diabetes

Diabetes Management: Causes, Signs and Tips to Help Your Pet Cope With The Condition

It’s hard to hear the news that your pet has diabetes.

The harsh truth is that dogs and cats develop diabetes just as people do.

You’ll have a few burning questions in your mind. What caused this debilitating illness in your pet? How do you know that your pet has it, and more importantly, how do you control it?

diabetes

Pets with diabetes can life a normal life.

Causes of Diabetes In Pets

Diabetes is frustrating, but will not inconvenience your dog or cat if you manage it. The first step to doing this is to understand its causes.

Obesity is a top trigger of diabetes. A pet which is overweight tends to have problems processing insulin.

Pets may also develop this illness if they are couch potatoes. If your pet does not walk or jog regularly, it’s likely to have problems processing Insulin later in life.

Also, studies show that diabetes in pets has links with autoimmune diseases. Pets with Lupus, Dry Eye, and Addison’s disease are likely to have it.

Signs that your pet Could Have Diabetes

How would you know that your cat or dog has diabetes? It would display the following signs.

1. Increased urination

First of all, your pet will start urinating more than usual because its blood sugar levels are high. They become so significant that the sugar deposits show themselves in your pets’ urine.

2. Weight Loss

Your pet will become thinner not because it eats less, but because the cells in its body don’t use the energy from the nutrients efficiently. It experiences weight loss though it takes in more calories.

3. Lack of energy.

The lack of nutrition will also make it tired. The fatigue happens because the body requires blood sugar.

4. Vision Problems

Pets with diabetes frequently develop vision problems as well. Improper processing of sugar heightens the chance of cataracts.

5. Weakness in the rear limbs

Also, your pet’s back legs may become weak. It may develop what’s known as the ‘plantigrade stance.’ Your pet will drop on its hind legs and walk on its back ankles.

6′ Urinary tract infections

UTIs are another common feature of this condition. They’re likely to happen as sugar in the blood builds up.

7. Kidney Failure

Finally, your pet may develop renal failure. Its kidneys can’t process sugar, so any excess will spill over into the kidneys and damage them.

Tips to manage a pet with diabetes

Diabetes is a tricky condition which requires careful and consistent management. Here are some strategies to make the task easier.

First of all, monitor your pet’s condition regularly. Doing this will help you note dangerous spikes and drops in blood sugar.

Make sure that your pet gets its regular insulin medication. There are insulin products specially made for pets. Get your vet’s advice on what these are.

Also, make sure that you feed your pet a proper diet. It should eat foods that minimize blood sugar fluctuations.

Another thing you can do to help your pet cope with this malady is to make sure that it exercises. Dogs are natural runners, while cats are star climbers. Doing either will help these animals stay in tip-top shape.

Finally, make sure that your pet gets its routine checks. This condition affects pets differently over time, so visiting your vet when it is time for a checkup will help your pet get used to prodding and poking.

If your pet has diabetes, take heart. A little common sense management will help it stay in good health.



Novel ways to stop dogs humping

Cloudy chewing clothes

You and your furry best friend are enjoying yourselves at a dog run, with everything in oblivion. Your furry buddy is romping around amid peals of laughter.

You turn around and a horrific scene greets you. The peals of laughter stop as suddenly as they begin. An embarrassed blush replaces them.

Another dog is on top of your fur buddy. You shy away from the unpleasant sight.

Humping may seem quirky, but can lead to a host of unforseen problems. Owners have a vested interest in putting a stop to it.

Before they can do so, they must have a better understanding of its causes and consequences. That said, they can stop it in a few, unexpected ways.

Why dogs hump

Humping is a dog’s way of expressing his sexuality, but there are surprising reasons for it as well.

The action is normal play behavior in young dogs. When a group of dogs plays, they mount each other to show their interest to play.

Young dogs may hump objects to show their excitement. He may do so at the prospect of an inviting car ride, or food.

Some dogs hump because of nervousness. They may not know how to respond to unxpected circumstances. For others, it is a way to relieve stress.

