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Pets…they are my most treasured possession and the bane of my existence.
Now that you’ve met the inspirations for this post let’s get into the nitty gritty money part. What triggered the writing of this post was a recent trip to the emergency vet. I had thought it would have cost at least $250 just to walk through the door, but we got off lucky with a bill of less than $200. Our crazy dogs thought it would be fun to get into a full-speed collision while chasing their tennis ball and it ended up with Baxter cracking his head on the ground and giving himself a concussion (yup, dogs can also get concussions). He jumped up right away and seemed fine so we weren’t too worried initially but after we got him inside he was looking pretty wonky…dazed, confused, one completely dilated pupil and a big bump on his head. I am the worrier (or you could call it the more loving pet parent, you know whatever), so was freaking out and hauling Bax out the door to the vet while the bf hummed and hawed about how he had a concussion and there wasn’t much the vet could do. Well, to the vet we went, and the bf may or may not have been right. We were sent home an hour later with instructions to keep him calm for a couple of days and some anti-inflammatories, but more importantly a clear conscience for me. A few days later and Baxter was back to normal and we were only $200 poorer.
|Dog Total:||$1,518.06||Cat Total:||$482.83|
|Overall Annual Total:||$2,000.89|
Another thing to remember is that we’ve had all our pets for awhile. A new puppy or kitten will always more expensive at first because of the initial outset to buy the necessities, additional vet visits for boosters and you’ll end up spoiling them more early on. We’ve had at least one pet in the house for almost 7 years so that initial spoiling rate has dropped 😉
Obviously, the money is the biggest factor when considering getting a pet, but you can’t forget about the time commitment. Cats are relatively self-sufficient, but they still require some playtime, grooming, feeding, and litterbox cleaning. Dogs, especially large dogs, will need a daily walk (even if the weather sucks) plus all of the above. The worst thing you can do is jump into getting a puppy only to realize you don’t have the time or energy to take care of it.
Hol-ee Roller – This ball lives in the backyard and gets more playtime than any other toy we own. It’s made of durable rubber and survives a whole lot of tug battles between our two dogs. Usually, it spends the winter out in the snow and gets brittle, so we buy a new one every Spring (we’re on our third). We buy the ‘Jumbo’ size for our dogs who are 60lbs and 70lbs, but there are different sizes available.
Rope – Our boxer loves to play tug, so we always have a rope for him. They last forever, are good for his teeth and don’t cost a lot to replace.
Nylabone – The upfront cost is higher than it is for a rawhide but Nylabones last forever and are healthier for your dog. Bree is a strong chewer, and one of these bones will last her at least a year whereas she can get through a rawhide in a few hours.
Interactive Toy – Both our cats love to chase around this toy, and it’s a great way to get them exercising. We’ve tried the cheaper versions that have feathers on the end, but they usually rip those apart after a few uses. This one is stronger and can stand up to sharp teeth and claws.
Sponge Balls – Of all the cat toys we’ve tried over the years, these balls are a favourite. And that’s great because they’re so cheap and last forever (unless a dog gets ahold of them). Our only problem is that they are small enough to fit under furniture so more often than not they end up under the couch.
Cat Tree – As much as I wish that cat tree’s last forever they just don’t. We usually have to replace ours annually, so we buy smallish ones for as cheap as possible. This was the last one we bought, and it’s holding its own for now. The cats like the various places to sleep on this one but the top bed is quite small (it works for our cats, but they are pretty tiny).
Freeze-Dried Liver Treats – We buy these by the bulk bag, and it usually lasts about 3 months. Our dogs don’t get a lot of treats at home, but we pack these into our pockets to take on walks to encourage good behaviour. These are easy to break into small chunks that are perfect for training, and they aren’t packed with additives found in other treats.
Nature’s Miracle – If you already own pets you likely already know that this odour destroyer is essential. We’ve had our fair share of pet messes in the house, and a cat who’s been known to pee, and this stuff works as promised.
Bissell Little Green Machine – Not an essential by any means, but this carpet cleaner has come to our rescue numerous times. It’s compact but powers out stains quickly and easily. Maybe add it to your Christmas list (I think the real sign of being an adult is asking for boring gifts like this).
If you are considering adding a fur creature to your family, make sure you check out your local SPCA or rescue group instead of going the breeder group. You might think you won’t be able to get a rescue puppy, but that’s just not true (all of Bree’s puppies were adopted out from the rescue we got her from). And rescue mutts really are special…they also tend to be healthier and hardier than many purebred dogs. Promise you’ll try? #AdoptDon’tShop