Finding out your furry best friend has diabetes can be a hard thing to accept. Much like in humans, diabetes mellitus in pets means their bodies are unable to produce insulin and will require more care than your average animal companion. How to care for a diabetic pet is something your vet can certainly help you with!
It can be overwhelming to understand the terms and procedures to properly look after your pup or kitty, it’s certainly not impossible. In the spirit of Pet Diabetes Awareness Month, here are a few tips to make you feel more capable of caring for your fur baby who has been diagnosed with having diabetes:
Give Your Pet Enough Exercise
Keeping your pooch or kitty healthy means increasing the amount of physical activity they get. That said, you can’t go wrong with taking your fur baby out for a daily walk. Depending on their age and weight, you can vary the length and intensity of the walk to meet their unique needs.
To ensure their safety, make sure to get a harness that fits them properly. This will prevent them from running off. As for how often to do this, you can either take your pet out for one long walk or several short walks as part of their everyday exercise regimen.
Change Their Diet
In addition to giving your fur baby ample physical activity, you need to switch them to a specific diet to manage their diabetes. Dog owners will want to switch their pups to a high-fiber and low-carb diet, while cat owners will have to swap out their kitties’ meals with high-protein and low-carb options. Your pet’s weight will also affect the kind of diet they’ll need, including what treats you can give them from now on.
Your veterinarian is your best source for what to feed your diabetic pet.
Follow A Strict Feeding Schedule
It’s easier to keep an eye on what your animal companion eats when you feed them at specific times. You can also get a timed feeder to make sure your pet sticks to his eating schedule even if you’re away or too busy to feed them yourself.
Learn How To Correctly Administer Insulin
Most diabetic cats and dogs will require regular insulin injections as a way to manage glucose levels. Make it a point to learn how to correctly administer insulin shots to avoid harming your pet and to ensure the treatment is effective. Your vet is your best resource for learning how to administer insulin.
Work closely with your veterinarian so they can inform you if your furry friend’s doses need to be adjusted.
Observe Your Pet
You need to carefully monitor your pet’s habits and behavior, as any slight changes in their demeanor may indicate a serious health problem. Since your pup or cat can’t tell you if anything’s wrong, watch out for changes in weight and frequency of urination.
Also, keep an eye out for any sudden accidents (if housebroken) as well as any issues they may have with maintaining balance. These may be signs your animal companion is becoming more hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic. Should your fur baby experience any vomiting or diarrhea, make sure to bring them to the vet right away.
Keep Your Vet in the Loop
As mentioned, having a close relationship with your veterinarian is part of proper diabetic care and management for your furry friend. By keeping your vet clued into your pet’s state of health, they can provide you with the best advice to ensure that they’re getting optimal care and treatment.
Dogs and cats who are carefully monitored often have a better quality of life, as their condition is better understood by both their owners and veterinarians.
While caring for a diabetic pet may require a lot of work, giving them a comfortable life is worth the effort. By practicing the right home care and working closely with your vet, you can give your beloved furry companion a long and happy life.