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Diabetic Dog Food

Choosing the right diabetic dog food for your pet can be a daunting task. More Americans are being diagnosed with diabetes, and this trend doesn't stop with us. Diabetes is also becoming alarmingly prevalent among dogs.

Type 2 diabetes in dogs is often the result of dogs being overweight, being inactive, and being fed food for years that contains too many carbohydrates. This similarity in causes among dogs is all too familiar to humans, considering the reasons why millions of sedentary people with poor dietary practices develop diabetes. When a dog is diagnosed with diabetes, the first course of action is usually to switch to a diabetic dog food. But are all such foods equal, and if not, how do you choose the best one?

What To Look For In Diabetic Dog Food

The first thing you want to look for when evaluating a diabetic dog food is its sugar content. But it's not as simple as just reading a list of ingredients and looking for sugar or other words we all know are synonyms for sugar. We must also watch out for carbohydrate content, specifically for grains. Grains in commercial dog food turn into glucose after the dog digests them. Glucose is a type of sugar, and this is often the last thing a diabetic dog needs. Besides the obvious problem with introducing sugar into a system that doesn't handle sugar well, dog foods high in grains can increase the likelihood of weight gain and further compound the dog's health problems.

Some veterinarians believe that canned dog food is usually the best method of packaging diabetic dog food. Even though manufactures strive to make dry diabetic dog food higher in protein and lower in fat, dry food uses grains as a binding agent to keep the kibble chunks together. In addition to often having less carbohydrates, canned food is much more moist, and many veterinarians believe this makes the food easier on dogs' kidneys. But it is important to note that the preference for canned food over dry diabetic food is just the opinion of some veterinarians. Other veterinarians will enthusiastically recommend a dry brand.

Another consideration in choosing a diabetic pet food is the effect diabetes has on the rest of the dog's organs. Often a diabetic dog will have a weakened liver and kidneys. This means that it is even harder for a dog to digest or process ingredients like artificial additives and sodium. Some veterinarians also claim that the artificial ingredients have an adverse effect on a dog's immune system. When a dog is combating something as serious as diabetes it is important to select a food that will aid the immune system.

3 Well Regarded Brands

Hills Prescription Diet w/d Canine

  • Requires a prescription
  • Excellent choice for overweight dogs
  • 10 pounds for around $29.05

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Diabetic HF

  • Requires a prescription
  • Easy to digest
  • 15 pounds for around $36.49

Purina Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management Canine Formula

  • Requires a prescription
  • Good for dogs who need to lose weight
  • 12 12-oz. cans for around $24.59

Final Comments

The most important thing to do when searching for the right diabetic food for your dog is to consult your veterinarian. Switching your dog to this type of specialty dog food is not a matter to be taken lightly, and you should always talk to a nutrition expert before taking such a step.

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