Linda Arndt ~ Canine Nutritional Consultant

Diabetes in Dogs and Cats

" The Pancreas is like a checking account - it has a limited amount of funds (enzymatic resources) in the account. When the account is low and no deposits are made (by eating whole raw foods) the account (Pancreas) is empty, no more enzymes. When the enzymatic account is at it's limit or it is overdrawn = diabetes."

What is Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease of the body's metabolism, and it is the way in which our bodies use food for growth and energy. Most of the food eaten is broken down into glucose,( sugar) in the blood and it is the main source of energy/fuel for the body. This is where it is used by cells for growth and energy. Now in order for glucose to get into cells where it can be utilized, insulin must be present.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which is a large gland behind the stomach. And when we consume the right types of foods, the pancreas automatically produces the right amount of insulin to move glucose from blood into our cells.

In pets with diabetes, the pancreas either produces little or no insulin, or the cells are resistant to insulin (Insulin Resistance/Syndrome X in humans) and they do not respond appropriately to the insulin that is produced by the pancreas. Glucose then builds up in the blood, levels and overflows into the urine, and passes out of the body. The body then loses its main source of fuel even though the blood contains large amounts of glucose in it, it can't utilize it for energy.

Things that contribute to Insulin Resistance:

  • Eating poor quality, grain based pet foods - (grain is the first ingredient on the list.

  • Eating fractionated grains as opposed to whole ground grains - human grade #1.

  • Processed diets; homemade cooked or kibble, that are absent of critical dietary enzymes or the "Living Component"

Note: A by-product of diabetes can be systemic yeast overgrowth in gut

Management and Prevention of Diabetes

One of the biggest health issues facing pet owners today, besides Systemic Yeast Infections, is that of diabetes in pets. Most diabetes in pets is not genetic, but due to poor quality commercial diets, lack of variety in the diet, missing nutrients and the absence of the all important "living raw component" on a daily basis. This is true for humans as well.

For the past 40 years our most of our pets have been feed high carbohydrate "grain based" processed foods (utilitarian and premium level kibble) devoid of high quality meat protein and the living enzyme component. Cats are "obligate" carnivores, unlike dogs who do adapt, which means they should only eat 99% meat, grasses, so it is no wonder diabetes is rampant in cats.

The primary pet diet has been process foods day in, day out, without any real human foods. We were always told "no human foods- no table scraps" for fear of the doing being overweight, but there is a big difference in sharing high quality foods with your pets and human junk food! Cooked foods and junk foods, mean the living raw component (antioxidants and enzymes) and important dietary fiber is missing, and this causes disease and early aging of the body not only in pets but in humans as well.

All processed, cooked and stored foods are lacking in vital "dietary enzymes" - they are lost in the heating, processing, and storage of food. While some nutrients are actually enhanced with cooking, dietary enzymes are destroyed. These dietary enzymes are the "living component" in all raw foods, and to date no dog food company addresses this need to replenish them back on to the foods (kibble). But now have the technology to apply dietary enzymes on the kibble at the same time as the probiotics are sprayed on at the end of the process when cooled. I have tried to get a company to embrace the idea of using dietary enzymes on their kibbles but it falls on deaf ears. Mark my word; someday it will be the wave of the future in pet foods.

In all of the Blackwatch Feed Programs, (over 25 years), I have addressed the need for DIETARY ENZYMES in a daily diet, and I have provided them for my pets through the use of a product called Biopet Nzymes, along with other raw components (fruits/veggies and The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Raw).

Why are the dietary enzymes so important to my pet?

Because dietary enzymes provide the necessary nutrients to a system, so the body can make the antioxidants and other enzymes needs to digest food properly, and detoxify the body to help maintain wellness. In short they have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties which are critical to quality health and longevity.

There are 3 basic components present in ALL of the Blackwatch Feed Problems:

Dietary Enzymes - provide the living component and detoxify the body.
Digestive Enzymes - provide the enzymes needed break down food so it can be utilized
Probiotics - beneficial bacteria, which keeps the candida and fungi from overgrowth causing leaky gut syndrome and systemic yeast infections.

Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes are often found in combination products - (example: BacPakPlus, 4 in 1 Probiotics or Filling N The Wholes). These 3 components are the basics of all the Blackwatch Feed Programs and critical for pets and humans, in order to have a healthy gut - which is the real key to wellness and longevity.

