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This is my third year of tracking our pet finances here at the House of Two Bows. This is an ongoing effort to get a practical sense of what it costs to keep two 20 ~ 30 pound adult dogs in an area of the US with relatively high costs of living. Previous posts in this series can be found under the category of finances.

The Bows make an appearance at the Shiba Picnic, 2013

The Cost of (Pet) Things for May 2013:

  • Food: $67 [previous month, $66]
  • Treats: $16 [previous, $11]
  • Grooming: $0 [previous, $7]
  • Accessories and misc: $0 [previous, $0]
  • Vet & Medical: $54 [previous, $0]
  • TOTAL: $137 (running average for 2013 ~$158/month)

For food and the Bows’ daily diet, aside from the usual yogurt and fresh meat here and there, this month was mostly about supplements. A free shipping offer from The Honest Kitchen allowed me to stock up on a couple canisters of Sparkle at a reasonable price. I added this skin, coat, and digestive supplement to their daily meals around this time last year — right at the cusp of Bowdu’s spring coat blow, and into the summer allergy season. Though he’s got some patches of black skin on his legs now (as has been typical for the past few years), he got through last summer quite nicely, so I’m implementing the same regimen again.

The Honest Kitchen also sent us a complimentary grab bag of supplements to try out, including a couple packs of their brand new goat’s milk supplement, Pro Bloom. I’m trying to dig up info on goat milk for dogs, which they are selling as a formula rich with digestive enzymes and probiotics. Will report back in due time…

Pick a card... Any card.

One last biggie purchase also came at a significant discount from the Pawalla shop — a 30 gram bottle of elk velvet antler extract from Wapiti Labs, which I’ll be alternating with liquid glucosamine supplements for a while. I prefer joint supplements in additive forms, as opposed to tablets or chewable treats, because it seems easier to add the amount I want directly to their meals.

Treats included a round of Honest Kitchen Beams and a couple pounds of chicken hearts and gizzards for the dehydrator. This is one of RJ’s favorite thing to do for the Bows… and by this point, I believe the dehydrator has finally paid for itself!

Finally, for medications, I stocked up on another 250 days worth of Soloxine (0.4mg pills broken into two halves, twice a day) for $20 via PetMeds. They’re usually slightly more expensive than that, but PetMeds does have a price-matching guarantee that they’ve always been good to honor, when I point out that Drs. Foster and Smith sell the same pills for less.

I also seriously considered stopping heartworm medication for the Bows, given the very, very low incidences of heartworm in our local microclimate. Basically, as my vet explained when I was discussing this option with her, the nightly fog that creeps over the area drops temperatures below a level that allows mosquitoes to propagate. However, we had a couple heat waves, and the buzz of a single mosquito one night made me paranoid… So I figured that if I were to take the Bows off heartworm medication, summer is not the time to do so.

I got Iverhart. It was cheap. Cost is a concern at the moment… which is why budgets are necessary.

Next up: Reporting on the Novato Shiba Picnic 2013!