How do I feed a diabetic dog

Dog diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is meanwhile also with the dog to a real disease of civilization become. It is the most common hormonal disease in dogs today.

About 0.3% to 1% of all domestic dogs around the world are affected by this metabolic disease. Every year a large number of dogs develop diabetes in Germany alone, The trend continues to rise!

Does your dog have diabetes? Our Experts | will be happy to advise you and your dog in order to find a quick solution. Write us an email at [email protected] or use that contact form.

But what could be the reason why so many dogs develop diabetes mellitus? What are the symptoms and consequences of this disease? How should diabetes be treated in dogs? What diet is appropriate for canine diabetes? I would like to clarify all of these questions and more in this article.


What is diabetes mellitus in dogs?

When the dog constantly thirsty Has, increased urine drops off, limp is always hungry has and despite enough food decreases, it is very likely to be diabetes mellitus, also known colloquially as diabetes¹.

This metabolic disease occurs in dogs mainly in the second half of life. But even younger dogs can occasionally develop diabetes.

If a dog now has diabetes, it lacks the important hormone insulinwhich is responsible for lowering the blood sugar level or he suffers from the so-called "insulin resistance", in which the body cells no longer respond to this hormone.

What is insulin

Insulin is made in the pancreas and has one in the body vital task! It ensures that the carbohydrates ingested with food and converted into glucose are transported into the respective body cells. If there is now a lack of insulin, this transport can no longer take place properly and the glucose in the cells can no longer be used.

Thus, it first accumulates in the blood (hyperglycaemia) and above a certain limit value the kidneys can no longer compensate for this, so that sugar is excreted in the urine (glucosuria).

At the same time, more water is excreted in the urine and the amount of urine increases (polyuria). This increasing water loss must in turn be compensated for by the increased uptake of water (polydipsia). Therefore, the affected dog drinks significantly more than usual.

The lack of glucose in the brain (especially in the satiety center) also leads to inevitably to a vincreased feeling of hunger and one thus increased food intake (Polyphagia). Eat for this reason Dogs with diabetes much more. However, it does not increase them, but rather even lose weight (Inanition, cachexia).

Because the body tries to compensate for the lack of energy due to the disturbed utilization of glucose by breaking down fat and proteins (especially from the muscles).

What causes diabetes mellitus in dogs?

In dogs, diabetes occurs more frequently if they are overweight. Bitches are also more diabetic than males. Furthermore, according to statistics, some breeds of dogs are more often affected by diabetes than other dogs. These include in particular Dachshunds, Tibetan Terriers, West Highland White Terriers, Beagles, Golden Retrievers, Miniature Pinschers and Labrador Retrievers.

Types of diabetes in dogs

In dogs, too, diabetes is divided into two main forms: diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus: Type 1 diabetes results from the interplay of various factors. Obesity, a poor diet, hormonal disorders, genetic predisposition, disorders of the immune system or pancreatic diseases play a decisive role in the development of this disease.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus: Type 2 diabetes in dogs is relatively rare. Here, insulin is produced in the pancreas, but the body cells of the affected dog are not able to recognize this insulin (insulin resistance).

Canine Diabetes Mellitus - Common Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms of diabetes mellitus / hypoglycaemia in dogs are actually pretty straightforward and should be taken seriously at the first signs.

excessive hunger and thirstpoor wound healing
Weight lossgenerally bad shape
very frequent urinationClouding of the lenses of the eyes (cataracts)
constant, strong pantingKetoacidosis (advanced stage)
Tremors and convulsions

Canine Diabetes Diagnosis

Usually will Dog diabetes diagnosed by a veterinarian with a blood or urine test. But an oral glucose tolerance test or special test strips can also provide information about possible diabetes in dogs.

Dog diabetes tests

Diabetes blood test in the dog

In the diabetes blood test, the fasting sugar level (glucose level) is determined. For this reason, the dog must be sober when taking the test.

As a rule, the long-term sugar level is also measured, as excitement alone can drive the glucose level high when the blood is taken.

In animals, the "long-term sugar value" is understood to mean the fructosamine value, not the HbA1c value as is the case with humans.

Diabetes urine tests in the dog

With the help of test strips, the dog is urine on his Sugar content and possible Ketone bodies checked. These are usually a sign of massive Metabolic imbalance (Ketoacidosis). In a healthy dog, neither ketone bodies nor sugar are found in the urine.

The specific urine weight is also determined with this test. Because of the high glucose levels, it is usually elevated, even though the dog will pass large amounts of urine.

However, sugar in the urine is also found in kidney disease. The urine-protein-creatinine ratio should then be determined here. If the protein content of the urine is increased, a kidney disease is very likely.

