How To Give Insulin To A Dog

If you are here trying to find out how to give insulin to a dog, you most probably have a dog that is diabetic. And if you do, we want to believe that you have taken your dog to see a vet.

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Now, it is pretty common knowledge that people who are diabetic take insulin shots. So, we do not want to believe that you automatically decided to give your dog insulin shots without a diagnosis.

So, if you suspect that your dog has diabetes, do take them to see a veterinarian and let your veterinarian prescribe medications for your dog. 

That said, let us get to the bone of contention.

Getting Ready To Give Your Dog Insulin

First off, be sure to purchase the exact kind of insulin and syringes that your veterinarian has prescribed. 

Furthermore, do bear in mind that insulin has to be stored properly. It cannot survive in room temperature for long periods of time.

So, refrigerating it is certainly a good idea.

However, because insulin can be really painful for the party being injected, it is important that you allow the insulin warm up for between 30 minutes and 1 hour after bringing it out of the refrigerator and before administering it.

That said, when you are ready to inject your dog, you’ll need to roll the bottle of insulin on your palm in order for it to properly mix.

Be careful not to shake it as that could make the insulin foam, making it difficult to accurately measure the amount of insulin you want to inject.

As for the syringe itself, do not open it till you are ready to actually inject. And make sure to use a new syringe every single time.

Injecting The Insulin

First, remove the cap from the needle and then pull on the plunger, allowing air to enter into the syringe up to the point your veterinarian has specified.

Then, push the syringe into the insulin bottle and push on the plunger, expelling all the air you have collected into the insulin bottle.

When that is done, pull on the plunger again to get insulin into the syringe.

You might notice that there are air bubbles in the syringe. So, what you want to do is to hold the syringe with the needle facing up then flick the syringe bottle with your fingers. 

This should force the bubbles to the top of the bottle so you can gently push them out by pushing on the plunger.

Now, to actually inject, you’ll need to pinch out the part of your dog’s skin that you want to inject.

Your dominant hand (your right hand if you are right handed and left hand if you are left handed) should be the one holding the syringe.

Now, push the needle into that fold of skin you’ve pulled out, ensuring that every inch of the needle is plunged in. Please be careful not to poke your finger.

With that said, you actually want to pull on the plunger immediately after pushing in the needle. Now, if you draw blood in the process, that indicates that you have hit a blood vessel.

So, pull out the syringe, discard it and change injecting site. Then go back and do the entire process all over again.

If, however, you do not draw blood, go ahead and inject the insulin and you are done. Don’t forget to pat your dog, give them some belly rubs or even give them a nice treat when you’re done.

Check out this instructional video:

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Precautions To Take When Giving Your Dog An Insulin Shot

First off, it is recommended that you give your dog their insulin shots with their stomachs full. So, you could administer the shots as they are about to finish their meal or right after they have finished. This makes the insulin effective, allowing it to easily be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Furthermore, it is necessary that you do not inject your dog at the same spot every single time.

You’ll be doing this every day and injecting the exact same spot will be very painful for your dog.

We’ve already mentioned that you’ll have to use a different syringe every time you inject. That said, you cannot discard the syringes indiscriminately.

Your vet should be able to recommend a safe syringe disposal method for you.

And that is something you actually need to invest in, considering the fact that you’ll be disposing a lot of syringes in your dog’s life time.

How To Give Insulin To A Dog — FAQs

Where Do You Inject Insulin In A Dog?

You can inject the insulin under any fold of skin, basically. However, your dog might be more comfortable with areas like their hips, the shoulder blades or the middle of their backs.

That said, make sure that you are not injecting the insulin at the same spot everytime. Alternate the injection spots so that they do not become sore.

Can You Give A Dog Insulin Orally?

Oral insulin hasn’t been known to work for dogs. In fact, it has been known to have adverse effects on dogs. So, it’s best to stick with the insulin injections.

Can A Diabetic Dog Survive Without Insulin?

The prognosis for a diabetic dog that isn’t taking their insulin shot isn’t good, at all. It is practically impossible for a diabetic dog to survive without insulin.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Diabetic Dog?

As far as the diabetic dog is consistently getting his insulin shots, he has the same life expectancy as a non-diabetic dog of the same breed and age.

What If My Dog Misses His Insulin Shot?

Most times, if your dog misses just one insulin shot, it might not really change much. If he misses one day, you might see a reappearance of some of the diabetic symptoms but even that is usually not life threatening.

However, if he misses more than that, it could become an emergency. So, don’t make a habit out of missing your dog’s insulin shots.

Do All Diabetic Dogs Go Blind?

Not all diabetic dogs go blind but about 75% of them do go blind which is still concerning. And they usually go blind 5 to 6 months after they get diabetes

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