Can I Prevent Diabetes In My Pet?
Pet diabetes can absolutely be prevented, if you're willing to make the necessary healthy lifestyle efforts. To help prevent diabetes in your pet, keep them on a healthy diet, make sure they get plenty of exercise and have regular vet checkups.
Diet is Crucial
Because diabetes and obesity are so closely connected, a healthy diet is one of the most important tools in the prevention of diabetes. A healthy, balanced diet is a key factor in maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of diabetes. To help reduce your pet's risk of diabetes or even obesity, your vet may recommend a specific brand of quality food. The food you purchase will usually tell you based on weight how much food you should feed your pet. It is helpful to use a measuring cup when feeding your pet. Many people feel that leaving their pets bowl full all day long is being nice to them, but in reality, it isnt doing them any favors. Just like humans, pets will eat because they are bored, not always because their bodies need it. This causes them to gain weight, which increases their risk for developing diabetes. Try feeding your beloved pet right before you eat dinner, to limit begging at the table. If you have more than one pet, feed them separately. This way they will not try to have a second helping.
Cooking for Your Pet
Cooking for your animals may not be a good idea until you know what types of foods and how much you should be preparing. Animals have different dietary needs than people, and the focus should be on balance for them (such as limiting their carbs and increasing their lean protein intake), and preparing foods that are free of preservatives and chemicals. They need specific doses of nutrients, and animals stomachs can be more sensitive than ours. Without considering these, you may put your animal at risk for gastric irritation and diarrhea. Before you prepare the meal, think about where the recipe came from and if it is a balanced meal for an animal. Take your proposed recipes to your vet or look online at informational animal sites to make sure your pet receives all the nutrition it needs. Some foods should not be included in recipes because they are toxic to your pet:
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for your pets (and you) to get plenty of exercise. If you do some research, you will find many local dog parks you can go to. Dog parks are also a good source of socialization. A treadmill or running outdoors is another great way to help your pet get exercise. A cat will play with almost anything, so get them a new toy or two. Interact with your cat and increase its playing time, and you both gain from the experience. Any way to get your pet to become more active is good for their health. By interacting with them more you create a stronger bond with them as well.
Track Their Weight
Keep track of how much your pet weighs. It may be helpful for you to keep a running log of your pets weight. Ask your vet how much your pet should weigh for optimal health and how to adjust their food and exercise accordingly. If you follow these tips for keeping a balanced diet, cooking preservative-free foods for your pet, increasing their exercise and tracking their weight, you should be able to reduce their chances of developing a debilitating disease like diabetes, and keep them feeling young and healthy for life! Sources: http://petcare.suite101.com/article.cfm/obesityindogsandcats http://www.pedigree.com/dogsandpuppies/overweight+dogs/care+and+feeding/implications+for+overweight+dogs.asp http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/03/earlyshow/contributors/debbyeturner/main2641638.shtml
Photo Credit: The U.S. Army