When your pet is first diagnosed with diabetes mellitus this is a question that comes up.
What will this cost?

Picture supplied by Jake's Mom Gill
This is what Jake uses every month!

This webpage will try to give you the basic costs of maintaining a diabetic pet.
It will not take into consideration veterinarian bills or costs from other 
health problems that your pet might have. I have asked a few members
of the Pet Diabetes Email List to submit their costs for this page.
Differences in Prices will reflect that some of us do not home blood glucose test.
Some of the products used can be obtained for a lower price by shopping around.

Fri, 24 Jul 2009 

I live in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I wanted to let you know the cost of my dog, a nine-year-old Yellow Lab Mix named Whitney.  She was diagnosed April 27, 2009.

She is on 19 units of Vetsulin in the morning and 18 units at night.  I think we finally got her regulated although it's possible the insulin may have to be increased a little more.  I sure hope not because after 20 units, she would have to receive two shots instead of one because the syringe goes up only to 20 units.  The insulin costs $30.00 per bottle and we're using right about three bottles per month so that's $90.00.  We check her blood sugar a few times a week so that's $1.00 ($.35 per strip for the One Touch meter) and I feed her Solid Gold dog food at $55.00 for a 33 lb. bag, but I fed her that anyway.  I took one look at the ingredients on the Purina diabetic dog food my vet suggested and said no thanx.  It had all kinds of bad stuff in it.  Solid Gold and other high-end dog foods don't have the by-products, artificial preservatives and colorings, sugar, etc. like a lot of dog foods do.

The syringes, glucose machine, and lancets also cost some money initially but I reuse the syringes and lancets over and over by boiling them in water for a couple of minutes to sterilize them at the end of the week after using each one once.  If you add those costs in each month, it might increase the costs a little.  And lots of trips to the vet in the beginning before I bought my own glucose machine for her.  I read a ton of info on the Internet about diabetes, as well as blogs, and educated myself.  I slowly increased Whitney's insulin over a two-month period myself.  Her blood glucose was in the 350's most of the time and up to 419, and it finally started coming down after two months.  My vet had started her off at 5 units, which he knew would have to slowly be increased.  You don't want to start off too high or they could end up having hypoglycemia and possibly die or have brain damage.

My dog is really a great dog; couldn't ask for a better-behaved one!  She's just the best (along with my two other lab mixes!!)  It kills me that she has a terrible disease like this, and three months later, I'm still pretty much in shock by it.  She wasn't obese (just a little overweight) and I have always taken my dogs out for walks or usually to run in a park down the street for an hour to an hour-and-a-half almost every day so I can't figure out why she developed this disease.  (Genetics?  Vaccinations?)  I don't think twice about spending the money on her because my dogs are my kids to me!!

With the initial costs, I'm probably spending $100 a month.

Thank you for your blog for people to read about other peoples' experiences and inform themselves.

~Jen Sauerwein

 In addition I give her vitamins C, E, MSM, Chromium Picolinate, and herbal supplements Ginseng Complex with Vitamin B-12, Milk Thistle, Bilberry, Aloe Vera every day, Echinacea twice a week, and Oatmeal when needed.  It's difficult to say how much these cost total but I do buy them when it's "buy one,  get one free."  I spend approximately $15.00 a month on these so my total costs for everything related to her diabetes are approximately $115.
Thank you. 
Jennifer Sauerwein


Reese is a 39 pound American Cocker Spaniel, 3 years old. 
We thought he was a "gonner" 'til we found he was diabetic. 
Since then he has bounced back, and no longer wants to chew on everyone he meets. He is now a kissing bandit!

Monthly costs: 
Humulin N insulin: $30.00 per month
12 units twice a day. 
$42 per bottle, 1,000 units 

Needles: Cost per month $8.10
We use 1 per day, sterilize with alcohol between shots. 
$27 per 100 syringes

Urine test strips: Cost per month $5.70
$19 per 100 test strips. I test once per day 

Hills Rx canine food: Cost per month $90.00
RD type costs $24 per case of 12. 1 1/2 cans per day 

Hills diet treats: Cost per month $3.00
$3.75 per bag (73pcs) 2 per day 

Rawhide chew sticks: Cost per month $2.40
1 per day $8.00 per 100 

Total Cost per month $139.20
The love we get in return Priceless!  !!!

Reese's Information was added on September 20, 2008

Queenie's Basic Cost for Treating Diabetes

Queenie lives in Leamington, Ontario, Canada
Queenie's costs includes needles, insulin and urine testing.
Queenie's Basic Cost for a day is $1.38
Less then a coffee & donut
monthly costs are about $42.00
for a year Basic Cost is $503.70
Prices quoted are in Canadian Dollars for Queenie's Costs.

