5 Dietary Tips for Your Diabetic Dog on National Pet Diabetes Month
As we all know, November is National Pet Diabetes Month. Dogs and cats may acquire diabetes, just like humans. If your furry friend has been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be considering ways to improve their condition.
The good news is that proper eating habits can help alleviate the symptoms of canine diabetes. In this blog post, we'll go over helpful tips to manage your diabetic dog's diet.
Prevalence of Diabetes In Dogs
Let’s lay out some statistics—an older pet is at a higher risk of developing diabetes than younger ones, and dogs are more likely to pick up this chronic disease than cats. Dogs also fall ill with insulin-dependent diabetes.
Certain breeds are also most at risk of getting the condition. These dog breeds include fox terriers, miniature poodles, dachshunds, and golden retrievers.
Understanding Canine Diabetes
Canine diabetes is believed to be linked to genetics, weight, and diet. Its symptoms include excessive thirst, increased urination, weight loss, lack of energy, and increased hunger. The disease can lead to serious pet health complications such as blindness, kidney disease, and even death if left untreated.
Insulin injection for diabetic dogs is a common treatment for this chronic disease. This treatment works by helping the cells in the dog's body absorb sugar in the blood, controlling blood sugar levels, and preventing extreme fluctuations. If you believe your pet could have diabetes, consult with your veterinarian about the treatment options.
While it is still currently untreatable, canine diabetes can be managed successfully. With proper diet and exercise, many dogs can manage the disease and live long, healthy lives.
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Image Alt: a dog staring at the doughnut and apple in front of him
5 Dietary Tips to Manage Canine Diabetes
A key part of managing canine diabetes is maintaining a healthy diet. Dogs with diabetes will require a different diet than those without the condition. As a pet owner, you can work with your veterinarian to develop a meal plan that is tailored to your dog's individual needs.
Here are some tips to help you manage your diabetic dog’s diet:
Create a New Feeding Schedule
The first thing you need to do when managing your diabetic dog's diet is creating a new feeding schedule. If you're used to free-feeding your dog, now's the time to start portioning out their meals and feeding them at set times throughout the day. By doing this, you can help control their blood sugar levels better.
Additionally, if your dog receives insulin twice daily, you should feed them two equal-sized meals every 10 to 12 hours.
Go for High-Fiber, Low-Fat Diet
While adopting a new feeding schedule is essential in managing your dog's diet, choosing the right food for your diabetic dog is crucial. A diet that is high in fiber and low in fat is recommended because fiber lowers blood sugar levels by inhibiting the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream.
In addition, fat is a major source of calories, and reducing the amount of fat in the diet can help control weight gain. If you’re still unsure what to feed your dog, you may ask your veterinarian about the best food options for your diabetic pet. They can help you choose the right food that will suit your dog's nutritional requirements.
Avoid Semi-Moist Dog Foods
While semi-moist dog food may seem a convenient option, it is not recommended for diabetic dogs. The high sugar content in semi-moist dog food can cause blood sugar levels to spike, leading to health problems over time.
In addition, the added preservatives and chemicals in semi-moist dog food can be harsh on a diabetic dog's digestive system. For these reasons, you should continue feeding your diabetic dog dry food.
Avoid Feeding Them Table Scraps
It is not recommended to feed diabetic dogs table scraps. This is because they frequently include high quantities of sugar and fat, promoting weight gain and other pet health issues.
Additionally, table scraps can often be difficult for diabetic dogs to digest, leading to stomach upset. If you want to offer your diabetic dog a special treat, consult your veterinarian about safe and healthy food alternatives.
Make Homemade Natural Dog Treats
Natural dog treats are a better option for your diabetic pet than the ones that are commercially produced. There are high-fiber and low-sugar vegetables that you can feed to your dog as treats. These diabetic-friendly dog treats are carrots, pumpkin, green peas, and cauliflower, among others.
Dealing With a Sick Pet
Caring for a diabetic dog can be especially challenging, as they require frequent insulin injections and careful monitoring of their blood sugar levels. They also need to be fed special food and kept at a healthy weight through exercise and routine.
It’s one thing to provide a home for a pet; it’s another to keep them safe and healthy, especially if they have existing illnesses. This is what you should prepare for when deciding to have a pet for yourself. It’s not just about the joys; it’s also a lot of hard work, a life-long commitment, and some sorrows, too.
Go for Pet Alternatives
Aside from providing them with their basic necessities, you must be ready and willing to train them, walk with them, and take good care of them when they're sick.
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