By Dr. Lamar, Associate Veterinarian
Having a pet diagnosed with diabetes can initially be very overwhelming! Yes, it will require several lifestyle changes, but the love you receive from your pet in return makes it all worthwhile. November is National Pet Diabetes Month. Here is the average day in the life of a diabetic pet from your pet’s point of view:
7am – Wake up and snuggle my owner’s face; I am much better than their alarm clock!
7:15am – My owner gives me my breakfast. It is a special type of food for my diabetes that is lower in sugar and carbohydrates. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked it, but my owner slowly mixed it in with my old food and I realized it is actually pretty tasty!
7:30am – I get an insulin injection. These are easier than you might think! The needle is so small I barely feel it, and my owner has been properly trained by my veterinarian in how to give these injections to me. My owner always makes sure I eat most of my breakfast first so I get the correct dose.
9am – My owner goes to work; booooring! But it does give me time to think about how much better I feel when my blood sugar is properly regulated. Not only do I feel better on a day-to-day basis, but my lifespan will be longer when my diabetes is controlled!
1:30pm – Some days I get a blood sugar check at lunchtime to make sure I am still well regulated on my insulin dose. My insulin dose has changed several times over my diabetic life, which is very common! Sometimes when my dose gets changed I will spend the day with my veterinarian having my blood sugar checked every few hours – this is an ideal way to look at both my high and low blood sugar points.
5:30pm – My owner returns from work; hurray! Now we have time to play! My owner knows how important activity and exercise is for a diabetic pet to keep me in a healthy weight range. I don’t let them know how much I enjoy it, too!
7:15pm – I get my dinner. I may get some small snacks throughout the day and evening, but I eat the majority of my food at breakfast and dinner. This keeps me feeling my best since these meals and timed with my insulin.
7:30pm – I get my evening insulin injection. Sometimes my owner will have questions regarding if my insulin dose should be changed, but always makes sure to consult my veterinarian first before making changes.
9pm – Bedtime: a great time for cuddles with my owner. Even though it’s extra work having a diabetic pet around, I appreciate all the effort and make up for it by giving the best snuggles!
If you have any questions about diabetes, please give us a call at 301-258-0333. Have a pet with diabetes? Share your story in our comments!