Dogs with diabetes need a diet that's low in carbs.

Dogs with diabetes need a diet that’s low in carbs.

If you have a diabetic dog, you probably think she should be eating the prescription diet your vet sells.  This may not be a good idea for your pet.  Read on to find out why.

Dry Dog Food Probably Caused Your Dog To Get Canine Diabetes

If you’ve never read a pet food label before, you’re  in for a surprise.  What’s the first ingredient listed?  Corn?  Rice?

Chances are that it’s some kind of grain.  What’s the problem with grain?  Well, dogs are meant to eat animal protein, not plant-based protein.  Although dogs can digest plant-based protein, meat-based protein is better utilized by your dog’s body.

The other problem with grains is that they contain lots of carbohydrates.  Too many carbs in your pet’s diet can lead to obesity.  And a fat dog is much more likely to become a canine diabetic.

Carbs are also broken down into glucose very quickly in the process of digestion.  All this glucose is dumped into your dog’s system at once, leading to a spike in blood sugar levels.

Proteins and fats, on the other hand, are digested much more slowly.  The glucose from fats and protein enters your dog’s bloodstream gradually, over a longer period of time, preventing blood glucose spikes.

The best diet for a diabetic dog is a grain-free dog food that’s low in fat and high in fiber.  Be sure it’s not too low in fat however, as she’s liable to develop a poor coat and itchy skin if the fat levels in her food are lower than ten percent.

And of course, whatever you feed her, it should be appetizing to her.  She needs to eat on a regular basis, to keep her blood sugar levels from dropping too low.

Your Diabetic Dog Needs To Eat On Schedule

She’ll probably be eating two or three times a day, usually eight or twelve hours apart.  You’ll divide up her daily ration into two or three smaller meals.  This helps to keep her blood sugar levels on a regular keel.

The Best Time For An Insulin Injection Is After A Meal

Always check your dog’s glucose levels before giving her insulin.  This is essential, because otherwise you won’t have a clue how much insulin to give her.  Too much can lead to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.  Too little won’t do much to lower her blood glucose levels.

Have your vet show you how to use a glucometer.  Learning how to do this will make managing your dog’s diabetes much easier.

It’s always best to give your dog insulin after she eats.  Some pet owners learn this the hard way.  If you give her an injection before a meal, and then she doesn’t eat, she’s in trouble, as her blood sugar levels can drop to dangerously low levels very quickly.  Always keeps a little Karo syrup around to rub on her gums if this should happen.  She’ll need to see the vet right away.

This scenario is easily avoided by waiting until after a meal to give her a dose of insulin.

Need to learn more about canine diabetes?  Click on any link in this article to find out about products that can help you manage a dog with diabetes.

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