Diabetes in Dogs

Managing Diabetes

Caring for Your Dog With Diabetes

Although diabetes is not a completely curable disease, it can be managed successfully with proper treatment, diet and exercise.

The goal of managing diabetes is to maintain glucose in an acceptable range while avoiding hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and its associated signs. Proper management can reduce or eliminate signs of diabetes, such as excessive thirst and urination.

Starting Insulin Therapy

After diagnosis, your vet will determine the insulin dose based on your dog’s weight.

Your vet and veterinary nurse are your best advocates. They will teach you everything you need to know about giving Caninsulin® via syringe or VetPen®. They can also discuss monitoring your dog’s blood or urine glucose levels at home.

Shortly after starting insulin therapy, you should begin to see a decrease in the amount of water consumption and urination volumes. Pay close attention to these changes, along with appetite and attitude, to help your vet in treatment decisions. Based on these signs, and glucose monitoring, your vet may adjust your dog’s insulin dose. Consistent monitoring and patience is key to finding the best dose for your dog.

“I was a little worried about getting injections at
home, but now that I’ve felt like my fun-loving
self again it’s all worth it.”

Monitoring Glucose Levels

Monitoring your dog’s glucose level is important to overall therapy for managing diabetes. It can be done in two ways:

  • Blood Test

Measuring the glucose level in your dog’s blood is the most accurate method. It can be done either at the veterinary practice or at home with a portable glucometer and blood test strips. Learn More About Monitoring Blood Glucose

  • Urine Test

This test checks your dog’s urine for the presence of glucose and ketones (a chemical produced when the body burns fat for energy). It is not as accurate as measuring glucose in the blood, but can be done at home easily. Learn More About Monitoring Glucose & Ketones

If your pet has significant weight gain or loss, or recurrence of signs that were previously controlled, talk to your vet or vet nurse. This may affect treatment or may be a sign of a complication of diabetes.

Controlling Diet

Diet plays a vital role in helping to keep your dog’s diabetes regulated. Your vet can recommend choices specifically for your dog, but these basic tips can help:

  • Keep meal content and volume identical each day to avoid changes in insulin requirements
  • Choose dog foods with quality sources of protein, and low carbohydrates
  • Switch to a reduced-calorie diet if your dog is overweight

Overall, a tasty and nutritious diet can minimise fluctuations in blood glucose, help your dog maintain a healthy weight, and manage diabetes. Learn More About Nutrition for Dogs with Diabetes

Consistent Exercise

Exercise for dogs with diabetes needs to be monitored. Although it can help with happiness and health, it can also affect your dog’s blood glucose levels. If your dog suddenly expends more energy than normal, they will burn up more glucose, potentially resulting in an extremely low blood sugar level (hypoglycaemia). Your vet can help plan for changes in treatment associated with increased periods of exercise, like long hikes or agility exercises.

For dogs of a healthy weight, the usual amount of exercise should remain relatively unchanged. Overweight dogs could potentially use exercise for controlled weight loss, but it’s important to talk to your vet or vet nurse about exercise plans before starting.

Spaying Your Female Dog

If you have a female dog, your vet will recommend that you have your dog spayed as part of the treatment. That’s because one of the female sex hormones, progesterone, can interfere with the normal action of insulin. In order to remove the source of progesterone, spaying your diabetic female dog is critical.

Regular Veterinary Checkups

Keep up with regular visits to your vet. This is the best way to properly manage your dog’s diabetes. It can also prevent possible complications and side effects from occurring. Typically your vet will recommend visiting 2–4 times a year for a physical examination and possibly laboratory testing once your dog is stabilised.

Even after a long period of stability, changes to insulin requirements may need to be updated. Many of these updates are due to changes such as:

  • Weight loss or gain
  • Change in exercise regimen
  • Stress or other situations
  • Presence of other diseases or infections
  • Progesterone in unspayed females
  • Additional medications

If your dog is going through any of these changes, they may again show signs of diabetes (drinking, urinating more, etc.). If you’re aware of changes, or notice signs reappearing, consult your vet straight away.

Living with a Dog With Diabetes

Attentive care and regular doses of Caninsulin® can help your dog lead a happy, normal life.

The good news is that the life expectancy of dogs that stay regulated with insulin is similar to other healthy dogs. Good communication between you and your veterinary practice, and adhering to the management regimen, will help keep your dog healthy.

Find more information and FAQs about managing diabetes. Read Now

Tracking Results

Tracking Tools & Resources

1. Pet Diabetes Tracker app
Review and keep important information to manage diabetes.

2. Blood Glucose Curve Tool
Easily record blood glucose readings to generate a blood glucose curve.

3. Helpful Downloads
Additional resources to understand and manage canine diabetes.

Next Article: Monitoring Urine Glucose & Ketones >

Further Reading

Talk to Your Vet Today

to learn more about pet diabetes, and how cats and dogs can lead a happy,
healthy life with proper management