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?
asked bysweetpotatoes2 (10)
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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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.