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For a background explanation on why I’m charting our monthly pet expenses, please check my first post in this series.

This month kind of hurt.

THE COST OF (PET) THINGS: February 2011

  • FOOD: $81
  • TREATS: $32
  • ACCESSORIES & MISC: $42
  • VET/MEDICAL: $557

TOTAL: $712
(Running average for 2 months so far: $430)

Eee. Gads.

While this month is not representative of normal pet expenses here at the House of Two Bows, I also didn’t do a very good job meeting my prescribed goal of moderating purchases by keeping track of them. Food and treat expenses still exceeded the previous month, somehow. I had expected these costs to go down, since we have a freezer full of meats and raw meaty bones (which we’ve been diligently thawing and feeding). We’ve switched to Primal Raw patties instead of nuggets, which is more cost efficient though it takes some extra maneuvering to measure out the food in the right proportions. We also had to purchase two bags of kibble this month, a large and a smaller bag. All of this may get us through most of next month. And while I didn’t buy as many bags of treats this month, they were fancier — ostrich jerky, specially coated dental chews, and a large bag of training treats.

Under Accessories and miscellaneous, I’ve included some topical anti-fungal and OTC antihistamines in preparation for the possibility of another impending onslaught on Bowdu’s immune system in March. This is when things started to get bad for Bowdu’s skin last year, so I’m hoping to head some problems off at the pass.

And finally, about those vet fees… We refilled Bowdu’s Soloxine ($15 / 250 pills), reloaded both their supply of Comfortis ($78 / 7 doses), and then there was that big ol’ dental procedure that caused this month’s total to mushroom…

Bowpi - before and after dental work (layout provided by our vet)

The thing is, while that procedure itself is exceptional, I’m not about to brush aside the figure. That is, I would feel much more secure as a pet owner knowing that I could drop hundreds of dollars on vet fees, if emergency calls for it. So even if we didn’t have to bother with a full dental procedure for Bowpi this year, even if nothing out of the ordinary happened to either dog, this is an essential consideration for any pet budget, absolutely not to be dismissed.

Now is it always possible to have that kind of money on hand? Of course not, not for everyone. Again, I’m lucky to have someone to help me split the bills. Fate willing, I can at least fall back on good credit…