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Your Diabetic Dog -- Tips For Diet And Exercise

Updated on May 15, 2009
Darlene Norris profile image

Darlene Norris loves cats and dogs. She has worked as a vet assistant, and draws on this experience when she writes her hubs.

Diet and exercise are important in regulating blood sugar levels in a diabetic dog.
Diet and exercise are important in regulating blood sugar levels in a diabetic dog.

Do you know how important diet and exercise are in managing a diabetic dog? These two things alone can have a huge impact on regulating his blood sugar levels. Here are some tips for managing canine diabetes.

Pay Close Attention To Diet In Dogs With Diabetes

You'll be giving your pet smaller meals two or three times a day to avoid blood sugar fluctuations. Smaller meals help keep his blood sugar levels stable, while one large meal a day will cause his blood sugar to spike, and then drop to dangerously lower levels twelve hours later.

Learn to read pet food labels. You'll want to avoid pet foods that contain high levels of carbohydrates. Unfortunately, most dry and semi-moist foods, including your vet's prescription diets, contain way too many carbohydrates.

What's wrong with carbohydrates? Your pet's body breaks them down quickly into glucose, which causes a spike in blood sugar levels. Proteins and fats, on the other hand, are broken down into glucose much more slowly. This process feeds glucose into your pet's bloodstream over several hours, instead of all at once. You can see that a diet that's lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein is better for your pet.  

If you feed dry food, try to find one that's grain-free. A high-quality canned food that's low in fat and high in fiber is probably the best choice for dogs with diabetes.

Exercise Tips For A Diabetic Dog

Exercise will help to keep your pet healthy, but you do need to be careful with a diabetic pet. Your pet's activity levels affect his blood sugar levels.  

Consistency is the key. Establish a routine so that your pet's not out running at top speed for a half hour one day, and walking sedately for ten minutes the next. This sort of thing will cause major fluctuations in his blood sugar levels.

A daily ten-minute walk can help considerably in keeping your pet's blood sugar regulated. Low-key activities, where your pet doesn't start panting, are best. Walking or swimming are recommended exercises for dogs with diabetes.

You should always take a little Karo syrup with you on your daily jaunts. If your pet's blood sugar levels should drop too low, you can rub some of the syrup on his gums to get those blood glucose levels back up where they belong.  

Talk to your vet about setting up an exercise schedule for your pet.

Natural Remedies For Dogs Can Help To Prevent Canine Diabetes

Diabetes is on the rise in our pets, and the main reason is because they're too fat. An obese canine has a much higher risk of developing diabetes than one whose weight is where it should be. If you love your pet, stop overfeeding him with the wrong foods.

Exercise is important to burn up excess calories and to keep your pet fit and trim. It's also a natural way to regulate blood sugar levels in pets who don't have diabetes.

Some pet owners are also using herbs and dietary supplements to prevent this condition. Research has shown that the herbs goat's rue, fenugreek, and astragalus, along with the mineral chromium, are very effective in controlling blood sugar levels in pets.  

Diabetes in dogs, with all its complications, can be prevented. Don't let your pet become a victim of this disease.


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    • Paulart profile image

      Paulart 6 years ago from 2510 Warren Avenue Cheyenne,Wyoming 82001

      This is what i was really looking forward for my dog. Thanks for sharing with us.