​Reading Ingredients

Posted by Michelle for PetTest, AAHA Certified Diabetes Educator on Jan 31st 2024

​Reading Ingredients

Reading Ingredients

After Lucy was diagnosed with diabetes and pancreatitis I started reading the ingredients in foods and treats since I needed to ensure that she was eating low-fat foods. I also needed to make sure that what she was eating wasn’t carbohydrates heavy; since there are simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates, I made sure that her meals had the lowest amounts of simple carbs possible and her treats had zero simple carbs.

I also started giving Lucy supplements to aid in her overall health. Hip and joint, eye, digestive enzymes, methyl B12, etc., etc., etc. I had to look up the ingredients/inactive ingredients to ensure that they were safe to give her and I found that there are a lot of canine supplements that have ingredients that can spike blood glucose levels and should not be given to a diabetic. A prime example is maltodextrin; it is used often in the food industry as a thickener or filler, or as a preservative and has been found in a lot of supplements for dogs as well. I am not a fan of maltodextrin at all because it is higher on the glycemic index than white sugar, white sugar is 68 on the glycemic index and maltodextrin is 105 – 185 (per

There can be a lot of fillers or binders in supplements, but the most common are:

Brewer’s yeast – contains B vitamins and trace minerals and may be included in a supplement to boost vitamin/mineral content. Also used as a binder. May raise blood glucose levels but quantities per serving may be low enough that blood glucose effect is nominal or negligible.

Glycerin (vegetable, coconut) – used as a preservative and should not raise blood glucose levels.

Tapioca – used as a thickener and filler; will raise blood glucose levels as it is a starch. Tapioca is used in dog food as well.

Flours – used as a binder and will raise blood glucose levels. Most commonly found in treats and soft chew supplements.

Maltodextrin – used as a filler, thickener, preservative, improve texture and used as a sugar replacement. Should be avoided due to very high glycemic index.

Sugars (dextrose, molasses, cane syrup, corn syrup, brown rice syrup, glucose, lactose, sugar) – flavor enhancer and should be avoided unless treating for hypoglycemia.

Below is a list of additives commonly found in canine supplements/medications that can be printed for future use. Just click on the pic to take you to a printable PDF.

Additives Commonly Found in Canine Supplements/Meds USA mtm

Of course there are additional additives that are not listed; these are the most common additives I have come across when reviewing ingredients.

I hope this list helps you when looking for supplements, medications or treats for your dog. If you see an additive that is not listed please let me know and I will add it to the list!

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please start a conversation below.

For a printable version of this blog click  here.

Until next week stay comfy, don’t stress and you got this!

Michelle Miller-Matlock

AAHA Certified Diabetes Educator

Founder/Administrator of DDO: Diabetic Dog Owners University

Administrator of Diabetic Dog Owners on Facebook

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