Caring For A Diabetic Dog

Diabetes affects about one percent of our canine companions. The disease essentially works the same way in pets as it does in people. It affects the body’s ability to produce insulin, which is required for processing glucose (sugar) and turning it into energy. Most cases of canine diabetes are Type 1, in which the body doesn’t produce insulin. Here, an Anderson, IN vet discusses caring for a diabetic pooch.

Risk Factors

Any pooch can develop the disease, but it’s more common in older dogs. Obesity is another risk factor. Certain breeds also have elevated risks. These include the Dachshund, Mini Schnauzer, Keeshond, and Pomeranian, Labrador Retriever; Toy Poodles; and terrier breeds. Other things that may elevate the risk include illnesses, hormonal diseases, and use of steroids. Pregnant pups may also develop diabetes.

Warning Signs

While there are a range of warning signs that can be indicative of diabetes, there are a few key ones to watch for. Increased thirst and urination are both red flags. Other possible indicators include cloudy eyes, unexplained weight loss, chronic/recurring infections, sweet-smelling breath, dehydration, vomiting, loss of appetite, respiratory issues, and unusual behavior. Call your vet immediately if you see any of these things.


Once Fido has been diagnosed, the focus is going to be on keeping him stable and healthy. For many pooches, that means daily insulin injections. That may sound intimidating, but most people find that once they get the hang of it, this only takes a minute or two a day. Your vet will be able to discuss options after diagnosing your furry friend.


Diet is a crucial part of Fido’s care regimen. It’s important to keep things consistent. Feed your canine pal the same amounts of food at the same times every day. Your vet may recommend a high-fiber, low fat diet, or perhaps prescription food. Treats, of course, can throw your pup’s nutritional regime completely out of whack. Steel yourself against that sad stare!


Proper activity is also crucial. Exercise helps with insulin absorption. Plus, a good doggy workout regimen can help battle obesity. Again, consistency is key here. If you take your canine pal on short walks during the week, a vigorous weekend hike may be too much for him. Fido’s fitness regime will need to be tailored to his age, weight, health, and size. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Please contact us, your Anderson, IN animal clinic, for all of your dog’s care needs. We’re here to help!

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