Yet another human disease that also impacts dogs is diabetes. Diabetes is caused by either a lack of insulin or an insufficient response to the hormone.

In a dog’s typical digestive process, the system breaks food down into components like glucose.

Those components are carried to cells by pancreas-secreted insulin. When a dog doesn’t produce enough insulin or is unable to use it properly, glucose has nowhere to go.

This elevates blood sugar levels, resulting in hyperglycemia and a number of associated health complications.

The good news is that canine diabetes is adaptable; many diabetic dogs lead hale and hearty lives.

Types of Diabetes

There are two types of diabetes: Type I and Type II.

Type I diabetes refers to the lack of overall insulin production and is the most common form of the disease. This happens because the pancreas fails to secrete sufficient levels of the stuff. Dogs with Type I diabetes, as you may have guessed, need insulin.

Type II diabetes is more common in our feline friends and is a lack of “normal” reaction to insulin the body is already producing.

Symptoms of Diabetes

There are a number of symptoms of diabetes in dogs. Remember, though, that diabetes is identified through blood tests, a full medical examination and a urinalysis. Do not diagnose your own dog.

Among the symptoms of diabetes in dogs are:

  • Appetite changes
  • Disproportionate thirst or a surge in consumption of water
  • Loss of weight
  • Increased levels of urination
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Forming of cataracts or attendant vision difficulties
  • Skin infections
  • Sweet-smelling or “fruity” breath
  • Sticky urine

Causes and Considerations

The exact cause of diabetes in dogs is unknown. There are a number of contributing factors, including obesity and genetics, that play a role in how and if the disease develops. Protein deposits are also considerations and pancreatitis leads to some diabetes cases.

Obese and female dogs are most prone to developing diabetes, but the onset is generally later in life around six to nine years of age or so. Some breeds, like Australian terriers and miniature schnauzers, run larger risks. Poodles, dachshunds, keeshonds and Samoyeds also are among dogs impacted most.

There are also some cases of juvenile diabetes, mostly affecting golden retrievers and keeshonds.

Natural Alternatives and Care

I urge you to take a minute to learn more by clicking on this link on how to treat your diabetic dog naturally.  This link will provide you with an insulin replacement alternatives to help stabilize diabetic dogs.

For your dog’s diet; our cookbook found here, can easily be used for your diabetic dog.  Simply eliminate any grains in the recipes.  Recipes contain 3-5 ingredients (99% of them) and are used in the crockpot.  We’ve simplified the process of cooking for your dog.

We DO NOT recommend ANY kibble diets, period. They are not good for your diabetic dog.  You can also look into dehydrated grain free, LOW carb dehydrated diets.

Other supporting products for your diabetic dog include:

Daily Multi – includes a glandular for the pancreas and vital to diabetic patients.

Calcium Carbonate: When home-cooking, you need to add calcium to your dog’s diet.  This is important.  There are seaweed calcium formula’s available, but we have found that they tend to cause loose stools more so than calcium carbonate.  You can purchase it online or at any GNC, etc.

Here’s how to add it to your dog’s home-cooked meal: Add about 900mg of calcium carbonate for each POUND OF FOOD.

900mg of calcium carbonate powder is roughly 3/4 teaspoon.   1 pound of food equals 16 ounces. Using a glass measuring cup, place 16 ounces in the cup and add 3/4 teaspoon to the food.  Repeat for each pound of food. 

Using Traditional Insulin

Treating diabetes is a matter of collaborating with your veterinarian to determine your dog’s blood sugar levels.  However, don’t assume that injections and prescriptions diets are the only option for your dog.  Your vet will push these diets and lead you to believe that you have no other alternative, but, it’s in your dog’s best interest that you try natural forms first!  There is no other way to say this, except that prescription diets are truly disgusting.  Your dog has better options.

In most cases, insulin is essential to normalize glucose levels. Your veterinarian will administer an individually-designed treatment system for your dog based on his or her weight and you’ll be able to deliver insulin injections at home, should this be the course of action you decide to take. You should also be able to perform regular glucose checks at home.

When you are administering insulin, make sure that you feed your dog regular meals in conjunction with medical treatment and that you stick to a timetable.

This will allow nutrients to correspond with peak insulin levels, reducing the chances of sugar-swings. A low carb, high protein diet is necessary for dogs with diabetes.  Also, avoid foods and dog treats that are high in glucose.

You also want to include a regular exercise program and a nutritional program you can follow. Once again, this is a matter of cooperating not only with your vet but with your dog.

IMPORTANT: This article is meant to open your eyes to the natural, healthier options available to you as a dog owner vs traditional treatment.  However, it is not meant to replace the advice of your dog’s vet. 

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Showing 56 comments
  • Annette

    Can you send me link for alternate choice for diabetes.please. i have 11 year old rat terrier.

    • janie

      I sent you an email Annette.

  • Robert Turner

    We have a 12 year old Miniature Schnauzer bitch.
    She has developed Diabetes and our vet having taking sugar level readings has settled on a 6.5 mg of Insulin twice a day shortly after meals.

    The problem we have is that she will no longer allow us to inject her, not surprisingly after having God knows how many needles from glucose testing in her ears and now constantly into the fleshy part of her back neck.

    Is there any other alternative, other than Insulin injections ??
    your help and guidance in this matter would be very much appreciated.

    Many thanks

    Robert Turner.

