Diabetes in Dogs: Caring for Diabetic Dogs

Diabetes in dogs is manageable. However, it requires pet parents to be steadfast in their care and concern. While caring for diabetic dogs, it is important that you follow the set diet and exercise routines for your pet as strictly as possible to avoid any spike or sharp fall in his blood sugar level. 

Diabetes in dogs can be broadly categorized into two types. 

  • Type 1 or insulin-deficiency diabetes, when dog’s pancreas is unable to produce adequate insulin. 
  • Type 2 or insulin resistance diabetes, when your dog’s body fails to utilize the insulin. 

Insulin plays an important role in processing the glucose in the body and turning it into fuel or energy.Both types of diabetes hinder the body from efficiently processing glucose. This causes the affected dog’s blood sugar levels to spike. While the body turns weak due to lack of energy, the high glucose level in the body can lead to severe health complications. 

All dogs can develop diabetes. However, it seems to be more prevalent in Dachshunds, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers. 

Symptoms of diabetes in dogs include increased thirst, weight loss, increased hunger,and frequent peeing.  

There is no cure for diabetes in dogs. But it can be managed. These tips on caring for diabetic dogs can help you manage the condition in your pet. 

A Good Diet Plan Key to Caring for Diabetic Dogs 

When caring for a diabetic dog, you should strive to keep his blood sugar levels as close to normal (80-120 mg/dl) as possible. To do this,it is important to have a good diet plan for your dog. The ideal diet to counter diabetes in dogs should be low in fat and high in fiber.  

Ensure your diabetic dog drinks plenty of water when he eats a high-fiber diet. Fiber absorbs water from the body and this may result in constipation.There are also “prescription dog foods” specifically made for diabetic dogs. You need to be careful when selecting soft or wet dog food, as many of them contain a high amount of sugar and preservatives. 

You should feed your diabetic dog the same type of food every day to keep his glucose level stable. Changes in the type of food may cause the blood sugar level to spike or fall suddenly. If you wish to give your diabetic dog home-cooked meals or change his usual food, you should consult your vet beforehand. 

Feed Your Diabetic Dog at the Same Time Every Day 

When caring for diabetic dogs, it is very important to set feeding schedules for them and strictly adhere to it. The most recommended mealtime frequency should be roughly around 12 hours.If you want to give your diabetic dog some snacks, give him a limited amount of low-calorie treats. However, it is still best to consult your vet to know which treats work good for your pet. 

Handle and Administer Insulin Properly 

When caring for diabetic dogs, it is important to pay attention to the schedule and amount of insulin administered.Ideally, you should give your diabetic dog insulin shots 30 minutes before his meal. But this can result in a bigger problem if your dog refuses to eat after taking insulin. This can potentially cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop dangerously. When this happens, your dog may lose consciousness, suffer from seizures, and even die. For this reason, most veterinarians recommend giving the insulin shot once the dog finishes eating his meal.

Things do not always go according to your plan. It is likely that you may miss giving your dog his meals or insulin shots by a few minutes to an hour. In such cases, make sure he has ample gap between two meals or two insulin shots.  

Do not give your dog another shot of insulin even if you are not able to give him the first shot properly. It is better for your diabetic dog to miss a shot than receive a double dose of insulin. 

It is also important to store your dog’s insulin properly. Insulin is sensitive and it is important to avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, excessive movements, and extreme temperatures. Keep the insulin in the refrigerator It is also ideal to keep insulin in an ice box when traveling or after buying it from a store. 

Exercise Your Diabetic Dog Regularly 

Exercise is the key to manage diabetes in dogs. The main objective of your plan when caring for diabetic dogs is to keep their blood sugars at healthylevels. This also helps prevent complications ofdiabeteswhileimproving your dog’s blood flowand the insulin absorption.  

Different breeds require different exercise durations. This means that exercises that are too long or too short can spell more trouble for diabetic dogs. Over-exercising your diabetic dog can causehis blood sugar to dropdramatically. It has the potential to deprive the brain the energy required to function properly and cause the loss of consciousness. Plan your dog’s most suitable exercise regimen in consultation with your vet. 

It is important to follow strict schedules when caring for diabetic dogs. This does not only apply to meal times and insulin shots, but also to his daily exercise routine. 

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