Prevent Canine Diabetes: Simple Diet Changes to Prevent Canine Diabetes
For most dogs, diabetes is an unavoidable condition due to abnormal function of the pancreas. Still, there are preventable cases and whether your dog is healthy or has diabetes, a healthy diet and exercise regimen are vital to keeping diabetic symptoms and disease at bay.
What If My Dog Is Overweight?
An overweight dog should be fed a lower calorie diet, but be sure to introduce the diet slowly. You don't want to immediately cut back the amount of food you give your dog, or change the food type drastically. Slowly introduce a new food, and eventually give smaller quantities. Be sure to incorporate exercise as well.
Can I Give My Dog Treats?
Yes. Be sure the treats are low sugar though. You can find low sugar treats or make your own, giving your dog healthy snacks like raw carrots. Some owners will pour a little chicken broth over normal dog food, or give the pet a different kind of food as a treat. A little piece of cooked meat or jerky is a great treat as well. You don't want to deprive your dog of all treats.
What If My Dog Doesn't Like Its Food?
It's important to find a food that your dog will eat. You can try mixing in another food source to make the food more appealing. Some owners have found success with baby food, pureed pumpkin (high in fiber), low-fat chicken broth, tuna, shredded meats or bread. Whatever you try, be sure it is low in sugar and fat.
What If My Dog Already Has Canine Diabetes?
A maintenance diet may be the most important step to take to manage your dog's diabetes. This diet will limit daily calorie and sugar intake and should be given very regularly. If your dog receives two insulin injections each day, you will want to feed it four small meals. Most dogs will respond best to a high carbohydrate, moderate fiber diet. Fiber can be added with a supplement (powder) or another food source.
There are many types of dog foods for diabetic dogs; no one knows how effective these foods are. You'll have to monitor your dog's condition and reaction to certain foods. While there are wet and dry foods, many vets will recommend a dry food, as it usually has less sugar than wet. Your veterinarian may have a specific recommendation as well.
You don't want to aggravate the dog's diabetes. Diet alone will not be enough to treat your dog's diabetes. Your dog will need daily insulin as well as regular exercise. The combination of diet, exercise and insulin control is the most effective way to manage your dog's diabetes. With careful monitoring, your dog will live a normal, happy life.
Photo Credit: Wei