Far too many poor quality fractionated grains/carbohydrates, without the fiber intact, are consumed in this culture and therefore it is detrimental to our pancreas over a long period of time. Carbohydrates, without fiber in tact, burns quickly in the body causing glucose levels to spike, it is the fiber that effects how the body uses whole grains (carbs) in the food. The old adage regarding Chinese food - "an hour later I'm still hungry" has to do with the white rice, it's lacking the outer fiber that brown rice has in tact. If you have the option for brown rice then you will notice you stay satiated much longer after a meal because it is full of fiber. First let me define the word raw in the manner in which I am using it in my illustrations - it is any unprocessed, cooked or stored meat, fruit or vegetables.


The issue of grain consumption in pet foods has more to do with the QUALITY and QUANTITY used in a food. For example, the use of corn in a food has gotten much bad press for being an allergen, when in fact it is the "feed grade" corn that is the problem and comparing it to human grade #1 corn; it is nutritionally as different as night and day. (The Corn Myth).

I am certainly not promoting any grain or corn based food as being the best choice in a diet, but a holistic dog food (not cat) with a human grade, whole grain #1 corn component in it, provides energy levels unmatched by any other grain or protein source and needed for real performance animals. Not all grains are bad, and likewise a grain free diet is NOT necessarily the best way to feed a pet either.

Grain-based dog foods (grain is listed first on the bag) are difficult for the dog to digest and some say that dogs do not make the amylase enzyme needed to break down carbohydrates, but that is not true. What is true, is - because dogs do not get a raw component to their diets or do not get dietary enzyme supplementation, they are unable to make adequate amounts of all digestive enzymes for proper digestion!! If there is no raw component, dietary enzymes supplementation or digestive enzyme supplementation provided to the dog's diet, the body can not make not produce the enzymes necessary to break down and digest the carbohydrates, protein, fats and fiber in a diet.

Dogs and cats have trouble making enough digestive enzymes - all 4 types of digestive enzymes, when they do not have the adequate nutrients supplied in the daily diet, in some form of a "raw, unprocessed, living component".

When there is no raw present, there are no dietary enzymes present and therefore total enzymatic activity that breaks down the food depends wholly on the pancreas to make these enzymes. That is a tremendous burden on the pancreas when it is "born" with a limited number to begin with. Think of the pancreas as a checking account with a set amount of money in it. When it is spent, it is spent - and when it is spent, that is when you develop diabetes.

In the Diabetic Support Kit #22 that I have developed, I have combined supplements that have been shown in the most research to be beneficial in establishing less spiking in glucose levels and more consistency in the dogs condition. There have been some pets that have had reversing of the disease after a time on the program and on a quality holistic meat based food, but it is important to make sure a diabetic pet remains on the contents of the kit for life.

Diabetes Kit # 22


For diabetes as in cancer situations, the dogs generally do better with a higher protein and higher fat diet, with fewer carbohydrates (which can turn to sugar).This does not mean they should not eat quality whole grains such as oats, barley, quinoa, amaranth. These grains have fiber intact which is very important and they do not burn as fast as some Grain-Free foods do that have potato as the carb source. My preference is a to use a higher multiple protein diet in the 25% -30% protein and 15% - 20% fat.

These are some foods I would try ..keeping in mind that tiny dogs need a high protein diet so their energy levels do not fade.

Precise Competition Formula (3 proteins) 26% protein 16% fat
Precise Endurance - (4 proteins) 30% protein - 20% fat (equal to old Eagle Power Pack before 2009)
Precise Small/Medium Breed Puppy (4 proteins) 29% protein - 19% fat
Petcurean NOW! Puppy Formula - 28% protein 18% fat
Petcurean NOW! Adult Formula - 26% protein- 16% fat
Nutri Source Super Performance - 32% protein - 21% fat
Nutri Source Adult - 26% protein - 16% fat

If you insist on a Grain Free formula:

Nutri-Source Grain Free - 28% protein 18% fat - chicken formula
Petcurean NOW! Grain Free Puppy Formula - 28% protein 18% fat
Petcurean NOW! Grain Free Adult formula 26% protein 16% fat

One of these formulas along with the Diabetes Support Kit and it should make a big difference in the quality of life for your pet.

Diabetes Kit Includes the Following Supplements:

1). Filling N The Wholes - is a "green" whole food supplement containing a bioavailable source of vitamins, mineral , phyto-nutrients from organic barley grass and 68 trace mineral supplement with 6 probiotics (2 encapsulated), Digestive enzymes (protease, amylase, lipase, celluase), Dietary enzymes from organic sprouted flaxseed, Vit C, Arabinogalactin, "first milking" Colostrum, DMG , MSM, Lethicin, L - Carnitine, Glucosamine, Type 11 & 1V Collagen, Yucca.

