Many pet dogs are at a risk of suffering from diabetes. In fact, canine diabetes is reported as an important chronic disease that dogs suffer from. This commonly reported condition comes about due to improper insulin metabolism in the body. The beta cells of the pancreas secrete insulin hormone and are responsible for maintaining the blood sugar level of the body. Due to some metabolic problems, the blood sugar level is elevated leading to diabetes symptoms.
There are two types of canine diabetes - type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is caused due to little or no secretion of insulin hormone, whereas type 2 canine diabetes is caused when the body's cells become resistant to insulin. In both these situations, the blood glucose level of the affected dog is higher than the normal level. Majority of the cases of diabetes in dogs are of type 2.
Tips for Choosing the Right Diabetic Dog Food
For a diabetic dog, controlling the blood glucose levels is the first and foremost treatment approach. Usually, insulin injections are delivered under the supervision of a veterinarian. In addition to that, care should be taken about the oral medication and diet of the pet suffering from diabetes. Let us take you through some of the basic steps which will help you in choosing the correct food for a diabetic dog.
Diabetic dog food should contain less sugar, carbohydrates, and sodium. It is to be noted that soft and moist dog food contains higher amount of carbohydrates. So, the best option is to feed dry and balanced canned dog food. However, always make sure that you check the label of the contents before feeding the dog. Don't feed canned food that is without formulations (nutritional facts) or a label.
The guidelines for selecting diabetic dog food also depend upon the fitness of the pet. For instance, if the diabetic dog is overweight, then his diet should contain low-calorie and low-fat food. However, in case of underweight dogs, the nutrient content of the meal should be balanced in such a way that it contains appropriate quantity of fats (not in excess amounts).
The dog food should also contain fiber in an appropriate amount. Since fiber is beneficial in slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates, it helps in maintaining the blood glucose levels of the diabetic dog. So, check the label of the canine food for the same before purchasing it.
Feeding homemade food to a diabetic dog is a good idea, provided that you consult the vet about the ingredients and the nutrient levels that should be maintained while cooking. Stringent care has to be taken while preparing food for a diabetic dog. This is to ensure that the nutrient content of the homemade food is maintained properly.
As far as the feeding frequency is concerned, a diabetic dog should be fed twice or thrice a day in smaller quantities instead of giving a heavy meal at a time. Red meat should be avoided in the food as far as possible. Keeping a diabetic dog healthy comes along with a lot of responsibilities for the owner. In case of any doubts regarding the food and feeding habits for a diabetic dog, it is recommended that you consult a vet.
The overall health of a dog depends upon the attention of the dog owner. It is the responsibility of the owner to check for any changes in the dog's behavior so that any problem related to the health of the pet can be identified in the early stages. To sum up, proper dog care and regular medical checkup should be done without fail in order to keep the canine diabetes under control.