By the way: These test strips can also be used to detect blood or inflammatory cells, which can be signs of a urinary tract infection! Urinary tract infection is a common complication of diabetes.

Do dog diabetes test yourself at home

Alternatively there is now also Dogs diabetes test strips to buy for home. A human blood glucose meter is also suitable for dogs, but must then be adapted to the dog's diabetes values. Nowadays there are even special blood glucose meters for sale just for animals.

Last update on 01/27/2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API

How does the OGT diabetes test work?

Just like us humans, an oral glucose tolerance test (OGT) is used to check how well the dog can regulate the body's own blood sugar level. In addition, he receives a certain amount of sugar solution. After one, two and possibly three hours, the Blood sugar level measured. Normally this should be regulated again within 2 hours after the sugar intake.

Dog diabetes values

Normal values ​​in the dog should be:
Serum glucose: 3.1 - 6 mmol / l or 56 - 108 mg / dl
Fructosamine: 374 µmol in dogs; 340 µmol in the cat
OGT: highest glucose value <8.9 mmol / l (after 1 hour), after 2 hours <7 mmol / l

Canine Diabetes Costs - What Does a Dog Diabetes Test Cost?

The costs at the vet can vary, depending on the severity and duration of the respective examinations and tests. In principle, however, they are billed according to the fee schedule for veterinarians².

Recognize and treat diabetes

But you can do it yourself early recognize beginning dogs diabetes and take targeted action against it! So you should act at the first signs so that the diabetes has no chance of breaking out! A change in diet to species-appropriate and healthy dog ​​food should come first!

Diet for dogs with diabetes mellitus

Diet is extremely important in a dog with diabetes or at risk! However, there are some important things to watch out for when choosing food and maintaining your insulin balance. In addition, sufficient and above all appropriate exercise of the dog is important!

The following should be observed in a sugar dog diet:

  • Regular feeding
  • body weight
  • High quality dog ​​food
  • carbohydrates
  • Fiber content
  • Observe the insulin balance

Body weight in diabetes

In the case of diabetes, one particularly important measure is to watch the dog's body weight. Obesity promotes diabetes. Targeted Lose weight should be used in an overweight dog top priority to have.

By reducing body weight, the organism can be supported in producing insulin and also being able to use it better. Is your dog already overweight? Then you should definitely change your diet!

Contrary to many advertising promises and marketing campaigns special diet dog food and / or diabetes food for dogs in general unnecessary, especially if it is also dry food.

High quality dog ​​food for diabetes mellitus (diabetes)

In a diabetic dog, the animal protein sources should not only be of good quality, but also easily digestible be. These include in particular beef, liver and lean fish.

It is also important to ensure that there is no protein oversupply. Because in a dog with diabetes, its metabolic functions are already severely impaired, which the Oversupply of protein can worsen or, in the worst case, secondary diseases are provoked.

Carbohydrates in diabetes

In the case of a diabetic dog that is Aim of feeding a blood glucose level that is as constant as possible and should not have any without major outliers. For this reason may the feed for a dog with diabetes no large amounts, ideally absolutely none, easily digestible Carbohydrates (e.g. sugar, corn, starch, especially in dry food).

These easily digestible carbohydrates cause the glucose level in the blood to rise rapidly, which can even be life-threatening for dogs with diabetes.

The goal is therefore to ensure an appropriately high and relatively constant blood sugar level through the carbohydrate supply. As a rule, extreme fluctuations in blood sugar levels and consequently unnecessary stress on the liver, pancreas and other organs cannot occur. This also reduces the risk that the dog will have hypoglycemia or hypoglycemia.

Low-carbohydrate feeding for dogs with diabetes mellitus

Now the logical question arises, whether it is better to feed a diabetic dog low in carbohydrates or with no carbohydrates at all ?! However, that doesn't make sense! Because the organism of a dog with diabetes naturally also needs energy.

Because when there is a lack of glucose, the body tries to generate its energy from other nutrient sources through complex metabolic conversion processes, which in turn inevitably affects health and can trigger secondary diseases.

So, as we can see, carbohydrates are also quite useful in diabetes. However, it is extremely important to pay attention to which carbohydrates are ultimately fed.

What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are nothing more than the generic term for different ones Sugar compounds. The following carbohydrates are important when feeding a diabetic dog:

  • Simple sugar
  • Grape sugar (glucose)
  • Fructose (fruit sugar)
  • Galactose (slimy sugar)
  • Double sugar
  • Table sugar (sucrose)
  • Lactose (milk sugar)
  • Maltrose (malt sugar)

As the name suggests, simple sugar is made up of one sugar compound and double sugar is made up of two sugar compounds. All of these carbohydrates get into the blood very quickly from the digestive tract.

