Dogs with Diabetes -- What Should They Eat?
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Dogs with Diabetes  -- What Should They Eat?

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January 24, 2011
By KEN MARSH, Contributing Columnist

If you notice your canine friend lapping up more water than usual, looking a bit lazy, weak or out of sorts, then it may be an early sign of Dog diabetes. The condition, Diabetes Mellitus, or Sugar Diabetes, is similar in many ways to the disease as it occurs in humans.

According to AVMA, The American Veterinary Medical Association, managing the diet of your dog according to Veterinary recommendations is the number one step in reducing blood-sugar levels and bringing them back to a healthy state.

As with humans, regulating insulin by monitoring blood-sugar levels with a blood-glucose level at home is the best fight against potentially fatal imbalances in your pet's blood. Combined with the proper diet, your pet can continue to live a long and healthy life.

The key to a proper diet for diabetic dogs is one that is low in simple carbohydrates, or those that are broken down and converted into glucose rapidly by your dog's body.

Once you've taken your pet to a vet for what is ultimately a simple and inexpensive blood-sugar test, he or she will recommend the right kinds of food, frequency of feeding and snacking that will keep your pet's health at an optimum level.

Should Your Dog Eat Raw Meat?

In rare cases, your diabetic dog may have experienced an episode of pancreatitis, in which the pancreas becomes inflamed and cannot break down food enzymes, as it should. Veterinarians occasionally recommend raw meat diets for these cases.

Raw meats combined with cooked vegetables will provide a healthy alternative to store-bought dog food. Ideally, the meat should be trimmed of all excess fat and skin.

If you can afford it, less oily meats are recommended. Here is the list of recommended raw meats for dogs with diabetes:

Fish is also a healthy alternative for dogs with severe type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Focusing on minimal pork and poultry with emphasis on lean red meats in the right proportions is ideal for diabetic dogs, according to many veterinarians. Additionally, these homemade dog food options are easy to make, affordable and can be frozen for long-term use. 

Carbohydrates are another important factor to keep in mind when breakfast and dinner for your canine friend come around. Why? By feeding them a diet that is high in complex carbohydrates, your dog's body breaks those carbs down slowly, which releases glucose into their blood over time and is thus is easier for the pancreas to process.

Upon your vet's recommendations, finding foods that are low in sugar, restricted in fat-content and high in complex carbohydrates will allow for a balanced diet that meets your diabetic dog's particular needs.

Combined with regular insulin doses, which your veterinarian can recommend to you based on the weight and severity of the particular diabetic case, you will discover that finding the right food to feed your dog is simple enough.

High-fiber diets may include cooked vegetables such as green beans, and are typically recommended for diabetic dogs that are overweight.

Can Dogs with Diabetes Have Snacks?

Snacking is another point that many dog owners are concerned about once their pet is diagnosed with diabetes. Some of you may wonder, 'But will I be able to give my pet treats for good behavior?' Veterinarians mostly agree that some snacking is not ideal. However, certain treats that meet your dog's dietary needs are available, and can be given to your pet in a controlled way.

These treats are always low in fat content and high in fiber. Remember --- Table scraps, cat food, or ordinary puppy treats are never healthy for your pet!

Here are 3 meals you can feed your diabetic dog this week:


Buy 2 thick pork chops. Trim away excess fat. With a sharp knife, slice the pork chop lengthwise, then dice the pieces.  Steam 3 cups of green beans.  When the beans are steamed and cooled down, add them to the pork meat. Now, the important part--measure. Measure out one cup of the raw meat and beans mix per meal for your dog. Do not over-feed your dog. Put the left overs in a container and refrigerate.

Tuesday and Wednesday

Serve your dog the pork and beans today as well. Make another batch for large breed dogs.


Keep it light today. Cook fish (salmon, flounder, halibut). Add green beans. Again, measure to avoid over-feeding, especially important for  small breeds.


Try raw diced chicken thighs. Leave on part of the skin for flavor. Add green beans.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday

If you can, add a special treat of deer meat for Friday and the weekend. Add green beans.

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