What Is The Best Dog Food For Diabetic Dogs?
Diabetes Mellitus, or simply diabetes, can occur in dogs as well.
If inflicted, the dog’s body lacks the amount of insulin or insulin action needed to regulate and balance out its blood sugar levels. In normal cases, food is processed into glucose and sent into the bloodstream after being ingested. Following this, the pancreas secretes insulin, which is a necessary hormone that moves sugar into cells for energy. If this process isn’t achieved, the body cannot get the energy it needs and will shut down. This would obviously lead to various issues. Dog food for diabetic dogs can help in several different ways.
Two Types of Diabetes
As with humans, there are two types of diabetes that animals can be diagnosed with.
Type 1 occurs when the pet’s body doesn’t produce enough insulin, and is the most common diagnosis for dogs. Type 2, on the other hand, occurs when the pet does produce enough of the hormone, yet its body does not respond to it accordingly. This latter diagnosis is also referred to as “insulin resistance,” and is most common among humans and other animals.
In most cases, a dog with diabetes will remain diabetic until its death. Pet owners can adjust their pets’ dietary needs to aid in controlling the glucose levels, but they will most likely need to administer insulin shots throughout their pet’s lifespan.
Cats, however, do seem to have better odds of becoming a non-diabetic if healthy diets are achieved and the insulin resistance factors are controlled (e.g. obesity). In many cases, cat owners only need to administer a few months’ worth of insulin injections for the pet to go into remission.
Tips for Improving the Diet of Your Diabetic Dog
Diabetic dogs will benefit from a meat-based, high protein diet. This would also be low in carbohydrates and have a moderate amount of fat. Additionally, the carbohydrates present should be low glycemic, e.g. sorghum or barley.
Around 30-40% of the calories in this diet should be from protein, and less than 30% should be from the carbohydrates and fat. This is the standard recommendation, but you may need to alter these restrictions if your dog also has blood fat elevations or pancreatitis.
It is absolutely essential to maintain timely meals every single day, which will coincide with the insulin injections. Consistency is critical when managing diabetes and it is important to schedule the shots within one hour of a meal to restrict rising blood sugar levels. Each meal should contain similar ingredient and calories to make it easy for the insulin to work more effectively.
Treats should generally be kept to a minimum and avoid giving out at random times throughout the course of the day. This could lead to spikes in the blood sugar levels, which might not be controllable with the insulin shots. A preferred time to give treats is 4-6 hours after giving the shot because this is the time insulin is most effective.
Avoid the store-bought treat high in sugars and carbohydrates. Instead, go with treats that are protein rich or alternatively give lean fresh meat as a treat.