After your pet’s annual checkup, the vet may reveal that poor Fido has higher blood sugar than usual. Blood sugar levels that remain consistently high can lead to insulin resistance. These two factors put your pet at a greater risk for diabetes.
Something as simple as regulating their blood sugar can have a huge impact on your pet’s long-term health. Keep your pet’s blood sugar at a healthy level with these beneficial herbs.
- Dandelion root: Dandelions have the potential to bolster your pet’s natural insulin production. The pancreas makes insulin, and dandelions are known to boost pancreas function. A routine dandelion root supplement may decrease the need for insulin medicine in diabetic pets. Dandelions also increase insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to properly absorb glucose for energy. Stable insulin levels in your pet’s system help regulate their blood sugar levels.
- Gymnema leaf: This herb boosts insulin production by supporting beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells are crucial because they produce the entire body’s insulin supply. Gymnema leaf also prevents your pet’s blood sugar from spiking right after meals. For this reason, gymnema leaf is most effective when given before the pet’s feeding time. The herb provides immediate and long-term relief for diabetic pets by regulating blood sugar levels and increasing overall insulin production.
- Goat’s rue herb: Goat’s rue herb is key for helping the body metabolize carbohydrates. Carbs are broken down into glucose, which cells absorb for energy. Diabetic pets have a difficult time breaking down carbs into their digestible form. This herb makes it a lot easier for cells to absorb glucose, which in turn decreases blood sugar levels. While goat’s rue herb doesn’t boost insulin production, it possesses insulin-like qualities.
- Bilberry fruit: These berries are best known for supporting good vision. They do so by increasing circulation in the blood vessels that surround the eyes. However, bilberry fruit possesses a secondary effect—regulating your pet’s blood sugar levels. Bilberry fruit is also famous for its anthocyanins, a compound that gives these berries their striking blue pigmentation. They look similar to blueberries and contain just as many antioxidants. Antioxidants may indirectly support insulin production and glucose absorption by protecting cells from oxidative damage.
- Fenugreek seed: This herb is capable of lowering blood sugar levels in both diabetic humans and pets. Commonly harvested as a flavorful spice, the ingredient has also earned a spot in many blood sugar supplements. Fenugreek seed has been shown to raise insulin levels. This allows your pet’s body to produce its own insulin rather than depend on outside sources like conventional medications.
- Ginseng berry: Ginseng is lauded for its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to ease indigestion. However, the popular herb is also beneficial for diabetic pets. Ginseng is usually harvested for its roots, but the blood sugar benefits are found in the bright red berries. Ginseng berries lower blood sugar to a healthy level, and they also improve insulin sensitivity. Digestive systems with a better response to insulin are more equipped to transfer glucose into bodily cells for energy.
- Turmeric: This golden spice is famous for its use in spicy dishes. It’s also commonly used to combat chronic inflammation and reduce the risk of cancer. What many people don’t know is turmeric can improve your pet’s blood sugar, too. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, is capable of returning blood sugar to a normal level. When taken on a regular basis, turmeric can even prevent pets from developing diabetes in the first place.
All these herbs are completely safe for both cats and dogs. However, pet parents should know that too much of any herb may cause mild side effects. You can easily avoid this problem by speaking to a vet about proper dosage. Always double-check with your vet to make sure the dosage instructions on a supplement label line up with how much your pet actually needs. Remember that all pets are different, and the proper dose will depend on several factors like their age, breed and medical history.
Conventional medicine isn’t your pet’s only option. The herbs mentioned here have promising results for a diabetic pet’s blood sugar and insulin sensitivity. In fact, pets who take herbal supplements on a regular basis can drastically lower their chances of developing diabetes at all. Whether your pet is diabetic or not, regulating their blood sugar is essential to stave off chronic illness and give them a longer life.