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What Can Diabetic Dogs Eat

Potential Reasons As To Why A Diabetic Dog Wont Eat

Treating Your Diabetic Dog: PDSA Petwise Pet Health Hub

A diabetic dog with no appetite can be a concerning sight, especially when you are used to seeing your dog sneak a bite or two of your homemade cherry pies or Sour Patch Kids.

Abnormal, food-aversive behavior can be explained by a single of factors.

The underlying reason can oftentimes be pretty straightforward and can involve:

  • The dog disliking or getting sick of its current food/diet
  • The pup being uninterested in meals due to there being something more interesting happening at the same time
  • The pooch already having ate another meal or had been secretly snacking on pig ears beforehand, unbeknownst to you
  • Its simply not feeling hungry! Rare, I know, but it can happen.

A pooch that does not want to eat could also be experiencing nausea for whatever reason. This can be diagnosed through behaviors such as lip smacking, grass eating, and generally appearing irritated.

One of the more common reasons that can cause nausea to occur in a canine is if it has been a while since it last ate.

This is because stomach acid and bile can build up in the stomach, subsequently irritating the surrounding tissue and inducing feelings of nausea.

Other more complicated causes of appetite loss include various illnesses, hypoglycemia, and diabetic ketoacidosis .

There are still other potential reasons not as commonly known, and you may need to consult with a professional to accurately diagnose the issue at hand.

Dried Carrot Jerky Is Healthy Mouthwatering And Surprisingly Easy To Make

Vegetables are fantastic diabetic dog treats since theyre low in sugar and high in fiber, though not all dogs will happily munch on some raw or cooked veggies at a moments notice. Making dehydrated carrot jerky is a great way to solve this problem while giving your furry friend something to gnaw on for a while.

Youll begin with whole, regular carrots. Make sure to blanch them before dehydrating, which is simply soaking them in boiling water for 5 minutes. Then, youre ready to chop! When you slice your veggies, you can make either bite-sized morsels or larger jerky chews for your pup, though the bigger pieces will take much longer to cook.

When dehydrating carrots, use low heat for a long time. You can expect small pieces to become dark and leathery thats when you know theyre ready in as little as 2 hours, while larger pieces may have to sit for 10 hours or more. Luckily, you get to kick back and relax while all this is happening, so youll need to dedicate only about half an hour to the actual work!

Common Questions About Feeding Diabetic Dogs

Still, have questions about the right dog food for diabetic dogs? The following information should clear up any confusion about your dog’s diet and help him maintain the ideal blood sugar levels.

Remember that if you have any other questions about diabetic dogs or foods for diabetic canines, your vet is also a great resource.

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How Often Do Diabetic Dogs Need To Be Monitored

Your dog’s progress must be checked on a regular basis. Monitoring is a joint project on which owners and veterinarians must work together. Most dogs will require more frequent monitoring initially. After the dog is stabilized and you are comfortable administering insulin and feeding the recommended diet, blood and urine testing will typically be performed every one to three months.

Can You Give A Dog Insulin Without Food

What Vegetables Can Diabetic Dogs Eat

No, do not administer insulin to your dog on an empty stomach. Its role is to lower blood glucose levels. You endanger your dogs life by injecting insulin if it has not eaten.

If your diabetic dog has not eaten for hours, its blood sugar is probably low. Administering insulin can cause it to drop more, leading to a hypoglycemic coma.

You can give your dog insulin after you have force-fed it if refuses to eat. Go to the vet immediately if you cannot force-feed your pet.

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Can Diabetic Dogs Have Sweet Potatoes

Offering a great source of dietary fiber, sweet potatoes helps a dogs digestive system to function more effectively. When dogs eat fiber regularly, it will lower the risk of some types of cancer and heart disease. They also are less likely to damage his digestive tract or cause an immune response. Low in fat, sweet potatoes are full of vitamins C, B6, and A as well as iron, calcium, and potassium.

Best Types Of Food For Dogs With Diabetes Mellitus

The American Animal Hospital Association guidelines say the type of food fed to a dog with diabetes is much less important than the consistency of the diet. As long as the food is a high-quality diet that is complete and balanced, your diabetic dog will do fine with it. If you haven’t been paying much attention to your pet’s diet, talk to your veterinarian to get recommendations for a balanced diet.

One thing to avoid is food with simple sugars. These will raise your dog’s blood sugar level. Avoid giving any treats or table scraps that contain sugar or sweeteners such as corn syrup, as well as high glycemic foods that quickly boost blood sugar, such as white rice and bread. Have a discussion with all of your family members about why it is not good to give your dog treats or scraps, no matter how much your dog begs.

If your dog is overweight, increasing the soluble and insoluble fiber can help in weight management. Some dog food is formulated in this way and it can help improve blood sugar control as well as weight loss. However, if your dog is underweight it will need a high-quality maintenance diet instead.

Some dogs with diabetes also have pancreatitis, a condition that does best if the dog avoids foods high in fat. But it is important that the reduction in fat isn’t accompanied by an increase in carbohydrates.