For many dogs, it is power play. One mounts another to express his dominance.

Ways to stop humping

No matter what the reasons for your pet’s humping are, there are novel ways to stop it.

If your dog humps because he is bored, find out if you have exercised it enough. His humping signals you to make more effort to take him for walks, and bond with him.

Should your dog hump every visitor he meets, it is a clear sign that social situations overwhelm him. Put your dog in his crate when people visit.

Occasional humping is not alarming, but you would worry if your dog licks his genital area as well. He may suffer from allergies or skin infections. Find out about compuslive medical disorders from your vet.

Give your dog a little discipline if he shows dominance. If your dog constantly gets into your space or humps his toys when you try to grab them, he is being terratorial. Encourage good behaviour by rewarding him when he shows it. Seek the help of a reward-based trainer.

Help your dog to put an end to his annoying humping habits.

Keeping your dog fit and making him sporty!


Exercising your dog 1

From left, clock wise: A dog performing the Fetch Tease, Jogging, Playing Ball and finally, a little fetch.

These days, it is really heartening to find dog owners putting that special emphasis on their pets. Dogs, especially sedentary, better fed ones, may suffer from a “pudgy problem” if their owners are not regular in giving it exercise. About 35% of pets these days are overweight and such obesity increases the risk of other health conditions like diabetes, respiratory problems and heart disease. Dogs become obese for the very same reason we do – too many treats! Owners will be amazed at the simple and more “sporty” ways to get their dogs fit and healthy.

Exercising your dog very much involves exercising yourself as well. It reaps dual benefits for yourself and him!

Now why should we put Fido through a little bit of physical training?

Exercising with your pet boosts your moods.

A well exercised dog is a happy dog. After releasing pent up energy, he is usually more cheerful and game for anything. This extends to his owner as well. Exercising always gives one the chance to release pent up negative energy!

It is not uncommon to see many dog owners going for regular jogs with their pooches. Both dogs and owners usually radiate much positive energy!

Exercising with your dog lowers your blood pressure.

Exercising with your dog will lower your blood pressure and keep you in great cardiovascular shape.

Exercising with your pet motivates you to exercise as well.

Your pet will usually bug you to go on exercises with him. This will ensure that you keep to your own exercise routine!

Cloudy, my West Highland Terrier, usually bugs me to take her out on jogs in the evening. I have no need to set up reminders to exercise, because she is there to tell me that it is time!

Reduces instances of odd canine behavior.

When dogs are not exercised and restless, they usually have an increased tendency to do silly things like dig or find something to chew. With their pent up energy released, they will certainly do so!

 

 

Exercise decreases the chances of indigestion.

Exercising your pet facilitates its digestive system and decreases chances of constipation as well. This is also true of his human owner!

Exercising prevents depression.

Exercising releases endorphines, much in the same way laughter does. If you observe yourself after a round of exercise, your mood is usually much better. Endorphins act as analgesics, which decrease the perception of pain. It develops a happy owner and pet!

It helps a fearful dog build confidence and trust.

A dog which is usually fearful learns to develop trust in his owner after bonding with him through a jog or round of exercise.

This is true of Cloudy. She usually does not trust or come quickly when called, but jogging has helped her to realize that her human owners are there to benefit her and give her a happy life.

Exercise promotes healthy rest.

Exercise will make the dog tired after a session, which means that he will have a good rest soon after! This reduces any instances of canine stress as well.

Most importantly, it is the key to weight control.

Exercise keeps a dog’s weight in balance, just as it does for us. For both dogs and owners, this is true!

Exercising your dog 2

From Top Left, Clockwise: Agility exercises for dogs, Bikejoring courtesy Tolvocoughlin, Scootering viz Ashleigh 290, Canincross viz Kroston and Skijoring via Heathera Skido. All pictures CC-BY-SA, via Creative Commons

Simple ways to exercise our dogs

Exercising your dog can be done in many ways, from a regular jog to more complicated agility exercises and dock jumping. There are indeed many things to do, so pick an activity that suits you and your canine friend!

