Is 8 Units of Insulin a lot for a Dog?

Insulin becomes a vital part of your life once you are suffering from a condition called Diabetes.

As much as it aches as to say, it nearly becomes your closest partner, regardless of how much you do not want it. It is necessary, you’d need it.

We all have questions, for a diabetic dog, one thing pushed us to write this guide, is 8 units of insulin a lot for a dog?

This article will cover your questions regarding insulin dosage, the rules, tricks and just everything you must know.

 Dosage of Insulin for Dogs by Weight

Weight of Dog (lbs)Recommended Dosage (units)Minimum Dosage (units)Maximum Dosage (units)Is 8 Units a lot?

Recommended Dosages for Common Insulin Types Used in Dogs

Insulin TypeOnset of ActionPeak ActionDuration of ActionRecommended Dosage for a Dog
Regular30 minutes2-4 hours4-8 hours0.25-0.5 units per kg twice daily
NPH2-4 hours4-12 hours8-24 hours0.25-0.5 units per kg twice daily
Glargine2-4 hoursNone24 hours0.25-0.5 units per kg once daily
Detemir2-4 hours6-8 hours18-24 hours0.1-0.2 units per kg once or twice daily
Protamine zinc4-6 hours4-12 hoursup to 36 hours0.25-0.5 units per kg once or twice daily
Lente1-2 hours6-8 hoursup to 24 hours0.25-0.5 units per kg twice daily
PZI4-6 hours12-24 hoursup to 36 hours0.25-0.5 units per kg once or twice daily
Lispro15-30 minutes1-3 hoursup to 8 hours0.1-0.2 units per kg twice daily
Aspart15-30 minutes1-3 hoursup to 8 hours0.1-0.2 units per kg twice daily
Glulisine15-30 minutes1-3 hoursup to 8 hours0.1-0.2 units per kg twice daily

Note: It is important to note that the recommended dosages for insulin types may vary depending on the individual dog’s response to the treatment. Close monitoring of the dog’s blood glucose levels is necessary to adjust the insulin dosage appropriately. A dosage of 8 units of insulin may be appropriate for a larger dog but could be too high for a smaller dog. It is essential to work with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate insulin dosage for a dog.

Is 8 units a lot for my dog?

Try this calculator to see recommended insulin dose for your dog.


Now that we are a little concerned with how insulin and its doses work, we should see if you are not overdosing on your dog. As explained earlier, overdosing of insulin can cause hypoglycemia, which is just the opposite of diabetes.

We also found how we need a normal, and none of diabetes and hypoglycemia is normal in medical science.

However, in order to work out if 8 units of insulin is too much for your dog, it needs to look at two simple but very crucial things in this regard.

  1. Your dog’s body weight
  2. Amount of carbs your dog is consuming daily

Once we have these two things on our charts, figuring out if your dog is being overdosed on 8 units of insulin can be pretty easy.

So, let’s say your dog’s weight is 30 lbs., then:


Your dog would need 7.5 units of insulin.

If your dog has a weight of 52lbs., then:

52 × ¼ =13

Hence, your dog would require an insulin dose of 13 units.

For your dog to be good with 8 units of insulin, let’s look at how much weight it must have:

X × ¼ =8

X= 32

For your dog to not overdose on 8 units of insulin, it must have a body weight of 32lbs.

This makes up for one factor, body weight.

The amount of carbs it is consuming is just another one. This, like we earlier said, it used in such a way that the carbs have taken and insulin work in a ratio of 10:1

For every 10 carbs your dog takes, it needs to be injected with 1 unit of insulin.

However, although these two formulas do seem simple, they just are not. This is why a health professional earns a degree, so you ease up on it.

A vet will work out both these figures to see how and when 8 units of insulin will be a lot for your dog. They will also suggest to you timings, routine, number of doses required for each day, etc.

Basically, you will be provided with a whole chart which will have everything about your dog from its diet to its medicines and even the sleep routine. You will have every question answered once you take your dog to a vet.

