Pet diabetes: could your pet be at risk and can you prevent it?

October 7, 2022

Just like humans, pets can also develop diabetes. There are two different types of diabetes, but diabetes mellitus is the most common form that cats and dogs can develop. The team at Towcester Vets in Northamptonshire have some advice for pet owners on how to spot common symptoms of diabetes mellitus at home in between annual and 6-monthly vet checks.

Common signs of Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus occurs due to an insulin deficiency in the body. It is always helpful if pet owners can recognise signs of diabetes to help monitor their pet closely for any changes in their health.

Common signs that may show your cat or dog has symptoms of diabetes:

  • Drinking more than normal
  • Weeing more often
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight loss even if they are eating more
  • Seeming a bit ‘off’ or depressed
  • Reduced appetite or not eating
  • Vomiting (with other symptoms of diabetes)

Many of these signs can be linked with other conditions but if you have any concerns, it is always best to get your pet looked at. You you should not overlook any symptoms whatever age your pet is. There are a few factors that can make your pet higher risk for diabetes – these include:

  1. Age – older pets are more likely to develop diabetes
  2. Sex – entire female dogs and castrated overweight male cats are more likely to develop diabetes
  3. Chronic pancreatitis
  4. Cushing’s disease
  5. Genetics
  6. Obesity

Can you prevent pet diabetes?

One of the main causes of pet diabetes that owners can influence is obesity. Carrying extra fat can contribute to insulin resistance and is a risk factor for pancreatitis, which can lead to diabetes.

Vets believe that 51% of dogs and 49% of cats are overweight (9487 PFMA Obesity White Paper 2019_Web.pdf).

Helping your pet to lose weight can be challenging on your own. Our vets and nurses are here to help guide you if your pet needs to lose weight.

By regularly weighing your cat or dog at home, or at our Northamptonshire veterinary clinic, you learn what is normal for them and spot weight changes sooner.

If you spot any of the symptoms above, or your pet’s weight is trending upwards or downwards, it is best to get them checked by a vet. The chances are it is something simple, but it is better to get it looked at and get your dog or cat the treatment they need.

Strictly Necessary

These cookies are required for our website to operate and include items such as whether or not to display this pop-up box or your session when logging in to the website. These cookies cannot be disabled.


We use 3rd party services such as Google Analytics to measure the performance of our website. This helps us tailor the site content to our visitors needs.


From time to time, we may use cookies to store key pieces of information to make our site easier for you to use. Examples of this are remembering selected form options to speed up future uses of them. These cookies are not necessary for the site to work, but may enhance the browsing experience.


We may use advertising services that include tracking beacons to allow us to target our visitors with specific adverts on other platforms such as search or social media. These cookies are not required but may improve the services we offer and promote.

Change Settings

Welcome. You can control how we use cookies and 3rd party services below

Change Settings Accept
Learn how we use cookies