Lack of advantage of high-fibre, moderate-carbohydrate diets in dogs with stabilised diabetes

J Small Anim Pract. 2009 Nov;50(11):604-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.2009.00817.x. Epub 2009 Oct 8.


Objectives: To assess the influence of high-fibre, moderate-carbohydrate diets with two levels of dietary fat, compared with a commercial diet with moderate-fibre, low-carbohydrate and higher fat, on insulin requirement, glycaemic control and lipid profile of dogs with stabilised diabetes.

Methods: Twelve dogs with spontaneous diabetes mellitus were studied. Glycaemic control was evaluated by plasma fructosamine, glycosylated haemoglobin and 48-hour serial blood glucose measurements. The insulin dosage required to maintain clinical stability was also determined. Lipid profiles comprised serial measurements of plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, free glycerol and free fatty acids. Data were analysed using analysis of variance.

Results: There were no significant differences in insulin requirement or glycaemic control among diets. Weight loss occurred when the dogs were fed the high-fibre, moderate-carbohydrate, moderate-fat diet (P<0.002), whereas weight was maintained with the other two diets. The high-fibre, moderate-carbohydrate, moderate-fat diet resulted in lower mean plasma cholesterol compared with either of the higher-fat diets (P< or =0.003), and lower mean plasma triglyceride (P=0.060), free fatty acid (P<0.001) and free glycerol (P=0.015) than the commercial diet.

Clinical significance: For stable diabetic dogs, high-fibre, moderate-carbohydrate diets offered no significant advantage compared with a commercial diet with moderate fibre and low carbohydrate. Diets with high fibre, moderate carbohydrate and moderate fat should not be routinely recommended for dogs with thin body condition.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diet therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / veterinary*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Dog Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin