What Should I Feed My Diabetic Dog?

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What Should I Feed My Diabetic Dog?

There are special formulated diets for diabetic dogs.

The goal of these diets is to improve blood glucose control.

In diabetes an adequate nutrition acts by reducing post prandial hyperglycemia.

Timing meals and insulin administrations is advisable to get the best possible glycemic control.


Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your dog is not able to use sugar (glucose) efficiently and to control the sugar level in the blood.

Insulin, which is a hormone produced in the pancreas, is indispensable for regulating the use and storage of blood glucose.

Inadequate levels of blood insulin concentration is potentially life threatening.

Diabetes is a serious disease because there is no cure, but it is controllable.

There are two types of diabetes:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diabetes insipidus
Either type can be effectively managed through nutrition, exercise, and if needed, regular insulin administration.

With an adequate nutrition and advice from your veterinarian, your diabetic dog can still enjoy a joyful, dynamic life.

Risk Factors

There are some features that increase the possibility of your dog become diabetic.

Diabetes risk factors are the follow:

  • Obesity
  • Age (peak onset is around 8 years)
  • Gender (female dogs are twice as likely to develop diabetes)
  • Breed: For example breeds like samoyeds, miniature schnauzers, miniature poodles and bichon frise are more prone to diabetes
  • Other factors include: Poor nutrition, hormonal abnormalities and stress

Diabetes Clinical Signs

The signs of diabetes are difficult to identify because they are non specific.

If your dog presents the following signs I advise you to contact your veterinarian.

diabetes signs in dogs

Role of nutrition

Establishing a routine is the key to keeping a diabetic dog healthy.

You must know that the key to remain your dog’s diabetes controlled is to feed the same amount of the same diet at the same time every day.

Taking into consideration the food components fiber is key in managing the disease because moderate to high-levels of fiber:

  • Low insulin necessities and blood glucose levels
  • Make the body more responsive to insulin
  • Reduce the rate of digestion
  • Optimize a slow, steady release of sugar into the blood
The general particularities of a diet formulated for diabetic dogs could include:

food for diabetic dogs

My advice is feed your diabetic dog with a diet recommended by your veterinarian with a reliable nutrient profile.

This will help you to keep your dog’s metabolism level stable so he can stay healthy.


About the Author:

Hi! I'm Dora Mancha, DVM. I am graduated for the Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Lisbon (2009). My degree is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). I completed my degree in Veterinary Medicine in July, 2009. Over the first years as a veterinarian my work was closely related to the animal health field. I have gained some average experience having worked in Barcelona University (UAB) Equine Hospital and by working with veterinarians in Portugal. In addition, in 2009 - 2010 I was in Madrid at the University Alfonso X el Sábio doing an internship in the equine service. I am also very interested in small animal medicine and surgery. In fact I worked in several small animals clinics in Portugal improving my knowledge about small animal behavior and health. Dogs always have been present in my life, since I was a child. At the present moment I have four dogs a Labrador, a Epagnheul Breton, a Whippet and a mixed breed dog.

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