Many pet owners aren’t aware that dogs can develop diabetes, much less what the key risk factors and symptoms are. While there are different risk factors such as age and genetic predisposition for diabetes in pets, the one factor that we can control is weight. Approximately 54% of dogs are overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, and obesity is one of the leading risk factors for the development of diabetes in dogs.
Just like in humans, diabetes affects a dog’s ability to regulate healthy blood glucose and insulin levels. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to seizures, a coma, or death. The disease can also lead to other health problems over time. A common complication of diabetes for dogs is cataract formation. Persistently high blood glucose levels can also make the eye lenses opaque, which may cause blindness.
So, what to do? While there’s no cure for diabetes, the good news is that with proper care your dog can still live a happy, healthy, active life. The first step is to recognize the symptoms of diabetes in your pet.
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Increased hunger while losing weight
- Decreased energy or activity
- Thinning, dull, or dry hair
If your dog is displaying any of these common signs, consult with your veterinarian. A simple blood and urine test can determine whether or not your pet has diabetes. Early diagnosis is key so that you can begin managing the disease and prevent further complications.
Your vet may prescribe daily insulin injections to regulate blood glucose levels. Exercise can also help dogs with diabetes, but keep track of the duration and intensity since activity affects blood glucose levels.
Diet plays a crucial role in managing your pet’s diabetes. A high-quality, consistent source of protein with a good fiber source is an essential part of any diabetic diet. Feed your dog based on his ideal body weight, not his actual weight, and be consistent with the timing and size of his meals.
PetWellClinic® is affiliated with Knoxville Pet Food Company to offer high quality pet food at discounted prices. Options for regular and prescription diets that address weight management are available and easy to order online for in-store pickup at our three PetWellClinics and My Pet’s Animal Hospital. We recommend the Hills Science Diet Prescription brand, as well as select Purina blends, and can help you choose the best option based on your pet’s age, size, and overall health.
We can also help you decide which flea, tick, and heartworm prevention products are best for your pet. By operating convenient hours for non-surgical care, PetWellClinic® is able to offer substantially discounted prices for parasite prevention products, as well as low cost vaccinations, wellness exams, and treatment of minor conditions.
We are dedicated to helping you keep your pets healthy and happy with top quality products, caring veterinarians and staff, and affordable services at convenient hours. See for yourself why so many people and their pets rely on PetWellClinic and Knoxville Pet Food Company.