Here it happens spontaneously high blood sugar levels, which is basically in dogs with diabetes be avoided should. For this reason it should be considered when feeding Dogs with diabetes consistently on sugar compounds from single or double sugar waived become.

Fiber content in dog diabetes

In addition to carbohydrates, the fiber content also plays an important role in a diabetes diet. This should be at least 10% lie. Fibers cannot be digested by the dog, but they still fulfill important functions in the body. Usually you have one positive effect on the intestines and the complete digestion of the dog.

What are fiber / dietary fiber?

They are long-chain carbohydrate compounds that are divided into insoluble (e.g. cellulose, lignin) and soluble fibers (e.g. inulin, pectin). Fibers or roughage are contained in parts of plants. They were mainly ingested by the dog's ancestors through the stomach contents of the prey.

High fiber feed are for example rice bran, beet pulp and oats³. Oats have a very special position, especially in diabetic dogs, as they play a key role in maintaining a constant blood sugar level.

In addition to a high proportion of complex carbohydrates, oats have one balanced and easily digestible Crude fiber composition. In addition, the high salary at essential fatty acids the fat metabolism is positive in oats. Furthermore, it has a very intestinal stabilizing effect and is rich of high quality vegetable Proteins, Trace elements and Vitamins.

Danger: Back then, when there were no insulin injections, the traditional was in the human diet of diabetics beneficial effects of oats used. This knowledge from the human area can also be confirmed for diabetic dogs.

In conclusion, it can be stated that high-quality and natural wet food for diabetics dogs in Combination with oatmeal should be the first choice as a source of carbohydrates and energy.

Special diet food or diabetes dog food is it mostly overpriced and a brilliant move by the marketing and feed industry. It is important to know the ingredients and the exact composition of the feed.

Other important things in diabetes

In addition to the carbohydrates and the fiber content in dog food, there are also high quality fats for the diabetic dog important. Therefore, selected vegetable oils (for example linseed oil) should always be added to the feed. Also should be feeding be done regularly and the movement is not neglected.

Regular feeding

In a dog with diabetes, the ultimate goal is to keep blood sugar levels relatively constant. Even after a meal, it should only increase slowly and moderately! In addition to proper nutrition, regular feeding of a diabetic dog is extremely important.

Also, a diabetic dog should be around 4-5 smaller meals Spread over the day, always in the same amount, preferably always the same feed, punctually at the same time. This is the only way to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels without problems. Treats in between are taboo for a dog with diabetes!

Exercise in diabetes mellitus

Move is important for a dog. However, there are a few things to keep in mind for a dog with diabetes. It is important not to suddenly demand unusual performance from the diabetic dog.

A spontaneous, longer bike tour or dog sport is more likely for diabetic dogs not recommendableas these unfamiliar loads most likely lead to a Hypoglycaemia to lead. It is better to have constant, repeated movement a day without major exertion.

Common questions about canine diabetes

Which feed is suitable?

A food with high-quality protein proteins from meat and healthy fiber is suitable for dogs with diabetes. It is important largely to forego carbohydrates, ergo no Dried animal food.

Furthermore, no fruit (fructose) should be on the menu. Of course, the dog food must not contain any sugar or camouflaged sugar substitutes.

Does it really have to be a special diabetic dog food?

No, not necessarily! Which food is the right one for a diabetic dog depends largely on its weight, age, breed, gender and level of activity. It is important to have a nutrient-rich and balanced feed without Look out for sugar and sugar substitutes.

What about treats for diabetes?

Basically, a dog with diabetes also needs to be Not Refrain from treats. It is important that the treats are healthy no Sugar, no Contain cereals or plant products, such as these tasty ones Chicken hearts.

What to cook the dog in diabetes

When cooking yourself, it is important to have a sufficient supply of nutrients and the quality of the ingredients.

In principle, fresh, high-quality food should be used. An individual diet plan should usually be used when cooking for diabetic dogs.

Is it possible to fish with diabetes?

Basically, when it comes to the individual nutrient supply in diabetes, Barfen is indeed very suitable. However, it's important too to baref properly. Otherwise, malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies can quickly occur, which in turn brings with it further secondary diseases.

Conclusion diabetes in dogs

Unfortunately, it has now become established in practice that a dog suffering from diabetes receives insulin therapy for life.

But in many cases, a reduction in weight, the right feeding technique, sufficient exercise and, above all, the right dog food is often enough. So there is a great chance that the dog's organism will regenerate itself and inevitably make the administration of insulin superfluous.

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