Diabetes is caused by the failure of the body to develop enough insulin, which is crucial in enabling cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream.
Diabetes does not only attack humans but also dogs. It has the same impact on dogs as humans, meaning it can lead to weight gain or loss. Regardless, you must take proper care of your diabetic dog if you want her to live long.
And the best way to do that is by taking good care of the dog and giving it the proper diet.
If your diabetic dog is losing weight, there is no need to worry. Visit a veterinarian and find the best diet to help your dog gain weight.
It may be a portion of raw diet food, a prescription diet, or a natural food diet.
Please note; what works for one dog may not work for another. No matter the food you give your dog, follow a strict routine.
Here are ways that will help you to put weight on your diabetic dog:
Feed The Dog Protein-Rich Diet
If you notice that your diabetic dog is losing weight, you may not be feeding it the right food.
Diabetic food for overweight diabetic dogs should not be given to underweight diabetic dogs. Foods that are rich in proteins are suitable for your skinny dog.
For instance, meat-based foods will are excellent. However, the diet should also have moderate fats and carbohydrates.
Proteins and fats have high-quality calories, which will help your dog to put on weight. Proteins also help to build cells, organs, and tissues in the dog’s body. The best source of proteins is from animals, which include beef, chicken, and lamb.
Fatty foods are vital as they provide the most concentrated source of food energy. However, you should add a tiny portion of fat to the dog’s diet.
Excess fat adds pressure to the dog’s pancreas, aggravating its diabetic condition.
Keep A Consistent Feeding Schedule
Providing your sick dog with the proper diet but not following a routine is almost useless.
A diabetic dog should be cared for just like a person with diabetes. A strict routine should be followed.
Food and insulin injections should be balanced. The dog’s body constantly processes food and insulin between meals and injections.
You will have to feed your dog the same amount of food at the same time daily to prevent unwarranted fluctuations in blood glucose. After providing your dog, you should wait for at least 1 hour before injecting insulin into the pet’s body.
Make sure the insulin functions appropriately at every meal. Follow the diet ratio your vet gives you so the insulin will have the needed impact.
With the proper routine, your diabetic dog will gradually put on weight. It’s a process you must adhere to if you want the best for your dog.
Limit Fat Intake
When your dog starts losing weight, you should not panic at all. Some dog owners may start increasing fat in their diet without consulting the veterinarian. Talk to your vet before adding fat to your diabetic dog’s diet.
Fats offer the most concentrated form of food energy. It provides your dog almost double the food energy that proteins and carbohydrates provide.
Veterinarians recommend people with diabetic dogs give them a diet with 20 per cent fat or less. Besides, you can use flavouring agents such as beef broth or low-fat chicken instead of fats.
Avoid High Fiber And High Carbohydrate Diets
Even though diabetic dogs need some fibre and carbohydrates in their diet, they should be administered in small quantities.
Fibre is crucial in slowing glucose intake into the bloodstream and assists your dog feel full.
On the other hand, complex carbohydrates help glucose to be released evenly in the dog’s body. Additionally, they digest food slowly, which is crucial for a diabetic dog.
A rich fibre diet may cause more dog weight loss. It may also lead to decreased appetite and constipation.
Excess carbohydrates turn into sugar, which increases the diabetes rate. The dog can’t produce enough insulin to cope with the extra sugar produced.
As a diabetic dog owner, giving your dog carbohydrate foods with a low glycemic index, like sorghum, brown rice, and barley, is advisable.
Provide Enough Water
A diabetic dog losses a lot of water in a day. Their body tries to eliminate excess glucose by expelling it through urine.
Since glucose draws in water, the expelled urine containing glucose features large amounts of the body’s fluids. As a result, the dog excretes a large amount of urine.
Therefore, your dog losses a lot of water, and keeping it hydrated is crucial. If you don’t, this may make the dog lose weight in the long run.
Make sure your sick dog has clean drinking water all the time. If the dog reduces water intake, it will show that you’re managing its diabetes better.
Consider Giving Your Dog A Prescription Diet
If you’ve tried several diets and nothing is working, you should contact your vet to give you a prescription diet. This type of diet is specially formulated to manage dogs with diabetes.
