Canine Diabetes: Diet Management Tips

A canine diabetes diet, in addition to other methods, can help keep your canine's diabetes in check and give your dog the best possible quality of life he or she can have. Before we discuss canine diabetes diet options, please continue reading to get a better understanding of canine diabetes, what causes it, and other treatment methods.

About Canine Diabetes

The clinical name for Canine diabetes is "Diabetes Mellitus." Diabetes Mellitus a group of conditions characterized by a deficiency of the hormone insulin or sensitivity to it. Insufficient insulin in the dog's body causes an overproduction of glucose. Because of this, blood concentration of glucose rises and it eventually exceeds a level that can be processed effectively by the dog's kidneys. This causes glucose to leak into the urine. When the pet urinates, the glucose in the urine takes large amounts of water with it causing the body to produce larger volumes of urine. This causes excessive water consumption (polydipsia) and excessive urination (polyuria). These are the two most common clinical symptoms of canine diabetes.

Canines with diabetes will breakdown stores of fat and protein to make glucose and ketones (an alternative fuel) in the liver. Because of this, diabetic dogs tend to lose large amounts of weight. Other symptoms of canine diabetes include: cataracts, recurrent infections, increased appetite (polyphagia), and exercise intolerance.

Canine Diabetes Treatments

Most diabetic canines will require some form of insulin therapy. Insulin ("caninsulin" or "vetsulin) is used to treat diabetic dogs and cats. This medication comes from the pancreas of the pig. Other forms of insulin such as porcine insulin uses the same components as caninsulin. Supplemental treatment options include: regular exercise and a special diet.

Exercise is crucial to controlling dog diabetes. Regular exercise utilizes energy and in turn, helps to avoid hyperglycemia. Increased blood flow during exercise improves insulin absorption, which helps to further lower the blood glucose concentration. You should continue your regular exercise routine, meaning, regular walks and play.

Diet for Diabetic Canines and Diet Management Tips

There is no one specific diet for diabetic canines mainly because a diabetic diet has to be planned based on the stage of your pet's diabetes, his age, his current physical condition, and a number of other factors. In general, however, you should:

  • Avoid snacking between meals;
  • Avoid large amounts of fatty dog treats;
  • Increase fiber intake;
  • Increase complex carbohydrates intake, and;
  • Avoid fatty dog food as a typical diet for diabetic canines is extremely low in fat.