Holistic Dog Care 101: Dog Diabetes

Jean & Leslie Kessigner, Owners Three Dog Bakery

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If you have a dog who has been diagnosed with diabetes, your pet care routine is busy, with insulin injections, making sure your dog is eating well and getting him the exercise he needs. Diabetes most commonly occurs in middle age to older dogs and cats, but occasionally occurs in young animals (Source).

Although it shouldn’t be common for dogs to have diabetes, Leslie Kessigner co-owner of Three Dog Baker in Franklin says “more and more we are seeing dogs with metabolic issues because of the ‘junk food’ that ends up in dog food and treats. An excess of carbohydrates, lack of quality protein, and imbalance of healthy fat have contributed to the pressing concern of diet-related illnesses including obesity, pancreatitis and diabetes.”

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The specific cause of diabetes in dogs isn’t clear, but some breeds have a genetic predisposition that may contribute.

The breeds that have a heightened risk for diabetes are:

-Miniature Pinscher
-Bichon Frise
-Cairn Terrier

“Dogs who are diabetic will show symptoms of excessive hunger and thirst, lethargy, loss of appetite and eventual weight loss. If your dog shows signs of diabetes, it is important to consult with your veterinarian. Medication and insulin injections are usually required to help your dog’s system return to a normal state of metabolism. It is, unfortunately, not a condition that is generally able to be treated on a completely holistic basis,” Kessinger said.

In addition to the diabetes care regimen your veterinarian recommends, there are some things you can do to help your pup control his diabetes.

Cut the junk out of your dog’s diet
Check out the ingredients in your dog’s food and treats. “Fillers, dyes, chemicals, synthetic ingredients, and poor quality raw material ingredients all contribute to imbalance in a dog’s system. If your dog is already suffering the effects of a metabolic syndrome, adding toxins in their system in the form of unhealthy food and treats will lengthen the time it takes to restore them to health and balance,” Kessinger said.

Increase activity
“The activity level of a diabetic dog is extremely important because it will help keep your dog’s weight under control. Walking or hiking with your dog, playing with toys, fetching the ball in the backyard – activity can be anything that you find fun to do with your dog that gets them up and moving,” Kessinger added.

Visit Three Dog Bakery, located on West McEwen Drive, adjacent to Whole Foods in the McEwen Shopping Center in Franklin for all your holistic dog food and dog treat needs.

Click here to follow Three Dog Bakery on Facebook.

If you have health concerns about your dog, consult your veterinarian. This article is not meant to substitute or act as medical advice for pets.

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