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. What’s more, it has the same impact on dogs that it has on humans, meaning it can lead to weight gain or weight loss. Regardless, you need to 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 out the best diet to help your dog gain weight. It may be a raw diet food, a prescription diet, or a natural food diet.
Note that what works for one dog may not work for another. No matter what type of food you give to your dog, make sure to follow a strict routine.
Here are ways that will help you to put weight on your diabetic dog:
Feed The Dog Foods That Are Rich In Proteins
If you notice that your diabetic dog is losing weight, you may not be feeding it the right food. Diabetic food meant for overweight, diabetic dogs should not be given to underweight diabetic dogs. Foods that are rich in proteins should be suitable for your skinny dog.
For instance, meat-based foods will be 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 will 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 will provide the most concentrated source of food energy. However, you should add a tiny portion of fat to the dog’s diet. Excess fat will add pressure to the dog’s pancreas, which will aggravate its condition.
Keep A Consistent Feeding Schedule
Providing your sick dog with the right diet but not following a routine is almost useless. A diabetic dog should be cared for just like a human with diabetes. A strict routine should be followed. What’s more, food and insulin injections should be balanced. This is because the 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 feeding your dog, you should wait for at least 1 hour before injecting insulin into the pet’s body.
Make sure the insulin functions properly at every meal. Follow the diet ratio that your vet gives you so that the insulin will have the needed impact.
With the right routine, your diabetic dog will gradually put on weight. It’s a process that you will have to 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 to increase fat in the dog’s 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 with almost double the food energy than proteins and carbohydrates provide.
Veterinarians recommend people with diabetic dogs to give them a diet with 20 percent fat or less. Besides, you can use flavoring agents such as beef broth or low-fat chicken.
Avoid High Fiber And High Carbohydrate Diets
Even though diabetic dogs need some fibers and carbohydrates in their diet, they should be in small quantities. Fiber is crucial in slowing the intake of glucose 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.
But if the diet is rich in fiber, this may even cause more weight loss. Also, it may lead to decreased appetite and constipation. Excess carbohydrates will turn into sugar, which will increase diabetes. This occurs because the dog can’t produce enough insulin to cope with the excess sugar produced.
Give your dog carbohydrate foods with a low glycemic index, for instance, sorghum, brown rice, and barley.
Provide Enough Water
A diabetic dog losses a lot of water. This is because their body tries to get rid of excess glucose by expelling it through urine. But since glucose draws in water, the urine glucose expelled 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 it to 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 get in touch with 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 fiber. For instance, the veterinarian may suggest that you feed your dog with fresh meat. This 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 right diet, you also need to keep it fit. Regular exercise is crucial even as you try to put weight on your dog. Exercise will help reduce blood sugar levels in the dog’s body.
Note that the exercise should last the same amount of time on a daily. Moreover, the exercise 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 exercise 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 right routine, these things may cause your dog to lose weight. These are as follows:
- A health problem – The likelihood of a diabetic dog having other diseases is extremely 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 other underlying problem apart from 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 be putting 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. This is because the gut system plays a crucial role in a diabetic dog’s overall health and wellbeing. Also, the gut system is vital when it comes to maintaining health. Because of this, you should contact your vet and tell them to recommend the right foods for improving the gut system’s health.
If your diabetic dog starts losing weight, know it’s not the end of its road. Your dog can still live for many years as long as you take good care of it and give it the right diet. If the normal dog diabetic diet isn’t working, talk to your vet, and follow whatever they recommend.
They will prescribe the right 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 looking at the diet as the only cause for weight loss, you should also consider checking its gut or if it has an underlying issue. With proper care and diet, your dog will gain weight slowly and live longer. However, the process is gradual and not instant; hence, you will have to exercise some 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.
Zoey is a long-time pet owner and animal rights advocate, a vital part of Purrfect n’ Pawesome. She shares her unique experiences and learnings with her readers to enhance their understanding of pet behavior and nutrition. Along with being an active pet writer, she volunteers at multiple animal shelters, rescue centres with some bespokenly awesome pets.
Zoey has a lot to share when raising the pets and spending life being their true friends. She has a quite pampered Persian cat and a Ragdoll, whom she loves the most. Readout her blogs to know more about being a responsible parent to your beloved pets.
“I love to be around cats and dogs; that’s my passion and my trick to get away from all the negativity and soaking in unconditional love and affection. Being attached to this platform gives me the reason to be vocal about pet love, care, and nurturing. Although I am not an expert or veterinarian by any means, I have a lot of experience and learnings to share with my fellow readers.”