A reader commented on this post about The True Cost of Having a Diabetic Dog. After reading the article I thought I should make a few updates.

It has been over a year and a half since I wrote that article, a lot has changed and I’ve learned a lot. Diabetes will be different for every dog. There are so many variables. Food, insulin production, metabolism, weight, etc… It is about finding the right combination of food, insulin, and exercise that works for your dog. Plus getting them down to the right weight.

When I posted The True Cost of Having a Diabetic Dog Bender was overweight and my costs was roughly this for TWO months.
2 bag of W/D food 30lbs – $124
4 Vetsulin 10ml – $100 ($25/each)
124 needles – $14.26 (11.5 cents each)
10 testing strips – $10 ($1 each)

Total: Roughly $250 for TWO months.

As I became more aware of Bender’s diabetes and researched it I found ways to improve Bender’s diabetic regiment and cut costs without sacrificing. I learned that exercise plays a major role in managing diabetes. And also getting your dog down to a healthy weight.

I learned that Hill’s Science Diet W/D was not the best food for diabetics (Many posts about it here). But at the time there wasn’t a good commercial food that didn’t cost the same or more as W/D so I started to make his own food. When that started to cost even more I searched for a good commercial food and found several natural foods, Wellness and Blue Buffalo (both healthy weight). With the switch I cut my cost down to $50.

The next thing I found was Vetsulin was not stable, which is why it was pulled from the market. Since I’ve switched Bender to Humilin N I feel that it works much better than Vetsulin. He receives less insulin. His numbers are better and more constant. With Walmart’s ReliOn I was able to cut insulin costs.

Now my cost for TWO Months
2 bags of Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight – $100
1 Humilin N (Walmart’s ReliOn N) 10ml – $25
124 needles – $14.26 (11.5 cents each)
10 testing strips – $10 ($1 each)
1 teaspoon of fiber (generic kind of Benefiber powder)

Total: Roughly $150-160 a month.

Combine this with daily structured exercise (3-3.5 mile run) and I think Bender is on a good combination of food/insulin/exercise. My cost is manageable and Bender is regulated.

But will the same combination work for your dog? Maybe, maybe not. You might find that Humilin N doesn’t work for your dog but Vetsulin did or another kind. Blue Buffalo might not work but Wellness might or some other brand. Exercising Bender once a day is good but I really should run him twice a day. Still exercise is always good to help regulate diabetes. Maybe you need to just walk your dog twice a day.

My point is that until you find the right combination of food/insulin/exercise you will probably spend more money. The wrong food or insulin will require more insulin and cause glucose spikes and more health problems. Lack of or not enough exercise will require you to give more insulin. It might not seem like much but a few units of insulin a day can add up. Plus it will always get worse if you don’t correct it.

What food/insulin/exercise regiment is your dog one?