How Do You Treat a Dog with Diabetes?

By:  Nancy O, AAHA Certified Diabetes Educator, for Muffin’s Halo

How do you treat your newly diagnosed dog with diabetes?  You treat them with all of the love, kindness, and affection that you always have.  You just have a few more steps to take to keep them as healthy and active as they can be.  

Steps To Keep A Dog With Diabetes Healthy

You will need to start a 12-hour schedule, 7 days a week.  Find those times that fit with your lifestyle and your schedule.  Then you get started.  One important aspect of treatment is to get the routine down from the very beginning.  That means that you test, feed, and then inject.  Repeat after me, test, feed, inject.  

Hopefully, you have been shown how to test and how to inject.  You already know how to feed, so once you and your pup get this new routine down, life will go on.  There are some tips and tricks that will make your life easier.  Things like giving a treat before and after the test and before and after the injection.  I boiled or baked chicken breasts a couple of times a week and cut them up into small cubes for treats.  Any pure protein should not affect your BG (Blood Glucose) numbers.  So even if you were told that there were to be no treats, you can give some.  Many people use green beans (frozen or fresh); my Max wasn’t a fan of green beans, so we found alternatives. Lol  

Bonding With Your Dog Diagnosed With Diabetes

I would imagine that you have a pretty strong bond with your pup already, but believe me when I tell you that if there is an upside to this disease, it is that your bond will grow even stronger.  I didn’t think that was possible, but it was.  It was as if he knew that what we were doing twice a day helped him to feel better and ultimately was saving his life.  My Max was very food motivated, so the treats didn’t hurt! Lol

Max’s brother Finn was so sure that he was missing out on something so we had to do “the ritual” with him too!  After Max got his test, I would put Finn up on the counter and pretend to test him and of course, he got his before and after treat.  Then after food, he also got his fake injection after Max got his real one.  It was an extra couple of steps, but I didn’t mind at all because it made Finn feel like Max wasn’t getting a whole lot more attention and that kept peace in my house!

Tips For Multiple Pups In Home

I will share a little hint here with you.  If you have more than one dog in your house and the “alpha” of the pack isn’t the one that is diabetic, you will want to start the “ritual” (test, feed, inject) with the alpha of the pack, not actually giving the insulin of course, but going through the steps.  This will help your other pup become more cooperative.  My Max was the alpha of my two, so it was less of an issue for us.

Here is where I will strongly suggest that you join a support group.  My group of choice is Canine Diabetes Support and Information on Facebook (there are over 18,700 members all of whom have been where you are and will help you every step of the way!) ).  

At Muffin’s Halo, your blind diabetic dog’s health is our number one goal.  Call us at (818) 943-9673 or email us at to learn more about how our blind dog halo harness can help your blind dog, navigate safely without bumping into things while increasing their confidence.