I absolutely adore my rescue dog, Bumi. He’s a funny, active pup who is happy to do absolutely anything. He’s also the best snuggler. He’s worth every penny I spend on him. But, taking a look at my budget, I see that I really do spend quite a bit on this little guy.
Adoption Costs for My Rescue Dog
I was lucky in that I didn’t end up having to pay any adoption fees for my rescue dog. I had gotten my first rescue dog through a specific organization. They waived the fees when I was ready to get this one due to a unique situation. So, at least we started off with a blank slate.
Monthly Costs for My Pet Dog
However, I do spend quite a bit of money on my dog. Recurring monthly costs make up the most of that money. Those include food, medications, treats, and insurance.
Food Costs for My Dog
It’s really important to me that my dog eats well. I truly believe that providing the dog with good food helps prevent health problems down the line. That allows him to live a longer, higher quality of life. Plus it prevents medical bills.
I order my dog’s fresh-frozen food from Nom Nom Now. We get deliveries twice monthly. The total monthly cost is about $185.
Additionally, I supplement the fresh food with high quality low-ingredient kibble. This costs an additional $70 per month.
Speaking with a friend recently, I learned that this is a lot more than many people pay monthly for their dog’s food. At this time, we don’t have to add any supplements to his food. He’s young and healthy and the food is of good quality. With other dogs I’ve added joint supplements, CBD oil, fish oil, etc. Right now, though, that’s not a cost factor.
Total: $255 / month
Paying the Dog Walkers
My pup goes out with a dog walking pack five days per week. I love this for him because it gives him a chance to socialize. He has friends in the pack and they romp around. I think it’s good for him. Moreover, it’s good for me, because it gives me a break from him. I adore him but he’s a puppy and he needs a decent amount of exercise. I need to work and clean and handle life. So the time he’s with the walkers is a time for me to do those things.
Total: $500 / month
I’ve always chosen to get pet insurance for my animals. That way, I never have to worry about money as a factor in whether or not to get them care as needed. This currently costs about $60 per month.
There’s also a $150 deductible. However, my pup is on monthly Heartgard and Nexgard protection. Once I pay for those, the deductible is basically covered. So I consider this expense $60 per month flat.
Total: $60 / month
Treats, Toys, Extras
Obviously, this varies. Sometimes I pick up extra things here and there. However, I do have a recurring Amazon Subscribe and Save delivery with his treats and toys in it. That’s the bulk of it.
So, I’m spending over $900 per month on my dog’s standard care.
Other Ongoing Pet Expenses
In addition to the monthly charges, there are a few things that I pay for regularly but not monthly:
- Dog boarding when I go out of town. ~$300 every few months
- Added fees when I take him traveling with me (extra pet charges at hotels, for example). Price unknown
- Dog grooming and nail clipping. ~$50 every few months
- The aforementioned $150 on the Heartgard and Nexgard that gets me to the deductible of his insurance
- Replacement of items in my home he’s destroyed. This is getting less and less as he gets older. Price unknown.
Are These Pet Costs Worth It?
I’m obviously spending a lot of money on my dog.
I could cut back on some of that if I absolutely needed to. For example:
- I could quit the walkers and walk him myself.
- We could switch to a lower quality of food.
- I could quit insurance and take my chances.
However, I don’t feel like any of that would save me money in the long run. I earn money while he’s with the workers because I can work uninterrupted. A lower quality of food would likely increase long-term health costs. And if there’s ever an expensive health emergency, having the insurance is worth it.
So, yes, I spend a lot of money on my dog. And yes, he’s totally worth it.
How much do you spend on your pet?
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Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer with more than a decade of experience writing about healthy living and personal finance. She lives in San Francisco, where she has learned to maximize frugal living tips in order to thrive as a freelancer in one of the nation’s most expensive cities. When she’s not writing, she’s exploring the city on foot with her rescue dog. Learn more about her at www.kathrynvercillo.com. Kathryn also writes about saving money with coupons over at GroceryCouponGuide.com .