It’s embarrassingly true: I spend more than $1000 per month on my dog. I don’t make a ton of money. In other words, it’s not easy to scrape this together. And yet, I do it every month. Moreover, I absolutely think it’s worth it. Let me explain why.
I Prioritize My Dog In My Budget
My rent costs $1925 per month. My dog’s costs are the next highest expense in my monthly budget. I choose that because I think it’s important. My dog and I live alone together so he’s my roommate, my best friend, and my impromptu therapist. More importantly, he’s family. And we budget for the health and happiness of our family.
How Do I Spend So Much On My Dog?
My pup is relatively young, doesn’t have any special needs, and is pretty chill. So, how do I still manage to spend so much money on my dog every month? Well, here’s where the costs go:
Dog Walkers Every Day
He goes with a pack of dogs and their walkers five days per week. I work from home so this isn’t technically a necessity. However, I do think of it as a necessity for a variety of reasons:
- He needs the daily exercise.
- The benefits of socializing regularly with the same pack are innumerable, especially in the city.
- I need the break to get cleaning and other things done at the house sans pup.
- Additionally, I do technically spend less per hour than I earn while he’s gone.
So, I spend about $600 per month for his walks.
The Price of Good Food
I believe in paying for high quality food for my dog. I do this for the same reason that people buy healthy, organic, ethically-sourced food for themselves. I do think it saves money on vet bills in the long term because he’s healthier as a result. But I would do it either way because I believe in good food for both of us.
He gets Nom Nom Now fresh-frozen food delivered twice monthly at a cost of about $200 per month. I supplement this with high-quality kibble which costs a little over $50 per month.
Additional Regular Expenses
There are certain other things that I pay for regularly for the pup.
For example, he has pet insurance. We have a $250 deductible, and it costs about $650 per year. I pay it annually for a slightly lower price.
I have pet insurance for the same reason I have human health insurance. The “what if” isn’t worth the stress of not having it.
He doesn’t take a lot of medication. If he did, his pet insurance would be even more worth it. However, he does take preventatives for fleas and heartworm. They cost about $300 total per year, so this is how we meet our pet insurance deductible each year.
Treats and Toys
We have a few monthly “subscribe and save” subscriptions for treats and toys:
The latter I got a good promo deal on for six months, so we’re trying it out, and he loves it. He gets tons of different treats and a fair number of toys. These keep him entertained and happy at home.
That said, he’s probably just as happy with an empty box to open and toilet paper rolls to play with most of the time. So, I probably spend more on this than I need to. I spend about $200 per month, sometimes more, on this. This is an area where I could cut back.
Additional Extra Expenses
Sometimes, I pay for other things for him as well:
- Baths, when we don’t do them at home, cost about $15 at the pet store
- Overnight stays with his walkers on the rare occasions that I travel are about $50 per night
- Added fees if I take him with me to travel
- Replacing leashes, harnesses, etc. has to happen occasionally
- Replacing things of mine he’s destroyed, although this happens significantly less often now that he’s not a tiny puppy anymore
- Clothing and costumes; what can I say, I do it sometimes
Why It’s Worth It
When I look at my budget, I can see that cutting back on pup’s expenses would be helpful. And yet, I keep paying for his pricey life. Why? He’s family. I could definitely stand to cut back on the treats and toys, so I’ll probably consider that moving forward. But I’ll keep paying the biggest chunk of the money (his walking pack) because it contributes so much to his overall wellbeing while giving me a break.
What do you honestly spend on your dog every month?
- How Much Do Pets Really Cost?
- What Owning a Dog Teaches You About Life, Balance, and Happiness
- How Much Can You Earn as a Petsitter?
Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer who loves to live a balanced life. She appreciates a good work-life balance. She enjoys balance in her relationships and has worked hard to learn how to balance her finances to allow for a balanced life overall. Although she’s only blonde some of the time, she’s always striving for total balance. She’s excited to share what she’s learned with you and to discover more together along the way. Learn more about her at www.kathrynvercillo.com.
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