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Dietary Management for Pets with Diabetes

 

                                                                  Tips for Feeding Diabetic Pets


If your pet suffers from diabetes, you are probably feeling overwhelmed about how to feed your pet a correct diet.  The first step toward developing a correct diet for a pet with diabetes mellitus is to understand the disease.
 

  • Understanding Diabetes

Diabetes is caused when the pet has a deficiency of insulin or when it develops a resistance to insulin.  This causes the cells to be unable to absorb the sugars in the blood  and  provide them with energy.  As a result, the sugar stays in the blood stream and causes the glucose levels to be too high in the blood and in the urine.

Certain pets are more prone to developing diabetes.  For example, female dogs suffer from the disease more than male dogs.  Breeds such as Keeshounds, Dachshunds, Miniature Pinschers, Cairn Terriers, Miniature Poodles and Pulis are all more likely to develop diabetes.  There is no particular breed of cat that is more likely to develop the disease.
 

  • Creating a Feeding Schedule

For pets with diabetes, it is important to feed the same amount of food at the same time every day.  It is also important to keep in mind that certain foods, for example, sweet potatoes and carrots, tend to be digested more slowly than other foods.  Therefore, these foods are a better choice for pets than those filled with simple carbohydrates, for instance, wheat flour and rice flour.  Packaged foods high in sugar should be avoided with diabetic pets.

Diets that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates, for example, the Atkins Diet followed by some humans, are sometimes beneficial for pets with diabetes.  Many also benefit from a diet that is high in dietary fiber because the fiber helps prevent blood glucose levels from rising too high after eating.  The fiber also helps the pet’s body produce short-chain fatty acids.  The liver uses this acid in order to control blood sugar levels.  

In addition, pets with diabetes generally require a regular insulin injection schedule in order to stay healthy.  This insulin needs to be prescribed by the veterinarian.  Also, research has indicated that Omega 3 fatty acids can help keep diabetes under control.