It's no doubt that the collective 84.9 million households that own cats and dogs in the United States love their pets to pieces. In fact, many treat their fur babies as they would their children, forgoing conventional parenthood for a life of laps in the park and pets and purrs. However, recent research shows that pet owners might be pampering kitties and pooches a little too much.
According to a five-year study conducted by Animal Friends Pet Insurance, cases of diabetes in both cats and dogs have skyrocketed by an alarming 900% since 2011.
The data showed that cat are at the highest risk of developing diabetes. For the study, the researchers followed the health history of almost 9,000 animals. Of the cats in the study, they saw a 1161% increase since 2011, compared with to dogs, who had an 850% rise.
According to Pet Gazette, the data also showed that certain breeds of dogs are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, including West Highland terriers, Labradors, king Charles spaniels, huskies, and miniature schnauzers.
When it comes to cats, the British shorthair is the breed most likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, followed by Burmese cats, foreign shorthairs, Maine coons and Abyssinians.
So why is this happening? Experts believe that it is a combination of genetics and lifestyle. But considering that humans are concurrently experiencing diabetes diagnoses at epidemic proportions, this may have something to do with human's lifestyles as well.
Prevent Pet Diabetes
Luckily, with a little force of habit and regular check-ups, your pet can avoid being susceptible to diabetes diagnoses. Firstly, make sure your pet gets regular exercise. For dogs, this means at least one 10 minute walk per day. While cats don't necessarily walk, encourage indoor play with your cat whenever possible. Secondly, feed your animal the proper amount of food and don't overdo it on treats! To find the appropriate amount to feed your pets, talk to your quality veterinary care
specialist at your local veterinary practice. Finally, take your pet in for regular pet health care visits at your pet hospital. Quality veterinary care is extremely important. They will be able to closely monitor your pet's health and through routine preventive care for pets, you animal will live a long and happy life.