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Diabetic Dog Food: The Management of Diabetes in Dogs

Updated on July 18, 2012

Diabetes is a health condition that causes unsafe levels of glucose (or sugar) in the blood. If the sugar levels are not well controlled, the high glucose levels can cause a variety of diabetes complications such as blindness, nerve damage, and even death. When a dog is diagnosed with diabetes, the veterinarian may prescribe insulin injections and recommend a special diabetic dog food. The diabetic dog food helps keep the dog's blood sugar levels within a healthy range.

Dog food for diabetic dogs is also low in fat since diabetes can be more difficult to manage in animals that are overweight. Weight management is very important when treating diabetes in dogs. The diabetes can cause excess weight gain which then makes the diabetes less controlled which causes more weight gain. This can be a vicious cycle that can lead to an obese dog with numerous health problems from diabetes complications.

The diabetes dog food may be designed to increase energy and support a healthy metabolism in order to encourage weight loss or prevent weight gain. Some diabetic dog foods have high fiber content so that the dog feels less hungry throughout the day.

Dog owners need to make sure that they are feeding the dog the appropriate amount of dog food. The special dog food won't help manage diabetes if the dog is getting too much of the food. The dog owners should refrain from feeding table scraps to the dog. The food we eat can cause weight gain and blood sugar fluctuations for the diabetic dog.

Food for diabetic dogs may be prescribed for weight loss even if the dog is not diabetic. The veterinary dog food for diabetes is low in calories. A dog food for dogs with diabetes may have approximately three hundred fifty to four hundred twenty-five calories. Regular dog food can have as much as five hundred fifty calories per serving.

Obesity raises the risk of developing diabetes. If a dog owner is concerned about the dog's weight but the dog does not have diabetes, the owner should try to get the dog lose weight to help prevent diabetes. Some low-calorie food is sold as weight control formulas in pet stores and other retailers. Using a low-calorie dog food is one way to improve the health of the dog.

In addition to using a diabetic dog food, daily exercise can promote healthier living for the obese or diabetic dog. Exercise has two benefits for diabetes. The current blood sugar level is lowered by exercise and calories are burned to help maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if necessary. The veterinarian can provide guidance for helping the dog live a long and healthy life by managing diabetes since the life expectancy of a diabetic dog can be lower than it is for dogs without diabetes.

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    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 

      6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi there Shiela Wilson. Thank you for writing this informative, concise and compact hub which is a great help for all those who have canine companions. Great suggestions about food and weight. The same is true for cats...I think that much of the increase in diabetes in dogs and cats is due to the high carbohydrate content in commercial foods and ingredients that these animals would not, in all probability, eat in their natural state. Thus, animals gain excess weight and become subject to developing diabetes. Cats, in particular, require a higher protein content and less carbohydrates (such as corn, wheat, fillers, etc).....commercial dog food is the same; too high in unnecessary filler type ingredients. I strive for the best over the counter which, in my own opinion, is Purina...we primarily use this as we have animal sanctuaries w/many cats/dogs so we cannot afford the better, less commercial varieties...but Imes, Science Diet, BLUE (very good) and several others offer a little better combination of ingredients.

      http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-... Here's a link for suggestions of better than average pet foods

      Very good hub! UP Interesting, Useful and Awesome!!

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