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Old 04-17-2013, 06:53 AM
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Locke Locke is offline
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My biggest fear of getting my own dog is not being able to afford it. I am moving out on my own soon, and after mortgage/house related bills, groceries, cellphone and transportation costs, I'll have about $500-700 a month left.

I really want to feed raw, but would not have space for a chest freezer, so I'm concerned it would cost a lot. I found a company called Big Country Raw that has premade raw diets for $5 a lb. Is that reasonable/comparable to the cost of DIY raw if not buying meat in bulk?

My goal is to keep my monthly dog budget around $200-300. That would have to pay for food, treats, and poop bags, but possibly also cover grooming and an occasional dog walker.

Am I totally off base to think $200-300 a month should cover basic dog expenses? Am I forgetting any regular costs?

Oh, I already have money in savings, and will continue to put money away for big costs like classes and vetting.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:40 AM
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While I don't feed raw, I have 2 dogs and 2 cats and feed high quality dry kibble. Vet visits for yearly shots, heartworm check, heartworm pills, flea meds, emergency issues, ear infections, food, toys runs me about 200 per month.

There are a few issues that can cause that to run dry...such as getting a dog's teeth cleaned, or the need for surgery. Teeth runs around 325-400 for a cleaning and surgery can run 800-1500 depending on what has happened. I have known dogs to just get diarrhea and the bill for the visit, tests and meds run about 800.

Puppies need multiple up-front visits that cost a pretty penny right at the start. Compare prices and consider an older pup already vetted.

Good for you for spreading your wings!

( With all that said, I want to ask you something else. I am a financial counselor/advisor and help folks with budgets and debt etc. You mentioned some budget items. I wanted to make sure you also had a few other situation covered first before any pet budget money was set aside:

1. 6 months of living expenses put into a liquid savings

2. At least 10% of salary going into a long-term savings plan. (fully funded IRA, Roth IRA, Stock Market account etc) The social security checks will be reduced by 25% starting in about 20 years and this check won't even begin to cover personal financial needs. You'll need a 3-legged 'stool' - personal investments, social security, pension. We will need massive amounts saved. Think at least $2Mill. And no, I'm not kidding. It's the 3% inflation that's the booger-bear.

3. Budgeting items, charity, grocery, restaurant, car maintenance/tires/brakes/oil change, gas, medical insurance/medicine, gifts, fun, clothes/hair cuts, utilties, cell phone, rent, renter's insurance, car insurance, internet, miscellaneous, retirement funding, savings )
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:44 AM
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Julee Julee is offline
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I have no idea what I spend per month, but definitely try to put money into a vet emergency savings account as frequently as you can. Nothing worse than being in a rough patch and getting hit with a large, unexpected vet bill!
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:19 PM
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I have almost $20K saved up with about $8k of that set aside for emergencies, so I feel like I have a good safety net in those respects, and my parents are freaking awesome and would help out if for some reason I got in a bind.


I'll be getting an adult rescue, so I won't need to worry about neutering or up to date shots.


I think I'm going to start a new savings account and put $200 a month in there for strictly dog expenses.

Thanks for the replies!
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locke View Post
My biggest fear of getting my own dog is not being able to afford it. I am moving out on my own soon, and after mortgage/house related bills, groceries, cellphone and transportation costs, I'll have about $500-700 a month left.

I really want to feed raw, but would not have space for a chest freezer, so I'm concerned it would cost a lot. I found a company called Big Country Raw that has premade raw diets for $5 a lb. Is that reasonable/comparable to the cost of DIY raw if not buying meat in bulk?

My goal is to keep my monthly dog budget around $200-300. That would have to pay for food, treats, and poop bags, but possibly also cover grooming and an occasional dog walker.

Am I totally off base to think $200-300 a month should cover basic dog expenses? Am I forgetting any regular costs?

Oh, I already have money in savings, and will continue to put money away for big costs like classes and vetting.
I may be a terrible dog owner, but not counting the park pass and gas I spend going hiking, I don't spend anywhere near $100 on my dog per month.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:45 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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I spend roughly $40-$50 on food and treats per month between two dogs. I don't spend much on them besides that on a regular basis. I get heartgard and frontline free from Merial because I work in a vet clinic (occasionally get Trifexis that way, too). Soon I will be getting fish oil, joint supplement, and Advantix (or Advantage or Advantage Multi) free for Logan through IAADP (because he's a service dog). The supplements I use are pretty cheap. Vitamin E is a couple dollars a bottle and lasts a month or two, the digestive enzyme is around $14 for a bag and lasts 6+ months, biotin is dirt cheap, and I just started coconut oil which is probably the most expesnive supplement, but the jar will last a while. I get free exams for both dogs, and heartworm testing and vaccines at cost (as well as most other things at cost or at a huge discount). I have all the collars/leashes/harnesses I need, and can make more if I need them. The most expensive part is showing THAT gets expensive very fast, which is why I only go to one or two shows a year.

