According to a new study conducted in Sweden, the risk of diabetes increases for dog owners if their dogs are diabetic (Delicano et al., 2020). Previous studies have confirmed that people with obesity, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes, tend to have overweight dogs due to a shared sedentary lifestyle (Communication, 2019).
The study looked at the health of pet owners from 2007 to 2012 using the Swedish National Patient data portal and identified dogs with diabetes using veterinary insurance records. Although there are some limitations to the study, results showed that ownership of a dog with diabetes was associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes in the dog owner. This association could be explained by shared health behaviors such as physical activity as well as shared environmental exposures.
Keeping these results in mind, dog owners who have diabetic dogs should consider a healthier lifestyle not just for their pets but for their own health.
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