Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Homemade Food for Diabetic Dogs

Since my dog, Kira has become diabetic, I have spent much time on forums and discussing with Vets and Veterinary nutritionists on her diet, which is a very low carb, high protein, high fiber diet. 

I am attempting to get some weight on her, so adding additional proteins to her her food, and feeding several times a day, small snacks, like mozzarella string cheese, dried salmon treats, with no additional ingredients (had to search high and low for that).  Her main meals are twice a day, 10 hours apart, followed by her insulin injections. The food that the Vets want to use on her had the worst ingredients I have seen in some dog food, I felt like I would be feeding her trash! I have made dog food in the past and have always supplements my dogs diet with some home made ingredients to add to their kibble.  Now I see I will be doing this on a new level. 

I am still unsure about raw diets, although I have many friends who swear by them. Kira, my Siberian Husky is 12 years old, but the raw is not working well for her at all. I have tried many times with several different methods,and within a few minutes, dinner comes back out... no need to say more on that....

  1. Ask your vet first. My personal Vet don't like the idea of homemade diets and would prefer to use their expensive, name brand, diets. Go to your vet well prepared with a list of information about why a homemade diet will work best for you and your dog. Always be sure to inform your vet of your dog's new diet and ask for suggestions. Home testing your dog's blood glucose is a great tool when starting your dog on a homemade diet. All dogs react differently to diets and it is very important to know your dog's reactions to different ingredients.
  2. You will need a good multi vitamin to add to your homemade food. Make sure you understand your dogs nutrition requirements and that your new homemade diet will supply their needs. Kira can't take her Dasequin  (glucosamine) -any more  because of the interaction with the insulin, although I highly recommend it for any older dog who can take it, my older Border Collie is doing wonderfully on it! Make sure that none of the ingredients will interfere with the insulin. 
  3. Protein- Main ingredient for Kira, is Fish or chicken.  She does not tolerate beef well for some reason. I add eggs a couple of days a week. She does get cheese once a day, but in the form of a low fat string cheese. 
  4. Vegetables- Right now, using mostly green beans.                                                        Please Note:  A dog cannot digest vegetables, so you must grind them up in a food processor or blender       I did not know this and found that dogs do not digest them whole, they just pass right on through...thank you to my raw diet friends! No fruit for her just yet.
  5. Fiber- Right now I am slowly adding carbs into her diet, as many of them break down in the digestive track and make a form of glucose. Until we have her completely stabilized, I am trying to keep them at a minimum, so I am using mostly beans, again processed in a blender for her fiber and carbs.


  1. Protein Source

    Chicken Breast 4 oz 120
    Turkey Breast 3 oz 88
    Beef 80% 3 oz 231
    Salmon 3 oz 180

  2. Fruit or Vegetable Serving Size Calories
    Green Beans 1 cup 41 15
    Broccoli 1 cup 35 15
    Pumpkin canned 1 cup 83 6
    Summer Squash 1 cup 20 15
    Cucumber ½ cup 7 15
    Apple 1 med. Skin on 72 38
    Pear 1 med skin on 98 38

  3. Grain Serving Size Calories Glycemic Index *
    White Rice ½ cup 133 72
    Brown Rice ½ cup 110 51
    Oatmeal 1 cup 166 49
    Steel Oats ¼ cup 150

Disclaimer: The following recipes are used by owners of diabetic pets.  They may not be appropriate for your pet, and any change in your pet's diet should be done under the supervision of a veterinarian. If you are interested in home cooking, these recipes can be a source of information for you and may help you discuss ideas for your pet's diet with your vet.  


Diabetic Dog Treats

Original recipe makes 2 pounds
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1 1/2 pounds beef liver, cut into pieces


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place the liver into a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. If you have room, add the flour and eggs, and process until smooth. Otherwise, transfer to a bowl, and stir in the flour and eggs using a wooden spoon. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the center is firm. Cool, and cut into squares using a pizza cutter. The treats will have a consistency similar to a sponge. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Homemade Dog Food for Diabetic Dogs

5 cups raw rolled oats (or 10 cups cooked oatmeal)
2 pounds (4 cups) raw lean ground beef, chopped chicken or turkey
12 hard boiled eggs with shells, crushed
1 cup cooked vegetables such as green beans (may be omitted occasionally)
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced (optional)

Web Resources
There are more home cooking recipes on the Canine Diabetes website.
Nutritional composition chart of some commonly used foods.

Canine Support Group

Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. Richard H. Pitcairn, Susan Hubble Pitcairn. 1995.  An A-to-Z encyclopedia of common pet ailments and their treatments also features tips on a do-it-yourself pet checkup, recipes for healthier food, sources of herbal and homeopathic supplies, and more.