How to get it? With nutrition that thinks ahead.
Food For Thought™ Technical Bulletin No. 92R
Innovative Research in Dog and Cat Nutrition™
Diabetes (complete name is diabetes mellitus) is a disease caused by deficiency of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin is needed to move sugar (glucose) and other nutrients into the body's cells to supply energy. A lack of insulin can cause increased urination, drinking, and eating, as well as weight loss. Without proper treatment, diabetes can lead to severe illness and even death.
Diabetes occurs in both dogs and cats. Obese and older animals are more likely to develop this disease. Veterinarians diagnose diabetes by finding abnormally high levels of glucose in an animal's blood and urine. Most animals with diabetes require treatment with insulin injections to decrease and stabilize blood glucose levels, as well as feeding management.Return to Top
A diabetic pet should be fed a food that supplies optimal amounts of all required nutrients. A veterinarian may recommend a special food that contains ingredients to nutritionally manage diabetes. Otherwise, a dog or cat with diabetes should be fed a complete and balanced dry or canned diet that is appropriate for lifestage and body condition.
A veterinarian will usually recommend a feeding schedule for a diabetic pet that takes the medical treatment schedule into account. Although feeding multiple small meals throughout the day may help in controlling blood glucose levels, diabetic animals may do well on 2 daily meals and many diabetic cats can be managed with free-choice feeding. Maintaining a consistent feeding schedule (timing and amount of food) is an important component in the feeding management of diabetic pets.Return to Top
Some types of fiber can be beneficial in the diet of dogs and cats. Certain types of fiber can be broken down (fermented) by bacteria that normally live in the intestines of dogs and cats. One of the effects of this fermentation is to provide energy for the cells of the intestines, thereby helping to maintain intestinal health.
Veterinary-exclusive diets may include moderate amounts of fermentable fiber and other unique fibers that can be specifically helpful in the nutritional management of diabetic dogs. Excessive levels of fiber, however, especially fiber that cannot be fermented, can cause problems in dogs and cats. Adverse effects of high dietary fiber levels include:
Diets containing a normal level (less than 5% on a dry-matter basis) of a moderately fermentable fiber (like beet pulp) are appropriate for feeding diabetic, as well as nondiabetic cats and dogs.Return to Top