How To Give A Dog A Shot?

Being a pet dog owner, you should know how to give a dog a shot! Just like humans, vaccination is very important for dogs as it helps the immune system develop immunity from a disease. Vaccines will help their body prevent infection or lessen the severity of the infection. In today’s post, I will show you how to give your dog a shot. Basically, vaccination prepares your pet dog’s immune system to react to future infections. This guide will surely be helpful for you if you’re interested in administering shots on your own. Without wasting much time, let’s now learn how to give a dog a shot.

How To Give A Dog A Shot?

In this section, I will explain how to give a dog a shot in detail. Dogs need shots to protect against a variety of diseases. Giving your pet dog a shot at home may reduce your dog’s stress level.

Follow these steps to learn how to give a dog a shot in the neck.

  1. Before you start, ask your vet which vaccination should be given to your dog.
  2. Now, place your dog on a flat, hard surface such as a counter or table.
  3. Sterilize the top of the medicine vial with a cotton ball wetted with rubbing alcohol.
  4. Now, insert an unused needle into the medication and turn the vial upside down.
  5. Fill the syringe with the right amount of medicine/vaccine.
  6. With your right hand, angle the needle at 90 degrees to the flat tented surface of the skin.
  7. Ask your friend to hold the dog during the medication.
  8. Make sure your dog is calm during the injection.
  9. Using your left hand, lift the dog’s skin upward around the neck.
  10. Form a pocket in their skin by using your finger.
  11. Now, gently press the needle into your dog’s skin.
  12. Once you are done, gently massage the area.

While injecting, make sure you see any blood as this could harm your dog. Immediately pull out the needle, refill the syringe with fresh medicine, and insert it again. You can follow the same procedure when it comes to how to give a dog a shot of penicillin.

Generally, injections are given in the subcutaneous tissue for a smooth process. So, do you know how to give a dog a shot in the leg? The process will the same if you want to inject a dog’s leg. Make sure you pinch some loose skin from the leg region and then give the shot.

Now, you must be wondering how to give a dog a shot in the muscle. It is very crucial to understand which is the appropriate spot to give your pet the injection. You need to consult your vet for an intramuscular injection before you try it on your own. However, you can go along with the same procedure explained above for giving intramuscular injections to your pet.

Pets suffering from diabetes often need regular insulin injections to maintain blood sugar levels. You can keep on reading further to check out how to give a dog an insulin shot.

Give A Dog An Insulin Shot 

When a pet has diabetes, the pancreas cannot make enough insulin. For such pets, an injectable insulin can be used to regulate blood sugar. Simply follow these steps to learn how to give a difficult dog an insulin shot.

  1. Feed your dog well before you give insulin as your pet won’t eat afterward.
  2. Place a blanket or soft bedding where you’ll give the injection (floor or countertop).
  3. Keep the syringe ready to go before you bring your pet.
  4. Ensure that your pet is calm and relaxed before you start.
  5. Speak with your pet in a soothing tone and locate the area to give the shot.
  6. Now, lift the loose skin around the hips using your left hand.
  7. Try to make a tent shape to insert the needle easily.
  8. Then, hold the syringe in your right hand.
  9. Insert the needle into the skin and push the plunger with your thumb to inject the insulin.
  10. Once you are done, gently remove the needle from the skin.
  11. Check the injected area if there is a wet spot.

In case you see a wet stop, it indicates that not all the insulin is inserted under the skin. Do not worry, you can contact your vet for further assistance.

There are several types of insulin for pets like NPH (Humlin), Lente (Vetsulin), PZI (ProZinc), Glargine (Lantus), and Detemir (Levemir). Your vet will determine the best type of insulin for your pet depending on their blood sugar levels.

You can keep on reading to learn how to give a puppy a shot.

Give A Puppy A Shot

I hope now you’ve understood how to give a dog a shot at home. Puppies require a series of vaccinations prior to 12 weeks of age. It protects them from a wide variety of diseases including rabies. You do not have to visit a vet for shots every time for giving the shot. Simply follow the above-explained methods to give the dose of vaccine to your pup at home.

Make sure you create a vaccination plan by talking with your vet to determine if your pup meets the basic health criteria.

How To Hold A Dog To Give A Shot?

During vaccination, slide one hand between your dog’s front legs and under the chest to support its upper body. Hold your dog and then lift up close to your chest to make her feel secure. Hold the syringe firmly in your other hand and give the medication. This trick will surely give you a secure grip so that you can easily give your dog a shot.

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Where Is The Best Place To Inject A Dog?

Find an area of loose skin. The skin over the middle of the back or just behind the shoulders generally works well. If the injection will be given frequently (such as insulin), try to alternate injection sites so you are not using the same location each time.

Where Is The Least Painful Place To Give A Dog A Shot?

The easiest place to give your pet a shot is in the loose skin just above the shoulder blades.

Where Not To Inject A Dog?

The hamstrings (muscles at the back of the thigh) should generally be avoided due to the possibility of damage to the important sciatic nerve that runs in this area. Volumes of injection should not be more than 2-6 ml in dogs. Intramuscular injections are more painful than subcutaneous ones.

What Happens If You Give A Subcutaneous Injection Wrong?

Are there any complications? The most common complication of a subcutaneous injection is pain near the injection site for 1 to 2 days afterward. Pain near the injection site can happen when inserting the needle at the wrong angle, or when it moves slightly during the injection


In the above post, I’ve discussed how to give a dog a shot in detail. A vaccine provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease. The process of injecting the medication will be easy if you and your pet are calm and ready. You need to be extra careful if you are a beginner and do not have any experience. Having someone beside you while giving a shot to your dog will make the procedure easier. Be careful while giving Intramuscular injections as they are painful. Once you understand how to give a dog a shot, you can easily give your pet an enjoyable vaccination experience. 

How do you give a dog an injection at home