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Traveling With Diabetic Dog: How To Prepare



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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Traveling with a diabetic dog can be quite challenging if you are not prepared.

It is a well-known fact that diabetic dogs need to eat at the same time, the same amount of food, and get their insulin at the same time.

Regardless of whether you are traveling by plane, car, or bus, there is a way to prepare the proper way.

Here is how to travel with a Diabetic dog:

Storing the insulin

Traveling With Diabetic Dog How To Prepare

One of the most important things when traveling with a diabetic dog is to have insulin with you.

The insulin should always be kept in a cold place, preferably a fridge.

However, when traveling, we can’t bring our fridge with us.

If you do not have a portable cooler, you might want to get a special insulin cooler box (link to amazon).

Check the bottle and calculate how many days are you planning on traveling and do you have the required amount depending on your dog’s insulin dose.

TIP: I always suggest that you take two bottles and place them into a plastic zip bag just in case they somehow break and spill.

(Related: Understanding Your Dog’s Insulin Requirements (A Comprehensive Guide To Canine Diabetes)


Traveling With Diabetic Dog How To Prepare

Do not spend your vacation time searching for needles.

Instead, calculate how many needles you are going to need (in most cases it will be two per day).

However, just in case, bring a couple more to be safe.

The needles need to be sterile, otherwise, you shouldn’t use them.

Pack the needles in a separate plastic zip bag to avoid contamination.

Also, make sure that you bring a container specifically for disposing of needles.

You do not want to have loose needles thrown around in the back of your car.


Traveling With Diabetic Dog How To Prepare

Diabetic dogs need to eat at the same time every day.

The amount of food also needs to be the same each day.

The reason why diabetic dogs eat the same amount of food is that their insulin dosage is given according to their food intake.

If you give your dog more food, the insulin dosage also has to be increased, but since you are not a vet, you can’t do that.

So, to keep your dog safe, you need to feed them the same amount.

Bringing a 20-pound dog food bag on your trip is not practical since it is too heavy and takes up a lot of space.

Instead, weigh the meals and place the food in separate plastic zip bags or plastic containers.

If you are feeding different foods for breakfast and dinner, you can label them.

If not, just weigh the food and safely store them in bags.

You can also make some of these 7 homemade diabetic dog-friendly treats.


Traveling With Diabetic Dog How To Prepare

Water is essential and you have to make sure you have plenty on your trip.

I usually store water in a large thermos container or just regular bottled water.

A doggie cup is a must since dogs can’t drink out of a bottle without making a mess.

If you are traveling on a plane, you can’t bring water on board.

So, the first thing when you get on the plane is to ask the flight attendant for a bottle of water.

If you are traveling by car, make sure to have more than one bottle.

Glucometer kit

Traveling With Diabetic Dog How To Prepare

Checking the blood glucose levels of your diabetic dogs are essential, especially when traveling.

Why is it more important to check it while traveling?

Well, dogs could get stressed when traveling and changing locations.

Your dog might not be used to sitting in a car for ten hours, or maybe it’s their first time flying on a plane.

New surroundings will most definitely contribute to increased blood sugar and you have to monitor it to avoid something bad happening to them.

I have a complete guide on how to monitor your dog’s glucose levels.

Bring the glucometer kit and make sure that you have extra batteries in the kit as well.

Also, check how many test strips you have and bring some extra, just in case.

Keep a consistent routine

Having a routine and sticking to it is KEY when it comes to living with a diabetic dog.

Diabetic dogs must eat on time and must get their insulin shot on time.

There is no room for error.

So, if you are driving and it is time for your dog’s meal, you better be stopping and preparing them a meal.

Basically, diabetic dogs eat every 12 hours and get insulin injections every 12 hours.

I would suggest you set an alarm on your phone just in case you get carried away.

Avoid stressful situations

Um, this one is quite hard.

But, try to avoid as many stressful situations as possible.

By this I mean, if there is a way to bring your dog’s favorite bed, do it.

If your pup has a favorite toy, make sure to bring it along.

Many dogs get anxious when the things that they are used to are not present in the new location.

So, make sure to bring your pup’s favorite items.


Apart from eating on time and getting insulin on time, your dog needs to exercise.

It is important that a diabetic dog gets the same amount of exercise each day.

This is because exercise lowers blood sugar.

If your pup was walking 2 miles every day, you have to make sure that it continues to do so.

Because, if you do not walk your dog, and you give them the food and the insulin, their blood sugar might still be high.

If you are on a plane, ask the flight attendant if you can walk your dog on the plane.

For those traveling by car, make sure to google some nearby parks that are on your route and walk your dog there.

Checklist For Traveling With Diabetic Dog

  • Bring insulin and make sure to keep it cool
  • Bring extra needles and store them separately to keep them sterile
  • Weigh the food portions and store them separately in bags
  • Bring water and a doggie cup
  • Pack the glucometer kit (make sure you have extra batteries and test strips)
  • Keep a consistent routine about feeding, injecting insulin, and exercise
  • Avoid stressful situations that can increase their blood sugar
  • Make sure they get the needed exercise

In Conclusion

Traveling with a diabetic dog can be easy if you do the planning upfront.

Make sure to bring insulin, needles, food, and other essential items.

If you are a person that forgets easily, set up alarms to remind you when it’s time for eating, insulin, and exercise.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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