2

votes

How does one switch a diabetic lab on Royal Canin HF diabetic dry food to a Paleo diet inexpensively?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 27, 2011 at 7:07 PM

About three months ago my 72lb lab was diagnosed with diabetes. We tried the cheaper Science diet but his blood glucose didn't do well on it. Then switched permanently to Royal Canin HF which is their dry diabetic food. We feed him 2.5 cups twice a day. This sets us back $80.00 a month not to mention the cost of two Humulin N vials from Walmart @ 26.00 each, not to mention the test strips which run about 35.00 a month aside from the initial investment of the blood glucose meter and lancet poker thingy and the cost of the lancets. Add on top of that the vet visits and this is getting to be extremely expensive. He is taking 20 units of insulin twice a day. Did I mention my husband is a teacher and we took pay cut this year like so many out there? This is a great dog who adopted us and never left but the costs are getting ridiculous. We really can't afford this but we are. If I were diabetic at least my health insurance would kick in but with dogs there is no coverage that I know of.

There is this canned diabetic food at $2.00 a can but he would need to take like 2 plus cans a day! Also I looked at the ingredients and not so Paleo either. He may also react in skin issues with it as well.

Since my husband and I have gone Paleo for a year now we have improved in so many ways with reducing obesity and other serious health issues. We can't afford grass fed but use regular unprocessed meats which also is expensive. I think Paleo would be best for our dog but I am scared on how to transition him. When I mentioned Paleo to my vet he didn't know what I was talking about, much like my doctor, and I haven't pressed further.

I need some good advise on how to go Paleo with a diabetic dog. I think I would feed him twice a day like normal but how much? I hear folks here talk about feeding their dogs raw chicken and I was told for many years NEVER feed a dog chicken bones since they will get caught in their throats. Also you have to keep fat at a minimum with diabetes I think since pancreas is not working right anymore???? His blood tests show he is normal otherwise. He did have one episode of pancreatitis just prior to diabetes diagnosis but has bounced back to normal.

How can I inexpensively feed my dog Paleo and should I feed him any carbs too? I know going completely carb free makes us all too tired. I have to make a change here soon since I think this buff colored lab is having skin issues with this Royal Canin dog food and can't afford the canned dog food version if that is the case.

How do you adjust the food and watch the blood glucose numbers with this? I am sure others have been down this path and have some good advice on how to approach this.

Also is it possible that after going Paleo he will not need that much insulin or insulin at all? Do I need to be careful with his blood glucose dipping too low going Paleo?

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 22, 2012
at 11:09 PM

That's bullshit. You're pushing "diabetic dog food" that consists mainly of carbohydrate shit that would kill any diabetic, especially a carnivorous one. Dogs did not evolve to eat "barley, corn, wheat, tapioca, beet pulp and seed husks". I'm no animal lover, but you must be stupid if you feed your diabetic dog this highly processed, carbohydrate filled shit.

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 29, 2011
at 06:29 PM

Freeze dried liver sounds like a better alternative to chew on for dogs. I think I will have to stay with the diabetic dog food and supplement with some cooked chicken necks without the skin and other lean meats I can find on sale. Most meats that are cheap are fatty and diabetic dogs have to avoid fat.

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 29, 2011
at 06:25 PM

I just found out that dogs with diabetes are more sensitive to raw foods since their immune system is compromised so I don't think I will be going raw food for my dog. I also read where you have to keep fat content low and that hamburger is high in fat content but what if I cook the fat off and rise the hamburger with warm water? I also think feeding with lean meats will be more expensive and maybe I can just supplement with some meats that are cooked like chicken necks that I would save to make chicken broth from whole chickens I buy? Are the cooked bones in chicken necks safe to eat for dogs

Ef228708abd5f082f633b1cd1d64eee1

(892)

on November 28, 2011
at 10:45 PM

This is pretty much exactly what we do except our 20lb corgi mix is a totally priss and refuses to eat unless we cut the meat up into bite-size pieces. Arg! If it was up to me I'd probably just set the meat out and let him starve until he caved and learned to tear the meat up himself, but my husband is a big softie. We don't really weigh the meat since he only eats until he's had enough (as I said... Such a priss!) but I'd guess he eats around .5 - 1 lbs per day. If nothing's thawed he gets sardines canned in water, and for treats he gets freeze-dried liver that you can buy at the pet store.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on November 28, 2011
at 03:17 AM

