Diabetes is a condition which im sure everybody is familiar with. But its not a condition you generally think about with dogs.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas decreases the production of the hormone insulin or has a decreased response to the insulin that is released. Insulin’s role is to help your body utilize sugar into energy, so when its role is impaired or halted, it results in high blood sugar (also known as high blood glucose). Type 1 diabetes, which is more typically found in dogs, occurs when the body cannot produce insulin (also referred to as “insulin-deficiency”). Type II diabetes, less common in canines, is also called insulin-resistant, which occurs when the pancreas makes insulin but the body’s cells don’t respond to it.
If your dog been diagnosed as Diabetic then you need to do a number of things.
Depending on the severity insulin injection may be needed. However in most cases not.
The two other factors which you can control to stay on top of the condition are Exercise and Diet.
Exercise: It’s vital that dogs with diabetes have a regular regime consisting of moderate exercise. This can help keep glucose levels even, with minimal increases and decreases.
Diet: The dogs diet is the absolute most important factor when you dealing with Diabetes.
A nutritious, healthy diet is absolutely vital to the health of the dog. You must choose food with low or zero glycemic indexes! This is because those foods are more slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolized — which results in a slower rise in blood glucose.
Carbohydrates play a huge roll in upsetting the blood sugar levels of both dogs and humans. However with dogs, THEY DO NOT NEED ANY CARBOHYDRATE IN THEIR DIET WHAT SO EVER!! So get rid completely.
This means no processed junk foods like kibbles or canned food which are full of unnecessary carbs and sugars along with a tonne of other unhealthy ingredients.
I would also suggest removing any vegetables which aren't greens. No Carrots, Parsnips, Potatoes (including sweet potatoe) etc. All of these vegetables are actually high in sugar. Carrots are one of the biggest contributes to sugar/yeast issues in naturally fed dogs.
If you do wish to feed veg to your dog. Opt for the green ones like Broccoli, Spinach, Kale etc. These are the lowest GI and shouldnt upset to blood sugar levels. These will also add fibre to your dogs diet.
The very best diet for a diabetic dog is of course a species appropriate raw diet!
Raw, meat-based diets naturally fit into the diabetes-friendly spectrum, with high-protein, low-fat, and low-carbohydrates. Since raw food is natural, you’re also assured of no harmful additives and preservatives that sneak into canned and dry food.
When picking which raw meats to feed your diabetic dog you should look for the lowest fat options. Chicken, Turkey, Rabbit, Venison and definitely Green Tripe. If your not familiar with Green Tripe and its fantastic benefits see my article on Green Tripe here.
All of those meats are lower in fat which will help to control obesity, which tend to go hand in hand with diabetes.
If your new to raw feeding then I would suggest that you read our article on How to Start Raw Feeding This will give you all the information on how to start, transition and quantities. Just use the above lower fat meats as your base meals.
Supplements: Slippery Elm Bark (Tree Barks Powder) is an excellent addition to your dogs diet too. This will provide fibre, keep blood sugar levels low and help aid digestion.
Its a case of, you are what you eat. If you feed junk food to your dog its going to have a big impact on their health. Likewise if you feed a well balanced nutritious raw diet you will make a huge difference to your dogs life.
Keep it simple. Exercising well and feeding well and you will have the best chance of controlling the diabetes and prolonging your dogs life.