A Breakdown of the Costs are:
Insulin used: Novolin ge 30/70 Penfill
Comes in a box of 5 x 3.0 ml cartridges
Cost: $39.99 No Tax
Queenie uses 11 units in the am and 8 units in the pm
But I inject 4 units a day into the air and all insulin can not be used out of a cartridge.
This insulin lasts me for 60 days.
Though I feel I have less loss then when I was using a vial of insulin
as I went by the 30 day rule and threw the bottle out after 30 days of use.
Cost for insulin is 67 cents a day.

Urine Testing Strips: Bayer Keto-Diastix Strips
Comes in a box of 100 strips.
Original Cost: 15.99 plus tax is 17.10
Shop around for pricing. I get a 20% discount as My Mom is a senior
and there is a senior discount at our pharmacy once a month and she
picks them up for Queenie on that day.
Final Discounted Cost is $13.71 including tax
I use two strips a day at 13.7 cents each
Cost for strips are 28 cents a day

Needles: B-D Ultra-Fine 29G x 1/2 inch pen needles (100 in a box)
Original Cost is $24.99 plust tax 26.73
Shop around for pricing. I get a 20% discount as My Mom is a senior
and there is a senior discount at our pharmacy once a month and she
picks them up for Queenie on that day.
Final Discounted Cost is $21.40
Each needle tip costs 21.4 cents
I use two of these needle tips a day at a cost of 43 cents
update...since Queenie's heart failure in April of 2002 
she is on four shots a day increasing the costs by 43 cents more a day.

Hope and Harley

We spend about $16 a month on insulin, 
$13 on needles, 
$26 on food, and
$10 on a blood sugar test. 
 $4 a month on needle containers to put the used needles in
 $2 a month on alcohol pads we use to clean the top of the insulin bottle with
We have one curve done a year at $80. 

So we spend approx $65-70 a month and around $860-900 a yr. 

We do not do at home testing, so sometimes we might spend $10 a wk on tests. 
But usually it is just once a month. 

Sharon and Jeffy


Jeffy's Costs in Toledo, Ohio Monthly Costs
1 vial of Humulin ultralente $22.00
60-62 3/10 cc syringes $12.00
test strips $25.00
240.00 every three months at OSU for evaluation $80.00
food but he has to eat even if not diabetic $30.00
eye drops $11.00
Total Monthly Cost $180.00

Sharon and the Menagerie
Sometimes, the fingerprint of God is a paw......
Adopt a greyhound; everyone's a winner!
and the Bonfire glows in tribute..........

Gill and Jake
The picture at the top is Jake's Diabetic Supplies!
Jakes` Costs. In the UK
Jakes` Costs. In the UK Monthly Costing:
Complete Food (none prescription 15 kg) £13.00
Vegetables £ 8.00
Insulin £18.75
Syringes £ 4.00
Vitamin E £1.00
Test Strips (Glucometer)
 A box of 50 test strips is £26.00. 
On average I use a box every 2 months 
depending on how often I test Jake .
Vet Bill (for repeat prescription)
We visit the Vet  Every 3-4 months for a repeat insulin prescription.( 3-4 months supply of insulin) 
He charges me £4.60 to write out the script.
The discussion about Jakes general health,curves,  his weight check and any other information is free. 
No treatment No charge..
Saves me a small fortune!
Total Monthly Cost  £ 58.90 

This equates to £706.80 per year, £13.59 per week or JUST £1.94 per day

Roy and Cookie

Cookie's Costs in Denver, Colorado Monthly Costing
Insulin -(Novolin N from WalMart) $16.50
Syringes -Also from Walmart( they last about 1 1/2 months)  $13.00
Urine Testing Sticks  $10.00
Total Monthly Cost  $39.50

One-time costs for Cookie
    Blood Curves -(anticipate 3 a year) $60.00 so this will add $20.00 a month to the above total.
    Opthamologist visit and tests       $100.00

Costs that may or may not be related to diabetes (also one-time) for Cookie
    Antibiotics for digestive tract $100.00
    Digestive tract Xrays and Ultrasound $325.00
    Bladder stone medicine   $80.00 per month

Debra and Kyle

Kyle's Costs from Quebec, Canada Monthly Costs
Humulin U Insulin $19.62
Syringes  Type  U-100  29 Gauge 1/2 inch needle  3/10cc   box of 100       29.99  cost per needle 30 cents ...60 needles per month $18.00
Bayer Ketostix  $11.99
Total Monthly Cost $49.61
The cost of strips for my One Touch Ultra are 45.00 for 50. 
A vet visit is 40.00
Urinalysis is 33.00
Blood Glucose 19.00 
Goodness it does add up doesn't it. 

If you would like your information added to this page and own a diabetic pet
Send location where you live with estimated costs for the month
to  queenie@mnsi.net