Canine Diabetes -- Is Your Dog At Risk?

Middle-aged female dogs have the highest risk of developing canine diabetes.
Middle-aged female dogs have the highest risk of developing canine diabetes.

Let's face it, the thought of your pet ever developing canine diabetes is probably pretty far from your mind right now. But you should know that diabetes in dogs is becoming more and more common.

Serious complications include cataracts and blindness, infections, kidney damage, and ketoacidosis, which can be fatal. Do you know if your pet is at risk for becoming a canine diabetic?

1. Is Your Dog Overweight?

The single biggest risk factor for a diabetic pet is being overweight. Obesity in our pets is a major problem. We're feeding them too much of the wrong kinds of foods. Are you aware that most dry dog food is very high in carbohydrates? Too many carbs not only causes weight gain, but it can lead to insulin resistance. This often progresses to diabetes in canines.

Switch your companion over to a high-quality canned food that's low in fat and high in fiber. Cut out the treats and table scraps.

Exercise is essential, too. Show your love for your pet with a vigorous game of frisbee, not by overfeeding her. A walk morning and evening will go a long way towards regulating her blood sugar naturally. She'll love the attention, and the exercise will soon have her fit and trim again, which will add years to her life.  

2. Some Breeds Are More Likely To Develop Canine Diabetes

Any canine of any breed can develop this disease, but certain breeds have a genetic predisposition for it:

  • Golden retrievers
  • Keeshonds
  • German shepherds
  • Poodles
  • Miniature pinchers
  • Schnauzers
  • Cairn terriers
  • Beagles
  • Cocker spaniels
  • Dachshunds

3. There Is A Higher Risk Of Diabetes In Dogs For Middle-Aged Females  

Did you know that middle-aged female canines are two to three times more likely to develop diabetes than males are? Estrogen is to blame. This hormone can interfere with insulin production. Having her spayed at a young age prevents this from happening.

This disease can occur at any age, but it's most commonly seen in canines aged seven to nine years.

4. Certain Drugs Can Interfere With Insulin Production

There's a small risk that hormones used to control heat in female dogs may trigger diabetes in canines. Glucocortisones, which are a type of cortisone drug, may have this side effect, too.

Can Canine Diabetes Be Cured With Natural Remedies For Dogs?

No, natural pet remedies can't cure a diabetic dog, but they can certainly help to regulate her blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that the herbs goat's rue, fenugreek, and astragalus, along with the mineral chromium, are safe and effective when used for this purpose in pets. In fact, many dog owners have been quite successful in using natural remedies for dogs to reduce the amount of insulin their diabetic pets need.

It's important that you check with your vet before changing any component of your pet's treatment plan to avoid any big fluctuations in blood glucose levels. Most vets are very supportive of natural remedies for dogs, and yours will more than likely be very happy to work with you. If not, look for another vet.

Natural pet remedies are safe and effective for use on diabetic dogs. You'll want to be sure the remedy you give your canine companion is formulated especially for pets, not people. Look for a company that has a great repuation for producing high-quality pet remedies.  

Your next step? To take what you've just learned about preventing and treating diabetes in dogs, and use this information to help your favorite canine companion.

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