I don’t have much experience with Bender not being a good boy when he gets his shot. He is rather docile and I’ve trained him well. So when he does receive his shot of insulin he doesn’t fuss about it. But I know not all dogs are like that. Some commenters have said that their dogs are any where from fussy to aggressive. They would like to know what can be done to get their dogs to be good about getting their insulin shot?
The only thing Bender isn’t thrilled about is getting his nails clipped at home. At the Vet he is a perfect angel. But at home he will do everything he can to get away. After fighting with him to cut his nails I realized I’m letting him win and I’m not making the event fun for him (I’m not mean about clipping his nails, he just doesn’t enjoy it).
Letting Him Win: I was letting Bender win by letting him get away/avoid the situation. If he was kicking and trying to mouth his paw/my hand I would let him to a certain extent or not correct him enough.
Which after I stopped letting him win, I was able to cut a few more nails but really could only do about 2-3 nails per 5 days.
I ending having to have help, I would restraint Bender while some one would cut his nails. Restraining Bender doesn’t mean I’m hurting him in any way. There are certain ways you can hold a dog which makes it difficult for them to move. Google “how to restrain a dog” or ask your Vet about safe ways to restrain your dog.
By restraining Bender I was able to do about 2 paws before he really had enough and not wanting to traumatize him I would let him go.
Neither technique was really affective until I started making the situation as enjoyable as possible. If I was able to cut his nail, I would reward him with praise. Then when we were done he would get a treat.
This isn’t a quick solution either. I will have to continually work with Bender to be able to clip his nails without him fussing. It will be the same way when giving your dog an insulin shot.
Look at the situation you are putting your dog in when giving them a shot. You are asking them to lay down, You are hovering over them, they feel the shot. It isn’t a fun situation. Then if they figure out if they resist they might not get the shot. They will try it every time.
I would like some feed back on this, if your dog was difficult to give an insulin shot to, what did you do to change that? Also how you do give your dog an insulin shot?
When my little Maltese was diagnosed I was petrified
To give him his insulin. He could feel my anxiety and would not cooperate. We now have a routine, after he eats we sit on the couch he lays between my legs facing away, I put on very soothing music and I brush him for a couple of minutes. This relaxes him and me, I then inject him carefully and slowly. As soon as it’s done, I make a big deal out of it, praise him and we run to give him a treat. It’s all about routine and praise, relaxation and love. I hope this helps
That’s a good routine. And if it works, excellent.
Dogs definitely pick up on your emotions and feels so calming yourself before giving your dog a shot will help calm him too.
I have just started my facebook page Furry Friends with Diabetes and I am going to suggest your blog. My dog Bear has diabetes and he asks me for his shot. I started early on giving him a small amount of food about 20 min before his shot, then he gets his shot, and after that he gets the rest of his breakfast/dinner. If I am off on the time he reminds me.
Thank you Furry Friends. Please let me know the Facebook address and I will link to it.
Our recently diagnosed dog could be docile or snappish when it was insulin time. What helped for me was to make it a routine. I will tell him “time for your shot”, bring him to the same spot, muzzle him, rub the area, give it a few light pinches and give the shot. I immediately remove the muzzle and praise him and give him a small treat. He can be a bit of a handful, and I have no experience giving injections before this, but it works for me.
If it works. Then that is all that matters.
My dog Hobbes has just been diagnosed with type I diabetes. so far giving him a shot is a pain. My youngest son is the best at it. He’s quick and seems to catch Hobbes unaware. Unfortunately he’s about to head back to school out of state.
I’m an emotional wreck since he was diagnosed about 2 weeks ago so I definitely don’t have any helpful tips. Maybe just a shoulder to commiserate with.
I would watch as many videos as you can as to how inject properly, because if you don’t it can be very painful. Also, it will give you more confidence and less anxiety which your dog can sense. Hope this helps, also start your routine now before your son leaves.
My dog Rowdy does well when my husband injects and I hold his head. I am nervous when I have to do it alone, I am more afraid of not getting it in the right spot or not getting in into him at all, this happened once where I felt wetness and worried about him all day because he did not get any or all of his dose.
