6 Must-Dos to Protect Your Dog from Diabetes
Can We Prevent Diabetes?
Every year, more and more dogs are developing diabetes. As a matter of fact, according to Banfield Pet Hospital’s State of Pet Health 2016 Report, the prevalence of Canine Diabetes has increased by 80% since 2006!
And the worst thing is that, aside from being incurable, the condition is basically impossible to prevent. It can develop spontaneously no matter what pet parents do.
However, if you’re serious about protecting your canine companion from diabetes, which we know that you are, doing the following things can greatly reduce their chances of developing it:
Check the Contents of Your Dog’s Food
An ideal diet for dogs is one that contains a lot of meat-based protein, and moderate amounts of fat and carbohydrates. When choosing dog food, steer clear of those that use fillers, like corn, white flour, wheat, and soy, which are often linked to the development of diabetes in pets.
Oftentimes, these ingredients are found in dry dog food or kibble. For treats, it’s best to avoid those that list sugars and sweeteners, like syrup, molasses, fructose, and maltose, on the ingredients label.
Manufacturers list ingredients according to how much of it is in the product, so if chicken meat is the first thing on the label, then it makes up the majority of the dog food. This a good thing since that means it’s high in meat-based protein. Dog food brands that have the label “Complete and Balanced Nutrition” or “Grain/Gluten-Free” are also good options.
Incorporate Fruits and Vegetables to Your Dog’s Diet
While some fruits and vegetables are harmful to our canine friends, a number of them are quite beneficial. In fact, since they’re low in carbohydrates and fat but high in vitamins and nutrients, many veterinarians recommend them as an alternative to commercial pet treats.
For fruits, the best ones to include in your dog’s diet include apples, cucumbers, cantaloupes, cranberries, blueberries, and bananas. As for veggies, broccoli, sweet potatoes, green peas, and cauliflower are the safest, most nutritious options.
However, avoid giving your dog raisins, grapes, tomatoes, asparagus, and mushrooms, since they’re known to have negative effects on pets. Like with any other food, give your furry friend fruits and vegetables in moderation. If they have a medical condition or are taking medications for something, please consult your veterinarian first.
One type of diabetes in dogs, namely, type II diabetes, is known to develop as a result of excessive carb intake and obesity. That’s why it’s very important for pet parents to resist overfeeding their dogs.
Depending on your dog’s size and daily activities, stick to providing two to three full meals a day and provide treats in moderation—treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your dog’s diet.
In addition, if your pet scarfs everything down in mere seconds only to ask you for a bowl refill afterward, then consider using a slow feeder. It can help slow down their eating pace and prevent unnecessary weight gain, as well as scarf-and-barf incidents. Check out the most top-rated slow feeders we’ve found here!
Make Sure Your Dog Gets Enough Daily Exercise
Of course, when it comes to healthy living, diet and exercise go hand in hand. On top of following the recommended daily calorie intake for your pooch, don’t forget to keep them physically (and mentally) active!
Every day, set aside some time to engage them in some sort of physical activity, like a 30-minute stroll around the neighborhood or some fun in the dog park. Doing so will not only keep your dog in shape and prevent diabetes but also help curb behavioral issues brought about by excess energy. To make daily exercise more fun for both you and your pooch, we highly recommend incorporating these interactive dog toys to your current routine!
Get Intact Female Dogs Spayed
Every time intact female dogs go into heat, as well as after they give birth, their progesterone (pregnancy hormone) levels increase. Since progesterone causes blood sugar levels to spike, this makes them more prone to developing diabetes. In unspayed female dogs that have diabetes, the hormone also makes the body less responsive to insulin, which causes insulin therapy to become less effective.
Visit the Vet Regularly
When it comes to disease prevention, we can never forget about regular vet visits. To make sure that your canine companion is in good condition and doesn’t have any developing illnesses, it’s important to take them to the vet for a complete physical examination at least once or twice a year.
However, it’s also crucial to be observant and note any changes in your dog’s appearance and behavior. If you notice anything suspicious, contact your vet immediately. That way your dog can receive medical attention or treatment right away if needed.