How To Administer Insulin to a Dog

Unfortunately, dogs aren't immune to serious health problems like diabetes.  Each year, thousands of dogs are diagnosed with insulin dependent diabetes.  It takes time and patience on the part of the veterinarian to set a dog up with an insulin-dosing schedule that keeps the dog as healthy as possible, and it is up to the owner to learn how to properly administer the medication at home.

It is very simple to give insulin injections to a dog.  Following these simple steps, anyone can feel comfortable in giving these injections and ensuring their pet has the best possible chance at a long and vibrant life

1. First feed your dog. Feeding your dog before the injection is vital: you need to ensure that he does not suffer from hypoglycemia, which could cause death.

2. Relax.  Dogs respond to our emotions and if we are upset they will be, too. 

3. Make sure that you have everything you need within arm's reach: the insulin bottle, a new syringe, and an alcohol prep pad.  You don't want to be hunting for supplies in the midst of giving an injection.

4. Warm the bottle in your hand and roll it gently back and forth in your palm to mix the solution. 

5. Draw the appropriate dosage into the syringe and place the bottle back into the refrigerator.

6. Get your dog ready.  If he is small, place him on a stable, raised surface like a table or on top of a counter.  If your dog is larger, have him lie on the floor in a comfortable position.

7. Gently swab the injection site with alcohol.  Speak to your dog gently as you are working; your dog will be soothed by the calm tones in your voice. 

8. Pick up the skin between your thumb and the second knuckle of your first finger. 

9. Insert the needle at the base of the "skin tent" you have just created and pull back slightly on the plunger of the syringe. What you are looking for is blood - you want to be sure that no blood is drawn into the syringe before you give the injection. 

10. If there is no blood, gently press the plunger of the syringe and push the insulin into the dog. 

11. If you do get blood into the syringe, withdraw the needle and reinsert it in a different place and repeat.

12. Release the skin.

This process is generally repeated at least twice a day and sometimes up to five times daily, depending on the severity of the disease and how your dog responds to the medication.  Keep in mind that without this medicine, your dog would not survive; being able to administer insulin is crucial.


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: