How to Administer Dog Insulin

Giving your dog insulin shots does not have to be a traumatic experience for you or for your pet. Giving insulin to a dog with diabetes is more common, and much easier than you might think.

Administering Insulin to a Diabetic Dog

  1. Ensure the condition has been properly diagnosed, and given a dosage, by a veterinarian. Giving an overdose of insulin can be fatal; only a veterinarian can adequately understand the condition of your diabetic dog's liver.
  2. Make sure you store the insulin properly in the refrigerator and that you have the appropriate type of injection needles and supplies.
  3. Take the insulin from the refrigerator. It's optional to roll the vial in the palm of your hands very gently to warm it up, but it does help to make the injection more comfortable for your dog.
  4. Insert your needle into the insulin to extract the proper dosage amount. Flush any air to avoid air bubbles. Do not shake the insulin or the needle at any time. Replace safety guard back onto needle until you have prepared the dog for actual injection to avoid any accidents.
  5. If you have a large dog you will want to be at your dog's level by kneeling or sitting on a chair. If you have a small dog you can put the dog in your lap or on the counter or whatever works best. Spend a few minutes soothing your dog, getting him ready for injection.
  6. You will need to grab a handful of the dogs' skin from the base of the back of the neck. Pull the skin away from the dog so that you have enough skin in your hand to inject the needle at a 45˚ angle, taking care that the needle does not go all the way through to the other side. This will take practice and patience, and the calmer you are the calmer your dog will be.
  7. Empty the dose from the vial and promptly replace the needle guard. It is good practice to reward your dog for cooperating by having a vet-approved treat available and by showing your dog lots of love and approval.
  8. Dispose of needle in a puncture-proof container and place insulin back in the refrigerator for safe storage.
  9. Be sure to follow all diet guidelines as this is complementary to the insulin treatment and best for the overall health of your dog. Insulin treatment can be part of a health maintenance program that will prolong you dog's life.