The diet must provide all the nutritional needs of the animal and should minimize post-prandial fluctuations in blood glucose.

Diets for diabetic dogs and cats

The diet should be consistent from day to day to avoid changes in insulin requirements. Ideally the diet for a diabetic pet diet should supply more than 40% of the calories from carbohydrates and less than 25% of the calories from fat. A high quality, highly digestible protein source (e.g. chicken, lamb, etc.) is preferable to protein from cereal sources (soya bean meal, corn gluten meal). The calorific value should maintain or reach the ideal body weight. A diet and feeding routine should be chosen that suit both the owner and their diabetic pet.

Clean drinking water should be available at all times. A reduction in excessive water consumption indicates successful management of the diabetes mellitus.

Importance of ideal body weight

In dogs and cats that are underweight or overweight it is desirable that the ideal body weight is reached by gradual weight gain or loss.

In underweight animals very calorie dense diets should be avoided, especially those that are high in soluble carbohydrates.

Obesity contributes to insulin resistance. Overweight dogs and cats should lose weight in a gradual controlled fashion. Weight loss in obese animals decreases the insulin requirement. Diets designed to promote weight loss are high fiber diets and are suitable for feeding to diabetic pets.

More information

See Feeding Diabetic Dogs and Feeding Diabetic Cats for species specific information.

The following pet-food companies produce balanced diets formulated for diabetic dogs and cats. For more information click on each company name to reach their website:

Feeding cats and dogs with diabetes

Diet is extremely important for the successful management of Diabetes mellitus.