When it comes down to it, I MIGHT spend $100 per month between the two dogs. But not on EACH dog, unless something goes terribly wrong. Logan needed a dental last year to remove a broken tooth, and that was about $150 total. Gavroche had a ton of urinary issues, which probably came out to aroudn $300-$400 total for the year (Baytril is EXPENSIVE, especially when your dog is on it for TWO MONTHS).


Quote:
I found a company called Big Country Raw that has premade raw diets for $5 a lb. Is that reasonable/comparable to the cost of DIY raw if not buying meat in bulk?
I don't know food prices where you live, but around here you can get meat at the grocery store for MUCH less than that. Liver is dirt cheap, chicken wuarters are usually $0.99 to $1.49 per pound. Whole chickens are around $2 per pound, sometimes less. Beef ribs MIGHT reach close to $5 a pound, but not often. Pork is super cheap too. The only stuff that might be over $5 per pound is the super fancy cuts of meat, and "exotic' meats like lamb, veal, alligator, bison, etc.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:51 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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$5/lb sounds like a LOT. Though I guess it depends on what type of meat it is. I can get most, if not all, meats at the grocery store for less than that if I'm smart about it. I'm not sure what size of dog you're looking for, but at $5/lb, that could easily be $150/month on food alone. Granted, Rosey got 1 kibble and 1 home cooked meal a day, but I was able to spend $25ish on meat at the grocery store and have it last a month. If she wasn't given kibble, it would have lasted around 2 weeks. (And she ate right around 1/2lb for one meal)

That said, I probably spent little over $125 every 2 months for Rosey. That went up every 6 months when she had her grooming, but other than that, we didn't do classes or anything so it was really just food, treats and the occasional new toy.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:51 PM
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skittledoo skittledoo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noludoru View Post
I may be a terrible dog owner, but not counting the park pass and gas I spend going hiking, I don't spend anywhere near $100 on my dog per month.
Ya I don't spend what I consider a lot either.

I buy probably approx two 25lb bags of food a month to feed three dogs. That runs me about $120-130ish. Add approximately a case of canned food for Joey to help keep weight on him and I want to say I spend about $15-20 at the most for that, but I get a work discount on the canned. So food alone I spend around $150 a month, but that's for 3 decent sized dogs from around 30-45lbs each.

Heartworm I get discounted, but I can't remember how much I pay for it honestly... maybe around 35-40 for 6 months worth per dog???? honestly can't remember.

I do buy collars and leashes often, but that's really more of a luxury and not a necessity expense. Vaccines I do limited so don't have an all the time expense for those to factor in.

Treats... probably spend at the most about $50 a month. Depends on what kind of treats I buy and how often I'm doing training.

So... I'm going to say I spend roughly $200 a month give or take, but that is for 3 dogs not 1.

Estimate is not including any vet bills that may pop up or extra curricular stuff, training classes, etc. Just basics.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:52 PM
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Locke Locke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saeleofu View Post
I spend roughly $40-$50 on food and treats per month between two dogs. I don't spend much on them besides that on a regular basis. I get heartgard and frontline free from Merial because I work in a vet clinic (occasionally get Trifexis that way, too). Soon I will be getting fish oil, joint supplement, and Advantix (or Advantage or Advantage Multi) free for Logan through IAADP (because he's a service dog). The supplements I use are pretty cheap. Vitamin E is a couple dollars a bottle and lasts a month or two, the digestive enzyme is around $14 for a bag and lasts 6+ months, biotin is dirt cheap, and I just started coconut oil which is probably the most expesnive supplement, but the jar will last a while. I get free exams for both dogs, and heartworm testing and vaccines at cost (as well as most other things at cost or at a huge discount). I have all the collars/leashes/harnesses I need, and can make more if I need them. The most expensive part is showing THAT gets expensive very fast, which is why I only go to one or two shows a year.

When it comes down to it, I MIGHT spend $100 per month between the two dogs. But not on EACH dog, unless something goes terribly wrong. Logan needed a dental last year to remove a broken tooth, and that was about $150 total. Gavroche had a ton of urinary issues, which probably came out to aroudn $300-$400 total for the year (Baytril is EXPENSIVE, especially when your dog is on it for TWO MONTHS).




I don't know food prices where you live, but around here you can get meat at the grocery store for MUCH less than that. Liver is dirt cheap, chicken wuarters are usually $0.99 to $1.49 per pound. Whole chickens are around $2 per pound, sometimes less. Beef ribs MIGHT reach close to $5 a pound, but not often. Pork is super cheap too. The only stuff that might be over $5 per pound is the super fancy cuts of meat, and "exotic' meats like lamb, veal, alligator, bison, etc.
That's great info, thanks!

and I lied! It's $5 for 2lbs of their premade chicken diet or $9 for 4lbs. Cost of living is pretty high in my city, so I think food cost is a bit higher where I live, but I'll have to check out how much chicken quarters cost per lb next time I'm at the grocery store or butcher.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:53 PM
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skittledoo skittledoo is offline
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As far as raw food expenses.... my cat is on raw and I can roughly buy a 6lb bag of raw for about $30 to give you an idea what I spend there. 6lbs lasts him anywhere from 20-24 days or so.
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