How to Care for a Diabetic Dog

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Our pets are family, and one of your family members become ill you want to give them the best care possible. Diabetes is one of the most common illnesses effecting dogs. There is an increased risk of diabetes in dogs that are overweight or are already in their middle age. There is also an increased risk among specific dog breed. Additionally, the risk can be higher among female dogs. The good news is that diabetes is a manageable disease in pets. With the right care, your dog can continue to live a long and comfortable life.

That said, here are some tips to follow, in taking care of diabetic dogs:

Maintain a Good Relationship with a Veterinarian

Diabetes isn’t something that you can treat and manage yourself without the knowledge and expertise of your veterinarian. The first step, to ensuring that the health of your diabetic dog can be well maintained is to have a good relationship with a veterinarian you can trust.

That way, it’s easier for you to establish an open line of communication with your dog’s doctor. Should you have any questions, you don’t have to feel shy or crazy about asking them. You will be relying on the support and guidance of your Vet throughout your pet’s treatment. A good vet is also someone whom you can trust to have the best welfare of your dog to heart.

Follow the Treatment Plan

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Just like human beings, there’s no cure for canine diabetes. If not treated correctly, the symptoms and effects of diabetes can easily progress. If left untreated diabetes can also result in cataracts, loss of vision or even death. Once your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s imperative, therefore, for you to have the right treatment for your dog. Follow this religiously and consistently, to avoid complications.

The usual treatment that your dog may have to go through is the injection of insulin. Depending on the severity, this can be from once or twice a day. Then, there may also be supplements that your vet is going to prescribe. It’s vital that you monitor and track your dog’s sugar levels daily. Any irregularities in your dog’s levels need to be reported to your Vet as it could mean your pet’s treatment plan needs to be adjusted to suit their changing health needs.

Walk Your Dog

Dogs need exercise, too. Start with the basics by walking your dog. Do this very early in the morning or late in the day. Dogs suffering from diabetes shouldn’t be walked under the blazing heat of the sun. Even a simple exercise such as walking the dog at least half an hour every day is already good enough. On the plus side, this benefits you, too!

If you live in an area where walking your dog regularly isn’t doable, there are indoor exercises that you can also do for your dog. The most important thing to remember is that your dog has at least half an hour of physical activity in a day.

Serve Healthy Meals to Your Dog

Puppies Eating a Healthy Meal

The health and dietary needs of dog with diabetes is different from a healthy pet. Now is a great time to avoid all the sweet treats. Your dog needs to get a dose of healthier meals with lower fats and sugar. Generally, there are many types of healthy diabetic dog food that you can get for your pet. Even commercial food can stand as good options, too, for as long as you read the label. The right place for you to start is to look for dog food rich in fiber and low in carbs and unhealthy fat.

Here are pointers to remember when feeding your diabetic dogs:

  • Serve the same amount of food of the same type, once every 12 hours
  • Start feeding your dog vegetables
  • Avoid overfeeding your dog
  • Eliminate unhealthy snacks or treats in between meals
  • Avoid table scraps

If you have multiple dogs in your household, feed them separately to avoid overfeeding your diabetic dog.

In feeding your canine friend with vegetables, start introducing it gradually, as you would with children. Even if they’re going to reject it in the first few meals, don’t give up. Eventually, they’re going to get used to the site of these vegetables.

Vegetables that dogs can easily love include the following:

  • Broccoli
  • String beans
  • Cucumber slices
  • Cauliflower

Avoid Stressful Situations

Dogs also need to avoid stressful situations whenever possible. If human beings get easily stressed, so do they. This stress also goes into their mind and habits. Some dogs refuse to exercise. Some would refuse their meals or medication. For a diabetic dog, this is only adding more damage to their health condition.

Sick dogs should be in an environment with so much love and care to surround them. Don’t take the stress of your day out on your dogs. Insulin injections and blood testing can also be stressful but are a necessary part of your dog’s diabetes care. Try to keep your dog as calm as possible and try to keep them relaxed.

Make Sure Everyone at Home is on the Same Page

Chocolate Lab in a Wheelchair

When caring for a sick dog, everyone at home has to be following the same protocol. Diabetic dogs respond to treatment better when they’re able to follow the routine set by the veterinarian. Also, especially for meal prohibitions, guests coming to your home should be aware of this, too. Even visitors in your home will need to be aware of the rules, you can’t have guests at your party feeding your dog scraps. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if not done regularly. But it can cause a sudden spike in the insulin levels that day, which could be hard to control.

The same rule applies to dog treats, too. If you’ve got young kids who are used to feeding the dog with treats, you’ve got to exercise control over this. Make sure the dog treats are out of reach of the kids. Control also the portion of the treats that are to be given.

What Are the Symptoms of Canine Diabetes?

Now that you know the ways to take care of a diabetic dog, it’s essential also to close with the symptoms. Knowing the signs of canine diabetes help you to spot the signs and better manage when in its earliest stages. When diabetes progresses, unfortunately, it can become fatal. You don’t want to be a little too late in noticing that your dog is sick.

Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Increased thirst and drinking water more than usual
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Increased frequency in urination
  • Ravenous appetite

Preventing canine diabetes isn’t as complicated. Like human beings, much of it has to do with the lifestyle also. Be sure to give your dog healthy meals and good exercise. If they’ve still been diagnosed with diabetes, this is something that’s also quite normal for dogs. When this happens, much of the work now is in your hands. Take good care of your dog, follow your doctor’s orders and your diabetic dog can live their best life.

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