Diabetes is a serious condition that can be challenging to manage in dogs. But with proper care, you can help your dog live as happy and healthy a life as possible. Here are some tips to help keep your pup healthy.
Dogs with diabetes, like people with diabetes, must be monitored and controlled to maintain good health. Dogs with diabetes can live a long and healthy life by taking good care of their condition and ensuring you give timely diabetic pet medications. To prevent complications and ensure that your dog stays healthy, follow these steps when caring for your canine companion:
1. Give Them Insulin
The most important part of diabetes care is giving insulin dog injections to your pet. The proper way to give an injection is by slowly pressing the syringe plunger down and injecting the liquid into a muscle. You can also inject it under the skin, but this method usually results in more soreness and swelling at the injection site than intramuscular injections.
After administering insulin for dog shots, you should test their blood sugar levels 30 minutes later using a glucometer to tell you if they have low blood sugar or high blood sugar symptoms. If blood sugar levels lower drastically, immediately get them something sugary like peanut butter or honey to raise their blood sugar levels quickly before any permanent damage occurs.
2. Feed Them on Time
Feeding your dog a proper diet on time and avoiding overfeeding is essential to taking care of your dog as they manage its diabetes. You should feed them at the same times each day so they can better manage their blood sugar levels.
Don't give too much food: it can lead to weight gain, increasing insulin resistance and making it harder for your dog to manage their condition.
Don't give too little food: it will make it difficult for them to maintain a healthy weight and could cause other health problems like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or ketoacidosis (high blood sugar).
Avoid feeding lots of carbohydrates and sugars: these can result in high blood glucose levels, which can be dangerous for dogs with diabetes.
Avoid feeding lots of fats: these should be limited as they are more likely than carbohydrates and protein sources, like meat or dairy products, to cause weight gain if consumed excessively by diabetic dogs.
Prefer Vet-recommended diets: many food options are available for dogs with diabetes. But do not feed any prescription or balanced science diet that your Veterinarian does not recommend. Hill's Prescription Diet Glucose Management diet is one option that Vets usually recommend. However, some canned dog foods are also effective when feeding diabetic dogs. One such example is the Royal Canin Veterinary Glycobalance Loaf Dog Food.
3. What They Eat
The third tip for taking care of your dog with diabetes is ensuring they are eating the right foods.
Dogs should eat a high-protein, low-carb diet. A good rule of thumb is that meat should be the first ingredient on the food's label, followed by whole grains (such as rice or oats). In addition to these healthy ingredients, dog food may contain vegetables and fruits such as carrots and blueberries. Regarding treats, you should stick with small pieces of meat or cheese rather than table scraps because they can cause weight gain in dogs if given too much at once. Some good quality and high-protein dog food include Royal Canin hydrolyzed protein dog food, Purina Pro Plan High Protein dog food, etc.
Dogs also shouldn't be fed fatty foods since this can lead to weight gain, too. Dogs don't need salt either; any extra salt in dry food will be enough for them, so don't overdo it when giving them treats. And finally, don't give him too much caffeine.
4. Avoid Excessive Sugar
It is important to keep your dog away from sugar. Sugar can cause weight gain and diabetes, which are bad for dogs. Sugars are found in many foods humans eat, such as candy, cookies, cake, ice cream, and other treats you may share with your pet. Even some dog treats contain added sugars or sweeteners.
5. Give Them Regular Exercise
It's important to keep your dog active and not let them get overweight. Dogs with diabetes will have a higher risk of developing heart disease and other health problems if they are overweight, so keeping their waistlines in check is especially important.
A daily walk or even just a game of fetch on the lawn helps keep the blood sugar levels stable and the weight of their bodies. Ensure you put your dog on a retractable dog leash and take them out for a daily walk. Exercise also keeps their spirits high and provides mental stimulation, which is very important for dogs with diabetes. Exercise also strengthens muscles and bones, which helps prevent arthritis later in life when they're older.
6. Schedule a Weight Loss Plan
You may have heard that you should schedule weight loss for your dog with diabetes. It's true! But what does that mean?
If your pet is overweight, the glycogen stores in their liver will be low, and they will need to eat more food than usual to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. On the other hand, if the glucose levels are too high, the excess glucose can be stored as fat cells by the body instead of going into muscle tissue, which could be utilized for energy.
When an animal is obese, there are many health risks associated with this condition. These include an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer due to higher insulin levels. The good news is that regular exercise can help reduce these risks significantly. In addition to eating well-balanced meals, plan on giving your dog some daily time outside walking briskly or playing fetch so they get some physical activity every day. Interactive dog toys can also be a good option to keep your dog involved in games and burn some calories.
7. Grooming Sessions
Regular grooming sessions can help keep your dog's skin and coat healthy and allow you to bond with them. Grooming sessions are also useful in keeping your pet calm and occupied during the day when they may otherwise be destructive or anxious. Longer-haired breeds will need more frequent grooming than shorter-haired breeds, but all dogs should have their nails clipped using dog nail clippers to prevent them from damaging.
8. Have Your Canine Friend Checked by the Vet
To monitor your dog's blood glucose levels and ensure they are within a normal range, it's important to visit your Vet regularly. At each visit, the Vet will check your dog's blood glucose level and determine whether a change in medication is necessary. Your Vet may also take other samples of your dog's blood for additional tests, such as thyroid hormone levels. If any health problems are discovered, catching and treating them early can save you money in the long run. Additionally, because diabetes is so common among dogs, many vets have experience with how best to care for these pets, thus can offer valuable insight into managing their condition successfully.
9. Regular Blood Glucose Testing
You'll want to regularly test your dog's blood sugar before breakfast and dinner. Remember that the glucose tolerance test you got at the Vet's office isn't reliable for how often you should be testing. Instead, ask your Veterinarian what her recommendation is for your particular dog.
If your dog's blood sugar level has dropped too low (hypoglycemia), she will likely become lethargic and weak. In severe cases, she may lose consciousness or have seizures; if this happens, contact your Veterinarian immediately. If it seems like hypoglycemia is imminent or already occurring, you can give her some honey as an emergency treatment for mild symptoms.
You should also watch out for high glucose levels in the bloodstream (hyperglycemia). It can cause dehydration, nausea, and vomiting and, if left untreated, could lead to diabetic shock/coma. To avoid these conditions and keep them under control:
10. Keep Their Stress Levels Low and Their Spirits High
Keeping a dog with diabetes mellitus stress-free is essential. If you have ever had a dog with diabetes, you would be aware that they are prone to stress and anxiety. They need to feel safe and loved at all times. The best way to do this is by keeping them in an environment where they can feel calm and happy.
Dogs with Diabetes Need Good Care
Just like humans, dogs with diabetes need constant care, but it's not as hard as it sounds.
Your dog will need to eat on time, and he'll need regular exercise. It will help keep his blood glucose levels down by burning off the extra sugar in his blood and muscles, so it doesn't build up in other areas of his body. He'll also need to check his blood glucose levels regularly, which can be done at your Vet's office or at home using a kit. Finally, grooming is important because any sores or infections on your pup's skin could cause high blood sugar levels if left untreated.
It can be a little overwhelming for first-time pet owners, but we hope these tips will help make your life with diabetes easier. Remember to take it one day at a time, and always check in with your VetVet if you have any questions or concerns.