Using Herbal Remedies to Treat Diabetes in Pets (2023)

An increasing number of dog and cat owners are seeking out herbal remedies to treat diabetes in pets and discovering incredibly promising results.

Diabetes in domestic cats and dogs has gradually become a real and widespread problem throughout American homes. A lack of exercise associated with domesticity, and an abundance of non-nutritious food options, have contributed to the issue, making a healthy lifestyle that focuses on diet and exercise vital to successful treatment and prevention.

Many modern veterinarians prescribe herbal remedies to treat diabetes in pets. Such treatments help to promote nutrient and pharmaceutical absorption, while the appropriate use of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to support the immune and digestive systems. Likewise, many natural herbs and supplements can effectively help to:

  • Lower blood glucose levels
  • Decrease inflammation that promotes diabetes
  • Reverse insulin resistance while prompting natural insulin production in the body
  • Eliminate the need for unpleasant injections
  • Produce results with no significant side effects

Some of the most common herbal remedies for treating diabetes in pets include:

  • Fenugreek: This common cooking herb and spice hails from India and is commonly eaten in the same manner as sunflower seeds. It has been shown to be effective in diabetes by decreasing the rate of sugar absorption into the blood.
  • Bitter melon: A product of Africa and Asia, bitter melon is a mineral and fiber-rich vegetable that in addition to having antiviral and anti-cancer properties, improves insulin production and helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Cornsilk: The style of Zea mays (cornsilk) has been used extensively in Chinese medicine to reduce blood glucose levels, while also preventing kidney damage due to diabetic nephropathy.
  • Gymnema: Enter the “sugar destroyer,” as it’s known in Ayurvedic medicine for its leaves’ flavor-slaying properties which dull the taste of sugar, specifically. Acids in gymnema prevent glucose levels from spiking after a meal by lowering glucose levels, and clinical studies suggest it may be an effective herbal treatment for treating diabetes in pets, reducing blood sugar levels over time. It also increases natural insulin production from the pancreas.

It is relevant to think of diabetes mellitus as an inflammatory disease. There are many factors that are involved in promoting and perpetuating inflammation in the body. Suffice it to say, that chronic inflammation is a common thread in much medical ailments in modern times. As such, the inflammatory state of the body serves as a risk factor for diabetes by disrupting the normal insulin secreting function of the pancreas, as well as interfering with insulin directly.

With the above in mind, treating inflammation is another component of treating diabetes. Many herbal treatments have significant anti-inflammatory activity. A good example of this approach is turmeric, which can improve success in managing diabetes by diminishing the inflammatory state of the body.

Many Chinese herbal formulas also address inflammation, and may also be used to treat diabetes. The strength of Chinese medicine is to recognize the individuality of the patient and an herbal formula is chosen in accord with the patient’s strengths and weaknesses, rather than chosen for a particular medical diagnosis.

Managed properly, diabetes does not have to be debilitating for your dog or cat. Time, effort, and diligent lifestyle changes involving diet and exercise can help our diabetic pets to have healthy and happy lives. Be sure to consult with your pet’s veterinarian before adding any new supplements into your pet’s diet. Doylestown Veterinary Hospital offers a highly individualized approach to wellness with more effective treatment and improved outcomes. Call 267-609-9363 to schedule an appointment.


Can diabetes in dogs be treated holistically? ›

Many modern veterinarians prescribe herbal remedies to treat diabetes in pets. Such treatments help to promote nutrient and pharmaceutical absorption, while the appropriate use of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to support the immune and digestive systems.

Can I treat my dogs diabetes without insulin? ›

The most important thing you need to know is that food can help manage the disease and treat it without insulin injections. However, it doesn't mean that everyone should switch their dog's diet right away.

How do you treat diabetes in pets? ›

Dogs and cats with diabetes usually require lifelong treatment with special diets, a good fitness regimen and, particularly in dogs, daily insulin injections. The key to managing diabetic pets is to keep your pet's blood sugar near normal levels and avoid too-high or too-low levels that can be life-threatening.

What herbs are good for lower diabetes? ›

Diabetes diet: 7 herbs diabetics can use to control blood sugars
  • Cinnamon. Cinnamon is a flavorful spice that is extracted from tree bark. ...
  • Fenugreek. Skin and intestinal problems have been treated using fenugreek seeds and the herb. ...
  • Ginger. ...
  • Aloe Vera. ...
  • Turmeric. ...
  • Curry leaves. ...
  • Garlic.
Nov 14, 2022

How can I lower my dogs blood sugar naturally? ›

Most vets recommend a high-fiber, low-fat diet. Fiber slows the entrance of glucose into the bloodstream and helps your dog feel full. Low-fat foods have fewer calories. Together, the diet can help your dog eat less and lose weight.

What can I give my dog for low blood sugar naturally? ›

If the patient is at home, owners can be instructed to rub corn syrup, honey, glucose syrup, or 50% dextrose on the tissues of the mouth, lining the cheek, followed by giving the same solution by mouth once the patient can swallow; then seek immediate veterinary medical attention.

What is a natural insulin for dogs? ›

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.

Is turmeric good for diabetic dogs? ›

Turmeric is usually not suitable for diabetic dogs, as it can affect blood sugar levels. As with any dog supplement, consult your veterinarian before starting your dog on a turmeric supplement.

How many times a day does a diabetic dog need insulin? ›

Individual dogs may respond to one type of insulin but not another. Some dogs become resistant to a certain type after time and need to change. Dosages can vary greatly among dogs, as can the timing of dosages. Typically, dogs will start off on insulin injections twice a day, around their feeding times.

Why are so many pets getting diabetes? ›

Just like in humans, it isn't completely certain why some dogs develop diabetes. Some dogs may be more genetically prone to developing the condition. It is known, however, that being overweight can increase the risk of your dog developing diabetes.

How long can an older dog live with diabetes? ›

It's true that a dog can pass away within a month or two of beginning to show signs of diabetes, but many will live for a year or two after diagnosis with appropriate treatment. Some do very well for even longer, particularly if they have a dedicated pet parent who can continue to provide the care they need.

How long do dogs live after diagnosed with diabetes? ›

With appropriate treatment and a speedy diagnosis, your dog can have a long and healthy life even after being diagnosed with diabetes. The lifespan of a dog with diabetes will vary massively from case to case, but the 'average' time frame, given by vets and medical experts, is two to three years following diagnosis.

What spice brings blood sugar down? ›

Ginger. By increasing insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity, this aromatic spice helps lower blood glucose levels.

What herb is a good substitute for metformin? ›

The second metformin alternative is berberine, or berberine hydrochloride, a chemical found in various plants, including goldenseal, barberry, Oregon grape, and turmeric. According to research, berberine may effectively treat various illnesses, including inflammation, diabetes, and obesity.

What is the herbal equivalent of metformin? ›

An effective substitute for Metformin is a compound known as berberine or berberine hydrochloride, which is obtained from many plant species, including goldenseal, barberry, Oregon grape, and turmeric.

What are natural methods to reverse diabetes? ›

Making positive lifestyle changes such as eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly and getting down to a healthy weight (and maintaining it) are the key to possibly reversing or managing type 2 diabetes.

How can I reverse my diabetes holistic? ›

In order to reverse diabetes naturally, remove foods like refined sugar, grains, conventional cow's milk, alcohol, GMO foods and hydrogenated oils from your diet; incorporate healthy foods like foods high in fiber, chromium, magnesium, healthy fats and clean protein, along with foods with low glycemic loads; take ...

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