Last year I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, I started wondering about my Shih Tzus and their health. Would I know the signs and symptoms of diabetes in dogs if it were to take hold of my girls? So I set out to find out what I needed to look out for and how I can prevent this disease from occurring.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Do you know how often you feel the bowl? I give our girls fresh water twice a day. Some times I’ll change it a little more often if it gets a little mucky. I mean who doesn’t like drinking fresh water? Even though I have 6 little ones in the house, I do monitor each one. They drink out of a specific bowl after dinner, and during the day there are bowls in my office and bedroom.
Do you have a doggy door, or do you take your Shih Tzus out? Half of the Shih Tzus in our house will use the doggy door, the other two will not. So I have a wee-wee schedule, upon waking up, after lunch, dinner time & before bed. If at any time they were to change and requesting to go out more often I would definitely know.
All our dogs’ food is measured out and weighed (raw feeding) , along with a treat or two, if someone is hungry they will definitely let us know. As you may know Shih Tzus can be sooo demanding!
Do you weigh your dogs? Keeping a chart at home can be a good idea in between your dogs yearly checkups. With their current diet their weight is checked at least once a month to make sure they are getting the proper amount of food for their size. Because of how we feed, I make sure to monitor their weight monthly. If there is a significant weight-loss or gain I am able to make adjustments easily.
Shih Tzu Diabetes Prevention
It’s so important to visit your vet once a year, at least. During their annual visit make sure to run a complete blood panel. If you’ve had one done in the past, this gives a good baseline in case there are any changes in their health. We have three upcoming check ups in December, Katie, Chicky & Trixie. Hopefully we won’t see any significant changes from the last year.
Obesity & Exercise
As in my case, obesity has been linked to diabetes, remember obesity is just not your weight, but in my case my BMI. So creating a weight loss and exercise program can greatly reduce the risk for your dog of developing this horrible disease. So if your pooch is packing on a few pounds, go for a walk!
Diet & Nutrition
As always vets are undecided what is the best option for your dog when it comes to diets and diabetes. I recommend seeking out a holistic dog nutritionist to see what are the best options and treatment regarding nutrition for your dog. The goal is to keep your dogs insulin levels as close to normal as possible with scheduled meals and including drinking an adequate amount of water.
As always I try to incorporate as many fresh fruits and veggies into my dogs’ diets. Saturday mornings we take a trip out to the local farmers market to stock up on fresh greens and the girls always look forward to my arrival back home! I make sure that I purchase items that I can eat and they can too, it makes it so much easier that way and I know they appreciate it. I always try to keep my girls active, even if that means trying new things and even some new sports. I know almost everyone in the house except for Riley will never compete in different dogs sports, but that doesn’t stop me in letting them experience the fun too! After all, dog sports are not just about competing, they are about getting out and doing something with your dog. I believe all these little steps I take can help prevent diabetes in our Shih Tzus.