designed to meet the needs of diabetic dogs. But, you have to add protein. This is a base food. It's also an EXCELLENT CHOICE for dogs with Cancer, Liver, Kidney and Heart Disease. Simply add HOT FILTERED water and allow to sit for 8 minutes.

Add protein and oil. We recommend adding coconut oil since it is very low on the glycemic index.

Learn more here.

*Using both Paradigm and the recipes in the cook book below will provide your diabetic dog with change which is also very important. Dogs are NOT meant to live on the same foods day in and day out.
diabetic dog food

Use this code to receive 10% off of your order: MOD1018
Home Cooking for Sick DogsOne of the best ways to manage your diabetic dog's nutritional needs is to take control and cook your dog's meals yourself.

Although there are no dedicated recipes for diabetes in the cookbook, ANY of the recipes in the book can be used by simply eliminating all grain sources.

Learn more about the cookbook here.
cookbook for diabetic dog
Ocu Glo Vision Supplement Since diabetic dogs often end up with serious eye problems, Ocu Glo is the perfect addition to your diabetic dog's treatment plan for the eyes.

It includes the 12 necessary antioxidants for vision health and protects vital cells and eye structure.

Even if your dog doesn't have a sugar imbalance and has bad eyes, this is the supplement you want.


Here's a testimonial from one of our readers:

"Hi Janie, Carmen informed me that she bought the Ocu Glo cataract drops you recommended for her dog Chloe and Chloe’s eyesight has improved a lot! Thank you for all of your information and help in all respects.

I sincerely appreciate everything.

Take care. ~Ann"

Here's even more testimonials.
vision supplement for diabetic dogs
VetiOnx - DIAIONXThis is an excellent supplement that is odorless and tasteless and can be used in addition to insulin. You simply add it to your dog's water.

Works very well to eliminate the symptoms associated with blood sugar imbalance.

Learn more.
diabetic tonic for dogs
Primalix Blood Sugar BalanceThis is an excellent natural herbal alternative meant to REPLACE insulin injections.

These functional food drops are meant to take the place of insulin, but should NOT be used with insulin at full dosage.

Read ALL the manufacturer's information BELOW about how to use this product if your dog is already on insulin and how to transition over to the drops.

It's an easier process if your dog was just diagnosed and not on insulin yet, and you want an alternative. Then you can simply start the drops according to the instructions.

Learn more about Primalix Blood Sugar Balance.
Herbal Blood Sugar Balance formula for dogs

Please Read Carefully About How to Use Primalix Food Drops as a Replacement for Insulin

You CANNOT give insulin injections and Primalix Blood Sugar Balance at full dosage together.

How to Start Dogs on Primalix That are Not Taking Insulin Injections

For dogs that were just diagnosed and have not been on insulin injections, you can follow the instructions on the manufacturer’s label on how to use the product right away.

How to Transition a Dog from Insulin Injections to Primalix

For those dogs that have been taking insulin injections for awhile, the manufacturer states that you have to switch the dog over slowly while routinely testing your dog’s glucose levels.  Here’s the process the manufacturer recommends in order to transition a dog from insulin injections to Blood Sugar Balance Food Drops:

Directions from the manufacturer of Primalix Blood Sugar Balance:

“There are two ways to monitor a dog’s transition from insulin to Primalix Blood Sugar Balance.

The first method (preferred) is through frequent veterinary testing and calibration of bloodsugar levels as medicines are adjusted.

If this is not possible, the other method is through monitoring, observation and use of home insulin test strips. Even then it’s mostly guesswork and knowing your dog’s usual behavior. The reason we are always repeating that each dog is different in the way medicine affects them is because it’s true.

Watch your dog for signs of both hypo- and hyperglycemia. An owner can increase blood sugar quickly by feeding any kind of sugar. Gymnema Sylvestre can counteract sugar‘s action on the pancreas and lower BS levels. Give 100mg per 10 lbs. up to four times in a day, then stop immediately when symptoms stop. Even if behavioral changes are observed, the bigger problem is in the interpretation of these changes and avoiding over correcting. This brings us back to the vet. Some professional help should be considered even if it’s just testing before, once during the transition, and after. 

Basically if one wants to transition over to a holistic approach they would slowly decrease the insulin as they start to introduce the Primalix Blood Sugar Balance while monitoring and frequent testing.”

