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Canine diabetes is an incurable disease that occurs when a dog cannot control their blood sugar level which is caused by a lack of insulin in the body. Insulin helps feed the sugar from food into cells around the body to help a dog thrive and grow, without which the sugar grows to dangerously high levels.

Without treatment, it can affect a dog’s vital organs and other bodily parts, so being able to recognise the signs can ensure a dog gets the help they need.


There are many symptoms of diabetes in dogs, which include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Weight loss
  • Increase in urination
  • Tiredness or lack of energy
  • A sweet-smelling breath


It’s not completely known why some dogs develop diabetes, with some breeds possibly more genetically prone than others. While some factors, like age, obesity, and other health conditions, may increase the risk of developing this complex disease.

Prevention and treatment

Taking preventative measures is not a guarantee that your dog won’t develop diabetes but making sure they lead a healthy life can help reduce the risk. Here are some steps you can take to help keep your dog as healthy as possible throughout their lifetime:

  • Keep your dog at a healthy weight
  • Feed them a balanced diet
  • Provide enough exercise for their age

Once diagnosed, a vet will be able to provide your dog with an ongoing treatment plan. Insulin injections and controlled feeding and exercise are all involved in controlling the condition.

A dog that’s provided with a well-controlled treatment plan with regular monitoring will often live long and happy lives.

If you notice any changes in your dog’s behaviour, or you think they have developed diabetes, why not book a Joii vet consultation? This is free if you have an Animal Friends dog or cat policy. Otherwise, speak to your vet.



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