If you have a diabetic dog, life is probably a bit more complicated for you and your pet than it used to be. Canine diabetes can be a challenging condition to manage, but it can be done. Here are some tips to make life easier for both of you.
Is Exercise A Good Idea For Dogs With Diabetes?
Yes, it is, but you do need to be careful. Too much exercise can cause your pet's blood sugar levels to drop to dangerously low levels. It's always a good idea to keep a little Karo syrup with you so you can rub it on your pet's gums if he starts showing signs of hypoglycemia.
It's essential to be establish a consistent routine for exercise. You'll need to commit to exercising him every day at about the same time, for about the same amount of time each day. Avoid having him out running around at top speed for a half hour once or twice a week, and then sitting around the rest of the time.
A daily ten-minute walk can help considerably in keeping your pet's blood glucose regulated. Low-key activities, where your pet doesn't start panting, are best. Walking or swimming are recommended exercises for a diabetic pet.
Always consult with your vet before starting an exercise program for dogs with diabetes.
What Should I Be Feeding My Diabetic Dog?
You need to understand that most dry dog food contains too many carbohydrates. The problem is that carbohydrates are quickly broken down into glucose, which is dumped into his system all at once. This causes a spike in his glucose levels. A pet with diabetes either isn't producing enough insulin to regulate these levels, or his body can't use it. When glucose levels remain high for a long time, it causes damage to just about every organ in your pet's body.
Learn to read pet food labels.
You'll want to feed your pet a high-quality grain-free food. Canned food is probably best, although there are dry foods available now that are grain-free. Look for a food that's high in fiber, and low in fat. Protein and fat are also broken down into glucose, but it's released into your pet's body over a much longer period of time, which avoids those nasty spikes in blood sugar levels.
You'll be feeding your pet two or three small meals a day instead of one big one. This also helps to regulate glucose levels in his blood.
Are Natural Remedies For Dogs Safe For Pets With Canine Diabetes?
Some pet owners are interested in using herbs and dietary supplements to regulate glucose levels naturally. Research has shown that the herbs goat's rue, fenugreek, and astragalus, along with the mineral chromium, are very effective in controlling blood sugar levels in pets. These remedies are safe to use in combination with the insulin prescribed by your vet.
Always consult with your vet before making any treatment changes. Most vets are very open to the use of natural remedies, and will be willing to work with you and your companion. It's important that your vet monitors your pet to be sure he doesn't develop hypoglycemia. It may be necessary to lower the insulin dose when using natural remedies for dogs.
Do yourself and your diabetic dog a favor and try a natural pet remedy today. Life may become less challenging for both of you.