Don’t Forget to Support the Pancreas

If you have a diabetic dog, it’s critical that you support his/her pancreas as well.  When the pancreas suffers from chronic inflammation, it’s said that the cells that produce insulin can become damaged.  In people, type 2 diabetes and pancreatitis include some of the same risk factors and have a higher risk of developing acute pancreatitis.  Unfortunately, dogs don’t seem to be much different, based upon the stories we hear from our readers.

One excellent way to naturally support your dog’s pancreas is to include healthy, organic pancreas gland into your dog’s diet.  Make sure it’s organic. The last thing you want to do for your dog is to include diseased or unhealthy pancreas glandular in supplemental form.

We recommend Ancestral brand which is organic and comes from grass fed animals. View it here

Directions for feeding Ancestral Pancreas Glandular 500mg capsules: 1/2 capsule for every 20 pounds daily.

Additional Supporting Products for Your Diabetic Dog

Daily Multi  includes overall support for your dog’s health and also includes a maintenance dosage of pancreas gland.  However, additional amounts are recommended for your dogs with blood sugar imbalances.

BioPreparation Wholefood Supplement includes the best form of algae on the planet and has been studied for decades.  It offers tremendous support for both sick people and animals including those with diabetes.

General Information

There are two types of diabetes that affect both people and dogs: Type I and Type II.

Type I diabetes refers to the lack of overall insulin production and is the most common form of the disease. This happens because the pancreas fails to secrete sufficient levels of the stuff. Dogs with Type I diabetes, as you may have guessed, need insulin.

Type II diabetes is more common in our feline friends and is a lack of “normal” reaction to insulin the body is already producing.


There are a number of symptoms related to the disease. Remember, though, that diabetes is identified through blood tests, a full medical examination and a urinalysis. Do not try to diagnose your own dog. If you’re contemplating using natural products for your diabetic dog, you should still see your dog’s vet on a regular basis to monitor the disease!

Among the symptoms of diabetes in dogs are:

  • Appetite changes
  • Disproportionate thirst or a surge in consumption of water
  • Loss of weight
  • Increased levels of urination
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Forming of cataracts or attendant vision difficulties
  • Skin infections
  • Sweet-smelling or “fruity” breath
  • Sticky urine

Causes and Considerations

The exact cause of diabetes in dogs is unknown. There are a number of contributing factors, including obesity and genetics, that play a role in how and if the disease develops. Protein deposits are also considerations and pancreatitis leads to some diabetes cases.

Obese and female dogs are most prone to developing diabetes, but the onset is generally later in life around six to nine years of age or so. Some breeds, like Australian terriers and miniature schnauzers, run larger risks. Poodles, dachshunds, keeshonds and Samoyeds also are among dogs impacted most.

There are also some cases of juvenile diabetes, mostly affecting golden retrievers and keeshonds.

Additional Recommendations for Using Traditional Insulin

Treating diabetes is a matter of collaborating with your veterinarian to determine your dog’s blood sugar levels.  However, don’t assume that injections and prescriptions diets are the only option for your dog.  Your vet will push these diets and lead you to believe that you have no other alternative, but, it’s in your dog’s best interest that you try natural forms first!  There is no other way to say this, except that prescription diets are truly disgusting.  Your dog has better options.

In most cases, insulin is essential to normalize glucose levels. Your veterinarian will administer an individually-designed treatment system for your dog based on his or her weight and you’ll be able to deliver insulin injections at home, should this be the course of action you decide to take. You should also be able to perform regular glucose checks at home.

When you are administering insulin, make sure that you feed your dog regular meals in conjunction with medical treatment and that you stick to a timetable.

This will allow nutrients to correspond with peak insulin levels, reducing the chances of sugar-swings. A low carb, high protein diet is necessary for dogs with diabetes.  Also, avoid foods and dog treats that are high in glucose.

You also want to include a regular exercise program and a nutritional program you can follow. Once again, this is a matter of cooperating not only with your vet but with your dog.

IMPORTANT: This article is meant to open your eyes to the natural, healthier options available to you as a dog owner vs traditional treatment.  However, it is not meant to replace the advice of your dog’s vet. 

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Showing 73 comments
  • Donna Harper

    I have a Great Dane (BlueMerl) that was diagnosed with diabetes last month. He drinks a toilet bowl full of water several times a day, over eats one day and barely eats the next, is very gassy, urinated frequently (approximately 16 to 32 oz each time) is starting to develop cataracts is lathargic one day and happy the next. He is taking 15.5 twice a day. He gets 2 cups of grain free fog food mixed with 1 can of Purina one. He also gets 2 doggie snacks a day.
    I don’t have the money to leave him with the vet for bi-hourly testing do I purchased a meter to do it at home. I can’t weigh him because he is so large, but I can eye him to see when he has gained or lost weight.
    Please advise me on feeding and medicating him. I love my big baby and want to help him to get healthy again, but I need a low cost way to do it.

