Routine is the key to success when caring for your diabetic dog. To achieve the best control possible you will need to manage their insulin, exercise and diet. Your Vets4Pets team will do all they can to help you achieve this.
As your dog cannot produce their own insulin giving insulin via injection is the only way their blood sugar levels can be managed.
Insulin injections are usually given every 12 hours, immediately after meals.
Your dog’s starting insulin dose will be based on their body weight. Your vet will then monitor your dog’s response to the insulin, making adjustments to the dose until the current optimal dose has been determined.
This process can take weeks or months, and your dog’s ideal dose may change over time so it’s important to keep having regular check-ups with your vet. Getting the dose right is critical – a too high dose can push your dog’s blood sugar too low, which is very dangerous.
Many people find the idea of injecting their dog scary at first. Your vet will spend time with you showing you how to inject your dog – the needle is very fine and most dogs don’t react at all!
Dogs should be fed the same diet twice a day, and these should be their only meals. A high fibre diet will help to slow glucose absorption, as well as helping your dog feel full through the day, so ask your vet for recommendations.
It’s important not to give your dog any extra food or treats through the day, as this will raise their blood sugar and won’t be paired with an insulin injection.
If your dog does eat any extra food accidentally call your vet for advice as soon as possible. Don’t give extra insulin unless instructed to do so.
If your dog refuses their food or vomits you should also speak to your vet as soon as possible. Do not give your dog their insulin dose if they haven’t had their full meal, unless instructed to do so.
Exercise is important for pets with diabetes. It can help avoid high blood sugar levels and may improve insulin absorption.
That being said, too much exercise can cause glucose levels to drop too low, resulting in hypoglycaemia.
Aim for steady, moderate-intensity activities, and keep their activity pattern stable. Doing short walks in the park in the week and a ten-mile hike at the weekend isn’t appropriate for a diabetic dog!