The ideal composition of the canine diabetes diet for diabetic pets has not been determined, and research continues in this area. However, many vets recommend a special diet that has a higher fiber content than commercially available foods.
These special diets usually contain a greater amount of soluble fiber. Research in humans and in some animal studies shows signs that soluble fiber slows the absorption of glucose from the digestive system.
This helps prevent a rapid rise in the blood glucose after a meal. You will see this referred to as postprandial (after eating) blood glucose. Several special diets are available by prescription from your veterinarian. Hills w/d is a commonly used prescription diet. Purina, Eukanuba, and other pet food manufacturers also make prescription diets.
Another school of thought, particularly for diabetic cats, is to feed a higher protein diet. Purina has developed a prescription Diabetes Management Formula. Many canine diabetes diets such as those for cat owners have reported that their cat requires less insulin when fed this diet compared to other diets. Purina provides a feeding plan to your veterinarian to help switch from normal or higher fiber diets to the higher protein diet while at the same time preventing insulin overdose.
Some pets refuse to eat prescription foods, or the prescription foods may not be a good choice for your pet because of other health reasons. Many canine diabetes diets for pets eat high-quality commercially available foods and their blood glucose is regulated very well. The “best” prescription diet won’t do your pet any good if he refuses to eat it. However, soft or semi-moist pet foods should be avoided. They often contain a lot of sugar and their moist consistency causes a dramatic rise in the blood glucose after a meal.