Diabetes in Dogs: What Pet Owners Should Know When Caring for Their Pet

Do you have a dog who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes? Are you unsure of what to expect from your pet’s health and diagnosis moving forward? Do you need some guidance when dealing with a pet who has diabetes?

If you’re looking for some suggestions for taking care of your diabetic dog, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll help you learn the basics about taking care of dogs with diabetes so you can prepare yourself for this task. Read through the information below to find out more and to get some ideas for your pet’s health care, too.

dog diabetes

Diet Change

Diet is the first step in helping your diabetic dog. If your dog is overweight, they need to be put on a healthy diet with food intake closely monitored so they can lose weight. And if they are not overweight, it is best to still be on a food blend that is designed specifically for dogs with diabetes.

Talk to your veterinarian for recommendations if you need some idea of what to feed your dog. Some dogs respond better to certain types of food than others, so it’s important to find the right combination of healthy and appetizing for your pet.

Regular Exercise

Exercise is crucial when caring for a dog with diabetes. Just like diabetic humans, diabetic dogs require plenty of exercise to stay healthy and well. Exercise can also help dogs retain a healthier weight or lose weight, which can combat the effects and symptoms of diabetes, too.

Talk to your vet about the proper type of exercise for your dog. Depending on your dog’s weight, age, breed, and other health restrictions, light exercise may be best; on the other hand, some dogs respond well to heavy exercise instead. Each dog is different, and only your vet can tell you for sure which type of exercise your pet needs.


If you manage to catch your dog’s diabetes before it becomes too serious, you may be able to take care of it with diet and exercise alone. However, moderate to severe cases of canine diabetes require insulin injections, which are usually given daily in most instances.

Your vet will be able to give you specific advice and information about your dog’s insulin needs. It is important to check with your vet on this matter, as your dog’s breed, size, age, and overall health will contribute to the amount of insulin they need regularly.

Blood Sugar Checks

Regular at-home blood sugar checks are an important part of life for your dog with diabetes. Although you may not have to check your dog’s blood sugar every day, depending on the severity of their condition, you should check it at least every week. If your vet tells you to check it more often, listen to your vet’s advice.

Blood sugar checks can let you know if your dog is nearing a crisis and can give you information to relay to your vet. From there, the vet can tell you if your pet needs to have their insulin injections adjusted.

Keep Up with Vet Visits

Vet visits are a crucial part of any pet ownership, but this is especially true if you have a dog with diabetes. Your dog will likely need to go to the vet every few months for a routine checkup and bloodwork to keep track of their blood sugar, too.

You should be monitoring your pet’s blood sugar at home as well, but your vet will want to do additional tests at regular appointments. It is necessary to work closely with a vet you can trust when it comes to the safety and health of your diabetic dog.

Managing Secondary Issues

Along with your pet’s other health and wellness needs, it’s important to stay on top of any secondary issues they might encounter along the way. Dogs with diabetes already have a weakened immune system, so they are less capable of recovering quickly from infections and other problems.

If your dog contracts an illness, you’ll need to go to the veterinarian right away and follow all your vet’s recommendations for treating and managing the condition. By paying close attention to any changes in your dog’s health, you’ll be able to help them live a longer, happier life.

Work with a Heart + Paw Vet to Manage Your Dog’s Diabetes 

With the help of this guide, you should be more prepared to handle your dog’s diabetes diagnosis. If your dog is newly diagnosed or if their condition has recently worsened, it’s important to take stock of your pet’s health and wellness needs as well as your ability to care for your pet.

If you have any further questions or concerns about your dog’s diabetes, talk to your Heart + Paw vet for more information. By working with a trusted vet, you can ensure your dog always has the proper care to help them combat the symptoms of this condition. Use the online form to book an appointment at any of our Heart + Paw locations.

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About Us

Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.

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