7 Essential Tips for Living With a Diabetic Dog

How to successfully manage your dog’s diabetes in your everyday life.


To manage your dog’s diabetes, you need to be careful and consistent with his care. Here are a few important tips to help keep you on course.

1. Keep a record. If more than one person in the household gives insulin injections, keep a log or mark it on the calendar after giving each insulin dose. This avoids avoid under- or over-dosing mishaps.

2. Quench his thirst. Make sure your diabetic pet always has access to plenty of fresh water. Diabetic dogs can be very thirsty, especially if they are not well-regulated. Inadequate amounts of water can lead to dehydration and potentially serious problems that could require hospitalization. Encourage drinking by keeping bowls of fresh water in various rooms and outdoors.

3. Know who to call. Keep handy the telephone numbers of your veterinarian and emergency animal hospital in case you need assistance.

4. Carry supplies. Take a small packet of syrup or honey with you when you go anywhere with your dog, in case he suddenly becomes hypoglycemic. Keep a supply of glucose at home, too.

5. Travel smart. If you plan to travel without your dog, either board him with your veterinarian or find a pet sitter or boarding kennel that can provide the necessary care and can recognize any sign of a problem.

6. Visit the vet. If your diabetic dog was well-regulated and suddenly stops responding well to insulin, have your veterinarian check for a silent urinary tract infection. These are very common in diabetic dogs and can throw off a pet’s blood sugar regulation.

7. Stay connected. Join an e-mail list or a Yahoo! Group for information, support, and encouragement.

Tips courtesy of Elisabeth Snead, DVM, DACVIM, and Judy Dick, of www.caninediabetes.org and www.petdiabetes.com

Marcia King is a DOG FANCY contributing editor.


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Ronnie   Dothan, Alabama

4/24/2013 5:20:20 PM

My 13 year old best friend was diagnosed today. I am so comforted by reading others experiences as well as the informative articles. I was really sad until my little man felt so good this afternoon that he played with my younger dogs and them know that he's still "the
I will be on this journey with him as we master this illness.

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Trina - 142050   Aurora, IL

4/16/2013 9:46:52 AM

One important item is missing from the list: mealtimes. Feeding the dog at the same times each day definitely leads to better blood sugar control, in my

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Shirley   Fresno, CA

1/31/2011 1:15:10 PM

My diabetic dog has been living with the disease for over 6 years.I attribute her doing so well to the fact that I home blood test her on a daily basis...just as human diabetics
Being able to know where their glucose levels are at any given time helps maintain ultimate control as well as keeping her
I recommend home testing to every diabetic pet owner!

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Heidi   Milwaukee, WI

12/25/2009 3:47:57 PM

My miniature schnauzer "Gretel" is going on 2yrs of being diabetic. I have a fantastic vet, I make sure to give her insolin every 12 hours and have glucose curves done to her on a regular bases. All and any extra time spent on her is all worth it, I love her and will do anything to keep her healthy.

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