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Diabetes in Dogs

Dog with their tongue out

More often than not, pet parents are seeing a rise in diabetes in their beloved older animals. Many times these diagnoses seemingly come from out of the blue; they were fine one day and they weren’t the next. However that is, unfortunately, rarely the case, as they have been fighting an uphill battle against it for years.

On average, the number one culprit in these situations is: diet. The one thing the majority of these animals have in common is being fed a kibble based diet for most, if not all, of their lives. Most diabetic dogs have Type1 Diabetes, in which the pancreas fails to produce insulin properly. Compared to Type2 Diabetes (which is commonly seen in humans and cats, and can be reversible in some cases), where the pancreas is producing insulin; however, it is not enough to keep up with the amount of carbohydrates/sugars being ingested.

Signs Of Diabetes In Dogs

  • Frequent urination – diabetic dogs drink a lot and pee a lot

  • Hunger – your dog will be extra hungry because their cells are screaming for glucose

  • Weight loss – because the cells can’t use sugar without insulin, your dog will start burning off tissue to produce more glucose, and they’ll lose weight

  • Vomiting – this is common if your dog also has pancreatitis

  • Weakness or fatigue

If you see these signs in your dog, you’ll want to have your vet test them for diabetes before their condition worsens.

Risk Factors For Diabetes

  • Autoimmunity

  • Breed or genetics

  • Inflammation

  • Obesity

  • Pancreatitis

  • Diet

Managing your dog’s diabetes doesn’t have to be an insulin-injections filled nightmare. Many can reduce the amount, and frequency of which their dog relies on insulin simply by changing their dog’s diet. Switching from a kibble based diet, that is sometimes upwards of 80% carbohydrates, to a raw diet with upwards of 15% carbohydrates from vegetables in the form of fibre, can be night and day for your dog.

If a complete raw diet is not feasible, adding supplements to their diet will bring relief as well. Digestive enzymes, or pancreatic depending on your dog’s needs, can help increase the nutrition absorbed from their diet and potentially lessen the burden on the pancreas. Antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and fight tissue damage, such as Spirulina (which is also about 65% protein) and has the added benefit of improving digestion and gastrointestinal health.

Even a raw meaty bone as a meal, instead of their kibble, will help reduce the amount of carbohydrates they are ingesting, and increase their protein and moisture intake; lessening the burden on their body.

If your dog does develop diabetes, this advice should help manage their condition and may help you minimize the need for insulin.


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