People Who Owns Diabetic Dogs Are 38% More Likely To Have Diabetes, Study

They say dogs resemble their owners. Perhaps that is true because new research shows those pet owners whose dogs are diabetic have a 38% chance of having the disease. But the same risk cannot be observed in cat owners and their companions.

Studies have shown that obesity plays a significant role in having diabetes. Also, overweight owners can translate that to their porkier pets, which increases the possibility of shared risks in having diabetes because of similar behaviors like overeating or failing to take regular exercises.

Beatrice Kennedy from the Uppsala University in Sweden and her colleagues investigated the dogs’ shared risk and their owners having type 2 diabetes. They used insurance data from the largest pet insurance company in Sweden to analyze the dogs’ health records.

(Photo: Pixabay)
The American Kennel Club said that pugs are among the breeds at higher risk of diabetes.

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The Shared Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Between the Dog and Its Owner

The researchers collected 208, 980 owner and dog data and 208, 980 owner and cat data. They discovered that owning a diabetic dog also increases the owner’s risk by 38% of having diabetes compared to owning a healthy dog, The Guardian reported. While there is no shared risk found between cats and their owners.

However, the research published in the British Medical Journal could not find any link between dog owners’ personal and socioeconomic circumstances and having type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes in humans could be influenced by many factors, including obesity and diet. This is also true to dogs and cats, which appear to have a rising trend these days. Kennedy said that dog owners and their pets’ dietary habits and physical activity could be involved in their shared risk.

Moreover, the absence of shared risk between cats and their owners prove a point towards physical activity as a critical factor in having diabetes. “Cats usually prefer more independence from their owners when it comes to their movements,” Kennedy said.

But aside from diet and physical activity, Kennedy noted that pollutants, such as chemicals, could be another avenue to conduct further study as it may be another factor in their shared risk. 

Since the research is only an observational study, the researchers could not pinpoint the exact cause of the dog’s shared risk and its owner. But given that it exists, a diabetes test might be necessary for any household member and their dogs to reassess health behaviors that could potentially lead to type 2 diabetes.

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Diabetes in Dogs

Diabetes in dogs is also called canine diabetes that is caused by the lack of insulin in the dog’s body (like the lack of insulin in humans) or, in some cases, the inadequate biological response to it. According to Purina, a dog’s blood sugar levels will increase when they cannot produce insulin themselves or improperly used, which could lead to adverse effects on the dogs.

Canine diabetes symptoms include excessive thirst, increased urination, unexplained weight loss, changes in appetite, sweet-smelling breath, tiredness or lack of energy, UTI, and the loss of eyesight.

Unfortunately, diabetes in dogs does not have any cure, but it can be manageable by dog owners. Proper management could still give the dogs a full and happy life.

READ MORE: Treat Type 2 Diabetes by Adding This Tasty Food to Your Diet

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