I lucked out on this issue as our girl was diagnosed as a very young puppy so we were able to train her pretty easily. What we do is we get her meal (breakfast or dinner) ready and then get her insulin shot ready. I make her sit for her food and put it down and give her the go-ahead to eat her food. Once she starts eating, she gets her shot. She knows it’s coming, and it’s not her favorite part of the day (sometimes she has this “Ugh, seriously?” look on her face so we know she hates it), but she gets to finish off her food once she’s had it. She has never put up a fight, the worst is sometimes she twitches.
Before her first shot (I was a nervous wreck) I watched as many videos and tutorials as I could. I bought her the smallest insulin syringes I could get my hands on. Since she was a puppy I used pieces of food to introduce her to the syringe and the smell of insulin (just hold it in front of her and if she stays by it, looks at it, lets me touch her with it, I’d give her a couple pieces of her food and praise.)
I have been fostering a Diabetic Pug mix for a year, she has cataracts also. I found a way to make it fun for her to receive her shots. I tell her, its time for your medicine, she perks up, I then give her shot, eye drops then a pocket with her pill, she looks forward to her treat! Always give his/her favorite treat. I buy her Insulin at Walmart, the N, costs $24.88. The brand is Relion, but it is human Insulin.
For dogs weighing about 40 pounds or less; the following homemade hammock might help you give shots or get blood samples or even trim nails! Invented out of pure desperation!!
Find one of those standup TV tray tables that is “C” shaped when open. (Not the “X” shaped ones)
Get an old pillowcase and cut the closed end off of it and slip the case over the two posts on the bottom of the TV tray table so that it rests in the middle portion of the table legs.
Lay the inside edge of the table on the floor so it looks like a hammock and cut four holes or X’s in the pillowcase for your pet’s legs. (You may have to measure your pet first or stand your pet on the pillowcase and mark the paw areas.) Also – you can later get another pillowcase to make the cuts neater and even sew a circle around the holes to keep the 2 sides of the pillowcase together.
Place your pet’s legs through the holes in the pillowcase.
Secure your dog to the hammock by fastening a large (about 40 inches or more) belt or an adjustable snap buckle band around the mid section of your pet and hammock. You can use a towel or blanket as filler if the belt is too large.
Placing a velcro cone (like the comfy cone ) on your dog might also help to keep your pet calm.
This beats wrestling with your dog and stabbing yourself with the needle!
And always give your dog a healthy treat when finished!!
Note about insulin – Sam’s sells Novolin N for $25
My dog is 15 years old.She fights every injection tooth and nail.We have tried every trick in the book to no avail.We have had her since she was 8 weeks old and for some reason she has never liked being handled.When she was small and we noticed this we mentioned it to the Vet and he thought perhaps she had been picked on in the litter. Every injection is a test of steel.I dont want to muzzle her.She is such a sweetie in every way we talk quietly and calmly offer her her favourite chicken but the minute we touch her skin to give her the shot all hell breaks loose.The same thing happens with the vet when he tried.We are worried that the stress of this twice a day is not doing our lovely old furball any good
Reading all of these comments has helped me realize I’m not alone. Buddy was diagnosed with diabetes about 3 weeks ago now. It is so overwhelming to know that his very life depends on me getting these shots into him correctly. He snarls and kind of snaps (has never bitten, though) and he jerks his head from side to side. My daughter pats his rump and sings to him with her forearm up around his groin area, and my niece takes his little face (he’s a schnauzer) in her hands and gently pulls his collar forward to try and immobilize his head – then I try and pray and try and pray and finally, somehow get the shot in. Everyone tells me it’s not supposed to hurt him, but I’m not so sure. He doesn’t yelp every time, but he does sometimes, and he definitely knows when the needle goes in. I need advice! I’m not going to always have my daughter and niece there to help me. I feel lost and terrified that I’m doing it wrong and inflicting undue pain on him. It’s daunting to know that I’ve got to do this twice a day for the rest of his life! I have to get better at this… I just have to! At least I’m not crying as much as I was – I know he senses my anxiety… I’m open to all suggestions (I already feed, pet, sing, stroke). Thanks!!
