How to care for a dog with diabetes

Diabetes is an endocrine disease that can affect dogs, caused by a deficit in the production of insulin, which is the hormone that allows the cells of the body to take advantage of the glucose in the blood. As a result of the above, diabetic dogs usually lose weight despite eating a lot. It will be essential to pay attention to the details that can help you to know if your dog is diabetic; and in case it is determined that it is, in .com we explain how to take care of a dog with diabetes.

The diet

The diet in diabetic dogs should be balanced and low in fat. It is better to separate the daily ration in, at least, two meals a day, and it is beneficial that those meals are always at the same time.

If the dog is obese, it is necessary, as far as possible, to control this obesity with diets rich in fiber. No extras or homemade foods rich in carbohydrates (sugars) are recommended.


Exercise in dogs with diabetes can help fight obesity. Exercise should be moderate, avoiding overexertion, and gradual, that is, you should not start from the first day with exhausting activities but go little by little, day by day increasing the intensity of them. Usually it is indicated to increase the duration of the trips.

The insulin treatment

As we have seen, the cause of diabetes is insufficient insulin production. For this reason, the administration of insulin is the basis of treatment.

Insulin is injected before meals, and, depending on the case, one or two doses per day are necessary. It usually starts with two doses.

The monitoring

The control of the effectiveness of the treatment is fundamental in the cases of diabetes. The owner should be aware of water consumption and changes in the weight of his pet, and inform the veterinarian of this.

Normally a glucose curve is used to assess the effectiveness of insulin, this is usually done at the beginning of the treatment and involves making glucose measurements every 2 hours, for which the animal is usually hospitalized.

After the initial determinations, a veterinary review is recommended after two weeks and then another at two months. Sometimes it may be interesting to perform periodic urine tests, this can be done in a simple way by the owner of the animal using some test strips whenever the veterinarian deems it appropriate.

Other considerations

Some dogs with diabetes present in the office with electrolyte alterations and acid-base balance, which will be corrected by the veterinarian through the administration of sera.

In theory it is recommended to find out the cause that causes diabetes (that is, the reason why the pancreas does not adequately secrete insulin), but sometimes this is tremendously complicated and does not influence the subsequent treatment.