Diabetes in Dogs | Symptoms & Treatment

Diabetic dogs, if left untreated, may not last for more than 2 years. Learn more about the treatment and the symptoms of a dog with diabetes.

When talking about diabetes in pets, dogs are common to have this disease.

It is estimated that 1 out of every 300 dogs will have diabetes at some point.

This disease mostly occurs in older or pregnant dogs, but younger dogs can also get affected.

In this article, we’ll learn what diabetes is, what are the symptoms of diabetes in dogs, and how they’re treated. Let’s go.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition in which a body is unable to utilize or produce glucose.

Glucose firmly controls the energy levels of a body and is also one of the main sources of energy for the body’s cells.

Most of the food eaten by the dog is broken down into glucose, which is later released into the bloodstream.

This process is viable for both the health and growth of the dog.

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But, with diabetes, your dog will have problems performing this process, which would ultimately lead to sickness and diseases.

Types Of Diabetes

In Dogs, diabetes occurs in two forms i.e. Insulin Deficiency Diabetes & Insulin Resistance Diabetes.

1. Insulin Deficiency Diabetes (Type 1 Diabetes)

Insulin Deficiency Diabetes occurs when insulin-producing cells are unable to produce new cells.

This usually happens when the pancreas is not functioning properly.

Insulin Deficiency results in the reduction of energy cells from blood, which will likely cause some health issues. This is also the most common type of diabetes in dogs.

Causes of Insulin Deficiency Diabetes

  • Auto-immunodeficiency
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Exposure To Viruses

2. Insulin Resistance Diabetes (Type 2 Diabetes)

Insulin Resistance Diabetes occurs when the body is not able to properly utilize the available insulin.

This makes the dog’s pancreas produce more insulin until it can no longer keep up with the dictate.

Which sooner or later would lead to the deficiency of glucose in their blood.

This diabetes mostly occurs in older and/or heavier dogs.

Causes of Insulin Resistance Diabetes

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  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Lack Of Exercise
  • Cells Becoming Resistant To Insulin
  • Overweight/Obesity

Symptoms Of Diabetes In Dogs

Diabetic dogs, if left untreated, may not last for more than 2 years.

sad dog

Therefore, in order to have your dog live a healthy and happy life, it’s important to treat diabetes.

Noticing the symptoms of diabetes in your dog is crucial if you want it to get well soon.

If you notice more than one of the following mentioned symptoms in your dog, then there’s a possibility that it’s suffering from diabetes.

  • Immoderate Water Drinking – Your dog may want to drink water more frequently.
  • Increased Urination – With excessive drinking, your dog will have an increase in urination as well.
  • Increased Appetite – Since there will be a lack of energy cells in your dog’s body, it’ll try to gain energy from other sources, mainly food.
  • Weight Loss – Now, this may seem odd considering the increase in appetite, but the thing is that your dog won’t be able to convert nutrients from it’s food which will ultimately cause weight loss.
  • Vomiting – Your dog may start vomiting due to increased appetite, consumption of water, and a decrease in energy cells.
  • Inactive And Depressed Nature – With so much bad going on, your dog will (obviously) be in a depressed mood.
  • Blurred Vision – Blurry or cloudy vision can be a symptom of a variety of eyesight disorders as well as diabetes.

Diseases Caused by Diabetes

If not controlled, diabetes can have catastrophic effects on a dog’s body. Such complications include:

sad puppy dog

  • Nerve Damage – Nerve damage is one of the most common complications of diabetes. It can cause numbing or tingling of hands, feet, etc.
  • Cataracts – Cataracts can cause clouding of the lens of your dog’s eye. It develops over time, and if left untreated, can lead to complete blindness.
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) – Diabetes can also cause tract infections in your dog’s urinary system. UTIs can lead to terrible consequences if not diagnosed.
  • Dementia – Dementia could potentially be a life-threatening disease for your dog. As it badly affects thinking, hearing, and social abilities to such an extent, that it’ll make it hard for your dog to survive.
  • Ketoacidosis – Another possible life-threatening disease caused by diabetes is Ketoacidosis. In this condition, your dog may suffer from a group of diseases including dehydration, lethargy, intense breathing, and vomiting.

Now, let’s go through some of the risk factors for diabetes.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for diabetes in dogs include:

  • Family History – A diabetic parent can cause diabetes in descendants.
  • Age – Even though diabetes can occur at any age, it mostly occurs in older or middle-aged dogs.
  • Breed – Yes, a dog’s breed does matter when it comes to diabetes. Some examples of breeds with a higher risk of diabetes are Dachshunds, Miniature Poodles, Pugs, Beagles, Australian Terriers, Keeshonds, and Miniature Schnauzers.
  • Obesity – Overweight is one of the stronger risk factors for diabetes as it contributes to insulin resistance.

Some advanced risk factors include:

  • Steroid Medications
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Viral Diseases

Finally, let’s see how diabetes is cured.

Treatment Of Diabetes

Here are some of the best courses of treatment for diabetes in dogs.

happy dog

1. Proper Monitoring

Properly take care of your dog and make sure it is comfortable. If it’s feeling depressed, try to cheer it up. Try to love them even more. Studies show that diabetic dogs with better monitoring have a much faster recovery.

2. Dietary Solution

By feeding your dog with specialized diets, diabetes can be treated easily. You will, however, need to consult your dog’s veterinarian or doctor as they will recommend the diet for your dog. It is indeed a simple yet effective way of curing diabetes in dogs.

3. Proper Exercise

It is advised for diabetic dogs to maintain a proper exercise schedule throughout this period. Not only will it make them more active, but also help them avoid drops in their glucose levels.


Diabetes is a terrible disease, and in the long run, it can turn out to be fatal. However, with proper care and management, diabetic dogs can lead a long and happy life. All you need is to be more attentive towards your dog’s health and take kosher measures just after noticing any symptoms.