Yep. And when I factor in the increased allergy issues when we feed kibble, it's just easier (ie. cheaper) to keep my gal on rotating whole proteins. Her vet bills used to be astronomical because she was so reactive to everything. No more leaky gut! Funny how I never thought about it as paleo for dogs.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on November 28, 2011
at 03:14 AM

And no reason to cook - their digestive acids are gnarlier than ours. That, with their short digestive tract, means they're less likely to come down with salmonella, etc. And watch out for choking with little stuff like chicken necks. Some dogs inhale their raw food and so it's actually safer to give them frozen meat or semi frozen or just big pieces.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on November 28, 2011
at 03:12 AM

Oh, and lots of vets know about raw feeding. I'd use the term raw when calling around, not paleo. Paleo is more of a people term. Raw feeders tend to call themselves raw feeders. Not all vets are down with it; they see broken teeth from people who feed weight bearing big bones, etc, and they're not taught about it in vet school. But my conventional vet can't deny that my dog is the picture of health and at age 9 has impeccable teeth.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on November 28, 2011
at 03:11 AM

Yes - you should go read up on raw feeding and go from there. And FWIW, I wouldn't feed conventional ground meat for a bunch of reasons (contamination, though less risky for dogs; you're missing the mental exercise and physical exercise component; it's just not the same quality), and broccoli? Dogs don't break down cellulose walls like we do. You may want to read about raw feeding versus BARF versus prey model specific raw, etc. Bottom line - your dog can live just fine on 100% animal products, and yep, 1.5 lbs is about right. Mine is an easy keeper and some days does a bit under that.

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 28, 2011
at 12:44 AM

I agree on the activity of the dog affects the appetite but also insulin levels as well. I think I will cook the meat to remove fat since diabetics with poor pancreas has to watch the fat intake as well as the carb intake from what I have learned so far. And I am going to start with hamburger or other ground meat since it can be less expensive and bought in larger quantities.

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 27, 2011
at 11:45 PM

I just want to correct a mistake. I need to only feed him 2% of his body weight for the entire day so I need to feed him .75lb twice a day of meat not 1.5 lbs twice a day.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 27, 2011
at 11:19 PM

It really depends on the dog and his appetite vs. dietary needs. My GSD is small, only 55lbs and very lean (can always see her ribs). She is VERY active and thus tends to burn off calories. I would feed her once a day, two fat turkey necks, 1/2 cup of steamed spinach (the cheap frozen bricks work fine for this), 2 raw eggs and a blob of yogurt. Or I would feed a quarter chicken, any extra trimmed fat, a bit of mashed sweet potato & an egg. I never feed ground meat (beef, pork or poultry) as ground meats have a higher chance of harboring e. coli or salmonella.

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 27, 2011
at 11:12 PM

I don't think I would add that much broccoli slaw since I want to keep carbs and fat low because of his poor working pancreas. Maybe it would be better to cook the hamburger and remove the fat and to just add a small amount of broccoli slaw and then watch his blood glucose numbers first. I shall first start out with just plain cooked hamburger with fat drained out and give him 1.5 lbs twice a day and see how the numbers line up. Or maybe 1 lb of hamburger with one raw chicken neck twice a day.

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 27, 2011
at 11:08 PM

I just found a site and it says to feed a diabetic dog 2%-2 1/4% in raw meat to their body weight. So 2% of 72 l = 1.44 or about 1.5 lbs of raw meat. Here is where I found this info: http://www.ehow.com/way_5626645_raw-diet-diabetic-dogs.html Now I have a base line. I also liked what the paleopet site showed a vet using raw hamburger and broccoli slaw. He uses 1/4 c. of raw meat to 1/3 cup of broccoli slaw. He says to freeze the meat first to kill off bacteria. He heads some beef broth (I would just use water) in microwave along with the broccoli slaw for 3 minutes and then add the hamburger.

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 27, 2011
at 10:45 PM

Just as docs don't know about Paleo neither does my vet. That is why I am posting here. Not sure how much meat to feed a 72 lb lab. How much do you feed your dog and how much does it weigh? Yes I will have to feed it twice a day along with insulin shots but I am trying to figure out how much to start with. I have been giving our dog pipe bones after they are boiled to clean his teeth and I think I shall stop that. Maybe a forum on raw foods would know best on how to transition a dog to raw meat and in particular a diabetic dog.

