Best Dog Food for Diabetes

Read time: 5 mins

21 Dec 2019

When you find out your dog has diabetes, your first instinct will be to worry. We completely understand that – in fact, Butternut Box was built by a concerned pet parent. When our co-founder, Dave, met his rescue dog, Rudie, she was queen of the farters. To sort this out, Dave and his family cooked Rudie special meals and were amazed by the positive results.

It's important to reassure yourself that most dogs with diabetes live normal, happy lives full of all the usual fun and games. Successful management of the condition is absolutely achievable, but we know it involves work and changes.

Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs

Early detection of diabetes is really important for helping to prevent long-term complications. If you start to notice any of the following symptoms in your pooch, it might be time to get them checked out by your Vet.

• Increased thirst

• Increasing hunger

• Frequent weeing

• Weight loss

• Low energy and fatigue

What Causes Diabetes in Dogs

Diabetes is a hormonal disease caused by one of two things. Either your dog's pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, or they don't have an adequate biological response to the insulin that is produced. Whatever the cause, it means that after eating, your pooch doesn't absorb the sugars in their blood which would normally give them energy and keep them healthy.

Chronic or repeated pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas, can also lead to the development of diabetes.

Treating a Diabetic Dog

Diabetes can prove to be very complicated if left untreated. Once your dog has been diagnosed, it is important that you work together with your Vet to define a care plan. Rigidly sticking to this plan will help to ensure that your dog’s well being improves. Treatment can generally fall into three main areas:

Insulin Injections

Injections are recommended to be given twice a day, every day, twelve hours apart. An easy way to stay on track is to give your pooch their injection just before feeding them their morning and evening meals. Your Vet will allocate the correct dosage, as well as showing you the correct technique to administer the injection. This can seem like a really daunting task at first but it does get easier with time. Your pooch is unlikely to feel much pain from these, nothing a big cuddle and a treat can’t solve. 

Controlled Feeding

Establishing consistent meal times is another essential way to help to control your dog’s blood sugar levels. You should also be mindful of portion sizes and the contents in your dog’s food. If your dog is eating too much or too little this could negatively affect their blood sugar levels. Similarly, if their food is packed out with high glycaemic index ingredients, this can cause a sudden spike in sugar levels followed by a crash. 

Controlled Exercise

Exercise requires fuel from food and too much can use up essential blood sugar. It is difficult to determine exactly how much exercise is safe for your dog, so this can be a bit of trial and error. Making incremental changes, a few minutes more or less per day, can help to establish the perfect level without dangerously disrupting your dog’s blood sugars. 

Food for Diabetic Dogs

As any change to your dog’s diet can affect their blood-sugar levels, it's best to stick to a routine and introduce new foods very slowly. This will minimise fluctuations in insulin levels and reduce any discomfort. Of course, if you’re not sure, always ask your vet for advice.

What Treats Can I Give My Diabetic Dog?

Whether or not your diabetic dog can have treats is dependent on the severity of their condition and their treatment plan. It is important to discuss every aspect of your dog’s diet with their Vet to ensure that it will not affect their blood sugar levels.

Certain fruits and veg, such as apple, carrot and broccoli can be a great low glycaemic treat when fed in moderation. You can also opt for ready-made treats from reliable brands, such as us here at Butternut Box, as they contain ingredients that will not trigger an insulin spike, such as our Ultimate Chicken Training Treats. 

If you’re advised not to give your pooch treats in addition to their mealtimes, it’s important to remember that treats come in more forms than food. Giving your pup lots of care, cuddles and attention is just as important as satisfying their taste buds.

Butternut Box is Perfect for Dogs with Diabetes

Your vet can give you lots of helpful advice on administering insulin and getting your pooch's activity level to where it needs to be. But diet is also crucial, so let's take a look at the best foods for dogs with diabetes, thinking about portion sizes, regularity of meals and how Butternut Box can help.

Our recipes have been designed by expert nutritionists using healthy, high-fibre veg and lentils. A fibrous diet can help keep blood sugars at a steady level. To give you extra peace of mind, all of our meals have been approved by our expert vet team.

Our meat-based meals have been tested for sugar levels and all total sugars fall below 2g/100g, in line with PARNUT guidelines for regulation of glucose for Diabetes. However our Plant and Veggie meals are unlikely to be suitable for dogs with Diabetes, due to their higher plant-based naturally occurring sugars

Our customised meal plans are built with this in mind. Every pouch is perfectly portioned into balanced meals. This means you can easily regulate their meals and their weight without worrying they're missing out on any vital vitamins and minerals. And because we deliver direct to your door, you’ll never run out of food. Why not check out to see what might tempt your four-legged family member?

All of our meals use only the good stuff, none of the nasties. They’re gently cooked – just like you would at home – with tried and tested recipes and freshly prepared ingredients. Because Butternut meals are carefully calculated for each individual dog it means your pooch gets the right balance of nutrients and the perfect number of calories, which helps you control their weight. Our low-glycemic-index ingredients (such as lentils and sweet potato) can also minimise sugar spikes and we have six low fat recipes to choose from.

To support concerned Butternutters, we give you access to a 24/7 vet-nurse helpline when you sign up. So if your diabetic dog is acting differently, you always have someone to talk to. So if your diabetic dog is acting differently, you always have someone to talk to.