Diabetes in dogs is rather common. Over 95% of dogs with diabetes suffer from Type I diabetes mellitus, which is an immune-mediated disease that causes the inability of the dog's body to synthesize or secrete insulin.
For dogs with diabetes, dietary control is extremely important. If done right and with insulin replacement therapy, the diabetic dog can live a normal happy life.
The goals of dietary control are to deliver the nutrients to the body during periods when exogenous insulin (insulin administered by injections) is active, and to minimize fluctuations in blood sugar levels after meals.
If your dog has diabetes, I assume that your vet has already told you about the importance of a consistent feeding schedule.
This page looks at the following:
Like all dog diets, a diabetic dog diet should be nutritionally complete and balanced. In addition, a diabetic dog diet should have consistent proportion of carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
In particular, dogs with diabetes can benefit from a diet that contain moderate fiber levels. According to one school of theory, the most effective way to help sugar absorption and decrease fluctuation in blood sugar levels after meals is to have both soluble and insoluble fiber in the diet.
A diabetic dog diet should contain ingredients with rich chromium content.
Chromium is a trace mineral that can control blood sugar levels. A deficiency of chromium can lead to abnormally high blood sugar levels.
Foods that are excellent sources of chromium include:
Other foods with good chromium content include:
Many diabetic dog parents wonder if their dogs can have treats, and if so, whether special diabetic dog treats should be given.
Dogs with diabetes have to go through the discomfort of insulin injections every day, and most dogs are used to getting daily treats. Imagine how a dog will feel if treats are taken away from his daily routine! The dog will feel stressed, and may also feel that he is being punished for no reason.
Diabetic dogs can enjoy healthy natural treats just like other dogs do. Just remember the treats should not be more than 10% of their total calorie intake. It is a good idea to give your dog a small treat after insulin injection to make the daily injection routine a more positive experience for your dog.
You may also want to break up the treats into smaller pieces (or if you make your own dog treats, make them smaller), and give the pieces to your dog throughout the day.
If you choose to buy treats for your diabetic dog, look for something that contains:
If you choose to make your own dog treats (which is a better and healthier choice!), then use ingredients that are safe and beneficial to diabetic dogs, such as those rich in chromium (see above).
Here is a diabetic dog treat recipe that is designed for poochies with diabetes!
Here are also some recipes that can be adapted for your diabetic dog: