Looking Out for Signs of Diabetes in Dogs

Updated On: Friday, May 6, 2022 13:24:57 PM America/Los_Angeles

The idea that your precious pooch could be dealing with a serious medical condition can be a scary thought. However, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and causes of diabetes so that it can be nipped in the bud right away. 

Photo by Mia Anderson 

A number of factors can contribute to diabetes in dogs such as age, breed, genetics, obesity, and other health conditions. Given the number of factors that can play a role in the development of diabetes, dog owners need to be aware of how and why diabetes shows up in canines.  

Some common and early signs of diabetes to keep an eye out for are:

Excessive Thirst

If you’re wondering how your dog can clear their water bowl and the toilet bowl in record time, it might be time to take your dog to the vet. An abnormal level of thirst is the most common sign that dog pawrents notice prior to a diabetes diagnosis. If you suspect that your dog may be drinking too much water or you notice that they start searching for water in unusual places, keep track of their activities and water intake to help your vet assess the situation. 

Frequent Urination

Increased thirst and water intake is one reason that diabetes can result in frequent urination. However, the real culprit is actually the body’s inability to process glucose properly. As a dog’s body rids itself of excess sugar through urine, water that bonds with the sugar is expelled. 

An indoor pet potty is a useful tool for dealing with frequent urination. Pee pads don’t only prevent accidents around the house. A wee wee pad like DoggieLawn can also help pawrents keep an eye on their furry one’s potty habits, which can alert them to worsening conditions. 

Increased or Loss of Appetite

Dogs with diabetes may appear to be hungry even if they’ve been getting fed the usual amount of food. Because their body isn’t receiving the glucose it needs, they'll continue to seek out food that might offer additional sugar. However, dog owners should also note that in severe cases of diabetes, canines will experience appetite loss. As a rule, any major changes in appetite should be noted. Again, keeping track of food intake can be helpful diagnostic info for your vet. 

Loss of Muscle Mass

Despite having an increased appetite, you might notice that your dog actually appears bonier. But this bodily change isn’t without rhyme or reason. The reasons behind this aren’t fully known yet, and scientists suspect there may be a variety of causes. What is known is that canines (and other mammals with diabetes) can lose muscle mass when there are elevated blood sugar levels. 

Not sure if the symptoms you’re seeing are due to diabetes? Get in touch with your vet as soon as possible to find out what’s causing your fur baby distress. Any information you can provide regarding changes in potty, eating, and drinking habits are all important cues that can assist vets with making the correct diagnosis and getting your dog the care they need.