The holidays are right around the corner, and although joyous, they can be quite stressful for you and your pet, leading to not-so-healthy food habits. With the change in routines and being around friends and family members who might not understand your pet’s unique needs, managing your pet’s diabetes can be challenging this time of year.
Here are a few tips to help you and your pet celebrate this season safely:
1. Don’t Disturb your Pet’s Diet
Your pet’s diet is specifically tailored and dictated by their insulin requirements. The best diet for a diabetic pet consists of foods high in protein and low in carbohydrates which will give them energy to stay active without extra carbs that can turn into excess sugar. Also important for managing your pet’s diabetes is consistent timing and sizing of their meals. Avoid feeding your pet food differently from their normal diet as it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
2. Don’t Skip your Pet’s Exercise
Exercise, like food, also helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and can affect insulin dosing in pets. Keeping daily exercise levels consistent helps avoid hyperglycemia. It also increases blood flow which will improve their insulin absorption by helping to lower blood glucose concentration further. Fit exercise into your holiday festivities, such as a post-Thanksgiving feast family walk, or throwing a ball with them outside for a while. Let the little kids in your family have fun getting your cat active with laser pointers and fishing poles.
3. Use This Time to Examine Your Pet’s Behavior
While you spend more quality time with your pet over the holiday season, keep an eye out for any behaviors that may concern you. Set up a check-up appointment with your vet to look for any other illnesses associated with diabetes. Look for any vision problems, including the cloudy signs of cataracts (this especially affects dogs within six months of their diabetes diagnosis). Other complications of diabetes include diabetic nephropathy (kidney problems), urinary tract infections, liver disease, and Cushing’s disease. Detecting symptoms for these health issues early can help prevent your pet from further complications.
When properly managed, your diabetic pet can live a long and happy life and celebrate many more holiday seasons to come. If you have a question about your diabetic pet’s care, or would like to schedule a checkup before the holiday rush, call your preferred clinic today!