How to tell if your dog has diabetes

How to tell if your dog has diabetes

Diabetes is becoming more prevalent everywhere

Diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent in our modern society, not only amongst humans but with our pets as well. There are tell-tale signs to look out for on how to tell if your dog has diabetes. Like anything if you see any of the warning signs take action early you will give your dog a much better chance of living a long and happy life or even beating diabetes.

The most common form of diabetesHow to tell if your dog has diabetes

The most common form of the disease in dogs is type 1 diabetes, which means they are dependent on insulin. Which means you will have to inject your dog with insulin daily. It also means that your dog will require a lot more love and care from you the owner.

Why dogs become diabetic

The cause of diabetes in dogs as it is for humans, is unknown. One of the major causes is obesity. It can occur more often in older dogs. Unhealthy or inactive lifestyles is also a reason. A kibble only diet increases the risk of developing diabetes that is because kibble is very high in carbohydrates, which the body converts to sugar for energy. Feed your dog a predominantly protein based diet. They will prefer that anyway.

How to tell if your dog has diabetes

  • Increased urination and thirst – this can be an easy one to miss but watch for an insatiable thirst especially as your dog gets older.
  • Increased and unexplained weight loss. This happens as the cells in your animal are being squeezed as the body cannot burn off excess sugar in the body – it gives the appearance of severe weight loss.
  • Increased appetite – this is because your dog is not getting the vital nutrients in his food. He or she will feel the need to eat more and more.
  • Lethargy – unexplained lack of interest in normal activities eg going for walks etc.
  • A sweet smelling or fruity breath. This maybe hard to detect.
  • Eye problems – dogs can develop diabetic cataracts and can go blind after developing diabetes.
  • Urinary tract infections – the sugar in your dog’s bladder can make it very susceptible to infections

If your dog shows any or all of these signs you need to get to the vet straight away

Conclusion

I am not going to lie, looking after a diabetic dog will be tough. It will require blood sugar monitoring, injecting insulin and keeping an eagle eye on his or her behaviour including its diet and exercise. But if you truly love your dog you will be happy to do this. See my article of the best diabetic dog food brands if your dog does get diabetes.

If you have a diabetic animal or would like more information please contact me below.

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12 Comments

  1. Amanda

    I wasn’t aware that dogs could get diabetes. It’s the owners responsibility to make sure their pet is getting enough exercise and a good healthy diet.
    Prevention is the key with this.
    I think a lot of people treat their pets like humans and even feed them a similar diet to themselves. Hopefully, this article will make more pet owners aware.

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      I think that you are right Amanda. Some owners are very irresponsible with their poor doggies. Dogs are not humans and there are some human foods which can be very harmful to dogs.

      Reply
  2. Tammy

    I never knew dogs could get diabetes. I have seen dogs that are older get really skinny and just lay around. I never thought about it being diabetes though. It hard to find a dog food that is healthy and affordable. I have Great Pyrenees dogs and it high to feed them plus the flea pill and heart pill. I spend like 200 a month to just feed and give regular medicine. I love them though and they protect they livestock and the house. I will be watching for the signs of diabetes though. Great post!

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Tammy. You sound like a responsible, loving dog owner there. It is not common for dogs to become diabetic but owners should be vigilant. I have a post on diabetic dog food brands you maybe interested in. Thanks for stopping by! http://healthybloodsugars.com/managing-blood-sugar-levels/diabetic-dog-food-brands-whats-best

      Reply
  3. wunderkindonsulting

    I wasn’t aware that dogs could have diabetes either. This article was definitely informative. The tips on warnings signs to look for, as well as the honesty that you offered in indicating that it will take a great deal of effort to care for a dog with diabetes was especially poignant. Thanks so much for sharing this insight.

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      No problem at all :o) I’m happy to spread awareness.

      Reply
  4. Anna

    Hi Ben,

    I didn’t think about animals getting diabetes (although it makes sense that they would), so spreading awareness about it is a wonderful thing!

    It’s so important as pet owners to watch out for signs of illness because they can’t tell you if something is wrong.

    We need to ensure that they live long, healthy lives so we must take good care of them! Sure, looking after a diabetic dog is a lot of work, but we should look after our pets just as we would our children (they’re just as precious)!

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Very good point Anna. I think that for the most part people do look after their pets like they do their children. Having a diabetic dog or cat would be tough work, but with lots of love it would be possible for them to lead normal, healthy, happy lives.

      Reply
  5. Chris

    My dog eats dog food made with kibble and bits manufactured by Blue Buffalo, but how much kibble content can cause diabetes in my dog? I am kinda worried. I don’t know if I have to change brands. Anyway, I just worry too much because I love that little puppy. At what age did your dog get diabetes and what’s the breed?

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Chris. I have never owned a diabetic dog. I am a diabetic and I know a friend who had a dog with diabetes. Due to their high content of carbs kibble is not ideal but it would not be the decisive or only factor if your dog did get diabetes. I made a blog I made on diabetic dog food brands http://healthybloodsugars.com/managing-blood-sugar-levels/diabetic-dog-food-brands-whats-best

      Reply
  6. jena1

    I never even considered the possibility of my dog having diabetes. I just imagine her perfectly healthy and happy unless I take her to the vet. But that isn’t too often. My dog has started urinating more often, but I figured she is swimming more and maybe drinking a little extra. Now, I will be looking out for these symptoms. It would be a lot of extra work to take care of her, but she is my best friend so it would be worth it! Thanks for the information!

    Reply
    1. Ben (Post author)

      Not many people are aware that dogs or cats for that matter can be diabetic, Jena1. Yes continue to monitor your dog’s behaviour. You are most likely right, she is probably taking in more water while she is swimming. Just keep the other symptoms in mind and remember to take your dog to the vet ASAP is she shows more symptoms. The quicker you take action the more chance you are of ensuring your best friend lives a healthy, happy life. Thanks for reading.

      Reply

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