Feeding Diabetic Dogs

The aim of dietary change is to improve blood glucose control. This means reducing post prandial hyperglycaemia and timing meals and insulin injections to obtain optimal glycaemic control. Diets containing increased fibre are beneficial for improving glycaemic control in diabetic dogs.

Type of Diet

Commercial, ‘prescription’ diets for diabetic dogs are available. Prescription diets ensure consistent calorie content and nutritional completeness. These diets generally have an increased fibre content which aids to slow intestinal glucose absorption and improves glycaemic control.

Diabetic dogs can be stabilised using their normal diet (home made or commercial supermarket diet). A dry form is preferable as the fibre content is usually higher than in moist foods. When feeding homemade diets the composition of the diet must be consistent from day to day to prevent unnecessary fluctuations in insulin requirements.

Timing of meals

  1. Dogs administered insulin once daily
    • The first meal (e.g. 1/4-1/3 of the daily ration) is given prior to the morning insulin injection. This allows the owner to see that the dog is feeling well and eating normally before the insulin is administered.
    • The second meal (the remainder of the daily ration) is usually given about 6-8 hours later.
  2. Dogs administered insulin twice daily
    • The first meal (1/2 daily portion) is given prior to the morning insulin injection. This allows the owner to see that the dog is feeling well and eating normally before the insulin is given.
    • A second meal (1/2 daily portion) is usually given 12 hours later prior to the evening insulin injection.
feeding dogs with diabetes