My advise it to watch as many videos as possible on the right technique so as to not cause pain, then you will also feel more confident about the process and your dog will sense it. Good luck it’s a very difficult thing to go through
Consult your Vet on the best way to give shots to your dog.
I give Bender his shot between or just below his shoulder blades, parallel to his back as seen here: Shot. I move to a different spot for each shot.
YouTube has a couple of ok videos of how people give insulin shots: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dog+diabetes+shot
Also if your dog is a biter, there is always a muzzle.
Evelyn by chance could you draw a picture or take a picture and post your home made hammock? It sounds wonderful and I am desperate as giving my schnauzer Kip her insulin has become a stressful battle sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don’t.
My email adders is: Mdf7@aol.com
MAny thanks. Melissa in CT
My thirteen year old yorkie “Misha” has been diagnosed with Diabetes. The shots are becoming very aggressive. Our vet had worked with us and we are giving the shots right. I know they don’t hurt but she knows they are coming. We have found a solution for a shot or two and then she figures that trick out. We tried a muggle but now she knows that’s coming, Placed homemade beef jerky ( A recipe I found on a pet diabetes site) while we slipped her the shot and after a couple of shots she figured that out. I cry all the time but I guess now we must get aggressive. After a few tries this morning we did not get the shot in. Beverly, I feel your pain.
Hi! My 11 yr. old Schnauzer was just diagnosed with Diabetes…I purchase the needles from my vet…My dog is pretty good but i notice that at times he flinches which cause me (and him high anxiety!) I buy the needles a hundred at a go and I wondered if some were sharper…I took the caps off of quite a few and noticed that some WERE duller than others! The very sharp tip was missing on a lot of them!! The vet tends to think I’m being a Drama Queen, however, I want to get the smallest needles that I can…Can I purchase 31 gauge needles through the vet or purchase human type..? He uses the U-40… Thank you…HELP! Julie
My nerves are shot. It’s been 2 weeks and Peppers aggression when it comes to shots is escalating. Even with a muzzle he’s fighting as soon as we touch him. I’m sooooooo stressed over this. No shot tonight.
I would suggest finding a dog trainer that specializes in dog aggression. Shot time will only become worse and worse and more stressful for both you and Pepper. Causing more issues with Pepper’s diabetes. Plus not giving your dog insulin is very bad.
I know Jeff. He’s doing glucose testing all day. The vet is doing insulin shot training for the whole family at five.
We have found the cone helpful for our 9 year-old-Westie, and we make sure the insulin isn’t cold. I get it out of the fridge as much as a half hour ahead of time and just before filling the syringe I roll it in my hands until it’s pretty warm. I believe this makes a significant difference. The cone is easy on-and-off with a Velcro strip (vet should have it). Granted, she got used to wearing a cone after her cataract surgery, but maybe some of you will have luck with this too. We put the cone on, give her a bit of meat from her food bowl, then put her up on a counter or our washer-dryer, so that she’s a bit confined (free roaming isn’t helpful), put her bowl in front of her, and give her the injection while she’s eating. She usually knows it’s coming and sometimes rears up and makes a fuss, and sometimes she really yelps, and you’re right, it’s terribly stressful – for her, for us, and for our other dog. But we’ve also had stretches of time when she’s taken it without much reaction at all. I agree it’s important for us, as the human pack leaders, to stay calm and make light of it. I notice that immediately afterwards she’s absolutely fine and normal – so how bad is it really? Thoughts and prayers to all of you who are struggling!
My eleven year old Beagle has been diagnosed with diabetes last week.
Those of you that are having problems giving the shot,please do not let your dog see the shot,they are just like kids and act accordingly.
I get my Beagle at the scruff of the neck,dogs do not have many nerve endings there,it’s a piece of cake. My Beagle feels nothing,now if she saw the shot it would be a different story.
