Diabetic Dog Food

When your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, it's important to switch his diet to a diabetic dog food. Diabetes is often caused by obesity in pets, so it's important to be aware of your dog's ideal weight and try to reach that through a lower calorie diet.

Causes of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is caused by a deficiency of insulin, which regulates how sugar is absorbed and used by the body. Type 2 diabetes is caused when the body becomes resistant to insulin.

Because diabetic dogs cannot properly utilize the sugar in their body, they may show symptoms such as increased hunger, thirst and urination, depression, vomiting and diarrhea.

Low Carbohydrate Diets

Because the end product of carbohydrates is glucose, high carbohydrate diets are often detrimental for diabetic dogs since the end product just adds more sugar into a dog's blood.

Dogs on low quality foods that are made mostly of corn and wheat will need to be placed on a higher-quality protein diet, which will allow them to absorb more nutrients in their body, not turn them to sugar.

If your dog is suffering from ketoacidosis, which is a state of near starvation caused by later stages of untreated diabetes, a high protein diet is important to help him put on weight and restore nutrients to his body.

High Fiber Diets

Another diet approach, depending on your dog's symptoms, is increasing fiber in the dog's diet while reducing fat and protein. Since diabetes is often caused by obesity, the first step in properly treating the illness is reducing your dog's weight.

To do this, cut back your dog's food to 2/3 what you are accustomed to feeding him. Protein, which is also higher in fat content, can often be replaced with fiber sources such as healthy grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Though corn and wheat should never be fed to your dog, boiled oats can be a good way to add calories to your dog's diet without adding fat.

Ground vegetables are also a good addition. Since dogs don't chew their food thoroughly, they often can't unlock the nutrients from whole vegetables. However, ground vegetables provide excellent nutrients in a homemade diet or simply as a topper for kibble. Fresh vegetables are preferred, but canned vegetables can be used if they are low sodium.

As an alternative snack idea, apples are a good source of low-calorie fiber.

Choosing Kibble

When choosing a commercial dog food for your diabetic dog, read labels. In general, the first three ingredients should be high-quality protein, not meat byproducts, or brown rice/barley/oats. Avoid corn and wheat, which will just complicate a diabetic dog's system even more.

If choosing a high calorie food, look for high quality protein, possibly even a high quality grain free food such as Orijen or Evo. If choosing a low calorie food, look for a high quality senior or diet formula such as Solid Gold Holistique.

Work with your veterinarian when deciding on a high quality diet for your diabetic dog. A proper diet is crucial in controlling the disease and helping your dog live a healthier life.