Insurance for Pets

Dogs of people prone to diabetes are also at risk, study finds – Insurance for Pets

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Research shows that people with dogs with type 2 diabetes are 38% more likely to have it themselves.

It is often said that dogs look like their owners, well the similarities seem to be able to go beyond what one imagines. Indeed, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal, the risk of diabetes is more common in owners with diabetic dogs as reported by The Guardian.

A not so surprising finding

From old studies, it seems that an overweight owner tends to have an overweight pet too. This phenomenon is probably explained by a common eating behavior, overeating, and little physical exercise, two factors favoring the onset of type 2 diabetes. As a result, the risk of type 2 diabetes increases in the animal … as with his master.

To reach these conclusions, Beatrice Kennedy, from Uppsala University in Sweden, and her colleagues turned to anonymous data from animal owners at Sweden’s largest pet insurance company. By comparing data from 208,980 owner and dog pairs and comparing them to 123,566 owner and cat pairs, they found that owning a diabetic dog resulted in an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the owner. Risk climbing 38% compared to owners of healthy dogs.

Diabetic cats do not share this similarity with their owners

Conversely, no shared risk of diabetes was detected among cat owners. This lack of risk shared between cats and their owners may indicate that physical activity is an important factor. « Cats generally adopt more independence from their owners when it comes to their movements, » explains Beatrice Kennedy. Thus, a not very active cat can have a very dynamic owner.

More physical activity and better eating habits for dogs and their owners

« Given previous research on shared risk [de surpoids] between dog owners and their animals, we believe that shared eating habits as well as levels of physical activity could be involved, « says the researcher. Thus, more physical activity and a better diet could improve the condition of health of owners and their doggies.

Other avenues considered

However, environmental exposures such as pollutants or chemicals could also partly explain these conclusions, as the scientist points out. But in any case, a diagnosis of diabetes in a household member, including a dog, should be seen as a signal of a need to reassess our health behaviors.

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