Can dogs get diabetes? the answer is yes. Dogs can get diabetes just like humans although Type 1 diabetes seems to only occur in canines. You can manage your dog’s diseases through a dog diet diabetes and it is important to not leave it untreated.
What is diabetes?
The medical term for diabetes is diabetes mellitus meaning “honey sweet” reflecting the rise in sugar levels in blood and urine.
It mainly occurs when the body can’t make sufficient insulin to get energy from food or when the body can’t use insulin properly.
Type 1 diabetes happens when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin. This is the most common and only type of diabetes that dogs have.
Dogs don’t have Type 2 diabetes which is insulin resistance that happens because of bad diet habits and obesity.
Signs for diabetes in dogs
- Excessive thirst
- Weight loss
- Increased urination
- Sudden blindness
How is diabetes in dogs diagnosed?
You got to run tests for glucose (sugar) levels in the blood and urine. Dog diabetes can cause serious symptoms depending on the severity such as your dog vomits, doesn’t eat, and requires hospital care.
How to manage dog diabetes?
To manage your dog’s diabetes, you got to give your dog insulin injection, once or twice a day depending on your vet’s prescription, have your dog follow a strict diet, and let them exercise.
What kind of dog diet diabetes should dogs follow?
Low in carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are responsible for changes in blood sugar levels when consumed; it raises glucose levels. So it’s best to keep the number of carbohydrates low as to not spike up blood sugar levels and to keep it steady.
Simple carbohydrates such as sugars like corn syrup should be avoided as they increase blood sugar levels.
The best carbohydrates for your dog to eat are complex carbohydrates such as starches. Complex carbohydrates are digested and spread slowly so it doesn’t contribute to rising spikes in glucose.
It is important for your dog to eat some carbohydrates so the injected insulin will happen at the same time with the rise of glucose and not contribute to a condition know as hypoglycemia.
Low in moderate fats: A diet with low to moderate fat will help if your dog is gaining weight to lose weight. Obesity is one of the main reasons for diabetes. It is best that your dog diet diabetes contain 30 percent or less fat especially saturated fat.
High in protein: Protein is easily digested and sticks around for a longer time making your dog full and leads to a smaller rise in blood sugar levels.
From moderate to high in fiber: Fiber helps regulates blood sugar by slowing your dog’s body’s ability to break down carbohydrates and absorption of sugar so it slows down glucose levels.
Comparing between different diets for dogs
There are three main diets for dogs.
- Canned diets: While this type of diet can keep your dog hydrated, it contains a low quality of protein. It also contains sugar and additives that are harmful to your dog.
- Dry diets: Today, many dogs eat and live on dry food. But there is a huge disadvantage of dry food, especially for diabetic dogs. They are high on low-quality carbohydrates. Also, the protein is not based on meat and the food doesn’t contain water to make your dog stay hydrated.
- Raw meat diet: This is the best type of dog diet diabetes. Since dogs who originally lived years ago who only eat raw meat diet didn’t have diabetes compared to dog’s who eat dry food containing high carbohydrates. Raw meat diet contains a high protein found in meat, low carbohydrates, low fat, and fiber found in vegetables.
Benefits of raw meat diet for dog diet diabetes
- It reduces the number of carbohydrates and replaces them with high-quality protein. Thus, reducing the amount of insulin required to handle blood sugar levels.
- It provides nutrients such as chromium and vanadium which are needed by the cells of the pancreas to produce insulin. This can lead to the natural production of insulin needed to balance sugar levels. Thus, it can decrease the use of external insulin injections.
Tips when changing your dog’s diet to a raw food diet
It is important to monitor your dog’s blood sugar levels if you are changing them into a raw food diet. You got to do regular urine tests and weekly blood sugar tests.
Also make sure to monitor their insulin level because too much insulin can cause a diabetic coma and be fatal. If your dog’s need for insulin decreases, you got to reduce the amount of insulin taken.
You also got to consult your vet to if you are going to go into a raw food diet to teach you how to monitor your dog at home.
One of the methods used at home is urine dipstick in which it measures sugar in the urine. By measuring sugar level in urine, you will know when to reduce insulin if sugar levels drop.
In conclusion, diabetes is a serious condition and managing it is a top priority so your dog can live a healthy and longer life.
It is mainly through insulin injections, certain diets, and exercise that you can manage your dog’s diabetes. It is best for dogs to eat a raw food diet as a way to treat diabetes.
For more information regarding how to let your dog start a raw meat diet, check Raw Food for Dogs: A Guide on how to start.