Diabetic dogs require a special diet which is high in fibre and protein yet low in fat and carbohydrates. When a dog is first diagnosed with diabetes, he or she will be put onto a strict diet, usually with a special prescription diet like Purina or Hills, in order to bring the diabetes under control.
I would avoid prescription dog food at all costs. There is no way a dog can maintain a healthy life on that stuff. I suggest a prey model raw diet. It's ideal for a diabetic dog. It can be tweaked to the individual dog's needs.
One of our older (almost 8 yrs Irish Setter) girls was diagnosed a couple of months ago as diabetic, perfectly healthy otherwise. At first we took it kind of hard but since then we've educated ourselves (mostly my wife has) & learned to take good care of her. We are still at the beginning stages I think, with weekly vet appointments to get her blood suger levels right. We're giving her twice daily insulin shots & the vet says the most important thing is stiicking to a strict regular diet with regular feeding times & no other treats or anything like that. We got some prescription diabetic food from the vet but looking at the ingredients we decided it was crap/not to use it-it was mostly corn crap! The vet said she could eat her regular food as long as we get the blood sugar levels correct & diet & exercise. My wife is looking at the protien & other stuff with the food for her. She does seem to be not quite as active as before. My wife is very saddened because she tells me most of them become blind within a year & don't do well after that, she's going more places with her & we're spending as much time her as we can. Sad-she's a terrific show dog-lots of love left in her.
Her diet at this time is the same as before-Blue Buffalo Adult-with some canned chicken breast added twice a day (same time daily), no treats or cookies, but a couple of bites of chicken now & then. She seems to be doing a little better each day & we hope the blood suger levels stabalize. We'll help her through this.
Any helpful advice from anyone with experience in this?
A prey-model raw diet seems to make the most sense to me as meat contains no starches... thus keeping the blood sugar from rising.
At the very least, I'd go with a hi-protein, low carb kibble such as Orijen, EVO, NV Instinct, etc.
Taste of the Wild may be a good choice since it is grain free, but lower in fat than EVO or Orijen.
Please keep in mind that I am not a vet and I have never had a diabetic dog, so I am only using my common sense here.
However.. I don't have much faith in most vets' nutrition recommendations. I would not feed Hills, Iams, Royal Canin and that other crap that vets recommend. It makes no sense to me to "heal" the body with poisons such as BHA and BHT... not to mention the other extremely questionable ingredients.
Yes, that baffles me too. My favorite is when people tell me they'll just ask their vet what to feed, or their vet recommended a food to them so they must stick with it FOREVER for any animal they ever own. Ever.
And when I explain the veterinary industry and how it deals with training vets on food and nutrition, they either look at me as though I'm speaking blasphemy or a sudden wave of realization washes over them and they get it. Those people make it all worthwhile :smile:
I don't have a diabetic dog but I have a 22 year old son who has had Type I diabetes for 8 years so I have spent many hours in nutrition lectures and studies of insulin usage. With humans and I would imagine with dogs it is all about the carbs and the fats and the proteins. If you are having any carbs, you must bind them with some fats and proteins or else your blood sugars will spike. For example, if you eat an apple, you have to have some peanut butter with it to bind the apple sugars or else you will spike. Or have cheese on your pizza to bind the carbs in the dough. I would imagine a dog on a grain free diet would be a lot easier to control because you would be able to really control the carb/fat/protein ratios. I surely wouldn't expect the dog to be blind in a year and I would expect the dog to have a lot more energy and be a lot happier once the blood sugar levels were normalized. Evo makes a grain free treat that my dogs LOVE! I haven't checked what the carbs are in it but you can give totally free carb treats during the day that won't affect blood sugars at all like bits of chicken or any meat.
Have you tried going grain free and seeing what that does to his blood glucose levels? It should be a lot easier then trying to teach a 14 year old boy how to eat properly!