Giving Insulin to Your Pet Made Easy

Following is a step-by-step guide to giving your cat or dog insulin. Some pet owners find the idea of injecting their cat or dog a little intimidating. That’s why we created this easy guide—to show you how to prepare and administer insulin to a pet. Soon the process will be routine and the two of you will be back to enjoying each other’s company. Preparing the Dose After washing your hands, take the insulin bottle out of the refrigerator. Gently roll the bottle between your hands. This mixes the insulin and also warms it so the injection is less painful to your pet.

  1. Carefully remove the cap from the needle.
  2. Using a U-40 insulin syringe, pull the plunger back to draw air into the syringe to equal the dose.
  3. Insert the syringe into the bottle and inject the air.
  4. Turn the bottle and syringe upside down.
  5. Making sure the tip of the needle is in the insulin, withdraw the correct dose into the syringe.
  6. Before removing the needle from the bottle, check the syringe for any air bubbles. If the bubbles are present, hold the syringe up and tap its side until they float to the top. Push them out with the plunger and withdraw the correct dose.
  7. Remove the needle from the bottle. Be careful and do not inject yourself. Now you are ready to give the injection.


Giving the Injection

Your first step is to find a good injection site. You want to give this particular injection is subcutaneously, or just under the skin, one to two inches from the middle of your pet’s back. The location should vary from the scruff to behind the shoulder blade to slightly in front of the hipbone. The location choice depends on your veterinarian’s preference and what suits you and your pet, with the goal of every party being relaxed and confidant. Alternating between your pet’s left and right side will help to ensure greater long-term comfort.


Additional Tips

  1. If necessary, ask someone to help hold your cat or dog.
  2. Hold the syringe in the hand you usually use. For safety, and to keep from losing any of the dose, do not place your thumb on the plunger until the needle is in the skin.
  3. Using your free hand, pinch up a fold of skin, and gently insert the needle into the center of the fold, as instructed by your veterinarian. Release the skin and push the plunger in as far as it will go.
  4. Pull the needle out, being careful not to inject yourself.
  5. Dispose of the syringe in an appropriate manner (sharps/biohazard disposal). You did it! Reward your pet with something he or she likes, such as a scratch, nuzzle or light treat (remember weight management is important in the diabetic patient.)


Questions? Call us any time. We will be happy to speak with you.

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