What if 8 units become an overdose for your dog?

Make sure you and your dog are not panicking because an insulin overdose can be easily fixed at home. Let your dog rest and make sure that it is not running around. Running around or playing will further lower its blood sugar level.

Cuddle up with your dog, play something on the TV. Do anything which makes it sit at one place without having much to do around.

Once your dog is all calm and settled, move on to giving him something sweetened, beware not to give any chocolates.

Typically, anything which has whole wheat, whole rice, or whole corns make up a good carbs food for the dog. If you have any of these available then you should give them to your dog so that its sugar level gets back to normal.

A perfect way is not to load your dog’s food bowl with too much food. Since your dog must already have had its food before you gave him insulin, it is preferable to give in small amounts and see if your dog gets its energy back or not

Keep monitoring your dog’s blood glucose level on the day when it has overdosed with insulin. After every two hours, take a reading so that you know there’s no risk further involved.

Insulin and its dosage best suited for your Dog

Before you dive into the insulin dosage, let’s help you figure out insulin types and how they are different.

Commonly, we divide insulin into five major types. These types of insulin are as follows:

  1. Rapid Action
  2. Short Action
  3. Long-Acting
  4. Mixed
  5. Intermediate-Acting

Depending on the insulin’s capacity of reaction, as well as the recipient’s diabetic factor, the insulin is given. The rapid-action insulin, as the name suggests, acts swiftly to do its required job. Mostly, this is between 3-20 minutes.

Short-action insulin could take as long as half an hour to come to action. Intermediate insulin

takes longer than the above two. Occasionally, it starts its effect after an hour.

However, the ones which show its result faster also indicate that its effect will be short-lived. For rapid-action insulin, it is as less as three hours but, for long-acting, it may last a day.

Different dosage for different Dogs

Here’s a rule for you to remember at your fingertips: ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL

We’ve heard it. We’ve also seen it at times. The phrase is especially true in this case. So, what does it actually mean?

In this case, one size doesn’t fit all actually means how every dog needs a different dose of insulin. There is not a predetermined dosage for anyone, be it humans or animals.

A dog’s insulin dosage may depend on its body weight. According to studies, it has been found that using insulin which has been known to be successful also raises its total cost, which of course, is nothing new to anyone.

Greater and enhanced results would automatically generate a good market for the product and hence increase its price. Moreover, it is best to see the price factor in terms of how many units the insulin has rather than through its vials.

The dosage which you will be giving to your dogs will also depend on their response to the insulin. Tolerance levels may or may not be safe for every dog out there.

In short, the amount of insulin that you give to your dog will depend on many factors.

General Range on insulin units

We’re going to break a quick and easy formula for you to determine how the insulin units to be given to the patient are decided.

Let’s say your dog consumes about 10 carbs daily, which let’s be honest sounds like a joke and unfortunately, not true for most.

These 10 carbs will be covered with 1 unit of insulin. So, the general insulin to carbs ratio becomes 1:10.

If your dog consumed about 50 carbs a day, it would need 5 units of insulin to get it back to normal. If your dog is given less, that is diabetes, if it is given more, then causes low blood sugar level, also known as hypoglycemia.

In short, we don’t want a diabetic dog but don’t need a hypoglycemic dog either. So, we find an intermediate. This intermediate is also called normal.

A normal, or an average dose of insulin given to the dogs starts at one-fourth of the dog’s weight. This ratio is monitored and then increased with the passage of time regulated by the number of carbs your dog is consuming and hence how much insulin is needed.

Bottom line

Everything about a diabetic dog comes with risks involved. There’s no denying to that.

Insulin is a very hard topic to keep up with. It requires professionalism. While we helped you look at it from a much clearer perspective, this is an art specified for health professionals.

This is why you must make sure that a concern related to your dog’s diet must be run with a vet who knows your dog’s medical history the best.

Other than that, we always welcome you with information that answers all that is bothering you.

Leave a Comment