Just like humans, dogs are susceptible to Diabetes. Staying as healthy as possible is essential to your dog’s quality of life. For example, if your dog is overweight, losing a few pounds will help his cells to utilise insulin efficiently. This simple bodily function, often taken for granted in a healthy dog, makes it easier for his body to turn food into energy. The aim is to maintain healthy blood sugar (or glucose) levels as much as possible; staving off other diabetes-related complications, and keeping your dog feeling good.
What is Canine Diabetes?
As cars use petrol for fuel; body cells run on a sugar-fuel called glucose. Glucose comes from carbohydrates in the diet, which the body breaks down. The cells then extract glucose from the blood with the aid of insulin - a hormone made in the pancreas.
When your dog has diabetes, insulin is either missing or failing to work correctly, meaning that cells don't take in enough glucose. As glucose builds up in the blood, it causes irreparable organ damage. However, while Diabetes isn't curable, it's treatable.
The following symptoms are all indicators of possible Diabetes in your pet:
Dehydration - If you pinch your dog's skin and it doesn't ping back, this is a sign of dehydration.
Sweet, or fruity breath
If your dog suffers with urinary tract infections regularly
Random appetite shifts
If you see increased urination in your pet
Controlling canine diabetes
Tackle your dog's Diabetes with a blend of insulin treatment and a proper diet. The food you opt for will contribute massively to your dog's wellbeing. Work with your vet to find the right insulin balance and feed type. The diet aim is to control the dog's blood sugar level. Dog food with a low "glycaemic index" is essential to keeping the blood sugar down.
Nutrition for a healthy, active and happy life
Controlling blood sugar is vital. Diets with low GI slowly release glucose and help to achieve stability and comfort for your pet. Always look for foods rich in Omega 3 fish oils, as dogs with Diabetes will have a greater risk of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Diabetes can also hinder the immune system, so seek out foods that include immune-supporting nutrients like zinc, beta-glucans, and selenium. By carefully managing your dog's diet, you can help him to live a comfortable and happy life.