Diabetes in dogs may result from insufficient production of insulin or failure of the cells to respond to insulin.
Like in humans, the food that your dog eats gets broken down in his system into different components. One of the main components of the food, glucose, is carried to the body cells by insulin.
If your dog cannot produce enough insulin himself or the insulin that he has isn’t utilized properly, the glucose won’t be used properly either. This implies that the blood sugar level of the dog will rise, causing adverse side effects.
The first case (insufficient production of insulin) is Type I diabetes and it is the most common type of diabetes in dogs. The second case (failure of the cells to respond to insulin) is often referred to as Type II diabetes.
The most common symptoms of diabetes in dogs include;
- Increase in appetite.
- Excessive thirst.
- Loss of weight
- Frequent urination
Both types of diabetes can be managed using diet. The best way to go about it is by making your homemade or non-prescription diabetic dog food. But you have to choose the right ingredients when making DIY diabetic dog treats.
While all dogs love treats, dogs with diabetes should only be given treats that contain safe and healthy ingredients. So, which ingredients are safe for diabetic dogs?
Well, in this post, I will highlight the best ingredients to include in your homemade dog treats as well as those you should avoid. I will also show you some easy recipes that you can use to prepare tasty treats for your diabetic dog.
Image source: supportdogcertification.org
What Diabetic Dog Treats Should Contain
When making treats for diabetic dogs, you should choose your ingredients carefully. In a nutshell, a healthy treat should not raise or affect the blood sugar levels of your dog, but it should make your dog full, help your dog maintain a healthy weight, assist with training and should also be tasty.
Essentially, your ingredients should contain the following:
- No obvious sources of sugar
- High fiber content
- Carbohydrates or complex grains
- Low-fat content
- Meat or meat products
Ingredients to use when making DIY diabetic dog treats
You should pay close attention to the ingredients present in your homemade diabetic dog food recipes when trying to manage your dog’s diabetes. Carefully monitoring your dog’s diet will ensure that your pet lives a high-quality life despite being diabetic.
The best recipes for your pet should contain natural ingredients. For diabetic dogs, the best natural treats include vegetables, meat products, fruits, and many other products.
Generally, vegetables have high fiber content and low in calories, which makes them an excellent choice for your treats. However, different vegetables come with varying benefits, so be sure to make the best choice for your dog.
Here are some good vegetable choices for your dog.
- Carrots: They are not only sweet but also crunchy, which makes them fun to eat. Carrots contain carotenoids, which may prevent diabetes according to Prevention.
- Cucumbers: They are slightly sweet and their coolness will leave your dog asking for more.
- Green Beans: You can use them as an ingredient in recipes or serve it fresh or frozen.
- Broccoli: These are delicious and contain vitamins B & C as well as nutrients like magnesium and Iron.
Fruits contain high starch content. Therefore, they should be given in small portions to avoid exposing your dog to too many sugars. Some good fruits choices include;
- Apples: They are loaded with fiber, and your dog will love their taste.
- Cranberries: They have been found to help in reducing the risk of diabetes due to their low sugar content and high fiber. They are also rich in antioxidants.
- Pears: Your dog will love the sweetness of the pear.
When using animal products as ingredients or treats for diabetic dogs, ensure they are unprocessed and contain low fats. Poultry, on the other hand, should be skinned before serving mostly because the skin contains high levels of unhealthy fats.
Low-fat meats and meat products are a fantastic way to add protein to your diabetic dog treats. Low-fat meats are even a better ingredient for dogs that are overweight.
Below are some top options for some protein-rich dog treats.
- Dried salmon: Seafood is perfect for dogs. Salmon has a pleasant taste and very healthy for your dog.
- Dehydrated chicken: This treat is a good source of proteins and it’s so yummy. Be sure to serve it plain as seasonings are not recommended to diabetic dogs.
- Turkey: Ground or dehydrated turkey is the best
- Sardines: Contains high levels of healthy proteins, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, coenzyme Q10, and omega-3. While most people worry about mercury in fish, Sardines have a small life cycle and a safe diet that makes them less likely to have mercury.
- Beef: The best beef should be well cooked and dehydrated. Just like humans, your pooch will love it served as beef jerky treats.
- Eggs: You don’t want to add extra fat to your dog treats, so hard-boiled or scrambled eggs should be your preferred option.
- Dried liver
- Low-sodium chicken broth
- Whole Grain Flours
White flour is easily digestible and lacks the necessary nutrients required by the body. You should, therefore, go for whole-grain flours as they slow down digestion and are nutritious. Some of the best whole grain flours you should consider include whole wheat, rye flour, and oat flour among others.
2. Barley Flakes
Barley is a whole grain that contains nutrients that are beneficial to a diabetic dog. It is rich in fiber—4 times more than the soluble fiber contained in oats. Soluble fiber helps in reducing glucose fluctuations in diabetic dogs.
It’s also rich in magnesium which is known to help in reducing the risk of type II diabetes. Barley also contains selenium, an antioxidant that has many benefits to older dogs.
They help to increase metabolism and keep your dog’s blood sugar under control.
