Diabetic dog food that will help you manage your dog’s diabetes
You might be surprised but dogs too, can suffer from diabetes. If you have a diabetic dog, you are probably looking for ways to help your dog cope with the disease. One of the best things you can do to manage it is by providing your dog with a balanced, nutritious diet.
What is diabetic dog food?
Diabetic dog food refers to anything that you give your pet to manage its diabetes. Food for diabetic dogs can be commercially produced dog foods as well as foods that are prescribed by a vet.
Dogs with diabetes usually fare quite well with commercially produced dog food that is low fat, low in simple carbohydrates and high in fiber. Do consult your vet on the best food for your diabetic dog before you change its diet.
What is the best diet for a diabetic dog?
To provide your dog with a ‘diabetic diet’, you should consider how many calories your dog needs each day. The amount of ‘fuel’ your dog needs usually depends on their weight as well as activity level.
A high fiber, low fat diet is usually recommended for dogs with diabetes. Fiber is important as it will slow down the entrance of glucose into your dog’s bloodstream. It will also help your dog to feel fuller for a longer time. Low fat foods have less calories.
It is also best to avoid foods that are high in sugar, as a sugary diet is one of the risk factors for diabetes in dogs. Check the ingredient labels to ensure that there are no molasses, fructose, dextrose maltose, honey or syrup in the list.
If you give your dog treats, make sure that the snacks do not contain sugar. However, it’s best that you just stick to giving your dog main meals without giving it any treats.
Diabetic dogs also need to drink plenty of water. One of the symptoms of dog diabetes is increased thirst and increased urination, so make sure that your dog has access to fresh water at all times. Additionally, if your dog is on a high fiber diet, fiber absorbs water from the body. This can cause constipation and other health problems so you want to make sure that your dog stays hydrated.
Your dog’s diet should also be consistent. Once you determine the right combination of nutrients, feed your dog the same food at the same time each day. Your dog’s body will be better able to regulate blood sugar levels this way.
What human food can I feed my diabetic dog?
Human foods that are suitable for diabetic dogs should be high in fiber and average in proteins and carbohydrates. Here are some veggies and grains that you can give your diabetic dog.
Veggies usually have a low glycemic index and are high in fiber. Veggies that are suitable for diabetic dogs include:
- String beans
- Cucumber slices
- Alpha sprouts
- Leafy salad greens
Whole grains are high in fiber, and contain vitamins, and minerals that will help boost your dog’s energy. Grains that you can give your diabetic dog include
- Oatmeal or whole oats
- Whole rye
- Brown rice
- Wild rice
- Whole farro
- Whole grain barley
If your diabetic dog needs to gain weight, grains such as quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat that are rich in fiber and protein can help. Do remember to always check with your vet before giving your dog human food.
How often should I feed my diabetic dog?
You may be wondering how often to feed your diabetic dog. If your dog is diabetic, its blood glucose level will go up after your dog has its meal. The insulin that you give to your dog will work to bring the glucose level back to a normal range.
Your vet will probably prescribe one to two doses of insulin a day. If your dog takes one dose of insulin a day, then its first meal should be two thirds of the daily ration. This should be given to your dog before the insulin injection. The remaining third of the daily ration can be given 6 to 8 hours later.
If your dog has two doses of insulin a day, you can give him 2 equal size meals about 10 to 12 hours apart. The meals can be given just before or at the same time as the insulin injections. It’s not advisable to give your dog two different sized meals as the insulin is aimed to work for meals that are the same size.
It is also not ideal to use a self feeder or allow your dog to be free feeding if it has diabetes. A scheduled meal time with insulin is one of the best ways to manage diabetes effectively. Remember not to give your dog insulin on an empty stomach as this can make them sick.