Thursday, June 30, 2011

Budgeting for a dog

Over at Two Grad Students and a Pittie they recently posted about their monthly expenses for their dog Havi. Their expenses for the month included food, probiotics, and a vet visit, with a few once a year items as well (flea meds, heartworm preventative, shampoo).

Expenses for my dogs run a bit different I think. Its hard for me to keep track of exactly how much I spend on their food, since I feed raw. Generally I pick up their food when I do my grocery shopping, and it ends up all on the same bill. Plus, with raw feeding, I get a decent amount of free or cheap meat from people cleaning out freezers.

This month, my dogs have been eating a lot of goat, including ribs, heart, liver, and some roasts. It was slightly freezer burned, but organically raised and humanely treated, and given to us for free. They also have had some pork roasts (on sale), chicken quarters (69 cents per pound in 10 pound bags) and some super-on-sale beef roast (part of which went into two dishes for myself as well). Oh, and we still have some sardines from an awesome bulk order a while ago. The sardines were individually flash frozen, so often they get fed if I forgot to thaw out meat the night before. All together, with my dogs each eating a bit under a pound each, per day, I think I spent less than 40 dollars on food for them both (and Martha too).

Other expenses for the month include:
Flyball practice: $36 for the month (a steal of a deal this month, with 5 Thursday practices instead of the normal 4)

Flea meds: $30 for a 3 month supply- I am trying out the new product FiproPlus, which uses the same active ingredients as Frontline Plus. So far, it seems to be working good.

Flyball extras (including some new balls, a ball hopper, and purchasing a team sweatshirt): About $30 I think

New fleece ring toy/tug: $5 and totally worth every penny

Oblong exercise ball, found at a garage sale: $5

I think, this month, that is where most of my dog related money went. It was (fingers crossed I don't jinx myself saying this) a pretty decent month. With the generous amounts of free goat meat, food costs were minimal. Other than the flyball practices, the other expenses all were either one time things, or only once every few months. All added up, I think that comes to roughly $156.

As a comparison, Havi cost the Two Grad Students just under $150, not counting in the costs of prepurchased flea meds, etc. Of course, they did have a vet scare with her, which always leads to higher bills. But I think we're doing pretty good for two dogs and a cat on a budget. Though, if I controlled my extra flyball/toy/dog stuff-they-don't-really-need expenditures we would be running closer to $70 for two dogs and a cat, between food and flea meds.


  1. So great! Between the vet scare and having to purchase two bags of food, Havi was an expense this month. But then agian we didn't pay for a walker or toys this month. THis will be an interesting feature!

  2. Ugh, I know I should do this but I cringe at running the numbers. Especially upcoming July because we have a 2 night/3day tournament that is about 5 hours away.

    I started when I brought Sophie home at 8ish weeks fro the shelter. She was so sick as a puppy, we were in and out of the vet constantly. I stopped adding up the numbers after her 4th round of giardia.

  3. I don't even dare think what my girls cost each month... I spend a lot more than I should on silly things for them both!

    Great post though, it's always good to know. :)

  4. Thanks for sharing more info on how you're feeding the pups. I love how well Billy does on raw and I've been interested in the whole prey model instead of the pre-prepared that I buy from the pet store. I just have two problems - no car so getting to a store where I can pick up decent animal parts is very tricky to fit in (while Soggy Paws is right by my El stop) and where on earth to feed him! I have visions of him grabbing a big drippy meaty bone and diving past me to eat it on the bed. Ick.

  5. I really just prefer to not think about it, especially with Luce's meds. Her heart meds are just shy of $50 for 25 days worth. She also takes twice-daily medication for urine leakage, twice-daily joint supplements, and daily fish oil.

    At least flyball is a relatively cheap sport. It only cost us $42.50 to run a whole weekend.

  6. The most expensive thing for me is having to drive every where - for lessons, for classes - even to just go hiking!!

    It costs $40 per private lesson and it is a 2 hour trip one way. So 240 miles for one trip and my new car gets 30 mpg (so much better than the old car). 8 gallons of gas x $4.00 a gallon (average) = $32.
    So each lesson costs us $72.

    And we go about twice a month - $144 just for 2 lessons.

    Then there are treats, food, grooming ($56 once a month), flea meds, pet insurance ($18 a month) and TOYS!

    Tibby isn't cheap LOL!!

  7. And I forgot to add boarding when I go on vacation that's $45 day.

    Yup she's expensive.