2) Nzymes - Dietary Enzymes - in a pet chewable treat or granular, they are derived from a proprietary blend of sprouted foods. Its function is to detoxify the body at a cellular level. Nzymes comes in a chewable healthy pet treat or in granular form and as a food does not conflict with any medication your pet may be on. Nzymes provide the body with the right nutrients to allow the body to make the chemicals necessary to detoxify (clean out) the body and repair itself. Nzymes put the "living component" back into the diet which is essential for wellness and longevity.

3) Colostrum -The first "pre-milk" fluid produced in the first few hours from the mammary gland of mammals, and it carries all the antibodies to protect the young when the immune system is new and underdeveloped. It is a rich source of antibodies, growth factors and nutrients and may provide passive immunity to the newborn against various infectious microorganisms. Research shows Colostrum will regenerate and rejuvenate the immune function, as well as heart muscle. It is highly recommended for pets (humans) with cardiomyopathy and other heart disease and diabetes. Hyperimmune colostrum is rich in immunoglobulins of the IgG type, which are protective against such infectious microorganisms as Cryptosporidium parvum (a major cause of AIDS-associated diarrhea), diarrheogenic Escherichia coli strains, Shigella flexneri, Clostridium difficile, and rotavirus, the most common cause of severe diarrhea in young children.

Please read this article on the benefits Colostrum for Diabetes

4) Co-Q-10 - is an essential part of every cell in the body that uses oxygen and is believed to be the 'biochemical spark' that creates cellular energy. Research* has shown that CoQ-10 appears to enhance the immune system, and shows definitive proof that approximately 75% of cardiac patients have significantly lower than normal levels of CoQ-10 in their heart muscle. In short, this critical nutrient is necessary in maintaining good cardiovascular health which is important with diabetes.

5) Angstrom Magnesium - Liquid magnesium is better utilized than crude pill forms and magnesium is a crucial cofactor for many enzymatic reactions that are involved in the metabolic process. The link between diabetes and magnesium deficiency is document in a growing body of evidence that shows magnesium plays a pivotal role in improving insulin sensitivity and reducing cardiovascular risks, retinopathy, and nephropathy. Many studies have shown that both mean plasma and intracellular free magnesium levels are lower in patients with diabetes than in the general population.

6) Poopitiy Doo - a fiber product often used for anal gland issues, is also a powerful and beneficial fiber component which has been found to help regulate blood sugar levels. The best is from Oat Beta Glucan such as in this product.

8) Cinnamon - as been shown to help moderate blood glucose levels and have a positive effect on insulin response.

7). Alpha Lipoic Acid - Alpha-Lipoic acid has been shown to speed the removal of glucose (sugar) from the blood and this antioxidant may prevent kidney damage associated with diabetes in animals.

In Summary:

A holistic, high quality, meat based diet as the basis of your feeding program, enhanced with dietary and digestive enzymes, so the body can function better and remove free radical damage, is the way to prevention and recovery of many diseases, including diabetes.

The suggestions in this article are based on personal experience and research on supplements that enhance the function of the body. Before starting any program it is important to talk to your vet about any changes in diet, keeping in mind only holistically trained vets have nutritional knowledge so it may be in your pet's best interest to contact one in your area. Also consult you're your vet regarding amount, type and frequency of treats given your pet because they are added calories. It is my suggestion that treats need to be limited. A meat based treat is essential but you need to know when is appropriate to give one so as not to disrupt the blood sugar levels.

Most traditionally trained veterinarians are not comfortable making nutritional supplementation recommendations, due to their lack of experience, but I would still suggest you print this information and discuss it with your vet. If you are looking for a holistic veterinarian who is nutritionally savvy, here is a link to help in that search. American Holistic Veterinarian Site

Schedule of Supplements:

If your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes, and you choose to purchase this kit after discussion with your vet, introduce each supplement according to the chart below while continuing with the supplements all ready started- so you can monitor the dog's insulin levels carefully. If there is any loose stool, slow the introduction down a day or two and ease into the next supplement.

While continuing with the supplements that have been added to the diet, add each new supplement in the order, with the timing, that is shown below:

This is the schedule for daily supplementation:
Day 1 - Filling N' The Wholes (dosage on label) - then add:
Day 3 - Nzymes - do not double dose as jar suggests (dosage see label) then add:
Day 6 - Cinnamon (1-2 capsules - large/giants, 1 cap med - small dogs/cats, 1/4 tsp - then add:
Day 9 - Colostrum -(dosage on label) - then add:
Day 12 - Alpha Lipoic Acid (300 mg daily - all sizes) - then add:
Day 12 - Co-Q-10 (1 capsule daily - 30 mg) - then add:
Day 12 - Poopity Doo - (dosage on label) - then add:
Day 15 - Angstrom Magnesium Liquid (1 tablespoon Giants, 2 teaspoons large/medium, 1 teaspoon small, ½ teaspoon toy breeds

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