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 27, 2011
at 10:37 PM

I had not registered yet so no comment section was available. I just registered so now it shows up. Thanks.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 27, 2011
at 10:04 PM

Really? I can get TOTW for just under $2 a lb at our food coop.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on November 27, 2011
at 09:58 PM

At least in my neck of the woods, and I do not hardly EVER see meat under 1.99 a lb for my 75 lb dog, it's actually cheaper to feed raw than it is to feed those two brands. I just wanted sweetpotatoes2 to know that, since she's concerned about costs.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 27, 2011
at 09:22 PM

You are welcome! For future postings, please use the "add comment" to reply to folks who answer your question.

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7 Answers

2
D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on November 27, 2011
at 10:07 PM

Sweetpotatoes, I suspect this is totally doable - but since I've never dealt with a diabetic dog, I can't speak to that. You may want to track down a holistic vet so you can have support for the diabetic issues while you transition.

Here's how I do this, in case you're as mystified as I was when I started. About twice a week, I swing through the meat section of the grocery store and snag a 3-6 lbs of whatever meat is cheap. Usually pork shoulder, country style boneless pork ribs, chicken or beef liver, turkey necks, whole chicken legs, whole chickens, beef tongue, etc. I get it home and once a week or so hack it all up into 1.5 lb chunks if it's big. Then I put it in a big snap-lock container in the fridge.

If it's organ meat, since my dog is a PITA despite a LOT of trying, I puree it with a can of tuna in oil and freeze that in meal portions for her. She'll only eat it if it's "fixed" and organ meat is crucial in this diet. I try to rotate the proteins.

Every evening, I chuck her daily hunk of meat into the backyard and she eats it. You can hear her crushing bones from in the house. We NEVER feed the weight bearing bones of large animals and she NEVER gets cooked bones. Dogs just crush (real) food small enough to swallow and then gulp. Our pantry meals for her, in a pinch, are yogurt, roast potatoes or sweet potatoes or squash, tuna, and eggs. When I do this, I squirt good salmon oil all over that meal.

We used to feed kibble twice daily. Feeding raw, it's safer and slower-eating with large intact portions, so we transitioned to feeding once a day. That may not work for your pooch - a good question for a vet.

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 27, 2011
at 11:08 PM

I just found a site and it says to feed a diabetic dog 2%-2 1/4% in raw meat to their body weight. So 2% of 72 l = 1.44 or about 1.5 lbs of raw meat. Here is where I found this info: http://www.ehow.com/way_5626645_raw-diet-diabetic-dogs.html Now I have a base line. I also liked what the paleopet site showed a vet using raw hamburger and broccoli slaw. He uses 1/4 c. of raw meat to 1/3 cup of broccoli slaw. He says to freeze the meat first to kill off bacteria. He heads some beef broth (I would just use water) in microwave along with the broccoli slaw for 3 minutes and then add the hamburger.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on November 28, 2011
at 03:11 AM

Yes - you should go read up on raw feeding and go from there. And FWIW, I wouldn't feed conventional ground meat for a bunch of reasons (contamination, though less risky for dogs; you're missing the mental exercise and physical exercise component; it's just not the same quality), and broccoli? Dogs don't break down cellulose walls like we do. You may want to read about raw feeding versus BARF versus prey model specific raw, etc. Bottom line - your dog can live just fine on 100% animal products, and yep, 1.5 lbs is about right. Mine is an easy keeper and some days does a bit under that.

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 27, 2011
at 10:45 PM

Just as docs don't know about Paleo neither does my vet. That is why I am posting here. Not sure how much meat to feed a 72 lb lab. How much do you feed your dog and how much does it weigh? Yes I will have to feed it twice a day along with insulin shots but I am trying to figure out how much to start with. I have been giving our dog pipe bones after they are boiled to clean his teeth and I think I shall stop that. Maybe a forum on raw foods would know best on how to transition a dog to raw meat and in particular a diabetic dog.

