Dog Foods - What to Buy for a Diabetic Dog

Diabetes: Commonly Diagnosed when a Dog is Six Years of Age or Older
If you have a dog that has been diagnosed with diabetes, then your choice of a dog
food is an important consideration.

Also called diabetes mellitus, diabetes is common in such breeds as German
Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Poodles, and Miniature Schnauzers, with more
females than male dogs suffering from the illness.

The condition is generally diagnosed when a dog is over six years of age.

Diet: Why it is an Important Part of Therapy
Indeed, diet is a crucial component in the treatment of diabetes as the condition results from an inadequate production of insulin. That's because insulin is needed to manufacture the energy required for a healthy metabolism. So, if your dog is deficient in insulin, he can exhibit such symptoms as lethargy, excessive thirst, and frequent urination. In addition, he may eat more than usual or have an unexplained loss of weight.

Check a Dog Food's Glycemic Index
So, which dog foods are best for a diabetic canine? To maintain the dog's blog sugar, you need to find a product that contains a low-glycemic index and contains a fair amount of fiber. The glycemic index is an indicator that gauges the ease in which a dog food can be converted to the glucose needed to produce energy and maintain health. Dog foods with a lower glycemic index usually contain a lower amount of carbohydrates as well.

Consult with your Veterinarian
Consult with your veterinarian about the dog foods that are better suited for diabetic pets, or find out which foods are less likely to cause glucose levels to climb. Obtain as much nutritional information as you can as canine diabetes, if left untreated, can lead to a variety of health issues, including blindness, coma, and even death.

Some Diabetic Brands - One Questionable Product
One example of a dog food designed for diabetic dogs is Hill's Prescription W/D dry dog food, which can be obtained online through a prescription from your vet. However, the dog food is not recommended for underweight dogs as it has extra fiber and a lower amount of fat content than other dog food brands. Dogs who have had bladder infections too should not be given this brand. The dog food then is suggested for consumption by diabetic canines that have a tendency to put on weight. Two diabetic formulas of the W/D prescription diet are available, namely:

-- Hill's low-fat diabetic GI; and

-- Hill's low fat diabetic GI including chicken

The primary ingredient in the Hill's prescription diet is corn, which is considered questionable as it only offers a modicum of value nutritionally and actually is regarded as a high glycemic grain. Cellulose is listed second, which is meant to make a dog feel fuller and eat less. Chicken by-products are also included - rendered substances that are produced from waste from slaughterhouse facilities. Given that Hills W/D's main ingredients offers little value to a dog nutritionally, the prescription dog food is rated below-average in this regard.

A Recommended Brand
Better to choose a product, such as the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet formula Diabetic HF 18 dog food. This dry dog food supplies your diabetic dog with a diet that is specially formulated so that your canine companion is provided with the proper amount of fiber, carbohydrates, and fat.

Treats for Diabetic Dogs
When it comes to treats, find products that contain meat as their first ingredient. Or, give your dog natural treats, such as fresh carrots, peppers or broccoli - all which contain lower glycemic indexes or GIs.