Posted by barbara ratner on


There are healthy carbohydrate options for dogs. To determine if a particular food is a good option, we must analyze the glycemic index, the digestibility, and the presence of other nutrients.

The glycemic index is a factor that determines the rate of absorption of carbohydrates. This index rates carbohydrates by the time it takes to turn into glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. Foods with a high glycemic index, therefore, generate a large discharge of insulin through the pancreas immediately. Insulin is the hormone that carries this sugar from the blood into the cells, which will use it as energy. The surplus energy will be transformed into body fat.

Foods with a low glycemic index cause a more gradual release of glucose into the blood. Thus, there will be more time for cells to consume this energy, decreasing their chances of being stored as body fat. Therefore, there will also be a slower release of insulin. This helps keep the dog satiated longer since the drop in blood glucose is not abrupt since insulin is being released more slowly.

Among foods with low glycemic index, we can mention oat, barley, carrots, pumpkin, quinoa, vegetable fibers in general, and some fruits like apple. It is worth mentioning that a meal can have its glycemic index reduced by adding proteins and fats, which decrease the time of digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.


Pumpkin has been used as a great source of carbohydrate for dogs. It has a low glycemic index because it does not contain starch in its composition. This characteristic makes it a low-calorie food as well. Pumpkin also contains soluble fibers, beneficial for intestinal health and helps to reduce the glycemic index, increasing the sensation of satiety. In addition to these fascinating benefits for dogs, pumpkins have high amounts of beta-carotene, one of nature's most potent antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that help keep dogs healthy by neutralizing free radicals. The metabolism itself produces free radicals, but when present in excess are deleterious to the pet's health, causing the death of cells and impairing the functions of the body. Pumpkin also has minerals like zinc, phosphorus, iron, and potassium.

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