What role does the glycemic index play in a dog’s nutritional health?
As with any diabetic, a dog needs food that will help regulate blood glucose levels. Food monitoring is an important factor in the management of diabetes. While there is no cure, it can be managed, and with today’s advances, most dogs can be expected to live a normal life expectancy.
It is important to note, however, that diabetes, while it can be controlled, is still a serious disease that can lead to other health problems.
The glycemic index is a ranking of foods according to how easily a particular food can be converted to blood glucose (sugar). Dog foods with lower GI rankings show less of a tendency to raise a dog’s blood glucose (sugar) level than others.
Obviously, this is what you want if your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes.
There are two ways of thinking about this: First, many commercially prepared foods are loaded with carbohydrates and sugar—and sugar is something any dog never needs. .
On the other hand, some advocate commercial foods because they have consistent formulas–and consistency in your diabetic dog’s diet is very important. It can be confusing when one prepares homemade food, because a food can score very high on the glycemic index and still be considered highly nutritious. Potatoes and rice are two of those foods, often used as a staple in dog food. However, these items are only okay if the dog has no health problems, but they should be avoided entirely by the diabetic dog.
Your vet may prescribe a special diet, but in most cases, standard pet food is acceptable. Canned dog food is often low in carbohydrate, but high in fat, while one study at the University of Pennsylvania found that diabetic dogs respond well to dry, high-fiber dog food. Again, speak to your veterinarian about this.