Since every dog is unique, don’t be surprised if your vet recommends a diet high in proteins and low in fibre.
For instance, the veterinarian may suggest that you feed your dog fresh meat. This diet will instantly lower the level of insulin needed daily to handle blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, the vet may recommend providing a raw diet with macro-nutrients, such as chromium and vanadium. These macro-nutrients are crucial in the production of natural insulin from the pancreas.
Aside from feeding your diabetic dog the proper diet, it would help if you also kept it fit. Regular exercise is crucial even as you try to put weight on your dog. Exercise helps reduce blood sugar levels in the dog’s body.
Note that the exercise should last the same amount of time daily. Moreover, the activity should be of the same intensity.
Discuss what type of exercises you should undertake and for how long with your dog’s vet. Since you want your dog to add weight instead of losing weight, the activity should be short.
Reasons Why Your Diabetic Dog Is Underweight
There are several reasons why your dog may be underweight. Apart from feeding your dog the wrong diet and not following the proper routine, these things may cause your dog to lose weight.
They are as follows:
- A health problem – The likelihood of a diabetic dog having other diseases is exceptionally high. Aside from diabetes, the dog may also have inflammatory bowel disease, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, or protein-losing nephropathy. These diseases can also cause weight loss in a dog. Therefore, you should have the vet check if the dog has any underlying problems besides canine diabetes.
- Stress – Just like humans, stress can also lead to weight loss, besides having diabetes. The frequent visits to the vet, pain in the body, and other external factors may put excess pressure on your dog. As a result, the dog may be stressed, which may cause it to lose weight. That’s why your dog needs you more than ever if it’s suffering from canine diabetes. Don’t let your dog see that you’re stressed because of it, as you will transfer the stress to the dog, too!
- Gut system problem – good gut health is essential for any diabetic dog. The gut system is crucial to a diabetic dog’s health and well-being. Also, the gut system is vital for maintaining good dog health. Because of this, you should contact your vet and tell them to recommend the right foods for improving the gut system’s health.
Strategies For Feeding Your Diabetic Dog
As mentioned earlier, your diabetic dog should eat the same amount of food every day. Maintaining consistency in the amount of food you feed your dog is crucial when trying to help the dog add weight. To stay on your toes with your dog’s diet, use an online dog food calculator to determine the appropriate rations of food you should feed your dog. An online dog food calculator allows you to enter your dog’s weight, activity level, and dog food calories, and the calculator, in turn, analyzes the proper serving size for your dog.
If your diabetic dog starts losing weight, know it’s not the end of its road.
Your dog can still live for many years if you take good care of it and give it the proper diet. If the regular diabetic diet isn’t working, talk to your vet, and follow whatever they recommend for your dog.
They will prescribe the proper diet, and your dog will gain weight in no time. At the same time, you should maintain a consistent routine so that the blood sugar levels stay in check.
Aside from considering the diet as the only cause for weight loss, it would help if you also thought about checking the dog’s gut for underlying health issues. With proper care and diet, your dog will gain weight slowly and live longer.
The process of helping your diabetic dog gain weight is gradual and not instant; hence, you must exercise patience.
Now that you know what to do if your dog is losing weight because of canine diabetes, you should go ahead and save it from suffocating.
Purrfect n’ Pawesome is the brainchild of Amanda, who has been into researching and writing about pets to help other pet parents in nurturing their adorable pets. Currently, she runs Purrfect n’ Pawesome along with her team of experienced and dedicated pet experts. Along with being an awesome writer and entrepreneur, Amanda is a cat mom to two innocently spoiled cats, Balanca and Scruffy.
She has been writing about pet care and nurturing and wants to share her readers’ experiences, learnings, and knowledge.
Over the years, she had the opportunity to work with various pet owners having multiple breeds, and that exposure gave her experience and the lessons of a lifetime.
Her family, her entire universe revolves around her two cats, who give her endless support and inspiration to move ahead with her objectives in life. Amanda is a live example of a balanced approach to all parenthood questions we all face in life.