Symptoms of Canine Diabetes – What to Look For

Be aware of the symptoms of canine diabetes

Although diabetes is fairly common in dogs, many cases of this disease go undiagnosed, which causes damage to the kidneys and other organs and potential cataracts in the eye. Knowing the symptoms of canine diabetes makes it easier for you as a dog owner to recognize diabetes in it’s early stages and to be able to treat it before any real damage sets in.

Canine diabetes is more common in older and female dogs. It also affects certain breeds more often, including Poodles, German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers, to name a few. Overweight dogs and those that are physically inactive are also more at risk. Once you are aware of the symptoms of canine diabetes, they are fairly easy to spot. The main ones are listed below.

The main symptoms of canine diabetes

Your dog seems extra thirsty

You know roughly how much water your dog usually drinks during the day. If this amount increases a lot, allowing for warmer weather of course, this can one of the main symptoms of canine diabetes. Just this symptom alone however, doesn’t automatically mean your dog has diabetes, but it is a sign that there’s a potential health problem that needs attention.

The reason dogs drink a lot of water is that their body is attempting to rid itself of excessive glucose from the bloodstream via the kidneys. There is insufficient insulin in the dog’s body to transport insulin into the cells and it must be disposed of somehow.

What goes in must come out!

This, of all of the symptoms of canine diabetes, will be the one you’ll probably notice first! Your dog will urinate much more often than what he normally does and some does also become incontinent (lose bladder control). If this happens to your dog, try to be understanding, he really can’t help it. With the right treatment, this symptom will pass.


If your normally energetic dog loses interest in the things he usually enjoys, such as going for walks or playing ball, this could be another warning sign. Although a lack of energy could mean a lot of other things as well, if it’s combined with excessive thirst and urination, the chances of this being one of the symptoms of canine diabetes is extremely high.

There are other¬†canine diabetes symptoms that are worth mentioning here. Your dog’s breath many develop a sickly odor due to high sugar levels. Shaking or shivering could be another symptom, although this usually mean low blood sugar and needs urgent treatment.

Don’t let symptoms of canine diabetes scare you

Diabetes is a serious disease, but it can be successfully managed to the point that your dog can live a normal active life. In fact type 2 canine diabetes can be managed by weight loss and diet alone. Talk to your vet and get them to show you how to administer insulin, in case it is necessary. There are also natural and preventative treatments for symptoms of canine diabetes.

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