Diabetic dog food explained

Diabetic dog food is indicated when your dog has been diagnosed by your veterinarian with canine diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus is a common disorder both in man and dogs. It is mostly seen in obese dogs and dogs above five years of age.

General guidelines and rules

Diabetic dog food has the following characteristics:

  1. It is low in sugar and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are a form of sugar as these are metabolized into glucose.

  2. It is rich in soluble fiber as it makes your dog's body more responsive to insulin. This way less of this hormone is required to obtain the same response.

    Also, fiber modifies digestion and absorption time. As a result carbohydrates are released more slowly into the bloodstream. A diabetic dog benefits from this as the blood sugar peak, which usually appears after enjoying a meal, will be flattened and spread out.

Feeding rules for you (to help your dog)

A few rules to obey when your doggy has canine diabetes:

  1. Feed at regular intervals and feed the same dog food in the same amounts. Consistent feeding habits will help stabilizing your dog's metabolism. Rather than feeding one large meal you should switch to feeding smaller meals twice or thrice a day. This will stabilize the blood sugar level.

  2. Visit your vet and ask for a specific diabetic dog food diet that suits your particular dog. I'm assuming that at this stage you have visited the vet before and he (or she) has examined your dog's fluids to get to the right diagnosis.

  3. Cut down on fatty dog treats and table scraps. As your dog's pancreas is malfunctioning you need to supply your dog with healthy dog food that doesn't put too much stress on the pancreas. Fat is required for good health but too much is no good. I bet you already know this so stop giving your dog fatty table scraps, sweet flour cookies and stuff like that. I've included a check list for you to find dog treats that are compatible with his diet.

  4. When your dog is obese then have him loose weight slowly and gradually. Weight loss can improve his body's sensitivity to insulin so less is required for optimum control of sugar levels.

It's important to switch to a proper food regime and feed diabetic dog food when your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes.

For an overview of the early warning signs and symptoms visit the diabetes mellitus in dogs page on Best Dog Food Guide.

Long-term effects of untreated diabetes in dogs include blindness, non-healing wounds and coma.

Buying the right dog food and treats for your diabetic dog

Usually, you will need a prescription to purchase any of the prescription diets. When you go and buy these kind of dog foods online then you can fax your vet's prescription together with your order.

Choices in diabetic dog food

  • Hills w/d
    Hills w/d is specifically designed for dogs with diabetes mellitus, pancreatitis or hyperlipidema. It has moderately reduced energy levels, reduced fat and minerals and increased fiber. When your dog is underweight this dog food is not a good choice. Also when your dog is fed urine acidifiers (like after a bladder infection) this dog food is contra-indicated.

  • Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Diabetic HF 18 Dry Dog Food
    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet canine Diabetic HF 18 is a complete and balanced diet for adult dogs that has been formulated with high levels and an optimal ratio of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, and a restricted fat content, to assist with the nutritional management of canine diabetes mellitus.

  • Purina Veterinary Diets DCO
    Purina Veterinary Diets DCO brand has been formulated to achieve a high level of complex carbohydrates, increased (soluble) fiber and moderate total dietary fat and calories.

These may be the best dog food in your case. However, remember all the rules to draw this conclusion. One rule is that your dog will have to eat this food, so if he really dislikes the shape, smell or taste then even the most expensive prescription dog food is not the best dog food for your tail-wagger. Try another brand (ask your vet for a small sample bag) and avoid the soft or semi-moist dog foods as these are often high in sugar.

Where to buy diabetic dog food online?

When you live in the US (including Alaska and Hawaii) or Canada, you can get pet food delivered to your doorstep within 1-3 business days.

Click here to order dog food for diabetic dogs online »

Choices in dog treats

Treats aren't an essential part of a healthy dog diet. When giving treats has grown into an established routine your dog may feel unhappy or punished when you go cold turkey. A valid reason to give treats to a diabetic dog is to raise his blood sugar level when it's at its lowest (in between meals) or as an incentive when you give the insulin injection (only required in severe cases).

Have a look at the ingredients list and choose dog treats that have meat products or complex carbohydrates as main ingredient. Avoid obvious sources of sugar such as fructose, dextrose, corn syrup, malt syrup, molasses, cane molasses and maltose.

Alternatively you can use fresh vegetables as a treat; providing your dog likes these (otherwise they are of no use as a treat of course and my dog doesn't care one bit for veggies). Good examples are broccoli, cauliflower, sweet peppers or carrots.

Break down treats to smaller pieces. A tiny treat together with a lot of love and affection will also satisfy your dog's needs.

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