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A few months ago, the finance-minded folks at Mint.com put together an infographic of pet costs, broken down by type of pet (and size of dog), with a map displaying regional differences.

Provided by Mint.com

By their estimates, each Bow (as medium-sized dogs) should be costing about $695 a year. However, their figure allots a significant proportion (32%) to health insurance. While pet insurance seems to be more popular nowadays, I would think this is a less common expense category for most pet owners’ budgets than, say, training and services (i.e. boarding, dog walking and sitting), which their figures don’t seem to account for at all. Two hired walks or a single night of boarding in my region of the country would exceed the limits of their “miscellaneous” category.

Also according to their data, pet owners in San Francisco spend the most on their pets compared to the rest of the country, averaging $148 per month (with a national average at $112 per month). So I guess we’re not straying too far from local figures, if that’s any consolation…

THE COST OF (PET) THINGS: October 2011

  • FOOD: $62
  • TREATS: $17
  • ACCESSORIES & MISC: $20
  • VET/MEDICAL: $458

TOTAL: $574
(Running average for 10 months so far: $267 / month)

Nope, I don’t think I’ll be able to get the monthly average anywhere near $200.

Food and treat expenditures consisted of a 15 pound bag of Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream, various raw meats, more supplements, training treats, and an impulse purchase here and there.

Bowdu got a pretty new accessory this month.

Bowdu got a new leash
14 October 2011

We got a beautiful paracord leash, hand-made by fellow Nihon ken Forum member Tony, which perfectly matches Bowdu’s collar and replaces his old leash. I’ll have more to say about this awesome new leash later — for now, just putting in this quick recommendation for Tony’s work, a fine purchase at $20 (shipping included). Talk to him about a custom design at the e-mail linked above.

Obviously, where we were hit the most this month was veterinary expenses. As much as it pains me throw down no less than 3 digits every time we visit the vet, this is something that we just have to continue budgeting for. Besides, I know the bills could be much worse. Aside from their regular medication (flea, heartworm, and thyroid pills restocked, taking full advantage of the price-matching guarantee at 1-800-PET-MEDS), Bowdu had his regular blood draw, which is going to be at least an annual thing for the rest of his life.

My dog is actually more closely monitored for his chronic condition than I am for mine! Funny how that works, huh?

For a background explanation on why I’m charting our monthly pet expenses for raising two 20 ~ 30 pound dogs in our (semi-)urban West Coast city, please check my first post in this series.

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