Just like humans, our canine companions can develop diabetes. Dogs who suffer from this chronic condition do not produce enough or any insulin, or the insulin that they do produce is not effective. If you have recently learned that your four-legged companion is diabetic, it’s vital that you adjust his diet, as diet is one of the most important things you can do to manage this chronic condition (in addition to insulin injections and medications for dogs).
Why Food Management is Important
Canines with diabetes need to have their blood glucose levels controlled; it’s the only way to treat the symptoms that are associated with the condition. The food your furry pal eats directly affects his blood glucose levels; therefore, if your pup’s diet isn’t controlled, maintaining his blood glucose levels so that they remain in the safe range simply isn’t possible With that said, adjusting your pet’s diet and knowing exactly what he can and can’t eat is vital for his overall health and well-being.
Safe Food Options for Diabetic Canines
According to veterinarians and animal nutritionists, when it comes to managing a diabetic dog’s diet, consistency is more important than the type of dog food the canine eats. If you are feeding your pooch a nutritionally balanced wet dog food or dry dog food that is made with wholesome ingredients, your pup should do just fine. But what is a nutritionally balanced food for diabetic dogs? A high protein dog food that features a premium-quality protein source as the first ingredient and has a moderate amount of fat and minimal amounts of carbohydrates is ideal. Grain free dog food is usually a good choice, as are organic dog food recipes. Some dog food brands to consider include:
- Taste of Wild dog food
- Nature’s Recipe dog food
- Wellness dog food
- Royal Canin dog food
- Hill’s Science Diet dog food
- Dr Tim’s dog food
- Dr Gary’s Best Breed dog food
Consistency is Key
As mentioned, as long as you are feeding your pup a premium-quality dog food at the same time every day, your furry friend should do well. Arrange your pet’s feeding time so that it corresponds with his insulin injection; for instance, feed your dog at 5pm every day and administer his insulin within one hour after he’s eaten. Doing so will offset the rise in his blood glucose levels that occurs after eating.
Not only should meal times be specific, but so should the ingredients and the calorie content. When your pup is eating the same ingredients and the same amount of calories, his insulin will work as expected. The amount of calories you feed your pooch should aim to keep him lean, or if he is overweight, should aim to help him return to a lean, healthy weight. Obesity can increase the risk for complications in diabetic dogs, so it’s important to help your pup maintain a healthy weight.
In addition to managing his diet, you should also try to maintain increase or maintain your pet’s activity levels. Regular walks and playing will help your pooch maintain his weight and can aid in diabetes management.
Image Source: UCLA