Q: I have a 12 year old poodle who weighs 22 pounds and is diabetic. He gets 16 units of insulin 2x daily. He is on science diet W/D and does not eat it well. What food would you recommend?
A: The picky appetite you are experiencing with your Poodle is not uncommon on some of the diabetic dog food diets. The best diet for a diabetic dog IS indeed a high fiber diet as the fiber helps to best control the fluctuations of their blood sugar levels.
Most commercially available high fiber diets contain high levels of a fiber that is called “insoluble” fiber (e.g. lignins and cellulose). We actually find better palatability and better blood sugar control when more “soluble” fiber sources (e.g. gums and pectins) are the main source of fiber in the food.
Most regular adult dog foods only have about 2-3% fiber in them so my recommendations would be to select a high quality natural pet food (not too high in fat!) and then add soluble fiber to that diet. Good natural sources of soluble fiber include psyllium husk and canned pumpkin. The goal for best blood sugar control is a diet with approximately 8% fiber (combination of insoluble and soluble fiber).
Ask your veterinarian for advice on what natural dog food might be best for your dog–and then you can work on adjusting the fiber from there!
Dr. Donna Spector