Caring For Your Diabetic Dog

Diabetes is a disease were the body does not produce enough insulin. Insulin in used by the body to turn glucose into energy. Diabetes though, is not just a disease that affects humans. Animals can be affected by diabetes.

While it is possible for animals to live a long life while coping with Diabetes, it can be a difficult for the owners. Dog with diabetes presents many unique challenges for their owners. The dog needs to eat at regular times, needs exercise, needs insulin injections and needs to be monitored by the dogs Vet. While it can be difficult for an owner with a diabetic canine to keep up with the medical needs of the dog, it is possible for the dog to live to a normal age.

What is Canine Diabetes?

Diabetes Mellitus (also known as canine diabetes) is caused by a complete or relative deficiency of insulin. Animals with an insulin deficiency are called diabetics.

An insulin deficiency can occur for different reasons including:

  • Disorders of the pancreas—where the pancreas is not able to secrete enough insulin in the body.
  • Other diseases or the presence of other hormones—may be antagonistic to insulin or cause resistance to insulin. So insulin is unable to function normally in the body.


The body needs insulin to function, and diabetic dogs are not able to produce insulin on its own. Because of the need for insulin, injections are not a cure for diabetes, but can provide the dog with insulin to live a normal life. While insulin injections can help your pet live longer, it is not a cure for Diabetes. You need to continue to monitor your dog to ensure that he or she will be able to live comfortably.

Care for Your Diabetic Dog

While the insulin is needed for the dog to survive, it is important for you to monitor any signs that the dog may have high or low blood sugar. Some common symptoms to look for include:

  • Restlessness
  • Hunger
  • Unsteadiness
  • Trembling or shivering
  • Unusual movements or behavior
  • Unusual quietness or sleepiness
  • Loss of consciousness (coma)

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, contact your Vet immediately.

If your dog has been diagnosed with Diabetes, with proper care, he or she can live a long, normal life. However, it means a great deal of work on the part of the owner. To help dog owners understand Diabetes and its affect on their dog, we have collected a section of resources:

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