Canine diabetes is a disease that affects your dog’s ability to make or process insulin properly. Fortunately, many aspects of canine diabetes can be successfully managed through medication and a regulated diet to give him the nutrition and energy he needs to stay healthy. Your veterinarian can work with you to create a total health plan tailored to your dog’s specific needs.
Managing your dog’s weight is an important part of managing his diabetes. Excess weight can exacerbate diabetes symptoms, as well as affect your dog’s overall health and fitness. Your vet can easily determine how many calories your dog should consume based on factors such as his age, his activity levels, his current weight, and his breed. Once you know how many calories your dog needs, you and your vet will develop a daily diet based on his needs. It’s important to follow this diet closely to ensure your dog doesn’t over- or under-eat. While many store-bought foods are fine for dogs with diabetes, some pets may need prescription foods or supplements to manage their health.
When it comes to diabetes management, the schedule on which you feed your dog can be as important as the foods you feed him. If your dog requires insulin medication, it’s important to time his meals and injections such that the medication will have the greatest effect. It’s not recommended to give insulin on an empty stomach, so try to work out a schedule on which you’ll have enough time after feeding your dog to give him his medication as well. Because diabetes affects how your dog processes food, it’s also important to regulate feeding and exercise times. A day that involves more or longer activities may require adjusting your dog’s diet to compensate for the extra calories and sugar he’ll use during physical activity.
At Horizon Animal Hospital, we offer complete veterinary care for your pet, including acute care and long-term health management. Please visit us online to find out more about our medical, boarding, and surgical services, or call (480) 614-9500 to schedule an appointment today.
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