pets and diabetes

Dog eating food

Diabetes is a serious medical condition in dogs and cats

Diabetes is caused when a pet’s body cannot produce, or properly use, enough insulin to manage their blood sugar levels, leading to kidney and liver damage. If left untreated, diabetes can be fatal. The good news? Diabetes can often be managed, and many diabetic cats and dogs live happy and full lives. Talk to your veterinary team if you spot any of the symptoms below. They can recommend treatment and care for your BFF so you can live your best lives together. 

Make an appointment

Like people, many diabetic cats and dogs need regular insulin injections to help them process their excess glucose.

signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of diabetes in pets

Pet diabetes is on the rise, and often linked to pet obesity. About 1 in every 300 dogs, and 1 in every 100 cats, are diagnosed with the disease in their lifetimes — so it’s worth knowing what to look for so you can help your pet. 


Early signs include: 

  • Urinating frequently 
  • Constant thirst and drinking water  
  • Ravenous or decreased appetite with weight loss, especially in cats 
dealing with diabetes

Dealing with pet diabetes

The best way to deal with your diabetic pet is to have a consistent routine with diet, exercise, and treatment. Your veterinary team can advise about your specific pet, but here are the basics.


Establish a routine

Feed your pet the exact recommended amount of food at the same time every day.


Watch their water intake

Always makes sure your pet has clean water. Their constant thirst should ease a bit once they start treatment, but if it starts up again, it’s a good sign that it’s time to talk to the vet about more effective treatment.


Sweat with your pet

Whether it’s feather toy playtime with your cat or a walk with your dog, exercise them regularly so they can maintain a healthy weight.


Inquire about injection

For pets diagnosed with this disease, a consistent injection/meal routine is extremely important. Make sure to feed your pet and give them their meds at the same time every day – this helps stabilize their system and prevent crazy blood sugar fluctuations.


Track treatment

Keep a record of your pet’s meals and injections to avoid accidental insulin overdose. And if a friend or family member is caring for your BFF, make sure they know what to do and where you keep the record.

Cat playing with flower

Weight loss can help prevent diabetes.

Chubby pets are more prone to diabetes. Ask your vet if your pet’s weight is a concern, and what you can do to help with diet and exercise. The right food serving sizes and nutrition can really make a difference in your pet’s wellbeing — inside and out.

See more about healthy weights


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