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Treatment Of Diabetes In Dogs

  • Diet. Your veterinarian will recommend the best type of diet for your diabetic dog. Usually this will include some good-quality protein, as well as fiber and complex carbohydrates that will help to slow absorption of glucose. Your vet may also recommend a diet with relatively low-fat content.
  • Exercise. To help avoid sudden spikes or drops in glucose levels, it is especially important that diabetic dogs maintain a moderate but consistent exercise routine.
  • Injections. Most diabetic dogs will require daily shots of insulin under the skin, something that the owner will have to learn to do. Although its understandable to be apprehensive about doing this, its not as hard as it might sound. It can become a quick and easy daily routine that isnt traumatic at all for either dog or owner.

What Happens If I Miss A Dose Of Insulin

Homemade Food for Diabetic Dogs (Cheap and Easy to Make)

Your dogs glycemia can rise if you miss an insulin dose and your pet has eaten. If your dog hasnt consumed food, it is recommended not to administer insulin anyway.

It is best to contact your veterinarian if you have forgotten to give your dog an insulin dose. They will tell you what to do and when to administer the next dose.

Skip the missed dose and administer the next one per usual if your dog is acting normally and you cant contact the vet. Never administer your dog two doses or a larger dose of insulin to make up for the missed one.

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What Kind Of Food Should I Feed My Diabetic Dog

A meticulous researcher and editor with 17 years of fact-checking experience, Cherisse Harris reviews articles at The Spruce Pets for factual accuracy and consistency. She has fact-checked articles for multiple publications, including InStyle Magazine, Refinery29, The New York Times, Seventeen, and Details.

Inti St Clair / Getty Images

Controlling the diet of a dog with diabetes mellitus is probably the most important part of treating the disease, with the exception of insulin injections given at periodic intervals.

What Is Canine Diabetes

When dogs suffer from canine diabetes, their pancreas doesnt produce any or not enough insulin, or their body has an inadequate response to the hormone. Insulin is needed to absorb glucose into the bloodstream after eating and transport it to cells around the body to enable them to thrive and grow.

Therefore, a diabetic dogs body cannot control the levels of sugar in its blood and, when elevated, this is called hyperglycaemia. Many dogs can cope with this for a while but they often become seriously unwell if they acquire another illness, such as a urine infection. And diabetic animals are very prone to suffer from other health problems.

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Can Changing My Dogs Diet Help Control Diabetes

A balanced diet can also help enormously in regulating your dogs blood sugar levels. Your vet will advise you on what and how much to feed, and on the timing of meals and injections. High fibre diets are often recommended for dogs with diabetes as it can help limit increases in blood sugar levels compared to a low fibre diet.

In addition, human titbits should never be given as they can also affect glucose levels.

Help Manage Your Dogs Diabetes Through Proper Diet

What Vegetables Can Diabetic Dogs Eat

As discussed in Canine Diabetes, WDJ May 2012, dogs with this disease require blood sugar monitoring, daily insulin injections, carefully planned meals, and scheduled exercise. Fortunately, most cases can be managed at home, and once their medication and diet are stabilized, affected dogs live just as long and actively as other dogs. The most important factor in choosing a diet for a dog with diabetes is that he likes the food and eats it willingly every day.

Well say it again: There is no single best diet for dogs with diabetes. Most diabetic dogs do fine on a diet formulated for adult maintenance. And most do not require a high-fiber prescription diet. However, it is important to maintain consistent carbohydrate levels, and a diet moderately low in fat may be safest. The nutritional needs of any concurrent disease should take precedence.

Dogs with diabetes can thrive on diets that are dry or canned, prescription, frozen raw, home-prepared , and combinations of any of these. See the samples below for a variety of diets that have worked well for diabetic dogs and their caregivers.

To help determine your diabetic dogs best diet, consider the following guidelines.

For some dogs with chronic pancreatitis or persistent fasting hyperlipidemia , fat may need to be reduced to less than 20 percent of calories .

If your dog requires a low-fat diet, see Healthy Low-Fat Diets, WDJ December 2008, for more details.

Beet pulp has both types of fiber.

10 grams pectin

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Structuring A Diet For Diabetic Dogs

Structuring a dog diabetes diet is not easy at first, but there are some general rules you can adhere to.

Once you get used to using the same foods, know what to feed a diabetic dog and what not to feed a diabetic dog, and are used to the timing, it becomes a routine and shouldn’t feel like a hassle as it does at the very beginning.

Diet In Diabetes Treatment For Your Dog

Regulating the blood glucose levels is the key to controlling and treating the symptoms of diabetes. Without a properly controlled diet, keeping the blood glucose levels within acceptable limits is impossible. This is because any food that your dog eats has a direct impact on its blood glucose levels. The types or quantities of food will cause differing reactions.

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Do Diabetic Dogs Need Special Food

The answer is yes. Since diabetic dogs cannot regulate their sugar levels, feeding them a diet with carefully balanced ingredients does most of this work for them. Standard complete diets do not contain the correct balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins for a diabetic dog to live a healthy life.

