If your dog is diagnosed as diabetic, you will need to undertake something of a steep learning curve to get a better understanding of the condition, how it works, and what your dog needs from you in order to keep their blood: glucose balance in order and maintain their health.
When your dog is first diagnosed, they will probably need to visit the vet several times for testing and monitoring in order to enable your vet to develop an appropriate care program for them, which will almost certainly involve dietary changes and potentially, insulin injections too.
During this time you’ll probably spend a lot of time at the clinic yourself, getting to grips with what is needed and learning to inject your dog with insulin if required, and finding out how to monitor and manage their condition.
Caring for a diabetic dog is an ongoing process that needs a lot of input from your vet, and this is the person you should turn to if you have any question or concerns, or if things change. This is the case even after your new routine is established and your dog’s condition is brought under control, as diabetes is a condition that can change over time, much as your dog can too.
However, as the owner of a dog with diabetes, there are a few things that you can do to help to ensure that your dog lives a long, healthy life and doesn’t suffer from unnecessary complications as a result of their condition.
In this article we will share tips on five things that can help to ensure that your diabetic dog lives a long and healthy life. Read on to learn more.
First up, you will probably spend a lot of time with your vet during the first few weeks after your dog’s initial diagnosis, but diabetic care is an ongoing, lifelong process and the chances are that at some point, your dog’s needs and so, the way that you care for them will need to change and adapt.
Different exercise levels, feeding patterns, lifestyle changes, weight changes and the simple effects of aging all influence the management and care a diabetic dog needs, as of course do other things like unrelated health conditions and even your dog’s general temperament.
Schedule in six-monthly check ups for your diabetic dog as standard, and don’t be afraid to arrange interim appointments with your vet in between these if this is warranted.
Diabetes can increase the risk factors for your dog to develop various other health conditions too, which can affect them in a variety of different ways. Talk to your vet about some of the most common complications of diabetes in dogs, and learn about the best steps that you can take to prevent them from occurring and to protect your dog’s health for the long term.
By learning more about the secondary complications diabetes can cause, you stand a much better chance of not only preventing them, but of recognising the warning signs early on in their progression so that you have the best chance of resolving them successfully.
If your dog is insulin dependent, the responsibility of administering their injections can feel like a heavy one, although this is actually fairly simple and routine once you get used to it.
You also need to bear in mind that insulin for dogs needs to be properly stored and handled in order to keep it in perfect condition, and that insulin is almost always stored in the fridge.
However, you might need to bring your dog’s insulin up to room temperature before you inject them with it, which is best performed about half an hour beforehand. Talk to your vet about how to store and handle insulin, and what to do if something goes wrong.
Your dog’s diet and their weight are inextricably linked to their condition and its medication, and what and how much you feed your dog dictates how much insulin they need, and when.
Keeping a diabetic dog at a healthy weight is vital in order to keep their condition under control and ensure that their general health remains sound, and this is something you should work on with your vet if your diabetic dog is already a little podgy!
If something seems to be amiss with your dog or something changes, the “wait and see” approach is sometimes appropriate, but this is not really the case with a diabetic dog. If you think that something doesn’t seem quite right, if your dog’s lifestyle, weight or exercise changes or if you have any concerns about your dog’s condition, don’t hesitate to speak to your vet.
This can once more help you to ensure that your dog remains healthy for the long term and lives a normal lifespan, despite their diabetes.