Preventing Diabetes in Your Pooch
Like diabetes in the human population, canine diabetes is on the rise, with nearly an 80 percent increase in cases being reported in the last decade. This is a worrying statistic for dog owners who have the best intentions towards their pets, but the good news is that in the majority of cases, canine diabetes can be prevented, or in the cases where a diabetes diagnosis is inevitable, the symptoms can be managed so that they have a much less pronounced impact on your pooch.
Here are some simple things you can do to prevent or reduce the symptoms of diabetes in your pooch right now:
Book Regular Checkups
If you don’t take your dog to the vet’s office for regular health checkups, it might be a good idea to start. Having an annual checkup which includes blood tests will highlight the tell-tale signs that your dog is in danger of contracting diabetes so that you can implement some of the other suggestions in this post to stop the disease in its tracks.
Between checkups, if you notice that your dog is excessively thirsty, urinating a lot more often or generally behaving out of character, take him or her to the vet’s office to be assessed immediately.
Have Your Dog Spayed
If your dog is a female, having her spayed will reduce her odds of contracting canine diabetes because, when a dog gives birth or goes through a heat cycle, there is an increase in her progesterone levels, which could lead to diabetes.
Anyway, having a dog spayed is a good idea generally because it can cut the risk of various other illnesses, including Uterine infections, and pyometra, amongst other things. It will. Of course, also prevent any unwanted pregnancies, which might otherwise arise if your dog is left intact.
Ensure Your Dog is Active
Exercise is a great way to prevent human diabetes, and it’s the same for dogs, so ensure that you’re walking your dogs for at least an hour twice a day if your dog is young and energetic, and for as long as your dog can manage if it’s older. If you can’t manage that, visit this site to find a dog walker in your area who can help you out, and make an effort to play more active games, like tug of war with your dog. Burning off as many calories as he can will help to keep your dog fit and it’ll do the same for you too!
Feed Him Quality Food
When it comes to feeding your dog, you should aim to give him the highest quality food you can afford to keep him healthy. Ideally, you should feed him a diet that is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates it helps keep his blood sugar stable. You don’t need to spend a fortune, but read the labels and try to choose food that’s not packed with unhealthy fillers if you possibly can.
A lot of owners use food to show their dogs affection and reward them for good behaviour. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but you must be careful not to overfeed them in any way. So, read the serving size on their regular food and stick to it, and when it comes to buying treats, choose low-calories options like the ones at this site. Also, try to switch between food rewards and other treats like a favourite toy or game to ensure you aren’t overstuffing your pooch.
If you really want to get serious about cleaning up your dog’s diet to prevent diabetes, you might consider going grain free. The jury is still out as to whether it’s a good idea, so you should always consult your vet first, but a lot of pet owners are finding that their dogs do better on grain free food that doesn’t spike the blood sugar or cause dogs to overeat when they’re allowed to. Removing corn and corn syrup from your dog’s diet, in particular, could be one of the best things you do to stop him from getting overweight or contracting diabetes, as it really is one of the worst things where blood sugar is concerned.
Don’t Share Your Food
It’s tempting to allow your beloved pooch to share some of your Sunday brunches with you or finish off your leftovers, but it isn’t really a good idea to let them do this, especially if what you’re eating is refined carbs like bagels, toast, and sweets. Giving him a few scraps of meat from time to time will probably be fine, as will the occasional fruit or vegetable treat, but anything else is likely to spike the blood sugar and increase his chances of being diagnosed with diabetes in the future.
Sprinkle Some Cinnamon
Various studies have shown that taking just half a teaspoon of cinnamon each day can help to keep blood sugar on an even keel and help the body to better regulate insulin. Cinnamon is perfectly safe for dog consumption in small quantities, so why not sprinkle a little on your pooch’s food each day?
Fill Up on Fruits and Vegetables
If your dog is used to getting lots of treats, replacing them with fruits and vegetables is a good way to keep them happy and get some good sugars, which won’t lead to diabetes, into the body. If your dog is fed on dry kibble, mixing in some lightly cooked veggies will help to boost their nutrient intake too. Just make sure that you check out this site, which lists the foods that could be harmful to dogs before feeding them anything new. It’s not worth the risk to do otherwise.
Before you make any changes to your dog’s diet or lifestyle, it’s important that you consult with your vet, who will be able to point out any potential problems with any changes you’re interested in making. Usually, there won’t be a problem with doing any of the above, and your vet will be happy to see you taking the initiative to increase your dog’s activity and clean up his diet, but it’s important to check nonetheless.