Regulating your pup's diet is a cornerstone of any diabetes management strategy. Your choice of kibble needs to appeal to your dog's individual tastes while maintaining a diabetes-friendly balance of nutritional elements. Choosing the best food goes beyond simple carbohydrate and protein balance. Owners should consider every ingredient in the food and talk with a veterinarian before making a decision.
Your veterinarian may recommend a kibble brand that is designed specifically for dogs suffering from diabetes. While these food mixtures are tailored to your dog's new dietary requirements, they may not quite suit his taste buds. It's also possible that an allergy or other food sensitivity precludes prescription brands. At the very least, the ingredient list on the bag of prescription kibble is a good reference to use when searching for a balanced brand that your pet will enjoy. If your pup has no issues with the particular food recommended by the vet, you can use that instead of searching for other options.
Protein Over Carbs
Carbohydrates are a primary ingredient in commercial dog food brands. This essential nutrient is turned into sugar as it is passes through your dog's digestive system, which makes it less desirable for pets suffering from diabetes. Diabetes-friendly kibble should have more protein than normal food, with around 30 percent total content. While some owners elect to feed their dog a grain-free diet, kibble created with whole grains such as quinoa and oats is also an option, according to GreatDaneLady.com. Chickpeas and other carbs with a low glycemic rating are ideal compared to starchy sources such as potatoes.
Fat and Fiber
Consider the fat and fiber content of your dog's kibble. Pups with diabetes require food that is high in fiber and low in fat content, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. Fiber slows the rate at which your dog's body takes in sugar from his meals, so high-fiber food can help regulate his glucose levels. The kibble should have a fat content of 10 to 20 percent. The upper end of this range is best suited for dogs who are underweight, while overweight pups may benefit from food with lower fat content.
The Feeding Routine
Consistency is of the utmost importance when feeding your diabetic dog. Maintaining steady blood sugar levels throughout the day is the objective of your management strategy. Portion out his daily servings based on his age and size according to the instructions on your kibble package. Break his daily allotment into two or three meals and feed him throughout the day. Even if your dog was a responsible free-feeder in the past, giving him unfettered access to food can make his condition worse. Managed feeding is more work for you, but it's a safer and healthier way for your pet to eat.
Quentin Coleman has written for various publications, including All Pet News and Safe to Work Australia. He spent more tan 10 years nursing kittens, treating sick animals and domesticating semi-feral cats for a local animal shelter. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's degree in journalism.