My problem is trying to prick her skin for a drop of blood for a glucose reading,she almost got me this afternoon,I was trying to get it from her ear.
To test glucose levels, I found Keto-Diastix Reagent Strips which are very accurate and you simply place it in your dogs stream when they are going to the bathroom. At least you get to avoid half the pain until there is a topical or oral insulin remedy.
Hey I really liked your article. I like how directed the article is to diabetes as a a subject. You and http://www.webvovler.com are the only dog sites I have seen with such a direct subject matter. Just wanted to thank you for all your writings and great posts!
my 9 year old corgi/ Chihuahua, goes crazy when its time for her shot,I cant hold her anymore she flops on her back and bites me ,HELP
Think about it this way, as a dog, you are loomed over, held down, grabbed, then pricked. That has got to be scary. Especially for a small dog. You need to make the experience happy and rewarding.
Chihuahua are notorious for their fight behavior. Trust me, I know, I have a Chihuahua mix. She is awful about getting her nails trimmed after one bad experience. So we make it a happy time. We calm her down by petting her. I talk to her and use praise words that she know. When she is done. We celebrate! Happy dance, praise, pets, and a treat. She has gotten much better.
Using a smaller needle might help. And where are you giving the shot?
Your vet should also be able to help by giving you points on how to restrain your Chichi so it can’t bite you.
Linda, that was me, see my post. After the Vet trained us, it’s been pretty good. We muzzle. I hold and stroke. Hubby gives the needle. I give a treat. Ask your vet for help!
Peanut butter is my salvation. My chihuahua mix was diagnosed with diabetes at age 7. It was 6 weeks of hell giving him his shots. I tried treats, chicken, carrots, etc. to bribe him – nothing worked except to put him in a restraint hold – not very pleasant for him and he started to hide at shot time. Then I tried a very thin layer of Adams all natural peanut butter coated on the back of a plastic spoon, probably around 1/8 tsp. He loved it! Now he eagerly accepts his insulin shots twice a day. He sees the jar of peanut butter and jumps onto my family member’s lap in anticipation of his peanut butter spoon. When I say “OK”, he starts licking the spoon, I then give him his shot, and no complaints. When I am alone, I rig up the spoon to a cat scratch post. This has been working for 2 years now. Another note: I took him off the Royal Canin vet recommended food with the junk ingredients and feed him Wellness Core – I mix the grain free formula with the reduced fat formula (half and half). His diabetes has been under total control since I made that change about 1 year ago.
i will check out the wellness core. Our vet had us on the WD, which my dog hated eating, so we started adding chicken.
JR, I’m glad you were able to find something that has worked and thanks for sharing. Hopefully it will help some one else too.
Debby, W/D is just terrible for diabetics, not to mention bland. If Wellness Core Grain Free Reduced Fat doesn’t work there are plenty of similar food out there.
Thanks Jeff. Funny my vet was insisting on the WD. When we told him he wouldnt it it, he said try IAMS. My jaw dropped!$
Most Vets don’t know much about diabetes, so they refer to their books. Well their books are provided by Hills Science Diet and a few other dog food companies. So of course they are going to push their own food. Overall, the books are right about everything else so why tink differently about diabetes and W/D.
Thanks. Makes sense
Hi Jeff, you have a great blog. My mini schnauzer was diagnosed with diabetes in March. She is on vetsulin and w/d food. The vetsulin at the vet is $69.00 for a bottle which lasted
me about a month and a half, as she is on 4 units twice a day. The w/d is working for her as she will eat anything!! I had a hard time giving her, her shot, but after a month of trial and error and fighting with her I finally got into a groove. I feed her, and get her shot ready, when she is done eating, I put a teaspoon of baby food (sugar free!!) in her bowl, put the bowl on the table along with her and she is so busy trying to get at the baby food she takes her shot well and I praise the heck out of her. I also give her one raw string bean as a treat 2 to 3 times a day I have read that pumpkin is also very good for diabetic dogs. On one of your other blogs people said that they put cinnamon in the dogs food and that helps with the sugar levels. I know it helps in humans but have not read anything on dogs. Keep up this great blog, it has helped me laugh and cry reading the comments.
