There is no universal diet for diabetic dogs, but several ingredients are recommended for pets with this condition. To ensure that your pet consumes a proper diet, you must consider the following:
- The food that they consume should not contain simple carbohydrates like sugar, bread, potatoes, etc.
- The diet should be nutritionally balanced and contain all the nutrients that your dog needs.
- The food should be administered at regular time intervals and in predetermined amounts.
- The diet should be tasty enough that your dog will consume it regularly.
It is also crucial for your diabetic dog to consume the same amount of food at the same time every day. This is the only way that you can control their blood sugar and adjust the insulin dose if your dog has type I diabetes (insulin dependent). Moreover, a balanced, complete, and regular diet will optimize your dog’s body weight and control the level of fats in the blood.
In short, a diabetic dog should be fed a low-fat, high-fiber diet. Here are five homemade diabetic dog food recipes to try.
The 5 Vet-Approved Homemade Diabetic Dog Food Recipes
1. Chicken With Brown Rice and Vegetables
For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients (per serving for 20–25 pounds of body weight):
- Ground chicken or turkey, ½ cup
- Brown rice, ½ cup
- Green beans, ½ cup
- Chopped carrots, ½ cup
- Coconut oil, ½ tbs.
- Salt, ¼ tbs.
Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package, adding coconut oil and salt to the water. Add the carrots and green beans, and cook for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the ground chicken in a pan for 6–10 minutes. Mix all the ingredients, and leave them on low heat for another 10 minutes.
If you don’t have green beans, you can use broccoli or spinach.
2. Lean Ground Beef and No-Fat Cottage Cheese
You can give beef to your diabetic dog, but make sure it’s lean. Here are the ingredients that you will need to make a delicious recipe with cottage cheese for your diabetic dog:
- Lean ground beef, ¼ lb.
- No-fat plain cottage cheese, ½ cup
- Green beans, 2 cups
- Carrots, 2 cups
Cook the meat in a pan (drain the fat), and in the meantime, boil or steam the carrots and green beans separately. After these ingredients have cooled, mix them in a bowl, and add the no-fat cottage cheese.
The serving for a 20-lb. dog is about ½ a cup.
3. Beef and Barley
Barley is an ingredient full of fiber and has a low starch content. It can reduce cholesterol and improve glucose metabolism. Also, studies have shown that a diet based on barley leads to a lower average mean interstitial glucose compared to one in which corn was used.
Here are the ingredients that you need to prepare a delicious meal for your diabetic dog for a week (at one serving per day):
- Carrots, 2 lbs.
- Green beans or zucchini, 1 lb.
- Lean ground beef, 2–3 lbs.
- Dried pearl barley, 1 lb.
- Celery, ½ bunch
- Water, 12–14 cups
- A pinch of salt
Cut the carrots, celery, and green beans or zucchini, and add them to a large pot with 12–14 cups of water. Cook them to the boiling point. Meanwhile, cook the lean ground beef separately in a pan. If you do not use ground meat, add the beef pieces to the pot with the other ingredients.
When the ingredients reach the boiling point, add the barley. Cook for another 30 minutes (or as suggested on the package). If you use ground meat, mix the vegetables and barley with the beef.
Portion it and keep it in the freezer.
4. Chicken, Asparagus, and Broccoli
Asparagus is a good veggie for diabetic dogs because it is low in sugar, fat, and calories. It is also full of fiber and contains various vitamins and minerals. Here are the ingredients that you need to prepare a delicious asparagus recipe for your dog:
- Chicken breast, two 3-oz. pieces
- Asparagus, 1 cup
- Broccoli, 1 cup
- Brown rice, 2 cups
- Chicken soup (with low-salt concentration), 3 cups
- Fresh curly parsley (the other types are toxic to dogs), 1 tbs.
Cut the chicken breast into cubes, and chop the asparagus and broccoli. Add these ingredients and the chicken soup to a pot. Boil until the ingredients become tender. Meanwhile, separately prepare the brown rice according to the instructions on the package. Mix all the ingredients when they are cooked. Let it cool and serve a portion to your dog.
5. Beef and Pumpkin
From the point of view of botanists, pumpkin is a fruit. It’s rich in vitamins (A, C, and E) and fiber and is healthy for dogs with diabetes or digestive problems. Here are the ingredients that you need for a delicious beef-and-pumpkin recipe:
- Ground beef, 2 ½ cups
- Brown rice, 2 ½ cups
- Green beans, ½ cup
- Peas, ½ cup
- Carrot, 1 ½ cups
- Pumpkin, 1 ½ cups
- Water, 4 cups
If you don’t have fresh vegetables, you can use frozen ones (e.g., peas, green beans, etc.)
Chop the vegetables. Add all the ingredients to a large pot. Leave the pot on medium heat until the water is gone (this may take several hours). Let it cool, and serve a portion to your dog. Store the rest in the fridge or freezer.
How Dangerous Is Diabetes in Dogs?
Diabetes is the most common hormonal metabolic disease in dogs. Diabetes in dogs (and cats) is caused by a lack of insulin. When your dog’s body produces little or no insulin or if the glucose (sugar) cannot be absorbed properly, it builds up in the blood instead of being used as an energy source. Breeds like the Samoyed, Cocker Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Pomeranian, Toy Poodle, or Miniature Schnauzer have an increased risk of developing diabetes.
This chronic disorder is often associated with high water consumption (polydipsia) and frequent urination (polyuria). Other clinical signs include:
- Weight loss despite increased appetite
- Lack of energy
- Cataract with sudden blindness
- Matted fur
- Improper wound healing
In the case of incorrect treatment or undetected diabetes, it is possible that the cells of the body no longer receive enough sugar as a source of energy. As a result, the body produces excessive numbers of ketone bodies through the breakdown of fats. The increased concentration of ketone bodies (ketosis) leads to metabolic acidosis (hyperacidity of the body fluids). These changes can lead to vomiting, weakness, and life-threatening conditions.
Diabetes requires precise control of both therapy and nutrition. If it is not treated properly, it can lead to the death of your pet.
The initial clinical signs are usually unnoticeable and non-specific. As a result, it is important to monitor your dog and check their weight regularly.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that can be kept under control with proper treatment and diet. For this reason, it is vital to prepare homemade food for your dog that meets their nutritional requirements or buy special veterinary diets for diabetic dogs. Diabetic dogs do not need fat, sugar, and carbohydrates in their diet. If your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes, follow the advice of the veterinarian to make sure your pet has a long and healthy life.