Diabetes is a silent killer. It makes the dog sick and slowly sucks out life from them. Managing diabetes could be tough so it’s better to prevent it when you can. The good news is that with careful lifestyle adaption, you can prevent diabetes in dogs or lessen the risk at least.
In the following article, we have some tips and guidance for you regarding how to prevent your dog from getting diabetes.
How does diabetes start?
Before knowing how to prevent diabetes you must know how it starts. There is a hormone called insulin which is produced by the pancreas in the body. Insulin is responsible to aid the body in converting glucose into energy. The body uses this energy to do functioning. When due to any reason the pancreas is unable to produce this hormone, body functions get disturbed.
As glucose is not converted into energy, it stays in the bloodstream. The glucose level rises in blood and does damage to the body. In simple words, this whole disturbance in insulin production is called diabetes.
If not managed properly diabetes can even turn fatal for your dog. The high blood glucose level can cause the body’s functions to shut down. As a result, the dog can go into a coma or even die if not treated on time.
How do dogs get diabetes?
Several internal and external factors can lead to diabetes. These are
Diabetes could be hereditary. If the pup’s parents were diabetic, most probably the puppy will get diabetes at some point in life. It’s important to adopt prevention strategies because such puppies are more prone to become diabetic.
Some puppies are genetically born with the defected immune systems. Their own body cells destroy the insulin hormones which alter body functions and cause diabetes.
Many infections and illnesses, if not treated on time can lead to diabetes. Viral or bacterial infections can also end up in diabetes.
Messed-up hormone levels in the body can affect glucose levels. This is a leading factor causing diabetes in dogs. Both physical and emotional reasons can change hormone production in the body.
Obesity is another major factor of diabetes in dogs. Certain breeds are more prone to become obese and diabetic. Especially toy breeds who spend more time in owner’s laps or cuddling on the couch (also read do huskies like to cuddle)
Dogs who live indoors have less chance to move around. If they get obese they have pretty much a chance to end up diabetic.
Another reason, your dog can become diabetic is malnutrition. Sometimes owners feed their puppies well but they don’t know that they are missing important nutrients in their diet.
Calculate Your Diabetic Dog’s Daily Diet
How to avoid diabetes in dogs?
It’s recommended to adopt prevention strategies for diabetes. This is in the best interest of your dog’s safety. You can follow these steps to make sure diabetes stays away from your dog.
Feed him a good diet
What is a good diet for dogs? Is it only homemade food? Well, you must feed your dog healthy food. Doesn’t matter if it’s homemade or commercial. Homemade food is always a better option but many owners give a mix of both. (Read our article is Freshpet food good for diabetic dog).
If you are giving commercial dog food to your dog, make sure the ingredients are well aligned to his nutritional needs. Also, check if your dog is allergic to any ingredient. Many allergies also when getting worse, can cause diabetes to your dog.
Read our articles
To know about some of the commercial dog foods available. Also, there are foods that you must avoid giving your dog.
- Food that has more carbs or sugar part must be avoided anyway.
- Give sugary treats once in a while. Too much sugar makes the dog obese. Increased sugar raise blood glucose level and cause cravings and hunger in dogs. (Read glucose level 500)
- Add food that is rich in protein and minerals.
- Include veggies and fiber in the dog’s diet.
We also advise adding supplements to your dog’s diet. This boosts the dog’s overall immunity to fight disease. Talk to your vet about supplement recommendations. (Read Nutra thrive for dog review).
Make a proper routine
Following a Routine can save your dog a lot of trouble. If your dog is in habit of eating, sleeping, and playing on time, he will stay fit. Also, irregularities in the normal routine can cause many problems like
- upset stomach (read dog diarrhea at night only)
- lack of sleep
- Less physical activities etc.
Your dog should get proper time to rest and sleep. Also following the proper eating timetable will improve overall gut and stomach health.
Keep your dog hydrated
Always keep your dog hydrated. Hydration has a strong connection with diabetes. Balance in fluids and electrolytes keeps the body strong. Dehydration makes the body weak and unable to resist or fight diseases.
Also, dehydration can cause infection in the kidneys, and kidney infections are directly related to the cause of diabetes.
Physical activities are vital. It doesn’t matter if your dog lives indoors or outdoors, you must set up a routine for physical exercise. (Read can huskies sleep outside in cold weather).
Take your dog for a minimum30 min walk daily. (The time depends on the dog’s breed and their need for physical exercise too).
Proper exercise will prevent your dog from getting obese. Obesity can cause other problems too like heart diseases and joint problems in dogs. In general, your dog should stay in shape.
Regular Vet visits
Always take your dog for a routine checkup. Many issues may seem harmless but your dog can end up getting diabetes. Regular checkups will help to keep tabs on your dog’s general health.
If your pup’s parents were diabetic, regular vet visits will be of great advantage. Also, regular checkups can rule out the possibility of genetic disorders.
Get your female dogs spayed
Dogs who are sexually more active are more at risk of getting diabetes. More than half the number of dogs that get diabetes are females. Why? Because
- Females dogs can get gestational diabetes when they are pregnant.
- Getting pregnant again and again also deteriorates the health of female dogs.
- Non-neutered dogs are more at risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases.
So it’s better to get your dogs spayed. (Also read swollen sacks after neutering and dog in pain after glands expressed)
Psychological health is as important as physical health. Stress has been noted as a major cause of diabetes. To ensure the good emotional health of your dog
- Give him unconditional love.
- Your dog must feel safe with you.
- Don’t leave your dog unattended for long periods.
- Train him well to get socialized. This also improves confidence in puppies.
- Don’t force him to leave when he doesn’t want to.
- Never punish your dog physically.
- Use positive reinforcements while training.
Take the initial symptoms seriously
Diabetes has a slow starting point from which it elevates faster. When you grab things from start, you can control the fate of your dog. The starting symptoms include
- excessive Thirst
- increased Urination (read diabetic dog peeing sticky urine everywhere)
- Restless ness at night (read diabetic dog restless at night)
These symptoms can easily get overlooked. So pay attention to even slight changes in your loving pup’s routine to diagnose early symptoms of diabetes in dogs.
Diabetes can deteriorate your dog’s health and it is tough to handle a diabetic dog. So it’s better to adopt prevention strategies to keep your dog safe from diabetes. As wise folks have already stated, “prevention is better than cure”.