Diet and doggy diabetes

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Finding the right diet for a diabetic dog is a key part of managing this disease.

Dogs with diabetes require blood sugar monitoring, daily insulin injections, carefully planned meals and scheduled exercise. Fortunately, most cases can be managed at home, and once medication and diet are stabilized, affected dogs live just as long and actively as other dogs. The most important factor in choosing a diet for a dog with diabetes is that he likes the food and eats it willingly every day.

For best results, dogs with diabetes should be fed the same type and quantity of food every 12 hours just before or after their insulin injections.

Because undiagnosed pancreatitis is common in diabetes patients, many veterinarians recommend feeding diabetic dogs less than 30 percent of their calories from fat.

If you are feeding a high-protein, low-carb, low-fiber commercial diet, adding high-fiber fresh foods or fiber supplements may help with glycemic control.

There are commercial prescription diets for dogs with diabetes that work with or without added foods. Diabetic dogs don’t require a prescription diet. Adult maintenance diets with moderate amounts of fiber work well for most dogs with diabetes. The key is to monitor your dog’s glucose, give your dog plenty of exercise and keep feeding times consistent to keep glucose levels as even as possible. This is by no means a complete list of everything that needs to be done to control diabetes in your dog. Be sure to see your vet and your health food professional for more tips on proper care.

“The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care” and “Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats” are two excellent books by CJ Puotinen that are available from Dogwise, 800-776-2665 or dogwise.com.

As a side note, we have had a very hot spring, and we are not yet into summer DO NOT leave your dog in the car unattended. Even with the windows open it can be dangerous. It only takes s a few minutes for the heat in your car to become totally unbearable for your pet, especially when it is in direct sunlight. The best policy is just don’t do it.


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