 

Bring your dog for regular jogs!

One of the obvious things owners can do is to bring their pets for regular walks or runs at different intervals during the day. Cloudy enjoys the runs owe go on regularly mmensely, always looking back to see if my other older Schnauzer, Misty, is following behind. The excitement in her little puppy face is really evident, especially so when you first put the leash on her and she returns completely satisfied and ready for a nap. Walking your dog or running him a few times a day is really good for very young or old dogs as it increases their metabolism.

Watch out for an overly excited dog though. Dogs are usually so happy on jogs that they may yelp loudly and wake up the whole neighborhood if too excited! It usually. happens to Cloudy, who usually barks and yelps when on a jog. It took some time for her to unlearn that behavior, with a bit of reward and reinforcement.

Bring them out to dog runs and let them socialize with other dogs.

Another form of exercising dogs is to let them exercise with other dogs. Bring them out to dog runs or dog parks. Dog runs not only provide a great place to exercise, they allow your dogs to socialize with each other. I bring Cloudy to a place known as Next, a pet-friendly mall in Singapore which has a roof terrace with a dog run. She yips and gambols, totally enjoying herself.

The Fetch Tease for Abs

The Fetch Tease for Abs is an exercise which benefits both you and your dog. It involves a regular sit up and tossing your dog’s favorite toy as you reach the top. You do ab crunches; Fido does dances!

 

Squatting

Try squatting and playing with your dog. As you squat, tap him with his favorite toy, moving around as you do so, only allowing him to grab it if he catches it successfully when you tap him. This tease-filled game is fun way for both you and Fido to enjoy some exercise.

Dog Racing

What about racing with your dog to pick up his favorite toy? The dog usually wins (they are much faster than us) but this is a great way to motivate your pet to move about. A jolly form of physical exertion.

Stair climbing

Climb stairs together with Fido. This is a great way for both of you to work off your breakfasts. Widen your stance and skip alternate steps as you get familiar with the exercise. This is challenging and provides a fun workout.

How about getting your canine more involved with sports and exercise?

Some forms of exercise require you and your dog to be prepared with a bit more training, but are definitely not complicated. These are some fun, more advanced forms of exercises for your dog to try!

Agility Exercises

Many owners and their dogs usually find it challenging and a whole lot of fun to put their dogs through their paces on agility equipment. Canines usually have loads of enjoyment on the Table or going through a Tunnel.

Such equipment is available at Next, near the dog run I bring Cloudy to. She absolutely enjoys scrambling through the tunnel. It channels her excess energy elsewhere!

Canincross

This is the sport of cross country running while attached to a dog. Again, it requires a canine harness, waist belt and a flexible line. A competitive sport, the first world Canicross championships were held in Ravenna, Italy in 2002.

This is a good way to get dogs involved in sport. It is suitable for those who already jog with their dogs to take things a level further!

Bikejoring

This is a fun form of exercise where a dog or team of dogs is attached to a towline and runs in front of a cyclist. Requiring a little training and coordination with your dog, make sure he is comfortable with the towline and pulling you before trying this. The equipment required will be a waist belt, a harness and a flexible line.

However, this is an enjoyable form of exercise for both cyclist owners and their little canines!

Dog Scootering

This again involves pulling. This time, the dog pulls their owner on a kick scooter! A canine harness is of course needed, but this exercise incorporates a bungee cord to absorb the shock of inertia on takeoff or stopping. This is a whole lot of fun for anyone who loves their ski scooter and their dogs too!

For the winter – Skijoring

Owners may be stuck for an exercise activity for their canines during the winter months, so Skijoring is a wonderful activity. Again requiring the usual canine harness, waist belt and line, this is enjoyable for dogs who simply love to pull owners on a pair of skis. Canines can be very strong. They can easily get owners moving in the snow!

All in all, get creative with the ways you exercise with your pet. You will reap countless physical benefits, and so will he.

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