Diabetes is an incurable disease that affects humans as well as dogs.
When your dog is diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, it is imperative to maintain a balanced diet.
If he is overweight, shedding some pounds can help regulate blood sugar levels and facilitate a healthier lifestyle.
A diabetic dog diet needs to be monitored regularly. So if you’re curious about how much to feed a diabetic dog, keep on reading!
What Should I Feed My Diabetic Dog?
When your pet is subjected to the immense stress of being diabetic, taking care of him becomes your utmost responsibility.
While your vet will help you with insulin dosages, curating a diet specific to your dog’s dietary needs is important.
Here are some common pointers if you decide to follow a non-prescription diet.
Note: We have a section on dog nutrition as well - use it to reference food labels on dog foods!
A diabetic dog diet is characterized by an increased fiber intake. Vets recommend high-fiber diets that help slow down the entrance of glucose into the bloodstream, inadvertently aiding in blood sugar control.
Fibers are primarily divided into 2 categories: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
Insoluble fibers are highly beneficial for dogs with canine diabetes, which can slow digestion.
In fact, insoluble fiber gives an illusion of feeling full without consuming excess calories.
Specifically, overweight dogs can benefit from insoluble fibers like cellulose which add bulk to the food and are mostly found in whole grains and wheat bran.
For an overweight dog, incorporating 10-20% of dry food as insoluble fiber helps the swift movement of food through the digestive tract and controls excess body fat.
For underweight dogs, diets with 10%-15% of fiber nourishment are optimum.
Low Fat Diet
Dogs with diabetes are liable to accumulate excess body fat, which increases their blood glucose level.
For diabetic dogs, a proper diet and weight loss are instrumental in determining their blood glucose readings.
Since 30% of dogs already have a damaged pancreas before being diagnosed with diabetes, they are more susceptible to cardiovascular and heart disease, cholesterol deposits, and stroke, among other diseases.
Therefore, maintaining a low-fat diet coupled with weight loss supplements like L-carnitine can improve your dog’s overall wellbeing. L-carnitine is especially known for improving fat metabolism in diabetic dogs.
Look for dry-matter carbohydrates that aid in blood sugar control and mostly incorporate dry foods, which prove beneficial in the long run. Avoid semi-moist dog foods in packets as they are generally high in sugars.
A dog eats a plethora of food scraps throughout the day when left unattended.
If you wonder, “what treats can I give my diabetic dog,” we have the answer. Small treats between every meal are harmless unless they contain corn syrup, molasses, fructose, and maltose.
Remember to always feed in moderation and drop in a treat or two every week if you are trying to make your dog lose weight.
We also have an ongoing list of foods that your dog can and should eat that can help with making better choices for a diabetic dog diet.
What Foods Should I Avoid?
Dogs with diabetes mellitus are advised against consuming highly digestible diets which are relatively high in sugars. Highly digestible diets are helpful for easy digestion and absorption but somehow affect your dog’s blood glucose levels.
If your dog suffers from insulin resistance, it is advisable to avoid semi-moist dog foods.
These foods are infused with a scaffolding amount of flavored and processed sugars. If you are dedicated to weight management and glycemic control, preparing a high-fiber, low-fat diet with regular insulin injection doses can help control diabetes.
Tips for A Healthy Diet
Now that you are familiar with some preferable food choices for your diabetic dog, let us look at some helpful tips for diabetes management.
Timing is Everything
Timing your meals and insulin shots helps in diabetes management. After your dog eats, there is an increase in blood glucose levels. For glycemic control, it is usually recommended to give the first meal before the insulin injection.
If your dog gets one insulin shot every day, make sure to space out the 2 meals for 6-8 hours. The first meal should comprise 2/3rd of the daily ration, and the final meal of the day should be the final third.
If you are giving your dog 2 doses of insulin every day, remember to feed your dog 2 proportional meals that are 10-12 hours apart. You can even get a diabetic dog food calculator to estimate the correct amount of portions every day.
Consistency is Key
Being consistent with your feeding schedule is important for regulating your dog’s blood sugar levels.
Check your dog’s blood glucose levels daily and feed them the same amount of food recommended by your veterinary nutritionist every day.
Time consistent feedings with insulin injections so that they coincide with the peak action of given insulin.
Generally, dogs with diabetes tend to be overweight. If you are trying to make your overweight dog lose weight, you should do regular weigh-ins at your vet clinic to adjust your dog’s insulin dosage accordingly.
Their bodies undergo a change, especially if they are losing weight and taking insulin shots daily. A balance of both is important for ensuring healthy weight management.
Can Diabetic Dogs Eat Eggs?
Yes, eggs are a rich source of protein for diabetic dogs. According to Dr. Bruyette, you can give your dog scrambled or hard-boiled eggs with less salt and oil. [source]
Can A Diabetic Dog Eat Chicken Breast?
Chicken is another source of protein that is completely safe and nutritious for your diabetic dog. It doesn’t increase blood sugar levels, but it shouldn’t be the only food your dog eats.
Make sure that you feed your pet a balanced diet full of fibers, proteins, carbohydrates, and low fats.
A dog’s body undergoes a change, especially if they are losing weight and taking insulin shots daily.
Remember to treat them with care and love instead of restrictions, as well as a tightly controlled custom diabetic dog diet.
A balance of both is important for ensuring a healthy mindset in your dog’s diabetic journey.