Dog injection sites

Insulin is injected into the skin tissue but there are specific injection sites where your dog should be injected insulin. In the following article, we will discuss what are insulin injections, why they are needed? how to inject them? And dog injection sites.

dog injection sites


Why are insulin injections given?

Insulin injections are given to diabetic dogs to make up for the insulin deficiency in the body. Mostly this procedure goes throughout a dog’s life. So it must be monitored regularly and carefully. In case a dog misses insulin injection, the glucose levels can rise making the dog sick.

When are insulin injections given?

  • Insulin injections are given after meals. As the basic purpose of insulin is to assist the body metabolism in converting glucose into energy. So after the dog has eaten food, injecting insulin is effective. It converts glucose into energy and keeps the glucose level in the bloodstream low.
  • Insulin can also be given when a dog’s blood glucose level rises due to other factors like emotional imbalance or eating irregularity. You must talk to the vet before giving insulin in emergency conditions.
  • Also, never give your dog insulin when he is having a severe critical condition like excessive diarrhea or vomiting during ketoacidosis. First, make the condition stable, and then inject your dog insulin. (Read diabetic dog diarrhea)

How to give insulin injections to your dog?

Insulin injections can be given through syringes or pens. Injections are better alternatives as compared to other methods. As it will stay with your dog for the rest of his life, you must learn how to monitor insulin injections.

This is how you should inject insulin into your dog

For injections

  • Keep all the things ready. By all the things we mean syringes, antiseptic wipes, and insulin bottles.
  • You must know the right amount of dose that you are going to inject into your dog. The dosage depends on your dog’s diabetic condition and the potency of the medicine. For example, prozinc is given 0.3 IU per dose but vetsulin initial dosage starts from 0.5 IU. (Read prozinc vs vetsulin).
  • Insulins come in different concentrations e.g. 40IU bottles or 100 IU bottles. There are syringes available for different measurements of insulins. If you have a 40 IU bottle but a 100IU syringe, you will have to do conversions to calculate the right amount of insulin. As most dogs are given 40IU so it’s better that you buy a syringe for 40 IU insulin.
  • Also if your dog needs mixing of two insulins, ask your vet about the right proportion of insulin to be mixed.
  • To pour insulin into the syringe, insert the syringe into the bottle. Keep the bottle inverted. Fill in the injection till it reaches the measurement. Tap the injection with your finger if there are any air bubbles in the syringe.
  • Hold your dog so that it does not make the process messy.
  • Pinch your dog’s skin and inject insulin injection at a 45-degree angle.
  • Inject the insulin slowly. After the syringe is empty, take out after 5 secs.
  • If your dog’s skin is thick, you can inject at a 90-degree angle too.

Insulin pen

Insulin pens are gaining massive popularity and they are easier to use. This is an injection device that uses insulin cartridges and injects insulin in fatty tissue through a disposable needle. You just need to insert the needle at 90 degrees and press the knob on the pen. Pull the needle out after 6 seconds.

Dog injection sites

Insulin must be inserted into the skin tissue. So if you ask “Where can I give my dog insulin shots?” We have an answer that you can give your dog insulin in

  • This is an upper portion of the neck
  • Sides of chest
  • Flank This is the bulky portion above the thighs. Insulin absorbs slowly from here.
  • shoulder blades
  • And belly

The dog takes insulin injections well when given in the upper back area. Change the injection site for every injection. Giving injections at one place will make bumps under the skin. Rotate the sites for injection.

Where is the best place to inject insulin in dogs?

For bigger dogs,  Belly is the best place to inject insulin. Insulin gets absorbed quickly from here.  Every time choose another place to give an injection. Since the belly is quite bulky so next injection must be two to three inches away from the previous one.

How to give insulin injection to a small dog? 

Small dogs can get scared. You need to handle them carefully. Some dogs yelp when given insulin. This is due to stress and fear. Insulin injections do not cause pain to dogs but they can cause that pinching irritating feeling. Also, the idea of needles is painful in itself.

To give insulin injection to a small dog,

  • handle your dog carefully.
  • Fold the skin tissue in between your fingers and inject insulin into the skin.
  • Hug your dog or pat his back as a reward to take an injection.
  • Every time inject in a different place. For example, if you have injected on thighs, next time inject in the belly. Rotational movements are better for small dogs.


  • The insulin should be kept at room temperature.
  • Never used expired insulin.
  • Insulin must not be given in scars or wounds.
  • If in the refrigerator, take out insulin 30 mins before using.
  • Don’t use it if the seal is broken or the bottle is damaged.

Alternative to insulin shots for dogs? 

Insulin comes both as oral insulin and injectable insulin. As the oral insulin is taken through the mouth cavity and goes directly into the dog’s stomach. There is a pretty much chance that it does not get absorbed in the bloodstream effectively.

Oral insulin is given to dogs whose body produces some amount of insulin but they need the extra amount to cope up with bodily needs. Insulin injections are considered a more fast, reliable, and effective source of providing insulin to the body.

Can insulin injection go wrong?

You may give your dog an extra dose of insulin. This can cause hypoglycemia, which is a sudden decrease in blood glucose levels. In hypoglycemia, your dog may show symptoms of

  • Panting
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Coma
  • Seizures and even
  • Death

To treat hypoglycemia,  urgently rub honey or corn syrup to your dog’s gums.  If the condition does not get better,  contact your vet for further instructions.

What if I miss my dog insulin shot?

If you miss your dog’s insulin shot, the diabetic symptom can relapse for a short time. Your dog will experience excessive thrust and urination.  If you have missed an injection,  wait for the next injection. Never inject a double dose of insulin.

Missing a single dose doesn’t mean your dog’s blood sugar will rise resulting in ketoacidosis. Hopefully, with the next injection,  the relapsed symptoms will go away within two to three days.

Conclusion :

Insulin injections are inserted into the skin tissue. Best Dog injection sites are belly,  scruff,  shoulder blades, and thighs. Insulin gets absorbed in the body quickly when injected into the belly. You must rotate the injection site every time.

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