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Native Natural Remedies » Dog Health » Caring for a Dog with Diabetes

Caring for a Dog with Diabetes

The treatment of diabetes in dogs and cats involves regular monitoring of diet, blood sugar levels and insulin levels. This monitoring needs to be done on a daily basis and pet owners obviously cannot be expected to visit a veterinarian every day for the daily dose of  insulin. Understanding the basics of home care helps one manage a diabetic dog effectively.

Once the symptoms of diabetes have led to a confirmed diagnosis, the goal of treatment for diabetes is to control the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.  Effective control can help your pet lead a comfortable life.

On the other hand uncontrolled hyperglycemia (abnormally high blood sugar) can shorten life the pets life span considerably due to complications like kidney disease, retinopathy and arteriosclerosis.

Insulin Injections

Insulin must be administered at the time recommended by the veterinarian and must be administered at the correct dosage. Try to keep the dose as close as prescribed by understanding the markings on the syringe that you are using. Note that the markings on syringes may vary according to size of the syringe. Your veterinarian can show you how to administer the insulin injection correctly.

Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels

High sugar levels almost always spill over to urine. Monitor how your dog responds to exogenous insulin by using strips to test the levels of sugar in the urine. A urine testing kit contains instructions about how they work.

It is advisable to keep a record of the test strip results and the amount of insulin injected. A study of this record will help you in understanding the relation between dosage and level of sugar in the urine and also give a definite picture to veterinarian on your next visit.

Dietary Management

Diet plays an extremely important role in controlling blood sugar. Glucose is the primary source of energy in the body and it cannot be totally avoided. Many foods contain substances that are rich in sugar content even if they are not sweet to taste. Feed your dog with a diet that has high fiber content. A diet low in carbohydrates and fats is also recommended. The meal time schedule is related to the time of the insulin injections. Make sure you have discussed this with the veterinarian.


Work up a regular exercise regime to help in maintaining optimum blood sugar levels. Such a practice may even lead to a reduction of the insulin dosage over time. Make sure that you carry some source of sugar like corn syrup or honey in case of an insulin reaction especially when you are taking your dog out for a walk or exercise. As soon as you see any symptoms of hypoglycemia (abnormally low blood sugar) immediately rub some on the gums and take him to the veterinarian immediately.

Diabetes is a manageable disease and there is no reason why your canine friend cannot survive and lead a normal, healthy and active life even after being diagnosed as diabetic.

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