A dog can also have diabetes just like humans. If your beloved pet diagnosed with this problem, you need to take extra care of him so that he may live a long and happy life.
If your dog is overweight then losing some pounds could be helpful for his cells to use insulin in a better way.
Insulin is a hormone that keeps blood sugar level in check. It will be easier for his body to turn food into fuel.
The primary goal for a diabetic dog is to keep the blood sugar level as close to normal.
It will help your dog to feel good and make it less likely he will get diabetes-related complications, just like vision-clouding cataracts and urinary tract infections.
Food as Fuel
Based on your dog’s weight and activity level, your vet will determine how many calories your dog needs in a day. Once you know the exact amount of calories, then its important to keep a close eye on your dog’s diet.
Researches are still exploring which diet is best for diabetic dogs. Most vets recommend a low-fat and high fiber diet. Fibers can slow down the entrance of glucose into the bloodstream and help your dog to feel full.
Low-fat food contains few calories. This diet could help your dog to eat less and lose weight. But you need to make sure that your dog drinks a lot of water. Fibers take water from the body, and that can cause constipation and other problems.
You need to take extra care of your dog and keep a strict eye on his diet because sometimes the best diet won’t help if your dog doesn’t eat it. You know well you can’t give him insulin on an empty stomach. It could make him very sick.
You need to ensure that your dog eats something, even it’s not ideal. But steer clear of soft and semi-moist dog food in packages which are typically high in sugar.
With your vets’ recommendations, here is how you can entice your dog to eat:
- Stir one tablespoon of canned food into his regular food.
- Scatter shredded chicken into kibble.
- Instead of shredded chicken, you can also be scrambled eggs into kibble.
- Add one tablespoon of low-sodium chicken broth to dry food.
Treats between meals are fine as long as they are low in sugar and carbohydrates. Avoid snacks that contain syrup, fructose, molasses, dextrose, or maltose on the ingredients label. The best options are homemade dehydrated meats, snap peas, carrots, and even canned pumpkin.
Timing is Everything
It’s a relay race to balance insulin and food. Your dog’s body continually processes food and insulin between meals and injections.
Most pets do their best on a regular schedule of 2-3 meals in a day. As a general rule, injections should be given after 12 hours. Consult with your vet about getting your dog on the right schedule.
Walk the Dog
A regular walk or exercise will also help your dog to lose weight and lower blood sugar levels. It’s good to have your dog exercise for the same time duration and at the same intensity every day. A long and vigorous workout can cause blood sugar levels to drop too low.
Caring for a diabetic dog could be very hard, but soon the changes will become a part of your daily life. The extra care and attention may strengthen your bond with your pet.
Tips for a Healthy Diet
No matter which option you should choose for your dog’s diet, here are some basics for diabetes control:
- Regularly feed your dog the same quantity of food at the same times every day to avoid unnecessary fluctuations in blood glucose.
- Time consistent feedings and insulin treatments so that glucose absorption coincides with peak action of given insulin.
- Food rich in fibers and complex carbohydrates helps glucose to be released evenly in your pet’s body.
- Consult with your vet to find the correct caloric value to help your pet to achieve optimal weight.
- Restrict fats in your dog’s diet to avoid additional complications