How to Feed a Diabetic Dog

You might’ve recently found out your furry friend is diabetic, and it may be a stressful time. There are many changes that have to be made to both your lifestyle and especially your pup’s! However, one of the major changes to your furry friend’s life will be their diet. Here’s some tips on what and how to feed your best friend!

Handling diabetes as a dog is much different than handling diabetes as a human. While humans rely on dieting, checking blood sugar, taking insulin, and other medical advancements, your pup does not have access to these things. They can’t tell you if they’re feeling some adverse effects from diabetes!

 For dogs, counting calories is actually the key factor in keeping your pup healthy and happy. Your vet will recommend how many calories your pup should get daily. With calories, the idea is to keep your pup at a healthy weight to avoid the effects of diabetes. Proper exercise and diet should help your pup stay healthy!

Diabetic Diet: What can My Dog Eat?

In general, any diabetic human or animal should avoid sugars in their diets. Sugars is what causes the harmful symptoms of diabetes. You should also avoid high glycemic foods, such as white bread or rice, as it can cause boost blood sugars. Overall, your pup needs a complete and balanced diet, which can curb the effects of diabetes.

Some foods you should consider giving your pup are vegetables! Vegetables are low in sugar, and make for wonderful treats or even additions to your pup’s meal. They also offer vitamins and minerals that your dog may not be able to naturally get in dry or canned foods.

As always, you should consult your vet about exactly what your dog needs. Most vets will recommend a diet that consists of high-fiber and low-fat. Fiber is meant to help your pup slow down the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream, while low-fat foods allow for less calories to enter the body. This diet is meant to help your furry friend eat less while also losing weight!

However, changing your pup’s diet suddenly may not make him the happiest dog. Once you know your pup is diabetic, you may not be able to wean your pup off their old food traditionally. You may need to encourage your pup using wet dog food that is low in sugar or sugar replacements, add eggs or chicken to your pup’s meal, or even add low-sodium meat-based broth to encourage your pup’s taste buds. Make sure your pup gets used to their diet!

Ensuring Hydration

You should also make sure your pup can have more access to water, as a high-fiber diet and insulin may cause your pup to become dehydrated easily. Always make sure your pup has enough water in their bowl!

As for treats, your pup can still have them! You just have to make sure that the treats have no sugar or sugar replacement ingredients, such as syrup, molasses, fructose, dextrose, or maltose. If you want to give your pup treats you’ve made to be on the safe side, consider dehydrated or cooked meats without seasoning or salt, carrots, peas, or pumpkins!

Treatment: Insulin

Insulin is the key factor in helping your dog eat different kinds of food without worry! The purpose of insulin is to regulate your pup’s blood sugar and help them regulate their body when they eat. Make sure to always give your pup their daily intake, as forgetting can lead to many negative effects. 

Also keep in mind that your pup can’t take their insulin on an empty stomach. Typically speaking, your vet may recommend a dosage of insulin every 12-hours. To make sure your pup isn’t getting their insulin on an empty stomach, you should try to feed your pup 2 to 3 meals a day. 

Consistency in Diabetes Management

Overall, consistency is the key to making sure your pup is healthy! Make sure your furry friend gets their meals at the same time everyday, their treats at the same time, exercise at the same time, and of course, their insulin intake at the same time. You should also make sure that your pup is getting fed the same amount of food everyday. Small changes can affect your pup in ways you don’t want them to!

Consistency is what helps your pup’s body can properly process their insulin, and avoid any hard times with the effects of diabetes.  Consistency is meant to help your pup regulate their blood sugar the best they can! 

While diabetes is a serious disease, knowing how to help your pup can make their life and even yours much easier! Watching what and when your pup eats can help ease the effects of diabetes. You play a major part in keeping your pup healthy, so be sure to set reminders to give your pup their insulin and meals. Good luck with handling your pup!

Benefits of Grain-Free Diet 

Your diabetic dog can benefit from dog food that’s low in carbohydrates, like this list of grain-free dog food brands we’ve compiled to save you time. Take care of that diabetic furbaby.

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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