Your diabetic dog will enjoy a wide variety of fresh, steamed or frozen vegetables, properly prepared legumes and even the occasional treat of cooked meat.
Changing your dog’s diet should always be a slow process to avoid shocking their digestive system, but for diabetic dogs, it is even more important that the changes be slow and carefully managed.
Dietary guidelines for diabetic dogs
Most cases of diabetes can be managed by diet alone or with a combination of diet and insulin injections. If your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, your veterinarian will likely advise changing your dog’s diet.
Switching diets too quickly can cause a glucose spike, which may result in your dog suffering further medical complications.
Once you have organized your dog’s new diabetic food, start by adding just one or two tablespoons into their current diet. If they eat it without any side effects, then you can gradually start introducing more.
Continue increasing the amount of the new food by one or two tablespoons per day. Key side effects to look for are vomiting and diarrhea. This is a sign that the new diet is not suitable for your dog.
The change from old diet to new should take 3 to 4 weeks. If you have any issues changing your dog’s diet or you suspect their food is not suitable, speak to your vet. They will be able to recommend alternative brands and often sell specially formulated dog food direct from their surgery.
Can diabetic dogs eat rice?
Diabetic dogs can eat rice, so long as it is not brown rice. Brown rice has more fiber than white rice, so your dog will likely have an upset stomach if you feed it to him routinely. White rice, on the other hand, is easier to digest.
Can a diabetic dog eat chicken breast?
A diabetic dog can eat chicken breast, but it shouldn’t be the only food your dog eats. The rest should be a high-quality diet recommended by a vet that fits into your dog’s diabetes regimen.
Is tuna good for diabetic dogs?
The answer is no. Fish, especially tuna, should be avoided by anyone who owns a dog that suffers from diabetes. Tuna contains small amounts of mercury, which can be harmful if it builds up within your pet’s body.
Can you give a diabetic dog scrambled eggs?
As long as the vet says it’s safe for your dog, go ahead and give her scrambled eggs. However, do not feed these foods regularly to your diabetic dog because they’re high in cholesterol.
Are apples good for diabetic dogs?
Apples are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. They are low in calories and low in fat, making them an ideal snack for dogs to enjoy. Apples are also low on the glycemic index, they make for a healthy treat for pets with diabetes.
Do diabetic dogs need special food?
The answer is yes. Since diabetic dogs cannot regulate their sugar levels, feeding them a diet with carefully balanced ingredients does most of this work for them. Standard complete diets do not contain the correct balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins for a diabetic dog to live a healthy life.
The key difference between a standard diet and a diabetic diet is the use of carbohydrates. Normal dog food recipes use simple carbohydrates which release sugars into the bloodstream quickly.
Diabetic diets use complex carbohydrates, releasing sugar at a much slower rate and preventing spikes in blood sugar. They will be low on the glycaemic index, which measures how quickly foods will be processed. The lower the number, the longer it will take for your dog to process.
1. The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken
The Honest Kitchen is one of the best brands of dog food by a country mile. Their dog food is ‘human grade’, meaning it meets all the criteria for food intended for humans. Most commercial dog food is ‘feed grade’. The Honest Kitchen even produces their pet food in a human food facility, using slow roasting and dehydrating techniques to retain as many nutrients as possible.
They use complex carbohydrates such as potato and pumpkin to support the management of your dog’s diabetic symptoms. Their recipe also contains whole foods containing beneficial antioxidants, probiotics and essential vitamins.
2. Royal Canin Veterinary Glycobalance Diet
Royal Canin is a trusted brand that was founded in 1968 by a veterinarian. All their recipes are based on scientific research and their Glycobalance diet is specifically formulated for diabetic dogs.
This recipe is high in protein to support healthy muscle mass and low in starch. The only downside to this brand is that they use some grain fillers such as barley and wheat gluten.
3. American Journey Chicken and Sweet Potato
American Journey’s chicken and sweet potato recipe is grain-free and low on the glycaemic index, making it perfect for your diabetic dog. They use sweet potato as a complex carbohydrate for the slow release of sugars and better control of your dog’s glucose levels.
Their recipe is supplemented with healthy ingredients providing antioxidants, omega fatty acids, probiotics and essential vitamins such as Vitamin A, B12 and E. Their whole food ingredients support overall health including eyes, skin and coat, digestion, joints and brain development.
What treats can you feed a diabetic dog?
When it comes to giving your diabetic dog treats, the best option is fresh boiled chicken pieces or natural treats made with fresh ingredients.
You can give your dog diced pumpkin as this is a complex carbohydrate and will release sugars slowly. Fruits such as blueberry are packed full of antioxidants and vitamins.
If you prefer to buy your dog treats, choose brands that list the protein source first, as this means it is the main ingredient. Fresh meat is better than meat meal as it means the meat has not been dried or powdered and will have retained more nutrients.
The treats you choose should be high in protein and low to moderate on fat content. Brands that use natural ingredients are much better than the more commercially produced products.
Avoid treats that contain grains, gluten, added sugars, preservatives or artificial colors. These ingredients can interfere with the management of your dog’s diabetes.