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Diabetic Dog: Tips to Manage His Diet

Food as Fuel continued...

Make sure your dog eats something -- even if that something isn’t ideal. But steer clear of soft, semi-moist dog foods in packets, which are typically high in sugar.

With your vet’s OK, here’s how you can entice your pup to eat:

  • Stir a tablespoon of canned food into his regular food.
  • Scatter shredded chicken or scrambled eggs into kibble.
  • Add a tablespoon of low-sodium chicken broth to dry food.

Treats between meals are OK, as long as they’re low in sugar and carbohydrates. Avoid snacks that list syrup, molasses, fructose, dextrose, or maltose on the ingredients label. Homemade dehydrated meats, carrots, snap peas, and even canned pumpkin are good options.

Timing Is Everything

Balancing insulin and food is like a relay race. The body constantly processes food and insulin between meals and injections.

Most dogs do best on a regular schedule of 2-3 meals a day. With your vet’s help, you can change the timing of meals and injections to find what works best for you and your dog.

Walk the Dog

Regular exercise will also help your pooch lose weight and lower blood sugar levels. It’s best to have your dog exercise for the same length of time and at the same intensity every day. An unusually long or vigorous workout could cause blood sugar levels to drop too low.

Planning a tough hike? Talk to your vet about adjusting your dog’s insulin first.

It can take a few months to get to “cruise control,” so try not to worry if your pup’s blood sugar levels aren’t under control quickly. Also, losing weight may lessen your dog’s need for insulin, so check his levels often.

Caring for a dog with diabetes can be hard at first. But soon the changes will become part of your daily life. The extra care and attention you'll give him may even strengthen your bond.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on November 16, 2014
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