How to Give a Dog a Subcutaneous Fluids Injection

By Kimberly DiCostanzo


Giving your dog an injection can seem daunting if you've never done it before and you are afraid of hurting your pet. You administer a subcutaneous injection just under the skin and above the muscle. Giving your dog fluids subcutaneously is a means of treating dehydration. Dogs who suffer from chronic kidney failure are given fluids subcutaneously to aid in flushing waste from the kidneys. The most common way to administer fluids at home is using a syringe and a needle.

Step 1

Open the package containing the sterile needle. Do not remove the needle cap. Attach the base of the needle to the syringe. Your veterinarian will recommend the correct needle and syringe size for your dog.

Step 2

Open the protective bag surrounding the fluids your veterinarian prescribed. You will notice an injection port on the bag of fluids with a rubber stopper over it. Clean the rubber stopper thoroughly with a cotton swab or cotton ball soaked in antiseptic solution. This will allow you to use the same bag of fluids for several treatments by maintaining sterility.

Step 3

Insert the needle into the center of the rubber stopper. It is imperative that you insert the needle straight into the bag of fluids cleanly so it does not puncture the outside of the injection port.

Step 4

Pull back on the syringe plunger until you have reached the amount of fluids your dog needs prescribed by your veterinarian. Remove the syringe from the bag of fluids.

Step 1

Pinch a fleshy, plump section of skin along the dog's back. Gathering the skin between the shoulder blades is an ideal location for fluid insertion. You may wish to ask a friend or family member to help restrain your dog until you are both comfortable with the fluid injection process.

Step 2

Pull back the plunger once you've properly inserted the needle into the skin. If blood comes into the syringe, the needle is resting on a blood vessel. If you notice air bubbles coming back into the syringe, the needle is not fully inserted under the skin. In both instances, remove the needle and insert it into the skin again.

Step 3

Release the fold of skin once the needle is correctly inserted under the skin. Push the plunger and allow the fluids to be injected. You may use two hands to operate the syringe, or use one hand. Once you have administered the fluids, gently pull the needle out from under the skin. Discard the needle properly.
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