Steps to be free of diabetes

If you haven’t heard, November is Diabetes Awareness Month. While any extra awareness brought to this devastating disease is a good thing, the truth is, we need more than a single month if we’re going to conquer this disease. Every month… every day, for that matter…we should take steps to be free of diabetes.

That goes for our four-legged friends, too.

Just a few weeks ago, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) released the results of a study which found that approximately 53 percent of cats and 55 percent of dogs are overweight or obese.

“This is troubling because it means more pets will be affected by weight-related diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease costing pet owners millions in avoidable medical costs,” the association states.

According to the APOP, your pet is overweight if …

  • The ribs are difficult to feel under the fat
  • Its stomach sags (in other words, you can grab a handful of fat)
  • The back is broad and flat
  • Its waist is barely visible or absent

If any of these descriptions ring true for your pet, the first step is to examine the quality of food you’re feeding him or her. Check the calories on the label. Check how often you give treats (those Milk-Bone calories add up quickly!).

My dog, Remington, is an ideal weight for his breed (he’s a beagle). And I’m able to keep him lean and healthy by feeding him what a dog is supposed to eat–raw organic food. And for snacks, he gets raw organic carrots–nothing else. This is how dogs were programmed genetically to eat and by feeding him this way, I make sure he maintains his weight.

Of course, increasing exercise also helps. Walk your dog a bit more, and you’ll both be the better for it.

With cats it’s a little trickier, if they’re indoor pets. That’s where high-quality food is absolutely essential. If you check around, you’ll find healthy options in our pet-friendly world.

These tips probably sound familiar–and for good reason.

When you get right down to it, the best way for ANY living creature to stay healthy is to eat what Nature intended us to eat–and not what we’ve been brainwashed into feeding ourselves (the packaged, processed, “convenience” foods). And if there’s just one piece of advice you take away from Diabetes Awareness Month, this should be it.