The key difference between a standard diet and a diabetic diet is the use of carbohydrates. Normal dog food recipes use simple carbohydrates which release sugars into the bloodstream quickly.

Diabetic diets use complex carbohydrates, releasing sugar at a much slower rate and preventing spikes in blood sugar. They will be low on the glycaemic index, which measures how quickly foods will be processed. The lower the number, the longer it will take for your dog to process.

What To Feed A Diabetic Dog That Wont Eat

Homemade Chicken and Vegetable Food for Dogs with Diabetes Recipe

There is no universal diet for dogs with diabetes, but there are several diets recommended for dogs with this condition. Your veterinarian can recommend the best one for your diabetic pet.

The key elements in feeding a diabetic dog are:

  • Should not contain simple carbohydrates .
  • Feed a balanced and nutritionally complete diet.
  • Serve your dog food at regular intervals in predetermined quantities.
  • Use a tasty diet to maintain your dogs appetite.

The most important factor in your diabetic dogs diet remains the assurance of regular consumption of the predetermined food portion. Feed your pet the same amount of food at the same time each day.

This way, you can control its hyperglycemia and adjust the insulin dose accordingly.

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Diabetic Tiny Dog Treats All Natural


These treats have the same ingredients as the first treats on this list, they are just made in a smaller size for smaller pups. No dogs really need treats, regardless of whether they have diabetes. However, if you wish to give your diabetic dog treats to spoil them or help with training, treats should be given in moderation and in the same amount each day to minimize abnormal fluctuations in blood glucose levels.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM& S MRCVS

Dogs come in all sizes from the very small to the very large, which means that different dogs have different needs. Toy and small breed dogs will struggle to chew and digest treats that have been made for larger breeds. Their small mouths simply wonât be able to cope. Imagine a Chihuahua chewing on a treat made for a Great Dane. They might like the challenge but they will struggle to enjoy the treat.

The treats are much smaller than their larger counterparts, measuring an easy-to-pick-up-and-chew one inch by half an inch. This means that your fur friend may want a few more of them to keep them happy, but at only two calories for each treat, you donât need to worry about your dog putting on weight. And with over 225 treats per bag, they should last for a while.

Tips For A Healthy Diabetic Diet For Dogs

Aside from following the right diabetic dog diet, you can practice certain habits for dog diabetes control.

  • Give timely diabetic dog food and insulin treatments
  • Follow the instructions of the diabetic diet for dogs
  • Consult with your vet about the ideal nutrients to include in your diabetic dog diet
  • Minimize fat in the diet to avoid any complications

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Meal Timing For Dogs With Diabetes

After your dog eats, its blood glucose level will increase. Insulin will work to drive the glucose levels back down and keep them within a normal range.

If your dog gets one dose of insulin daily, the first meal should be 2/3 of the daily ration and be given before you give the insulin injection. You will give your dog the second meal with the final third of the daily ration six to eight hours later.

If your dog is given insulin twice daily, it should be fed two equally-sized meals 10 to 12 hours apart, with each meal given at the time of the insulin injections . Don’t give a larger and smaller meal as the dose of insulin will be aimed at meals of the same size.

It’s best not to use a self-feeder or allow a dog with diabetes to be free feeding. Your dog needs the structure of having meals timed with insulin administration for the management of diabetes to be the most effective.

Are There Different Forms Of Canine Diabetes

Diet For Diabetic Dogs Uk

Almost all dogs with diabetes suffer from the type I form of the condition. Like in humans, it means the pet is unable to produce any insulin, so will depend on insulin treatments for life.

Although extremely rare, type II diabetes means the dogs pancreas produces some insulin but not enough, or doesnt respond to it properly, which also causes a build-up of the hormone.

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How Is Diabetes Diagnosed In Dogs

If a blood test shows elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine, as well as the pet displaying the symptoms above, its usually a fairly clear sign that a dog has diabetes.

But increased glucose can sometimes happen due to stress, so if theres any doubt a test for fructosamine levels may be carried out to test the average blood glucose level over a number of weeks to detect if its a persistent, or one-off problem.

Will My Diabetic Dog Have To Eat A Therapeutic Food Forever

Once a dog with DM is well managed, with a good body composition, and reasonably stable blood glucose levels, it is critical to maintain as much consistency as possible. For the most part that means feeding the chosen therapeutic food for the rest of the dog’s life. Should glucose levels change, or the insulin requirement increase or decrease, your veterinarian may recommend a modification of the feeding plan you have in place.

“For the most part that means feeding the chosen therapeutic food for the rest of the dog’s life.”

Managing DM in dogs is a complex process that can be frustrating. Nutrition plays a critical role in achieving the best glycemic control possible. No matter what, be sure to work closely with your veterinarian to achieve the best outcomes possible.

Contributors: Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM Robin Downing, DVM, CVPP, CCRP, DAAPM

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