Like in humans, diabetes in pets, such as cats and dogs is quite common. They can develop type-1 and type-2 diabetes as a result of abnormal insulin production inside the body. When a dog or cat is diabetic, their body might not be able to produce insulin and as a result, suffers from some conditions resulted from improper body functions.
Some common symptoms a diabetic pet would show include weight loss and severe appetite loss, excessive thirst and urination, and pungent breath odor with a chemical smell. In contrast to diabetes, they may also suffer from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar complication. This is triggered by insulin overdose inside the body. Common symptoms of this condition include weakness, dullness, restlessness, seizure, and in worse phase, coma.
Managing diabetic pets
It is quite similar to treat diabetic person and pets. Their sugar level need to be closely watched in order to avoid complications and thus, promote healthier life. When diabetes in pet is under control, they will have normal appetite, stable weight, and controlled thirst and urination. There are three main parts of diabetes controlling in animals, which consist of diet, exercises, and blood glucose monitoring.
When a pet is diabetic, diet low in sugar is essential. Dried or canned food that are specified for this condition are often preferred. However, you should scrutinize the food’s main contents, as high sugar content is strictly not recommended. Talking to the vet will help you decide what kind of foods and hence, ingredients that are recommended or should be avoided for your diabetic dog or cat.
Exercises are as important as well-maintained diet for pets with diabetes, since diabetes often occurs amongst overweight or obese animals. This is caused by insulin resistance that occurs due to excess fat. Therefore, regular exercises, such as daily walking and jogging are advised. This will manage pet’s weight as well as their entire health and body function, minimizing worse effects of diabetes.
What is not less important than the preceding two factors of diabetes-controlling plan is blood glucose monitoring.
By closely watching pet’s blood glucose level, pet owners are able to get some information on insulin fluctuation that is essential in treating diabetes. Nowadays, pet owners can be taught to do blood glucose monitoring at home using the instrument called a glucometer
Best pet glucose meter or glucometer for dog and cat
Blood glucose monitoring in diabetic pets is essential and can be done at the lab. However, there are some blood glucose devices—or glucometer you can buy to perform a home blood glucose test. There are a couple of methods used for testing blood glucose in diabetic pets. Those are:
- Checking pet’s urine for the presence of glucose and ketones. Ketones is a chemical produced by the body when fat or energy is burned. Examining ketones chemicals in pet’s urine may not be as effective as measuring glucose in the blood, but this type of test can be done easily at home.
- Measuring glucose level in pet’s blood. Commonly, people go to the vet to get their pet’s blood tested in the lab. However, this test can also be done using portable glucometer or blood test strips you can buy. Measuring glucose level in pet’s urine is the most accurate way to monitor your pet’s glucose level and hence, define required diabetic treatments.
If you decide to do a glucose monitoring test, there are tips for choosing glucometers to perform the test.
- A handheld glucometer may not be essential if you decide to use blood strips—which are similar to urine strips. However, a glucometer is easier to use and therefore, can be worth the investment.
- Use a glucometer that is specially designed for pets. Glucometers for humans commonly use human blood composition to calculate glucose meter and hence, when used with pets may cause underestimation of blood glucose level as well as inaccurate readings.
- Look for a meter that can be hold and seen in any orientation—flat, sideways, tipped in some conditions. This will make blood testing a lot easier.
- Choose a meter that does not require too much blood, especially because you are working with diabetic dog or cat. Draining too much from the earflap might significantly affect blood glucose fluctuation in diabetic pets. Hence, a meter that works well with a little amount of blood is advised.
Based on some characteristics, features, and customer reviews, below are the best glucometers for dog and cat you can use to perform blood glucose test at home.
1. Advocate PetTest Starter Kit Value Bundle
Advocate PetTest Starter Kit’s retail price is affordable considering for starter kit that includes 50 test strips, while 50 additional test strips can be bought separately. If you are buying the starter kit bundles, you will find the PetTest starter kit, 50 count test strips, and eOutletdeals pet towel in the package. PetTest displays the result within 5 seconds, claims the manufacturer, and displays the result along with species-specific designation.