    • janie

      Hi Donna:

      I’m sorry to hear about your Dane. You cannot keep feeding the diet he is currently on. He needs real food. Not commercial dog food like this.

      I tried to share everything in the article for my readers so that it is at their finger tips. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to spend money on him to try and help him by using the products that I shared in the article. What is your budget?


  • Lisa

    I have a diabetic dog who is on a pill for diabetes not insulin. How do I start this Primalix but not sure how.

    • janie

      Hi Lisa:

      I put the instructions in the article. If you’re still not sure, I would contact the manufacturer by clicking the link.


  • Natosha

    Is there any natural ways to lower my dogs glucose levels instantly? My brother in laws parents were visiting over the weekend and they give her table food constantly (even after being told not to) and now her levels are 485-500 and I can’t seem to get it down… I do not want to over do her insulin and I’m getting tired (I know she is too) of sticking her…

    • janie

      Hi Natosha:

      I’m not sure about “instantly”, but when you use the products and diet recommended in the article, they are meant to help maintain or regulate glucose levels. Everything you need is in the article. All the products and diet recommendations.


  • Ivonne

    1 month ago we have found out that My 12 yrs, now 11.7 lbs (he used to be 15 lbs 2 months ago0 old bishon poodle has pancreatitis and diabetes. Vet couldn’t tell what type. He is getting vetsulin 4ml twice a day 7;30am and 7;30 pm but glucose (according to urine strips-Are these strips accurate ) is more than 500. He doesn’t like Hill’s, so I have to blend it along with some boiled nf beef and feed him with a syringe He sleeps a lot, sometimes he seems normal. At 12;30 pm and 11;00 he eats on his own some boiled turkey or beef. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you

    • janie

      Hi Ivonne:

      Sorry to hear about your little one. You definitely MUST avoid any and all vaccines and chemical flea, tick and heart products for your little one.

      I personally would try and see if Dia-Ionx for blood sugar balance can be a natural option instead of insulin injections. I know you can use it with injections. You can learn more about it here and if you have any questions, I would ask them directly. I would also start him on a good diet using Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm dog food where you add water, oil (I would use coconut oil since it works well with diabetes) and protein. It works well for dogs with diabetes and pancreatitis.

      DO NOT BOIL THE MEAT! Purchase low fat proteins and cook. DON’T BOIL IT THOUGH. Including Daily Multi is also recommended for dogs with both of these conditions/diseases.

      I hope this helps.


  • Dennis Brenner

    Hello , I have a Min-Pin Chihuahua mix that is around ten or eleven years old . She is a diabetic and is on 4mg of insulin twice a day. She is also on Hill’s Science diet – Digestive/ Weight/ Glucose management prescription diet dog food. She is doing pretty good ,but is almost blind with cataracts . She also has allergies real bad when it starts to warm up . She has been on apoquel which seems to work on her , but is very expensive . Can you suggest anything that would help her ? Thank you , Dennis There is a product called Allergy Immune bites by Zesty Paws and I was wondering if they would be safe for a diabetic dog to take ? They are sold on Amazon.

    • janie

      Hi Dennis:

      I’m so sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

      First, be sure to avoid any and all vaccines and chemical flea, tick and heart products for your little one.

      I would try and see if Dia-Ionx for regulating blood sugar balance can be an option for your old girl. It can be used with insulin injections. You can learn more about it here and if you have any questions, I would ask them directly. I would also start her on a really good diet Dennis, using Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm dog food where you simply add water, oil (I would use coconut oil since it works well with diabetes) and protein. It works well for dogs with diabetes.

      Our anti allergy kit is a definite option and works well for seasonal allergies. You can see that here.

      I hope this helps your old girl.


  • Charlene

    my 11 year old mini schnauzer has just been diagnosed with diabetes. They want me to start her on 2 units of humulin 2 x a day at meals, along with the veterinary diet-they wanted kibble form. When I noticed her symptoms (excessive drinking and urinating, having accidents while sleeping, wetting her bed) I started cooking at home for her, very simple diet-1 cup of boiled skinless chicken breast, 1 cup of brown rice, 1 cup of salt free green beans and 1/4 cup of low fat cottage cheese. I took her to the vet 3 days after starting her on that diet and they drew her blood and sent it off-I just got the results last monday, by that time I have noticed a remarkable change, in that her drinking, urinating seems very close to normal, her activity level is appropriate for her age, and she hasn’t had an accident for over 6 days now. I’m really questioning what I should do at this point. Any help or info you can send would be greatly appreciated

    • janie

      Hi Charlene:

      I’m sorry to hear about your old girl’s diabetes diagnosis, but very glad to hear that she is responding so well to diet change. I’m not at all surprised though. We hear this a lot. The diet you’re feeding will work temporarily, but for long term support, she’ll need more than that.

