One in every 500 dogs can get diabetes which is a condition wherein the body does not have enough insulin or is resistant to insulin. However, there are some dog breeds that are more susceptible to diabetes like the Poodle, Daschund, Chow Chow, Beagle, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, West Highland white terrier, and Doberman pinscher, to name just a few. In addition, bitches and middle aged to older dogs tend to have a higher chance of getting the condition.
Treats for Dogs with Diabetes
Since dogs with diabetes have special dietary needs, this naturally extends to the treats they can safely eat.
A few quick facts about dogs with diabetes:
- They are always hungry
- They tend to lack energy
- Their liver, eyes, and kidneys are vulnerable because of this condition
- Frequent urination is common
- Tend to lose weight quickly
- Could start vomiting
The diabetic dog should be given treats that are low in sugar but the key point is to continue giving your dog treats. Treats can help keep the blood sugar stable although the timing of the feeding should be done properly and in the right quantities.
In addition, you cannot buy just any commercial dog treats because these are high in sugar content. You must get the special dog treats but be careful about dog treats labeled “safe for diabetics.” It would be wise to read the labels first and make sure it contains no sugar, soy, or corn. You can also buy these special diabetic dog treats online although do take the necessary caution when buying from online sources because you may not be able to see the label properly. Your other option is to give your dog vegetables and fruits as treats.
Fruits can only be given in moderation because they are naturally sweet. It is the fiber in fruits that diabetic dogs can benefit from most. Thus, the fruits that are good for diabetic dogs include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples, and pears.
As for vegetables as treats, this is an even better idea because they tend to have less calories and are high in fiber. Great vegetable choices include steamed broccoli and carrots, cabbage, cucumber, zucchini, spinach, and frozen green beans.
Still, another choice would be to make your own treats. This is not as difficult as it sounds. In fact, the simplest recipe would be to buy dog food for diabetics, add a little unseasoned or low salt chicken stock, form into shapes and bake.
A Very Important Reminder
Since diabetes strikes older dogs, the diet should take into consider the other possible health issues of the dog and meals should be adjusted accordingly. For instance, there are certain nutrients that older dogs have a harder time digesting like phosphorus and some proteins. Some dogs will no longer be able to chew properly so, again, adjustments must be made. For this reason, sitting down with a dog nutritionist or vet will be well worth the time and effort as you can create a weekly plan and list of food items that can and cannot be taken as well as their corresponding replacement foods.
A dog with diabetes usually is given a 12 hour feeding cycle with little or no changes in quantities and type. The good news is that with proper care and nutrition, a dog with diabetes can live a long and satisfying life.