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 27, 2011
at 11:12 PM

I don't think I would add that much broccoli slaw since I want to keep carbs and fat low because of his poor working pancreas. Maybe it would be better to cook the hamburger and remove the fat and to just add a small amount of broccoli slaw and then watch his blood glucose numbers first. I shall first start out with just plain cooked hamburger with fat drained out and give him 1.5 lbs twice a day and see how the numbers line up. Or maybe 1 lb of hamburger with one raw chicken neck twice a day.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on November 28, 2011
at 03:14 AM

And no reason to cook - their digestive acids are gnarlier than ours. That, with their short digestive tract, means they're less likely to come down with salmonella, etc. And watch out for choking with little stuff like chicken necks. Some dogs inhale their raw food and so it's actually safer to give them frozen meat or semi frozen or just big pieces.

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 27, 2011
at 11:45 PM

I just want to correct a mistake. I need to only feed him 2% of his body weight for the entire day so I need to feed him .75lb twice a day of meat not 1.5 lbs twice a day.

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 29, 2011
at 06:29 PM

Freeze dried liver sounds like a better alternative to chew on for dogs. I think I will have to stay with the diabetic dog food and supplement with some cooked chicken necks without the skin and other lean meats I can find on sale. Most meats that are cheap are fatty and diabetic dogs have to avoid fat.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on November 28, 2011
at 03:12 AM

Oh, and lots of vets know about raw feeding. I'd use the term raw when calling around, not paleo. Paleo is more of a people term. Raw feeders tend to call themselves raw feeders. Not all vets are down with it; they see broken teeth from people who feed weight bearing big bones, etc, and they're not taught about it in vet school. But my conventional vet can't deny that my dog is the picture of health and at age 9 has impeccable teeth.

Ef228708abd5f082f633b1cd1d64eee1

(892)

on November 28, 2011
at 10:45 PM

This is pretty much exactly what we do except our 20lb corgi mix is a totally priss and refuses to eat unless we cut the meat up into bite-size pieces. Arg! If it was up to me I'd probably just set the meat out and let him starve until he caved and learned to tear the meat up himself, but my husband is a big softie. We don't really weigh the meat since he only eats until he's had enough (as I said... Such a priss!) but I'd guess he eats around .5 - 1 lbs per day. If nothing's thawed he gets sardines canned in water, and for treats he gets freeze-dried liver that you can buy at the pet store.

2
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 27, 2011
at 08:10 PM

When I was feeding my GSD a raw diet, the only carbs I'd give her were a small amount of cooked leafy veg, to which I'd add a blob of plain yogurt and a couple of raw eggs along with her meat and bones, only to mimic the stomach contents of small game such as rabbits which she would (theoretically) catch in the wild. We found out that she had a seafood allergy which eliminates nearly every dog food on the market that we can feed her. I switched her over to raw cold turkey. One day of soft stools and that was it. Cheap cuts and offal is your friend. Also any leftovers (as long as there are NO COOKED poultry bones) are good for variety.

Turkey and chicken necks are a perfect source of meat, skin and small bones. Tripe, beef heart, liver (try to get it from a good source, as the liver and kidneys are first in the line of organs to process chemicals injected into the living animal).

Most people recommending against a prey model diet for dogs have been fed a load of garbage by their veterinarians. Raw poultry bones are actually pretty soft, it's when they're cooked is when they splinter and can cause serious issues. Also, avoid feeding the weight-bearing bones of ruminants such as knuckles, marrow, leg bones, etc. Those are really dense and can crack teeth. Ribs & neck bones are always good.

0
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 22, 2012
at 11:05 PM

Arrrrrrrggghhhhhh. Why would you feed any diabetic - especially a carnivorous one - a diet consisting mainly of refined carbohydrates?

Ingredients include: Chicken meal, barley, corn gluten meal, powdered cellulose, wheat gluten, tapioca, dried beet pulp, chicken fat, natural flavors, fish oil, psyllium seed husk, potassium chloride, salt, fructooligosaccharides

I'm a diabetic human. Eating this food would blast my BG readings through the roof.

Like all diabetics, your dog simply needs to minimize his carbohydrate intake. As an omnivore I do well (non diabetic BG levels) on <25g a day of carbohydrate. It must be easier to a feed a dog - which is after all an obligate carnivore - a diet consisting only of meat.

Feeding your dog carbohydrates will ultimately kill him. Don't do it. On a near zero carb diet, I'm doubting that hyperglycemia is going to be a huge problem for a dog.

