What is it?
Canine diabetes is a common disease equivalent to insulin-dependent or type 1 diabetes in humans. (Type 2 diabetes isn’t seen in dogs.)
What to know
With treatment and a careful diet routine, a diabetic dog can enjoy a life span and quality of life similar to a healthy dog. There’s no such thing as an ideal diet for dogs with canine diabetes. Dogs can do well on dry, wet, raw, or home-cooked food, or on a combination of those. No two dogs are the same, so only experimentation will tell you what’s right for your dog.
That said, certain dietary considerations are key to successful management of canine diabetes. It’s important, for example, to find foods your dog likes, so he will eat consistently. You also need to feed the same type and amount of food approximately every 12 hours, just before or after insulin injections. This is both to keep carbohydrate levels stable throughout the day and because the insulin dose prescribed is based on your dog having eaten a full meal.
Diet composition pointers
Protein. High-quality protein is vital to avoid muscle wasting. Your dog should get 30 to 45 percent of his calories from protein (up to 50 percent if you feed only dry food).
Carbohydrates. Keep your dog’s intake consistent and choose the complex carbs in whole grains like millet, oats, and barley over the simple ones in white rice.
Fat. The recommended percent of calories your dog should get from fat depends on his health, weight, and any medical conditions he has other than diabetes. Always consult your veterinarian for advice.
Fiber. Dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble) helps stabilize digestion and support the immune system. Choose whole grains, legumes, and vegetables.