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Do You Have A Diabetic Dog?

Updated on January 16, 2010

Feeding Diabetic Dog Food For Greater Health

Dogs, just like their owners, are capable of getting diabetes. They also have something else in common with us: diabetic dogs can improve their health by eating well. However, you might not know what type of diabetic dog food you need to keep your dog happy and healthy. Some people feel that they should use a special prescription food from their vet, while other people advise feeding regular dog food with the right nutritional balance. Let's take a look at what you should know about how dogs get diabetes, and the type of food that's best for dogs with this condition.

You may have noticed that there seem to be more fat pets around these days. Many people wonder if this might contribute to their cats and dogs ending up with diabetes. It all depends on the pet. Cats, for instance, can get late onset diabetes - the kind caused by being overweight and eating poorly. Cat owners should pay close attention to what their pets eat and their activity level, to prevent Type 2 diabetes. Dogs mostly get Type 1 diabetes, however - the kind that's present from birth. Dog owners don't need to be as worried about their fat dogs becoming diabetic.

Most studies on dogs eating diabetic dog food have focused on how calorically dense the food is. They've also taken a look at the nutrient ratios. We've also examined diabetic dog food to identify whether the amount and source of fiber can affect dog health, whether dietary supplements or different types of carbohydrates can affect health, and looked for many other factors. Right now, the biggest factor affecting blood glucose and insulin is carbohydrate content. High carb dog foods can be bad.

Of course, certain types of carbohydrates have a bigger glycemic effect than others. Rice is one of the big culprits, and is far worse for diabetic dogs than even sorghum and corn. Avoid diabetic dog foods that contain rice, unless they're otherwise well balanced. We used to think that fiber content was a big factor, as well. However, that might not be all that influential. Moderate fiber diets are definitely helpful for diabetic animals, but extremely high fiber diets may not make a difference.

So, what do you need to look for in diabetic dog food for your pet? The studies tell us that dogs with diabetes should eat high protein foods with a minimum of carbohydrates and a moderate level of fat. These types of foods help manage insulin and glucose levels. Remember to talk to your vet before you choose, though. Diabetes is a big deal. Take the time to learn all you can before you pick a diabetic dog food, to get a healthy, happy, long lived pet.


High Protein Dog Food

Many pet owners are concerned with the contents of the food their pets eat. We worry about whether specialty foods are a ripoff, whether grocery store brands are really providing nutrition, and whether table scraps are okay. One question many owners have is whether we should feed high protein dog food. Here's a look at some of the things people believe about pets and protein, and what the reality is. There are many things that most of us just don't know.

Contrary to what many people think, high protein dog food won't hurt your dog, whether you have a young, active dog, a brand new puppy, or an aging dog with changing nutritional needs. High protein diets for dogs don't cause kidney problems or bone trouble, and can actually be a big help. Protein is the building block for lean muscle, and will help improve your pet's skin and coat. Dogs with kidney problems should maintain a moderate protein diet, not a low protein one, and most dogs aren't getting enough, much less eating more protein than they really need.

A dog that's not getting the protein levels his or her diet should offer can have a lot of problems, ranging from immune issues to higher stress levels. In fact, picking a food that offers plenty of protein can be an important part of staying out of the vet's office. Be sure you pick a food that's not overly high in calcium or fat (calcium for large breed puppies should be at two percent or less). A few high protein dog foods have up to twenty percent of their calories from fat - a great choice for active dogs, but a bad one for sedentary pets.

If your dog really likes the food you currently feed, that doesn't mean you can't improve his or her protein intake. Just start adding fresh foods that are high in protein, like cottage cheese, bone in canned fish such as mackerel, yogurt, eggs, meats and more. A high carb diet could be causing health and behavior problems, and the solution is remarkably simple - just increase the protein.

Remember to take care what you feed certain animals. It's important not to over feed large or giant breed puppies, to keep them from straining their bones and joints. Puppies that grow too fast can have some real health problems. Prevent this by avoiding calcium supplements and don't feed your puppy what an adult dog would eat.

Senior dogs are often the recipients of low protein dog food, which can actually make them fatter. High carbohydrate foods can encourage dogs too eat too much in order to get certain nutrients. Instead of high carb, low protein food, consider feeding your overweight or senior dog a moderate fat, low carb, high protein dog food. It could make a huge change in your pet!



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