Apply the Paleo principle here: feed animals food that is as close as possible to their evolutionary diet. Don't kill your grain fed dog.

0
6fba8708416fefa4cd68ffea2cc3ccf4

on July 09, 2012
at 11:30 PM

What has evolution done to canines digestive systems? They have evolved( and still are ) to process raw meat, raw bones, and raw organs. When you feed unnatural foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and other cooked foods, their systems are overworked. The enzymes from their pancreas can be so overproduced that the pancreas malfunctions. Diabetes is a direct result. Easier to digest foods can sometimes reverse diabetes. Why do you think additional supplements are prescribed for many kibble-fed dogs?

0
35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 27, 2011
at 09:18 PM

@ nemesis so how much meat do you feed your dog a day? I think if I just fed him meat and slowly added carbs while watching his blood glucose numbers I guess I could figure out what is the best carb amount for him. Thanks for the info. @ dragonfly I think I will see if I can go Paleo raw first. Thanks for the info.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 27, 2011
at 09:22 PM

You are welcome! For future postings, please use the "add comment" to reply to folks who answer your question.

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 28, 2011
at 12:44 AM

I agree on the activity of the dog affects the appetite but also insulin levels as well. I think I will cook the meat to remove fat since diabetics with poor pancreas has to watch the fat intake as well as the carb intake from what I have learned so far. And I am going to start with hamburger or other ground meat since it can be less expensive and bought in larger quantities.

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 29, 2011
at 06:25 PM

I just found out that dogs with diabetes are more sensitive to raw foods since their immune system is compromised so I don't think I will be going raw food for my dog. I also read where you have to keep fat content low and that hamburger is high in fat content but what if I cook the fat off and rise the hamburger with warm water? I also think feeding with lean meats will be more expensive and maybe I can just supplement with some meats that are cooked like chicken necks that I would save to make chicken broth from whole chickens I buy? Are the cooked bones in chicken necks safe to eat for dogs

35a2b5c9bdcbc9897343ea25d3300b38

on November 27, 2011
at 10:37 PM

I had not registered yet so no comment section was available. I just registered so now it shows up. Thanks.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 27, 2011
at 11:19 PM

It really depends on the dog and his appetite vs. dietary needs. My GSD is small, only 55lbs and very lean (can always see her ribs). She is VERY active and thus tends to burn off calories. I would feed her once a day, two fat turkey necks, 1/2 cup of steamed spinach (the cheap frozen bricks work fine for this), 2 raw eggs and a blob of yogurt. Or I would feed a quarter chicken, any extra trimmed fat, a bit of mashed sweet potato & an egg. I never feed ground meat (beef, pork or poultry) as ground meats have a higher chance of harboring e. coli or salmonella.

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 27, 2011
at 08:14 PM

If the raw diet is too difficult, I can recommend Orijen and Taste of the Wild.

They are excellent Paleo-esque dog foods that our mutt has been thriving on.

We supplement with bones and scraps.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on November 27, 2011
at 09:58 PM

At least in my neck of the woods, and I do not hardly EVER see meat under 1.99 a lb for my 75 lb dog, it's actually cheaper to feed raw than it is to feed those two brands. I just wanted sweetpotatoes2 to know that, since she's concerned about costs.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on November 28, 2011
at 03:17 AM

Yep. And when I factor in the increased allergy issues when we feed kibble, it's just easier (ie. cheaper) to keep my gal on rotating whole proteins. Her vet bills used to be astronomical because she was so reactive to everything. No more leaky gut! Funny how I never thought about it as paleo for dogs.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 27, 2011
at 10:04 PM

Really? I can get TOTW for just under $2 a lb at our food coop.

-2
F0e7b6118db5c8b246effd92e493a0ac

on December 22, 2012
at 07:51 AM

Royal Canin pet food focus totally on the animal, with the aim of improving daily life and ensuring better health for dogs and cats through nutrition. Royal Canin Dog Food

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on December 22, 2012
at 11:09 PM

That's bullshit. You're pushing "diabetic dog food" that consists mainly of carbohydrate shit that would kill any diabetic, especially a carnivorous one. Dogs did not evolve to eat "barley, corn, wheat, tapioca, beet pulp and seed husks". I'm no animal lover, but you must be stupid if you feed your diabetic dog this highly processed, carbohydrate filled shit.

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