Diabetes in pets

Just like people, it's possible for pets to get diabetes but it's not always obvious. It can be worrying enough when our pets are clearly unwell but you might not even realise your pet has diabetes.

Diabetes is a disease that happens when you pet's body can't control sugar levels in their blood. It can affect cats and dog and has subtle signs.


Can I stop my pet from getting diabetes?

Diabetes tends to affect dogs and cats that are overweight. The best thing you can do to stop your pet getting diabetes is to keep their weight down by feeding them a balanced diet and making sure they get plenty of exercise.

You can get advice on what you should be feeding your pet from your vet. You can also have a look through our advice pages for tips on diet and exercising even the most unwilling pets!


What are the symptoms of diabetes in pets?

Diabetes can be hard to spot in pets, so look out for some key signs:

  • Drinking more than normal
  • Weeing more than normal (usually because they're drinking so much)
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight loss (even though they seem to eat more)
  • Seeming under the weather or depressed
  • Being off their food
  • Vomiting (with other symptoms of diabetes).

Remember to go to your vet if you think your pet may have diabetes.


How to treat diabetes

If your vet diagnoses your pet with diabetes, they will give them a treatment and management plan. This will be individual to your pet and address their condition and needs.

Treatment can include:

  • Insulin injections (usually to be given twice a day. Don't worry, your vet will teach you how to do this)
  • Strict diet
  • Exercise routine.

As long as you follow your vet's advice, there's no reason your pet can't have a good quality of life for years to come. It might be difficult at first, but you need to keep to any diet and exercise plan very strictly. So no more little treats on the side!

Info for dog owners

If you'd like more information on diabetes in dogs, visit our Hub.

Diabetes in dogs

Info for cat owners

If your cat has diabetes, we have lots of information on our free Hub.

Diabetes in cats

Keeping your pet healthy

Just like people, pets need to eat the right diet and get enough exercise to stay fit and healthy.

Find out more