Meal Toppers for Your Diabetic Dog
If you have a picky dog you're familiar with the drill; you find something your dog loves to eat and stock up on it, then Fido decides one day that he doesn't like that food anymore and won't eat. This isn't a problem with a healthy dog, but if you have a diabetic dog that requires a full meal for insulin, mealtimes can be stressful.
There are a couple other issues that are common with diabetic dogs having inappetence that I need to quickly address.
Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas and requires medications and a very low-fat diet to take the strain off the pancreas. Up to 40% of diabetic dogs get or have pancreatitis, it is very painful and requires immediate vet care. To read additional information about pancreatitis click here.
Ketones in urine or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a complication of uncontrolled blood glucose levels. When BG is consistently high inappetence is one of the symptoms. DKA is a serious illness and requires treatment from your vet or vet hospital. To read more about DKA please click here.
Dental issues can cause a dog to stop eating. Do a quick inspection of their teeth and gums to make sure there isn’t a loose, cracked or infected tooth. Click here to read a blog I wrote on the importance of oral health.
If your dog is not normally picky you need to figure out why: check blood glucose levels, test urine for ketones and if there are any other symptoms please call your vet ASAP!
Let’s go over some meal toppers that are safe to give our diabetic dogs, I have used many of these in the past when feeding Lucy on those picky days.
Albacore tuna packed in water – can be used as a topper, tuna water can be used to entice water consumption. Higher mercury content so albacore tuna should not be used consistently.
Beechnut baby food meats – smelly and a good option to add as a topper when your dog doesn’t want to eat.
Bone broth – a great option for soaking food and enticing water consumption. Make sure if you buy bone broth there is no onion added.
Chunk light tuna packed in water - can be used as a topper, tuna juice can be used as well to entice water consumption. Chunk light tuna has a lower mercury content but should be used sparingly.
Lean proteins (chicken breast, turkey breast, extra lean (99/1) ground turkey, 96/4 lean ground beef, cod, tilapia, whitefish) - boil, slow cook, pressure cook, bake or steam. If you are using ground beef make sure you rinse cooked meat with hot water to remove excess fat.
Parmesan cheese – canned parmesan cheese is great for sprinkling on meals and in water! It is low fat and smells great to dogs.
Plain Greek yogurt – lower in lactose and smells great to a lot of dogs, plain Greek yogurt can be used as a topper and given as a frozen treat.
Pumpkin – pure pumpkin can be added to meals to entice your dog to eat. It can also be given as a little treat! Pumpkin is high in fiber and can cause diarrhea or constipation, so give small amounts only.
Purebites - these are a great option and can be ground to a powder to sprinkle on food. Can be purchased at most pet supply stores and through Amazon.
Sardines packed in water – these are smelly and low-fat. Can be pureed and mixed with food.
Shrimp – low-fat and can be given as snacks as well.
Vegetables – cooked and pureed or finely chopped veggies like green beans, broccoli, cabbage, zucchini are very low calories, low-fat and a good source of fiber.
I hope that today’s blog has given you some suggestions for meal toppers for your diabetic dog! If there is a topper that you use not listed, please let me know, you can start a conversation below. Suggestions are always appreciated!
For a printable version of this blog click here.
Until next week stay comfy, don’t stress and you got this!
AAHA Certified Diabetes Educator
Founder/Administrator of DDO: Diabetic Dog Owners University
Administrator of Diabetic Dog Owners on Facebook
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