What to Feed your Pet with Diabetes
Does a diabetes diagnosis mean the end of your pet’s happy relationship with food? Not necessarily!
With small adjustments to their diet and meal schedule, you can feed your pet in a way that helps manage their diabetes without disappointing their palate.
What To Feed A Cat With Diabetes
Cats typically get Type II diabetes, often attributed to obesity. Your cat’s diet should help them lose excess weight while keeping their blood sugar stable. It can even help put your cat’s diabetes into remission.
A high protein, low carbohydrate diet is essential for cats with diabetes. Dry kibble tends to be high in carbohydrates to help form its pellet-like shape, while canned foods are typically much lower in carbs. Consider switching your cat from dry food to a high quality canned diet.
Cooked and raw diets are also beneficial to cats with diabetes because they can be formulated to contain little to no carbohydrates. Many homemade fresh diets are imbalanced. If you’ll be making your cat’s meals at home, work with a veterinary nutritionist to come up with a balanced recipe. Or, try a complete premade raw cat food.
For cats, a hunger strike can quickly become deadly. Cats are prone to hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) if they do not eat or if they lose weight too quickly. Be sure to transition your cat’s diet slowly, and keep their preferred food on-hand in case they refuse to eat their new diabetic diet.
What To Feed A Dog With Diabetes
Dogs usually get Type I diabetes, which is not directly related to diet. Diabetic dogs can be underweight, overweight, or at their ideal weight, and may or may not have concurrent health issues like Cushing’s disease or pancreatitis. So, there is not any single perfect diet for diabetic dogs.
In overweight dogs with diabetes, a high fiber diet can serve as a way to both help regulate blood sugar, manage appetite and stimulate weight loss. You can also supplement fiber with unseasoned, steamed green beans or a supplement like Missing Link For Dogs.
However, a high fiber diet can result in loose stool and gastric upset, especially if introduced too quickly. For underweight dogs, a high fiber diet is not recommended because it can impede weight gain.
Carbohydrates are not necessary in any dog’s diet, and you can restrict or eliminate them with a high quality canned, fresh cooked or raw diet. Carbs, if included, should be low glycemic, which means they release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, rather than causing spikes in your pet’s blood sugar.
Always make sure your diabetic pet has access to fresh, clean water. Diabetic pets can be prone to urinary tract conditions like UTIs and kidney disease.
Treats For A Pet With Diabetes
Too many treats throughout the day can cause spikes in your pet’s blood sugar. That doesn’t mean, however, that you cannot reward your cat for being patient at the vet’s office, or that you can’t show your dog he’s a good boy for practicing a new trick.
Pieces of kibble or bites of canned food can make a satisfactory snack for some pets. When you need something more tantalizing, look for low carb treats that are made predominantly with meat, such as Pure Bites Freeze Dried Treats or Crumps’ Liver Bites. Unseasoned chicken, eggs, or turkey can work. You can also try offering low sugar fruits or veggies such as green beans, apples, and blueberries.
If your pet gets insulin injections, you should serve their meals within 30 minutes of each shot. This typically means two meals per day, about 12 hours apart. Treats should be used sparingly between meals, making up no more than 10 percent of their diet. As always, if you have any questions about your pet’s condition or the best diet for your pet, we recommend consulting with your pet’s veterinarian.
Test your pet at home with the At Home Wellness Test for Dogs or Cats
With the At Home Wellness Test for Dogs or Cats, you can easily check to see if your pet has a common health issue. In just 60 seconds, you can test your pet’s urine for high glucose levels, urinary tract infection, kidney failure, and blood in the urine. The At Home Wellness Test for Dogs or Cats includes everything you need to cleanly collect and test your pet’s urine in a non-invasive and stress-free manner.
The At Home Wellness Test for Dogs includes a urine cup with a reusable telescopic pole for easy urine collection and the At Home Wellness Test for Cats includes a special hydrophobic litter that causes the urine to puddle atop the litter for easy collection. Both testing kits include 2 testing strips, one sample collection vial, one sample collection pipette, and a results card that quickly indicated positive or negative results