How to Give a Dog an Insulin Shot?

how to give a dog an insulin shot

Taking care of your dog is not about feeding and bathing it regularly but also about getting it vaccinated on time and considering its overall health.

Like vaccination, which is an integral part of your dog’s health, getting it neutered/spayed also holds an important place. Similarly, you have to make sure that your dog is healthy overall. Like humans, dogs are vulnerable to catch infectious diseases, which can stay away from your beloved dog by vaccinations. However, certain diseases are natural, like diabetes. Diabetes that dogs suffer from is quite similar to the one from which humans go through.

If your vet has recently diagnosed your dog with diabetes and you have no idea how to take care of your dog and administer the insulin shots for dogs, then you need not worry! By the time you finish reading this article, you will understand how to perform the administration of insulin shots in your dog.

Diabetes in dogs

As mentioned earlier, dogs also suffer from diabetes like humans. However, the disease is not very common among dogs. Rarely, a few dogs develop the condition. It depends on your vet whether they suggest you have insulin shots for your dog. Besides, your vet might recommend you alter your dog’s dietary and habitual lifestyle and observe changes in its health. Some dogs work great even without having insulin, maybe because their diabetes has not gone wild and uncontrollable.

On the contrary, if your dog has uncontrolled diabetes, then it might need insulin shots regularly. Since insulin shots are unlike vaccination shots, it would be best to learn how to give your dog an insulin shot regularly prescribed by your vet. Understandably, you cannot take your dog to the vet before/after every meal to get the insulin shot.

How to prepare your dog for the insulin shot?

Undoubtedly, dogs are exceptionally excellent at observing. If your dog is diabetic and you have recently started administering insulin shots into it, it will soon start noticing you while you unpack the insulin syringes/needles. Nobody, be it humans or dogs, likes needles. Therefore you will see your dog running around and not settling down to get the shot calmly.

However, there is a tried and tested recommendation for you to prepare your dog for an insulin shot; you can time your dog’s insulin injections around the time of its treatment or meals so that it does not run away.

When to give your dog the insulin shots?

Normally, when humans have diabetes, they have to take insulin before meals as recommended b the doctors. However, this is not the case with dogs. Since you never know how much your dog will eat when you offer it a meal, you cannot plan its insulin’s correct and required dose. If you give a high dose insulin shot before the meal and find out that your dog has not fed itself enough, it might result in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels.)

Vets usually recommend that you give an insulin shot to your diabetic dog after meals because you have observed how much your dog has eaten, and therefore, you can plan the correct dose for the moment. Long story cut short, and please keep the following important points in your mind;

  • If your dog has eaten the meal less than usual, you need to give him a lesser dose of insulin.
  • If the dog has consumed the meal more than usual, you have to increase the dose of the insulin.

Moreover, it would be best if you discuss the diabetic condition of your dog with the vet and plan its insulin dosage and timings.

How to Give a Dog an Insulin Shot?

Here is a simple stepwise guide for the correct administration of insulin shots in your diabetic dog. Please make sure that you read the guide below thoroughly;

  • Firstly, since you have to administer the insulin shots multiple times a day, you must use new syringes and needles for your dog every time. If you try to use the same needles every time, you put your dog at risk as it might catch any infection.
  • You have to take out the wrappings of the syringes and needles every time, but please do not remove the cap of the needle.
  • Usually, insulin needs storage in refrigerators, so when you take the insulin bottle out of the fridge, please make sure that you rub/roll it in your hands to make it a little warmer. Besides, shake it very slightly so that the hormones present get mixed nicely!
  • Ensure that you remove the needle cap and then place the index finger and thumb of one hand to hold the syringe.
  • On the contrary, your other hand’s thumb has to draw back the plunger. You have to fill the plunger with air and make sure that you do not stop pulling the plunger until you get to the correct marker of the amount of insulin your dog requires.
  • Next, you have to hold the insulin bottle (make sure the position of the bottle is upside-down) in one hand, put the needle into it through the midway of the rubber cap, and push the plunger.
  • Depressing the plunger inside the bottle will remove all the air from the syringe so that when you pull the insulin, you will not have to deal with vacuum problems.
  • You can push the needle inside the bottle as much as possible; please make sure the needle tip is present in the insulin. Then you can pull the plunger back towards yourself.
  • You have to keep pulling the plunger until you have the required amount of insulin into the syringe.
  • Sometimes, you might see air bubbles present in the syringe; you can get rid of the excess air by adding more insulin into the tube. Then, make sure the needle faces towards the ceiling. Next, you have to dab the tube a little and see if the air bubble comes at the top. Then, push the plunger a little to remove the bubble.
  • Would you please make sure that you hold the needle in your dominant hand? On the other hand, you have to take hold of your dog’s neck very gently. Please, grip a skin fold on your dog’s neck on the back or shoulders.
  • Once you have the skin fold in your hand, please insert the needle at a 45-degree angle.
  • Another important point to keep in mind while you attempt to give your dog an insulin shot, please pull the plunger a little at the site of the skin you have chosen. If blood comes into the syringe, you have to change the injection site.
  • You do not have to necessarily keep injecting the insulin at the same site of your dog’s skin; you can choose to give the insulin shot on the skin of your dog’s shoulders, back, side of the abdomen, or chest as well.

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In conclusion

Understandably, diabetic dogs are difficult to manage compared to healthy ones because their diseases and regular insulin injections make them irritable. However, insulin shots are important for your diabetic dog since it ensures a lifelong healthy survival. Injecting insulin shots is challenging but, in this article, we have tried our best to provide you a stepwise guide about how to give your diabetic dog the insulin shots.

Hopefully, the steps mentioned in the guide will make it easier for you to administer insulin shots in your diabetic dogs.


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