The holidays are right around the corner, which often means traveling, busy schedules, and large meals that aren’t always the healthiest. 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 more challenging this time of year.
Here are a few tips to help you and your pet celebrate this season safely:
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 high-protein and low-carbohydrates to give them extra energy to stay active throughout the day without the extra carbs that can turn into excess sugar. Consistent timing and the size of meals is very important to help your pet manage their diabetes. Feeding your pet food that is different from their normal diet can cause vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. Putting your pet in a separate room or in their kennel during meal times will help avoid the opportunity for table scraps.
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 produced by exercise may improve insulin absorption, helping to lower the blood glucose concentration further.. Start new traditions that fit exercise into your holiday festivities, such as a post-Thanksgiving feast family walk, or throw a ball around outside with them for a while. Let the little kids in your family have fun getting your cat active with laser pointers and fishing poles.
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 checkup appointment with your vet to look for any other illnesses that may be associated with diabetes. Look for any vision problems or the cloudy signs of cataracts, especially in dogs (a majority of canines with diabetes develop cataracts within six months of their 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 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!