Whether we like it or not, sometimes our lovely pet dogs are taken down with diabetes. To many, this is simply unbelievable. After all, dogs are natural carnivores and diabetes comes from consuming sugary products! Where’s the link. Well, many dog foods we buy for our hairy little companion contain glucose and sugar and that’s all it takes to gift a dog with diabetes. In this article, we are going to discuss how canine diabetes is diagnosed in dogs and the food for diabetic dogs that you should include in your dog’s diet.
What is canine diabetes?
Diabetes affects dogs the same way it affects humans. To better understand diabetes, a short biology note is in order. The food we consume contains nutrients. When breaking down these nutrients, our body naturally produces a certain amount of Glucose which in turn fuels the cells and body organs. Insulin is responsible for taking that fuel from the bloodstream to the cells. Now, when you hear that a person or an animal has diabetes, it means that their body fails to naturally produce insulin. As a result, the nutrients consumed by the person/dog are broken down but not delivered to the cells, hence leaving lethal effects on the person/dog’s body.
How to know if your dog has diabetes
Recognising diabetes symptoms in your dog at early stages can be very helpful. The most common signs of diabetes in dogs are listed below. If you notice any of these signs, you are highly recommended to take your dog to a vet and take precautionary measures as soon as possible.
- Increased urination and drinking water excessively
- Cloudy eyes
- Frequent skin or urinary infection
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
How to manage your dog’s diabetes
There are some ways you can manage your dog’s diabetes. It all depends on how early you’ve noticed it and how severe it is. If your dog is not that old and it hasn’t been suffering for long, you will most probably save him by following the tips below.
1. Take your dog for a walk every day.
To help your dog fight back diabetes, he should be active. Therefore, taking your dog out for a walk regularly is a great help as it saves him from sudden drops in his blood sugar. Depending on your dog’s health state, you can walk him for some minutes to several hours. Showing your dog to an experienced vet could help you decide how long you should walk him every day.
2. Consider insulin injection
Insulin is the most common medicine prescribed for dogs suffering from diabetes. If your dog is in the early stages of developing diabetes, insulin may not be needed. If, however, he has been affected for a while, insulin injection may not be avoidable. Here again, your vet will tell you if your dog needs insulin injection and, if it does, how you should do it. In case you haven’t administered insulin to your dog before, you can watch this video. Just remember to feed your dog before vaccinating him.
3. Manage your dog’s diet
managing your dog’s diet is perhaps the most important aspect of dealing with his diabetes. Simply put, you must exclude certain foods from his diet and then include some others to help him better fight his problems. The rule of thumb here is to substitute foods that are high in sugar and fat with foods that contain lots of fibre, calories, and complex carbohydrates. Let’s see the common dog foods that fall under these categories.
Foods to exclude from your diabetic dog’s diet
Foods like peanut butter and milk bones are high in fat and carbohydrates and must be removed from your dog’s diet. Similarly, any food containing sucrose or fructose is forbidden for dogs with diabetes. To avoid giving such foods mistakenly to your dog, carefully read the label on the dog food you want to buy. If you’re buying dog food from a reliable centre, the products will certainly have labels on them which provide information regarding all the ingredients inside.
Foods to include in your diabetic dog’s diet
As you no longer feed your dog certain foods, you must add other foods to his diet. Here, you must go for foods that are low in glycemic index. The lower the glycemic index in your dog’s food, the less his blood sugar level will change. Such foods are almost sugar-free products with a high amount of fibre and hence the best food for diabetic dogs. Among the well-known diabetic dog food products are Royal Canin, ZipZyme TM Omega, and Farmina N&D’s.
At other times you might have to make your own dog’s food. The crucial point to have in mind here is to pick ingredients that are almost sugar-free and contain fibre, calories and complex carbohydrates. These include vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, kale and Spinach. Also, lamb, beef, chicken, and fish can be included in your dog’s diet.
Weight loss, infection, excessive water drinking, and cloudy eyes are among the main symptoms of diabetes in dogs. Such dogs need special care from their owners and must be treated in the right manner. This article elaborated on three main factors that dog owners have to consider to help their dogs. The main focus of this article is on food for diabetic dogs that owners may pay special attention to. We hope this article was informative to you and, more importantly, your dog will get well soon.