Did you know that pets can have diabetes just like their human counterparts? It’s true! November is recognized as Pet Diabetes Month to help raise awareness around the growing number of pets that develop diabetes and how they can be cared for. Both cats and dogs can develop diabetes just like people. And once they develop it, unfortunately, it’s not something that can be cured. The good news is that, also like us, they can live long and happy lives with proper care and maintenance.
First and foremost, it’s best to try and avoid the condition if at all possible. Here are a few ways that will help keep your pet at their healthiest, which can help prevent diabetes as well as other potential illnesses:
- Keep your pet at a healthy body weight; this is the most effective way to prevent diabetes. Your vet can tell you what this weight should be for your specific pet.
- Keep your pet active: Regular activity maintains a healthy weight and keeps blood sugar level where they should be.
- Have your female pet spayed: Significant fluctuations in hormones can play a part in triggering diabetes. If your female pet has been spayed, they are less likely to have these hormonal issues.
If you are concerned that your pet may be in the early stages of diabetes, there are some signs to look out for. However, these are also the signs of many other illnesses, so it may feel confusing – we get it. Anytime your pet isn’t at their best, consult with your vet to ensure every option is pursued:
- Increased lethargy
- Extreme thirst
- Increased urination
- Sudden change in appetite
- Depressed attitude
In the event your pet is diagnosed with diabetes, it truly isn’t the end of the world. Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, there are plenty of options for helping your pet maintain healthy blood sugar levels despite their condition. By partnering with your vet, you can create a strategy that includes medication, a healthy eating plan and activities to keep your pet physically fit so they can stay a happy member of your family for years to come.