This glucometer is specially designed as an easy-to-use portable blood glucose monitoring system for dogs and cats. A simple push button will switch PetTest from “dog” mode to “cat” mode, in order to guarantee accurate readings. While some glucometers may not provide accurate result with too little blood sample amount, Advocate PetTest guarantees accurate and precise results with 0.3µL sample size. This is described as a “pin-head size” drop of blood, which most pet owners using this glucometer found effective and efficient. The meter shows results from 20-600. Anything lower will display Lo and higher will display Hi.
In addition to this efficient blood sample amount required by the glucometer, the Advocate starter kit is also preferred since it is considerably cheaper that some of its competitors. The meter, the lancet, and the blood test strips are lower in price than most glucometers in the market, which is really helpful for those diabetic pet owners that need consistent supplies for regular blood glucose monitoring and testing.
On the contrary, some found out that the lancet device from the starter kit is too big and produces certain sound that scare the pet out. Despite this, most pet owners trying out this glucometer recommend the product as one of the best blood meters for pet’s blood monitoring at home.
This value bundle also features the eOutletDeals towel, which is 100% natural and bio-degradable. Thus, it is safe for your pet, hypoallergenic, and natural.
2. Advocate PetTest Strips Box
This test strips are designed for use with the Advocate PetTest to measure glucose level in dogs and cats. Therefore, it may not fit any other pet blood glucometer. The box measures 1.5 x 2.1 x 1.6 inches and 0.8 ounces, containing 50 test strips per box. The strips come in the standard round bottle used for most similar test strips.
A little bit different from any other test strips, the Advocate test strips have an indicator that tells you how much blood you should have in order to get accurate reading. If your blood sample does not meet this indicator, you probably might not be able to get enough blood for accurate reading. This is really helpful for most pet owners using this test strip, as the indicator prevents wasted strips caused by insufficient blood sample.
Advocate test strips is also preferred since it is more affordable than the vet-recommended model test strips as well as test strips from some competitors.
3. Advocate Pet Test Blood Glucose Monitoring System
The advocate pet test blood glucose meter is calibrated for dogs and cats. Hence, this meter is beneficial for pet owners that need to observe their pet’s glucose level in daily basis. This red-colored meter is quite bulky in size compared to several other pet glucose meters. Unboxing the item, you would find the meter, user manual, 2AAA batteries, quick reference guide, and a carrying case.
Although the physical size of the meter is quite bigger than its average companions, it gives you more comfortable viewing. The screen is large and easy to read. It displays some information about your pet’s glucose level, the day average, as well as the time and date, although setting up the time and date can be challenging. It is done using the button on the front and the back of the cover that are pushed together. The button behind the battery cover, in single use, functions as a single button to switch between the “dog” and “cat” modes.
When you put a strip on the meter—the slot is placed at the top of the meter—the meter will turn on and ask for blood sample. You are given two minutes to get the sample for reading. Overall, the Advocate Pet Test has a similar size compared to some other meters and read as accurately as its companions, according to some satisfied customer reviews. However, some pet owners prefer this glucose meter because they are slightly cheaper than the competitors.
4. EverPaw Diabetes Blood Glucose Monitoring System
The EverPaw conveniently tests your pet’s blood glucose level to regulate your pet’s diabetes. It aids blood glucose tests that can be done anywhere and anytime, without the assistance of any vets. This glucometer can be used to test blood glucose in either dogs or cats, and is claimed to give accurate results. It is also claimed to provide the dogs and cats a less painful and simple glucose test.
This glucometer has a lifetime guarantee that ensures your satisfaction. It also has a money-back guarantee policy if you are not satisfied with the product for any reason. The EverPaw blood glucose monitoring system is designed to work with the EverPaw diabetes glucose strip testing, which is affordable yet effective.
The product is also guaranteed to only require a small amount of blood sample for accurate readings, yet some people found out that it will be hard to register the sample of you do not have a significant amount of blood to pull into the test strips. However, this might only require practices on when to dive in the test stick, so that the result can be drawn properly.
However, some reviewers discovered that even though this glucometer requires only a small amount of blood sample, it still requires more blood compared to the competitors, and this can be a drawback because you have to throw away error sticks due to insufficient blood samples.