Are you causing your dog to be unhealthy?
Do you feed your dog human food? You might be thinking you're giving them a treat, but a recent study has said you might be doing a lot more harm than good.
A study of 9,000 pets by UK pet insurer Animal Friends found that dogs have shown an 850% increase in diabetes diagnosis since 2011. One of the main reasons for this rise in diabetes was weight gain and that was caused, in part, by owners feeding their pets human food.
Signs of canine diabetes
One of the first steps to knowing whether or not your dog has diabetes is to recognize the clues that might signal a trip to the vet. Pet Diabetes Month lists the following symptoms of diabetes in dogs:
Drinks more water than usual
Urinates more frequently, produces more urine per day or has accidents in the house
Always acts hungry, but maintains or loses weight
Has cloudy eyes
If your dog starts displaying any of these symptoms, give your vet a call and have fido checked out to rule out diabetes or another condition that could be affecting their health.
Treatment of diabetes
If your vet does diagnose your dog with diabetes, it's important that you follow their instructions for how to treat your dog. According to The Bark treatment of diabetes is as much an art as it is a science.
Just as in humans, the key is to keep blood glucose levels close to normal. It will help your dog to feel good and to be less likely to develop diabetes-related problems in the future. The article goes on to say "the most common diabetic complication in dogs in cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eyes); over time, dogs may also develop hardening of the arteries, kidney disease, retina disease or nerve disease. And because bacteria thrive on a high-sugar diet, dogs with diabetes are prone to gum, urinary, skin and other infections."
Dogs with diabetes will most likely need to be treated with insulin either once or twice a day to help treat their condition. Your vet will be able to tell you how much and when to administer the dosage to your dog.
Another important factor in treating your dog is to test their blood glucose levels regularly at home. This can reveal problems before they are apparent in other ways. Testing blood glucose can also let you know if the treatment plan you're currently using is working or if your vet should recommend another course of action.
Of course an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make sure you know and understand what's in your dog's food, give them regular exercise and have them visit a vet regularly to diagnose potential problems before they are too late.
Does your dog have diabetes? What do you do to treat them? How did you first find out? Share your stories in the comments below.