It took me about a year to be able to give my dog Roxy a shot by myself. I put her on my counter (she is a mini pin). I put chicken behind her, after the shot she turns around and eats the chicken. I do this with both her glucose test and shots. I also feed her an hour before the shot, so she doesn’t associate the food with the shot. Made my life so much better.
I also give her W/D food, I mix 1 can wet with Pure Ballance Wild and Free dry food. 2cups dry, 1can W/D. 3 1/2cups water. Grind all together. Makes 10. 1/2 cup servings. My Roxy loves it and it saves me money. I also changed from Humulin N insulin to Vetsulin, OMG what a difference. She went from 3 to 4 units to 1 1/2 units. For Roxy Vetsulin was the way to go.
My 10 year old rescued Corgi mix, Titan, was diagnosed with diabetes almost 3 years ago. He was blind within a week of diagnosis because his blood sugar was so high. Once they diagnosed hypothyroidism as well, we were able to get his diabetes under control. Overall he is doing well. Titan gets 2 shots of 12 units each per a day. (NovolinN from Walmart $25.00 a vial) I initially had a hard time giving the shot because I didn’t want to hurt him. I would say “I’m so sory I have to do this.” My Vet told me never to apologize to him that I was saving his life. He said dogs sense when you are upset, then they get upset. Now I am confident in what I am doing and sometimes Titan sneaks in a little lick on my hand when I’m done with his shot because he knows. 🙂 Hang in there because it gets easier. I have to home cook my dogs food because he doesn’t like to eat. The Vet gave me a recipe of ground turkey, brown rice, vegetables and a little bit of cottage cheese to keep it from being too dry. He has been eating this mix about 2.5 years. He also gets a multi vitamin. Although the illness has been a challenge for both of us, it’s worth it for the love and loyalty that he has given me. Today the VET said his senior bloodwork came back with issues. We are making some adjustment to his thyroid meds and treating a uninary tract infection. We are hoping that he doesn’t have cushings disease as well. Has anyone on the site had a dog with cushings too?
lisa…the food is so expensive. I’d like to make my own. Can you give me the exact measurements for the recipe? What vegetables to you use?
My dog weighs 26 lbs. I mix 1/2 cup cooked brown rice, 1/2 cup cooked ground turkey. I add 1/4 cup french style grean beans right from the can and 1 or 2 whole baby carrots right from the can. Carrots can raise the blood sugar so go light on the carrots. You can use the low salt variety if that is a concern. I mash those up and mix everything together with about a tablespoon of low fat small curd cotage cheese. You can use the veggies that your dog likes. Mine hates peas but they would be good to use if your dog likes them. Stay away from corn or any other starchy veggie that would raise your dogs blood sugar. I keep all of the ingredients in the refrigerator and mix them for each meal but you could freeze separate portions if it is more convenient. I microwave each meal for about 20 sec just to take the chill off before I feed my dog. He eats this twice a day and I give him his shot after the meal. I don’t know if it is any cheaper to make his food but Titan is a picky eater and he eats this pretty consistently. You can’t get your dogs diabetes under control if he won’t eat. Be sure to check with your vet because when you change their food it may change their insulin requirements.
I’m glad I’m not alone in this battle. I’ve talked with my dog’s vet a few times regarding this. She was diagnosed as diabetic in Oct. of last year. At first, it wasn’t too bad. Now, like this morning, I have a fight every morning. She will hide under my bed when she knows it’s her shot time. She is very quick to pick up on new things, unfortunately. I don’t mind giving her the shot, there’s no anxiety on my part. I know that I have to do it. I’ve talked with her lots of times and tried to explain to her that she needs her shot, I’m doing this to keep her from being hospitalized again. I’ll take time, pet her, give her treats, etc. Nothing works. Although, after the shot, she expects her treat. I have no idea what else to do.