Ingredients to Avoid When Making Homemade Diabetic Dog Treats
Foods that may result in body sugar spikes or those that make your dog add extra pounds are no-go ingredients when making dog foods.
Here are some ingredients you should avoid when making DIY diabetic dog treats.
You should avoid all types of sugars, whether they are artificial sweeteners or healthy sugars like molasses. The common sugars that you should avoid include fructose, corn syrup, soy, cane molasses, malt syrup, propylene glycol, and corn.
2. White Rice
It is high in carbohydrates which can quickly increase the body’s sugar levels.
2. Table scraps
These remains are usually loaded with carbohydrates, simple sugars and bad fats which can increase blood sugar levels very fast.
There are other ingredients that are generally harmful to all dogs, whether diabetic or not, and should never be part of your pet’s diet. They include; chocolate, Xylitol, raisins, and onions.
What Human Food Can I Feed My Diabetic Dog?
You can share a meal with your diabetic food. From Ground chicken, brown rice, green beans to beef, your diabetic dog can eat most of the human foods. However, ensure that these treats have low fat, carbs, and should not contain any sweeteners.
Tips for Preparing Diabetic Dog Treats
- Always make your dog treats hard or crunchy because unlike moist treats, dogs eat and digest hard treats more slowly. This implies that they will not raise your dog’s blood sugar quickly.
- Treats should never be given randomly as they can cause blood sugar spikes. A preferable time is just before administering insulin.
- You should select ingredients that are high in fiber as they slow digestion and keep the body sugar balanced.
- Veggies can be given to your dog cooked or raw. Pumpkin and turnip are more delicious when slightly cooked but can be eaten raw. However, some like squash must be cooked before feeding your pup.
- Other vegetables like green beans, peas in the pod and peppers are more enjoyable when crunchy or frozen.
- Ensure that meat treats are well cooked and dehydrated. You can use a food dehydrator or oven to dry your dog’s meat treats.
Homemade Diabetic Dog Food Recipes
The best way to manage your pup’s diabetes with diet is by making your homemade dog treats. This is because you get to determine what goes into your dog’s treats.
Here are super easy and safe homemade diabetic dog food recipes for your pup.
1. Chicken, Asparagus and Broccoli Bake
- 2 skinned chicken breasts
- 1 thinly chopped garlic clove
- 1 cup asparagus, 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 cup raw broccoli
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
- Cut the chicken breast into 1-inch pieces
- Combine the chicken, garlic, asparagus, chicken stock, broccoli, and parsley in a saucepan and boil.
- Simmer until the vegetables become tender. This should take about 30 minutes.
- Add cooked brown rice to the mixture.
- Allow the mixture to cool down before serving.
2. Fishermen’s Seafood Treats
- 2 3.75oz can sardine in water
- 1 teaspoon parsley (fresh or dried)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetables or 1/4 cup pumpkin puree(optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375F.
- Drain and cut the sardines before mixing with the parsley and pumpkin puree or vegetables.
- Spread the mixture in a casserole dish and spread the egg on top.
- Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the eggs are well cooked.
- Cool before you serve.
3. Liver Treats for Diabetic Dogs
- 1/2 cup whole grain Oat flour
- 1.5 lbs of beef liver
- Two eggs
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Line your jerry roll pan with parchment.
- Cut the liver into pieces then put them in a food processor. Pulse the liver until it is well chopped.
- Put the finely chopped liver in a bowl add flour and eggs then mix until it is smooth.
- Spoon the mixture in the pan and spread.
- Bake for about 15 minutes.
- Allow it to cool before cutting into small pieces.
4. Sweet Potato Diabetes Dog Treats
Sweet potatoes are rich in estrogen that helps in controlling a dog’s insulin metabolism. This makes this sweet potato dog treat not only delicious but very healthy for dogs with diabetes.
- 1 large sweet potato
- 3 medium eggs
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1/2 cup natural applesauce
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- Clean the potato and peel it.
- Using a fork, punch holes all over it.
- Place it on a microwave-safe bowl and then microwave it.
- Put it on a container and allow it to cool.
- Add the applesauce and eggs and mix.
- In a separate bowl, put the minced ginger, the rolled oats, and flour together and whisk.
- Pour this new mixture into the potato mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 162 ° C.
- Spread the mixture into a muffin pan and place in the oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Allow it to cool before serving.
5. Carrot and Oat Flour Dog Treats
- 2 cups whole grain Oat flour
- 1 cup applesauce(unsweetened)
- 1 cup carrots(shredded)
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped Parsley
- 1 tbsp Flax Meal
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Line two sheets with parchment
- Mix the flax with 3 tbsp of water and set aside for 5 minutes
- Combine carrots, oat flour, parsley and applesauce in a mixing bowl
- Mix the flax meal with the other ingredients and mix until you get a wet dough
- Roll the dough on a floured surface to approximately 1/4″ thickness.
- Cut the dough into desired shapes using a cookie cutter.
- Bake for about an hour. Make sure the cookies are crunchy
You don’t have to deny your pooch their favorite treat just because they have diabetes. The above guide should help you make the most delicious and healthy treats for your diabetic canine best friend.