For most kids, pets are more than just family animals— they’re members of the family and the very best of friends. Unfortunately, the joy of owning a pet goes hand-in-hand with the heartbreak of watching your beloved pal become unwell or acting from usual. This can be very hard for adults and children alike to witness. After all, family pets often are the first to greet kids in the morning and after school. Your pet may be the one your child looks to for comfort and companionship.
While it’s impossible to shelter our children from this, you can help them cope with and understand what is happening if your pet starts to suffer from a chronic illness.
In this part of the Vetsure for Kids series we will be looking at Diabetes in our pets, and how to help our children understand what is happening to their furry friend, in a child friendly manner. At the bottom of this article, you will find a FREE Vetsure for Kids Pet Pack, that you can share with your little one.
Explaining diabetes to your child
Once your pet has visited the vets and Diabetes has been diagnosed in your cat or dog, you may want to explain your pet’s health to your child. And answer any questions they may have about what is happening to their best friend.
Depending on how old your child is, you may want to begin by explaining what Diabetes is, and what your child can look out for in their pet from now on. Below is an example of how you may want to explain the condition to your child, written by Amey Montgomery, Veterinary Nurse and Vetsure Claims Assessor.
“Inside our bodies we have something called a pancreas which produces a special thing called insulin- which keeps us healthy.
Our furry friend has a pancreas, just the same as us humans! Sometimes our pancreas becomes unwell and doesn’t create the special insulin that we need. This can make your pet poorly… and sometimes your pet may fall down, which us adults call “collapsing”, but don’t worry, there is special medicine for our pets that grown ups can give to them to make them feel much better!”
What can your child do to help?
Once you have helped your child to understand what Diabetes is, you can offer them ways they can help support your pet. Children often want to be involved, so allowing them to help their pet feel better will make your child feel better about the situation too! It is very important though that we do not allow children to handle any medicine that your pet may need.
You may want to set some ground rules with your child and let them know what to do if they see their pet acting out of character, falling down, or collapsing. See below for some instructions that you could tell your child:
- Most importantly, you should tell a grown up if your pet is acting strangely.
- Do not touch or climb on them, as this may hurt them more, or they could accidentally hurt you.
- Never touch their medicine and tell a grown up if you see any medicine, so a grown up can put it in a safe place as it can be dangerous for little hands to touch.
- If your pet is feeling tired, or unwell, let them relax until they start to feel better.
In our Vetsure Kids Pet Pack, we have included lots of ways children can help to look after their Diabetic cat or dog. Things like, giving pets fresh water every day (as pets with diabetes may become more thirsty than usual) and feeding them at the same time every day to help with their sugar levels can be a great way for little ones to get involved.
Vetsure for Kids – Diabetes Pet Pack
Click here to download your free pet pack, written and designed by our Senior Claim’s Assessor, Veterinary Nurse, and mum, Amey Montgomery. You can give this booklet to your child to help them understand what is happening inside their pet’s body, and how they can help. It also includes some interactive worksheets that you can print for your child, and once the booklet is completed, there is a certificate you can sign and award to your child, to show them just how great a pet owner they are!
Vetsure Pet Insurance
Treatment for diabetes can often be expensive as your pet may need treatment for the rest of their life. Rest assured, with Vetsure Pet Insurance, all our policies are lifelong, which means that if your pet develops diabetes whilst you have an active policy with Vetsure then we would look to cover the condition for as long as your pet lives.
For a Vetsure Pet Insurance quote, click here or give our friendly customer service team a call on 0800 050 2022, to find out more.