My dog used to run away too. My VET suggested I put his leash on him and step on it with my foot so he couldn’t run. In the beginning he would also show his teeth and growl so I got a soft muzzle and used that for a while. Now I don’t have to use either one anymore. Don’t get me wrong, he doesn’t like to get his shot. In fact, he can hear when I take the cap off the needle and he immediately lays down and rolls over on his back to try and avoid the shot. I just gently roll him back over and give him the shot anyway. Then he gets his treat which is his pills in some cheese.
My 6 yr old Shih Tzu was diagnosed 3 months ago. He is on a prescription diet and 2 shots (5 units) twice a day. I have found a ROUTINE constant necessary. I give him his food first ( he gets 1/2 cup,Hills WD twice a day. He eats it on a flat plate on the couch next to me. When he is finished take a few bites of a special treat( such as chicken, leftover steak, raw hamburger with out carbs or sugar no more than a couple of tablespoons. I take the cap off the insulin and pull him up close to my side and put the treat in front. As he begins to eat I grab and lift some skin between the shoulder blades ( dogs have very little feelings there as that is where their mothers carry them in their teeth when babies) I insert the needle in the raised up skin and push the plunger. By then he has been busy eating and does not feel or know anything happened. This has been successful for me. Hope it helps someone.
My 9 year old shepherd mix was diagnosed with diabetes in March, he went blind shortly after. He’s on 19 units 2 times a day but numbers still high when I check with glucose meter Alpha Trac 2 which is for animals. The vet is having me give shots in side, groin area. Says better absorption. I don’t know exactly if it’s best area!!
What food is your shepherd on?
What insulin brand?
Thank you very much for this blog, it’s nice to know that I am not alone in this battle. My 11 yr old shepherd mix was diagnosed 2 months ago and we still don’t have it under control because after a few days of giving the injections he caught on and started getting nervous, anxious and sometimes nasty when I tried to inject him. Billy is normally the most mild mannered dog ever, but between getting poked and prodded by the vet every few days to check his curve and starting to go blind he is confused and not himself at all. I don’t blame the poor thing and I feel bad but I know that it has to be done.
Anyways……I read everything and tried every trick in the book to get this dog distracted so that I could administer his shots but with no luck. The peanut butter didn’t work, smaller shorter needle, tenting the skin, tried different locations, even tried the automatic injector and then after much prayer, I think God gave me the idea of injecting him in his thigh when he lifts his leg to pee. Sounds a little extreme but it is working like a charm!!!!! I am able to come up behind him without his notice and he even holds his leg up long enough for me to inject!!!! Before he would screech as if he was in pain when I injected but now he doesn’t even notice I am doing it.
Hopefully this can help someone. It’s funny how we all have to find our own technique that works.
Thanks again for this site…..it has been a God send.
These comments have been so helpful! Our 11 year old dog, Mia, was diagnosed about 3 weeks ago. At first, giving the shots was a breeze. After the third day, though, Mia started yelping after every shot. I thought I was hurting her and talked to the vet, who thought I might be pinching her skin when I made the tent for the injection. I tried to be more gentle, but then she started barking and running around when it was time for her shot. Yesterday, she snapped at me for the first time in her life. I have watched a ton of videos and read lots if information, but it is not working and has been so stressful for the both of us. If I hear one more time, “It is easy and dogs tolerate it will”, I will scream! One of the suggestions was to call the vet for training, so I will do that tomorrow! I appreciate all who have made comments – it makes me feel better to know there are others out there who are having difficulties with this process!
Yes…I was you 6 months ago. I still muzzle, but pep knows the routine now and it’s good. Muzzle, rub a little, hubby shoots, piece of roasted chicken. It’s so structured that even our other dog comes during shot, sits next to pep ( has tried to put her face in the muzzle), and waits for treat. I had a session with my vet on giving the injection with the muzzle. It helped!
Lisa Davis…..Yes – I have experience with Diabetes & Cushings and now we can add a ruptured disc to the mix. Comment if you would like my email address and we can compare notes.