      If you’re looking for a natural alternative to insulin injections, then I would look into Primalix.

      I also recommend that you include our Daily Multivitamin which we’ve been told is the best on the market and you can read about it here: Daily Multi with Glandulars

      Here’s a link to the page where you can read about Home Cooking for Sick Dogs. There are no specific recipes in there for Diabetes, BUT, you can feed any of the recipes by just eliminating the grain. I do however suggest including Carna4 Raw Food Topping which is sprouted seeds and a very healthy nutritional grain source. If she is thin or gets too thing, add a little Diabetic Friendly Ezekiel Bread to her meal. This is the bread I mean:

      Whatever you do, don’t allow your dog to be vaccinated again and avoid ALL chemical flea and tick products. You can purchase Triple Sure for flea and tick control from the same makers of Primalix Blood Sugar Balance above.

      Last, include a pancreas tissue glandular to help support the pancreas which is vital for diabetic dogs. It will also helps with digestive issues. This one here on Amazon is good one. I would give her 1/2 capsule daily with one of her meals (morning).

      I hope this helps. Write back and share a picture and your story with us Charlene for others, please!


  • Trevor

    Our 10 year old Male chihuahua. A little more than week ago (about Feb 21) He started drinking a lot, urinating a lot sometimes accidentally in the house and was just overall tired but still ate normal yet still lost some weight (was 8 pounds now 7.2 pounds – We feed him Orijin puppy). At first He would hike to urinate then a few days later He would just squat. As time went on He slowly would get weaker but would have some good days. So We switched to Royal Canine Aging 12+ for kidney health cause at the time We though kidney infection or something else with kidneys. Then one day He ate a good portion of the Royal Canine and little while after eating He got really tired and weak and started shaking.

    So We took him to vet (Feb 26) and They did urinalysis and blood test. temp was 101, blood looked good except for the white cell count which was 27000, urine showed glucose in it and blood sugar was around 350. The vet thought diabetes, cushings or liver but diabetes was highest on His list, He wanted to do insulin but We wanted to do Primalix Blood Sugar Balance and He gave us antibiotic Baytril for the what He thinks is urinary tract infection because of the diabetes. Soon as We got home We fixed Him some boiled chicken breast with soaked chia seeds.

    For the next 2 days (Feb 27-28) We gave Him the baytril 1 tablet twice daily 10pm and 10am 12 hours apart – Each tablet is 22.7mg.
    On (Feb 27) We started on the baytril and He started to lose his appetite, Only thing He would eat would be the chicken which We fed him at 12pm, 4pm and 9pm but after His 10pm baytril at 12:30am He vomited up the chicken and again vomited at 4am.
    On (Feb 28) He started to get very weak and very wobbly when He walks, Drinking less, Urinating less and would not eat at all. At the time We thought overdose from baytril.

    (March 1) We took him to the vet. They put him on IV, temp was 99, blood sugar was 423 and urine still showed glucose in it. The Vet started to think pancreatitis, So He gave us 7 0.5ml liquid metronidazole and He still wanted to put Him on insulin but We still wanted to use Primalix which just got delivered later that day. We gave him about 2 tsp activia probiotic yogurt through syringe in mouth.

    (March 2) We have been giving Him the Primalix for his diabetes using half dropper twice daily since We received it March 1, We are giving him the metronidazole but We stopped giving him the baytril cause We read that antibiotics can put stress on pancreas and He was just miserable for those 2 days He was on it. At the moment He is drinking more and urinating more like He was before the baytril, Still not eating and is very weak, sleeping a lot and can barely walk to go get water So we have to put water next to Him and have to either carry him outside or coax/help Him outside, He can still walk just very slow and wobbly. Sometimes We think about going the insulin way cause We just want Him to feel better but We truly want to go the natural route.

    It has been 24 hours since He ate, Temp is 99.4. We are really worried for Him, Anything else You can recommend that would help? What would be a good diet that would be easy on Him?

    • janie

      Hi Trevor:

      I sent you a private email.


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