    • janie

      Hi Robert:

      I can understand why she doesn’t want to be injected daily.
      Did you look at the link in the article Treating Your Dog Naturally for Diabetes? I would definitely look into it for your girl.

      You should definitely use a pancreas glandular as well to support the pancreas for diabetic dogs. One like this would be good. Pancreas Natural Glandular

      She needs a high protein diet that includes REAL, whole foods. Not kibble or canned dog foods. Feed her a high protein diet using real, every day food that you would eat. Not spaghetti, etc. Whole, healthy foods. My cookbook can help. While there are no direct recipes for Diabetes in the book, you can easily adjust them and use them by not including any grain. You can read about the cookbook here: Home Cooking for Sick Dogs.

      Include a good multivitamin for her (this is a must) to help build her immune system, digest her food properly and simply enhance her well being. Ours is the best available on the market anywhere. Many of our customers have been using it for years. You can read about it here: Daily Multi.

      If you follow these instructions, your girl will be a very happy old timer.

      I hope this helps.


  • JoAnn Hughes

    Can you send the information for treating my 10 year old maltese please

    • janie

      Hi JoAnn:

      Sure, I’ll forward some information for naturally treating and supporting diabetes in your little one later via email. Give me a little time today.


  • Eileen

    Hi Janie: I need your help. My dog Cockapoo he is 12 years old and was just diagnosed with Diabetes. I have to give him insulin 2x’s per day and I hate it. Hunter hates it also.
    The Vet put him on Prescription food diet; he hates it. I have added chicken, salmon, and tuna to get him to eat the can food. I would love to know how to figure out how to give him homemade recipes. How much should I be feeding him daily? I was told to give him the insulin every 12 hrs. Any advice or instructions you can send me I would greatly appreciate it.
    I am not sure what the Website means.

    Thank you in advance!

    • janie

      Hi Eileen:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your little old boy.

      My recommendation is to use our cookbook and in your case you can use any of the recipes in the book, regardless of which disease they are for, by simply eliminating the grains. You can learn more about the book here Eileen: Home Cooking for Sick Dogs

      I would definitely look into using Primalix which is natural alternative to prescription insulin. You can learn more about Primalix Blood Sugar Balance here.

      I would also support the pancreas with raw glandular. You have a little guy, so I would simply open the capsule and add less than 1/8 tsp once a day (whatever 1/2 of an 1/8 tsp is, I would use). Here’s a link for that Eileen:
      Raw Pancreas Glandular

      You’re welcome and I hope this helps you and your little old fella.


  • KatrinaL Pettus

    My 10 year old Min-Pin, 9 lbs has been diagnosed with diabetes.
    I started giving her shots of insulin twice a day, and after the 3rd day of heavy restraining and painful shots I am desperate to find another way.
    She is afraid of us, when I go to feed her in the morning for her dose of insulin she will not eat and she is shaking in fear. The administering of the shot is traumatizing to her and us. We don’t want to hurt her, or have her afraid of us. We can’t give the meds if she doesn’t eat, if she doesn’t eat her sugar plummets. PLEASE HELP!

    • janie

      Hi Katrina:

      I’m sorry to hear about your little old timer. The alternative herbal blend we recommend looking into is Primalix Blood Sugar Balance created for diabetic dogs. Here’s a link: Primalix Blood Sugar Balance

      Not sure if you’re interested or not, but you can use any of the recipes in our cookbook for her and just eliminate and carbs and grains (pasta, rice, etc) in the recipes. They’re meant for the crock pot. You can learn more here. You can learn more here: Home Cooking for Sick Dogs

      You definitely must stay away from canned and commercial dog foods and prescription dog foods are complete garbage. We highly recommend our multivitamin as well to support her immune system. It contains probiotics, prebiotics and glandulars for all the organs. You can read more about it here: Daily Multivitamin

      Even though our multi has some pancreas glandular in it, I would still include additional support to the pancreas. We always recommend a raw glandular for the pancreas which you can easily purchase on Amazon here.

      What ever you do, AVOID EVER VACCINATING AGAIN and AVOID ALL CHEMICAL FLEA AND TICK PRODUCTS. You can purchase Triple Sure which is what I use and recommend to my readers for flea and tick at the same link above for the Blood Sugar Balance.

      I hope this helps. Let me know how it goes PLEASE!!!!


  • Brandi

    Hi! I would love your recipe.
    The last 2 months I’ve been making my dogs homemade food which I think has been very helpful but would like to adjust it with your recipe.

    Have you ever seen a dog get better?

    I think my dog is experiencing hypoglycemia at times due to too much insulin now.

    I’m taking him in to get blood levels checked but it seems he’s not needing as much insulin.

    Just curious if you’ve ever seen a dog fully recover or need less insulin over time?

    Thank you!

    • janie

      Hi Brandi:

      I’m not sure who you are responding to when you say “I would love your recipe”?


  • Barbara Branchetti

    My American Eskie 9 yrs. old recently diagnosed with diabetes hates getting shots every twelve hrs. We are experiencing difficulties getting him to eat because he knows he is going to get a shot. From our dog loving to eat is now not wanting NOT to eat either the dry or wet glycobalance vet recommended. He is on 6 units every 12 hrs. This going on 3 weeks and is getting harder for us and him. Is their another alternative? I read something on Tumeric how much can I give him his weight is 30 lbs.

    • janie

      Hi Barbara:

      I sent you a private email.


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