If your diabetic dog is always hungry, this is a pretty common occurrence in diabetes. Dogs stay hungry because their body cells don’t get all the required energy. In the following article we will discuss why is diabetic dogs hungry all the time and what should you feed them?
Why diabetic dogs stay hungry?
If you are new to the “dog having diabetes” enigma, you have to go down to the root cause of why and when diabetes happens. This will help you understand the hunger prospect of diabetes.
Dogs have two types of diabetes. Either the pancreas is not making enough insulin to convert food glucose into energy. This is the common type of diabetes in dogs. Or the dog’s body is producing some insulin but the insulin is not able to convert glucose into energy effectively. This is called insulin resistance diabetes.
When this happens to your dog, the first step is to decrease the glucose intake. Diabetes management includes staying away from anything that can raise blood sugar levels. (Read glucose level 500). When your dog’s body doesn’t get enough glucose which is a form of instant energy, it may feel constant hunger. Other symptoms will include excessive thrust and frequent urination.
What happens when your dog stays hungry all the time?
This is serious. Hunger for diabetic dogs is not a good sign. It can cause weakness and other health issues. If your dog always stays hungry, it means the body is not getting enough fuel. So the body functions will start shutting down.
In diabetes, the dog is prone to other diseases too like
- Heart diseases
- Organ failures
- Brain death
Hunger can trigger worse situations. So it’s important to keep your diabetic dog full.
Signs of a hungry diabetic dog
Apart from having a constant urge to eat something, your dog will experience
- Shivering (read diabetic dog shaking)
- Reluctant to indulge in physical activities
- Increased breathing
- Diabetic dog losing weight
- Faster Heart rate
All these symptoms may show that a diabetic dog needs to be fed something.
What to do when your diabetic dog is constantly hungry?
As soon as you have come to realize your dog has diabetes, make serious lifestyle changes. Diabetes can destroy a dog’s body if not handled properly. To overcome hunger,
- you will have to make diet charts and include foods that can keep your dog full for more time.
- Diet regulation is important. You must feed your diabetic dog the same thing at the same time every day. This is because the body may not take a foreign diet well and can cause an upset stomach. (Read our article diabetic dog throwing up).
- Increased hunger for a long time can decrease blood glucose levels and may cause the condition of hypoglycemia. If your dog is fainting, having uncontrolled movements, or is lethargic, it may be having a low glucose level. You will need to feed your dog something to raise its blood glucose level to normal.
- You may need to divide food into portions. Increased portions will keep your dog full for increased time. Usually, dogs feed once or twice a day. You can break down meals into four portions. This way, a dog will always have something to eat after every six hours.
- Also, keep a tab on insulin. It’s important to give regular insulin to your dog so that the body keeps getting energy from food. If there will be less insulin, the body will not get enough nutrients even after eating.
Insulin is vital when your dog has diabetes but treating dog diabetes without insulin is also important. Food and exercise play a major role in treating dog diabetes.
What to feed to a hungry diabetic dog?
Following are the things that you must keep in mind before feeding your diabetic dog.
- Try to feed your dog a diet that has more protein portions. Proteins take time to break down and give the feeling of fullness in the stomach. Also, they are a great source of energy without raising blood sugar levels.
- Avoid feeding your dog food that has more sucrose, fructose, or glucose. Apart from blood glucose levels, sugar and carbohydrates are consumed early by the body causing the hunger to strike back.
- Prefer to give your dog a home-cooked meal. They are gentle on the stomach and healthy to eat. For example, you can give boiled chicken and veggies to your diabetic dog.
- Fresh food is a better option for a diabetic dog diet than dog food and kibble. (Read our article Is Fresh pet food good for diabetic dogs? ).
- Include more fiber in the diet. This will make the digestion process easy. As diabetic dogs can end up eating more because of overwhelming hunger, so they mustn’t end up throwing everything. An upset stomach can also cause diarrhea. Read our guide on how diarrhea affects diabetic dogs.
What Human food can I feed to my diabetic dog?
Your dog may end up eating things that he shouldn’t because of Increased appetite and constant urge to eat something. Here are some foods that are Yes or No for your diabetic dog. Human foods that you can feed to your diabetic dogs are.
A diabetic dog can eat
- Boiled chicken
- Meat products
- Vegetables that include zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, spinach, or Pumpkin.
- Grains and lentils
- Fruits like apple or bananas
Also, Your diabetic dog must not eat
- Sugary things
- More carbohydrates
- Foods having maltose, dextrose, and fructose
- Sugary fruits like mangoes or grapes.
Feeding hungry diabetic dogs between meals
Sometimes, it’s ok to feed your dog between meal times but most dogs have shown disturbing glucose levels when they were fed between meals. It’s important to talk to your vet before introducing treat meals in your dog’s diet.
If your dog is fine and the blood glucose level stays managed, there is no harm in feeding your dog a treat meal between actual meals.
Can a diabetic dog feel more hungry because of a high glucose level?
Yes! The condition called polyphagia or excessive hunger could be a side effect of high glucose levels in the body. This happens because high glucose levels make the body dependant on constant glucose intake for bodily functions. when the body doesn’t get that “high” feeling, the brain sends the signal as hunger
This is worse because the more your dog eats, the more it stays hungry. The cravings can make him crazy for food. Insulin management is important to control this type of hunger.
Is hunger a symptom of too much insulin?
In some cases, yes.
Hunger is not always because of high insulin but increased insulin can be one of the causes the dog is feeling hungry. When you give your dog an overdose of insulin, the blood glucose levels can drop causing cravings and hunger. Feed your dog to manage this situation. You can rub something sweet on his gums if the blood glucose level drops too low.
A diabetic dog can be hungry because of High insulin or Low insulin levels in the body. You can treat both conditions with insulin regulation and by managing what your diabetic dogs eat.