Dealing with your dog’s diabetes can be challenging to say the least. You need to monitor for signs that something is amiss, as well as make modifications to both your and their lifestyle to accommodate for their condition. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed at times, which is why it’s helpful to keep these expert tips to support your dog with diabetes in mind. Below, we’ve shared the best tips that will make a real difference to your diabetic dog.
Consider Feeding Your Diabetic Dog a High Fiber Diet
The food you give your dog can have a dramatic impact on their health. One diet-related tip that owners of diabetic dogs will be interested to learn about are the potential benefits of feeding them a high fiber diet. Feeding your dog nutritionally-balanced high fiber dog food has been found to help reduce the rate of glucose release into the bloodstream.
There are a number of companies who now offer fiber-packed dog food that is both healthy and delicious. You’ll find yummy ingredients like sweet potatoes, whole grain brown rice, peas, and dried seaweed. Just remember to check with your vet before making any modifications to your dog’s diet.
Avoid Overfeeding Them
Speaking of food, one of the best ways to support your dog with diabetes is to stop overfeeding them if they’re carrying extra weight. The reason why is because it is far easier for your dog to manage their diabetes if they are a healthy weight. While exercise is part of the equation (more on that below), how much you feed them is an equally significant factor.
“Giving your diabetic dog a bit of extra food here and there may seem innocuous enough, but it can have very real consequences for their health,” says Angela Stringfellow from Safe Sound Pet. “The troubling thing is that you may not even realize how much extra they’re eating each day.” To stop overfeeding them, say no to giving them scraps and stop giving them additive-packed treats. You should also communicate with other members of the household to ensure they’re aware to not “double feed” them. Finally, you should be consistent with how much food you give them for their daily meals, as well as how long you leave it out for.
Make Sure They Get the Right Amount of Exercise
Every dog owner knows that daily exercise is vital for a dog’s health. Exercise is particulalry beneficial for obese diabetic dogs as it can lower their insulin resistance. But it isn’t just a simple matter of regularly taking them out to exercise. Dogs also greatly benefit with any sort of exercise whether that’s walking, playing fetch, or playing at the dog park. There are many ways to make sure your dog gets adequate physical exercise every day.
To avoid any health complications, it’s vital that you ensure your dog gets the right amount of exercise. It’s best to seek the advice of your vet to work out precisely the right amount, as well as the most ideal exercises they should partake in. Once you know this, both you and your trusty dog walker will be able to provide them with the ideal physical activity they need to regulate their diabetes.
Keep a Diary of Their Symptoms
With our busy lives, it can be hard to keep track of any symptoms your dog is experiencing because of their diabetes. As troublesome as it is, vigilance is key to keeping your diabetic dog in optimal health. That’s why we suggest keeping a diary of their symptoms.
You’re unlikely to remember the dates you caught them vomiting, or how many times they seemed particularly lethargic. But if you make an effort to note them down each time in a diary, you’ll have a clear record you can refer to at any time. It will be sure to prove handy whenever you visit the vet about their condition. Instead of trying to recall their symptoms, you’ll have all the information you need in the one place.
Caring for a dog with any illness or condition is certainly no easy walk in the park, but we hope providing these tips to support your dog with diabetes will be helpful in assessing and managing your dog’s health.
To learn more about health related information in dogs, read our article highlighting other common health issues in dogs and what to do.
Melanie Green is a writer for Pet Life Today. She has more than 8 years of experience as an educator for AZA accredited facilities, including Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo and the Florida Aquarium. She’s passionate about pet safety, holistic pet health, and trying out new pet products.