My Dog has Diabetes, So now what?

*Note* – I’ve updated this article – June 2015

Your life or your dogs life isn’t over with. My Dog, Bender leads a happy, health life. As of right now Bender is 10.5yrs old. He has had diabetes since he was 1.5yrs old. He goes for runs. Plays with his sister Luna, Eats and gets treats. But he also gets shots twice a day and his blood sugar checked regularly.

I’ve learned a lot over these last 9 yrs. The key is getting your dog on a schedule with proper food and exercise. Find a high protein, low fat, no filler (corn, white rice), with zero to no added preservatives food. Such as Wellness Core Grain Free Reduced Fat. There are a lot of other foods out there that are similar, find one that works. Stay Away from Hill’s Science Diet W/D. Although your Vet will recommend it, it is terrible for diabetics. First ingredient: Corn = sugar. You will never get your dog regulated on it. Reading my original article. The reason I had so many problems getting Bender regulated was due to Hill’s Science Diet W/D. Cut out table scraps and find some diabetic friendly treats.

Managing diabetes can be expensive. But taking short cuts will be worse in the long run. Here are a few tips.

  • Get your dog on a good diabetic dog food. Better food will help regulate your dog and keep insulin needs down. The less insulin the better. If your dog needs more insulin it means there is more sugar in the body and the body is working harder. So good food that doesn’t produce a lot of sugar is a good thing.
  • Get a glucose meter and supplies. Being able to test at home will help cut costs and help keep your dog regulated. My vet would charge me $80 to do a glucose curve. Just once a month for a year is $960. Plus it will never accurate as your dog will be stressed out at the Vet. Not eat right. Being able to test at home helps you keep on top of your dog’s diabetes but it requires supplies, such as needles, lancets, test strips, insulin, and more.
    AlphaTrack Blood Glucose Monitoring System Meter
    AlphaTRAK Blood Glucose TEST STRIPS – 50 Count
    – LANCETS – Not all lancets are the same buy a decent quality one, it will probably run you $10-15 for a box of 100. I’ve used the cheaper ones – $5 for a box of 100 and they are not good.
    I buy needles from I get U100 needles for humans.
  • Find insulin that will work for your dog. There are several brands of insulin such as Vetsulin, Novolin N, Humilin N. Each are different and your dog will react to each differently. I have found that Novolin N works well for Bender. I get it at Walmart under their ReliOn brand for $25/bottle.
  • Exercise. I run Bender 2-5 miles a day 5-7 days a week. He is high energy and requires a good run to burn it off. But exercise also helps regulate his diabetes. If I don’t run him his blood sugar will be higher that day. Consult your Vet to figure out what would be the best for your dog. Some dogs might need a lap around the block twice a day, while others dogs might need a good run twice a day. Either way, good, structured exercise will help.
  • Get on a schedule. You will have to give your dog a shot after every meal. It is best to get on a schedule that works for you and your dog. Bender eats twice a day, 8am and 6pm. He gets a set amount of food for each meal. He doesn’t get to eat from his bowl all day. If he doesn’t eat it all, which is very rare, I pick it up. He gets a shot right after he eats at 8am, and after he eats at 6pm. For you it might be different. You might find 7am and 7pm works with your schedule and your dogs schedule.

Following these tips will help you regulate your dog’s diabetes so they can enjoy a happy, full life. Just remember to always ask your Vet about changes. If they aren’t helping you out as much as you feel they should, fine another Vet.

Let me know about your dog.

  1. What breed is it?
  2. What food it is on?
  3. How much insulin you give it?
  4. What your schedule is like for your dog?

55 Responses to “My Dog has Diabetes, So now what?”

  1. Patricia

    Just got my 6yr old Zeke back from vet yesterday. His two week stay at the vets has been rough. He is currently on 24units insulin and 2 baytril a day. He didn’t want me testing him at home but I’m not sure if that is good. He wants him back in 2 weeks for blood work. I have him on a 7-7 feeding schedule with pill and 12 unit shot to follow but he seems to be fluctuating. He gets really tired about 30 mins after shot and lays around. Is this normal. Vets isn’t sure if glucose levels are causing high white count or an infection is causing glucose fluctuation. What course do I need to head.

  2. Jeff Mendelsohn


    How long has Zeke had diabetes? Just some thing you found out about?

    I’m not a Vet so I would listen to your Vet on what Zeke needs. Beyond that, if your dog is on baytril (anti-biotic) , then I am assuming he is sick in some way. This will have an affect on glucose levels. How much I don’t know.

    The glucose fluctuation could be caused by stress of being at the vet or the type of food he is eating or both.

    What food is Zeke on? If it is something like Hills Science Diet W/D or Purina veterinary diets DCO, then you will never get him regulated. But if he is on a good diabetic friendly food like Wellness Core Grain Free Reduced Fat, then it probably isn’t food.

    I would get Zeke well again and after his baytril run evaluate this glucose levels. If he is not of a diabetic friendly food, then get him on one. Some structured daily exercise if possible.

    If you Vet doesn’t want you to test at home ever, then that is a red flag. Testing at home will help you regulate insulin needs. It will be less stressful and in general a better long term solution.

    Bender has always taken a nap after eating. But you know your dog the best. Has he always done that after eat? Or is it something new in the last few weeks?


  3. Patricia

    The vet has him on Hills w/d wet and dry. He went in because of frequent urination that was abnormal. White count was extremely high as well as glucose levels. Liver and kidney numbers were up as well.

    He was usually really active until his stay at vet. Now he is less active and “just tired”. My mother is diebetic so I can see the similarity in symptoms.

    I would like to try moringa but vet doesn’t want/believe in homeopathic help ( I won’t use remedy because I am not foolish enough to believe is a cure but maybe it could help).

  4. Jeff Mendelsohn


    Getting Zeke off Hills w/d wet and dry will help big time. It is a terrible food for diabetics. Lots of fillers (corn & rice) = sugar. Finding a good food like Wellness Core Grain Free Reduced Fat or similar will help you get Zeke regulated.

    Diabetes in humans is very similar to diabetes in dogs. The only difference is a dog can’t tell you they don’t feel good or have high or low blood sugar. So you have to be the one to pay attention. Garbage in, Garbage out. You have to be the one to feed health food to your dog.

    The key is keeping to a schedule, good food diabetic friendly, and daily structured exercise. Regularly checking blood sugar levels and adjusting when necessary.

    As for moringa, I would get Zeke off of Hills w/d wet and dry first and onto a good diabetic friendly food, then regulated before exploring that route.

    Also, if your Vet didn’t check for cushings and pancreatitis, have that done too. It also doesn’t hurt to call around and find a Vet that knows more about canine diabetes. It makes a huge difference.


  5. Shirley

    My 13 year old has just been diagnosed and had his first insulin shot today. He never slept all last night so must be tired. He got a shot at 12 noon and has been sleeping on and off since. Is this normal?

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