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Another month, another barrage of expenses…

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.

20130731

The Cost of (Pet) Things for July 2013:

  • Food: $76 [previous month, $14]
  • Treats: $5 [previous, $28]
  • Grooming: $0 [previous, $0]
  • Accessories and misc: $0 [previous, $0]
  • Vet & Medical: $289 [previous, $0]
  • TOTAL: $370 (running average for 2013 ~$172/month)

WARNING (a reminder to myself, to cushion the blow): For July and into August, I am in stockpile mode. Expenses for the Bows are expected to plummet after that, because I am not going to be here to buy them things, and I am the primary purchaser of supplies at the House of Two Bows. I’ll explain shortly; details are hard to divulge at the moment.

Food expenses weren’t nearly as bad as anticipated, given all that I purchased: approximately 20 pounds of raw chicken portions, several pounds of organs, and ten pounds of whole sardines. I’ve portioned things out and really can’t stuff anymore into the freezer unless I eject all the human food. This should be enough raw meat to last several months (since they’re not on a fully raw diet), supplemented by occasional purchases of turkey parts when they roll back into season, and other freshly butchered meats.

Rounding out the food expenses for the month were the usual tubs of plain yogurt, a small stack of Weruva canned food that will serve as emergency rations, and joint supplements purchased from Prime Pet Supply.

Treat expenses were simply 2 pounds of chicken hearts, which are sitting in the dehydrator as I type. We also got a boost from the folks at Chewy.com in exchange for another review coming up shortly…

11 July 2013 Bowpi demonstrates her E.T. neck

Veterinary and medical expenses were the biggies this month. Bowdu’s last veterinary checkup was October 2012, and Bowpi’s was just this last March 2013. Knowing what a pain he can be to examine, the vet seems to be doing us a favor by letting us prolong Bowdu’s blood draws (to check thyroid function) to once every 8 to 10 months, instead of every 6 months as is typically required. However, they still want us to come in for physical exams before signing off on his Soloxine prescription.

Someone's about to do some chillin' with a pillin'

So Bowdu got dosed up with Acepromazine (he takes just one 25mg pill beforehand, but we keep a couple extra on hand for future occasions), and I brought them both in for an exam. Might as well, since I’m going to be away for a while, right? I’m a little miffed though, because I had scheduled an appointment with a new receptionist and asked explicitly if bringing both Bows together would count as one visitation fee — and she said yes. I should have known better, as the final bill accounted for each of them separately.

    VET BILL
  • Acepromazine (25 mg @ 3 tablets), $16.09
  • Office call: annual exam, 2 @ $56 $50.40 = $100.80
  • Total body function (includes thyroid), $169 $152.10
  • Canine rabies, 3 year booster, $21.75 $19.58
  • TOTAL BILL: $288.57 (after 10% student discount)

20130731 What's eating your dog?

I expressed that it wasn’t what I was expecting, but I didn’t argue. Each Bow did occupy a separate appointment slot, after all. But I knew there was nothing wrong with Bowpi, and really didn’t need to shell out $50 for the vet to tell me that she needs to lose about a pound, because I know, I know… I blame summer communication issues between meals, as RJ has been handling breakfast and I’ve been doing their dinners, and it’s hard to balance portions day by day when each side isn’t monitoring what the other’s doing. Grr…

Anyway, Bowdu’s bloodwork and three-year rabies booster comprised most of the hefty bill. On the upshot, he didn’t utter a single shriek this time, and we were told that he does seem to be getting better with each visit. That doesn’t mean he’s learning to enjoy the vet. He’s just resigning himself to the experience — sedative, Thundershirt, basket muzzle and all…

20130731 Good sport

For those of you with multiple dogs, I’m curious about your vet experiences. I understand the logic behind individual consultation fees, but I am wondering — does your vet offer multi-pet discounts?

I’m griping out of surprise because this is the first time since getting Bowpi that we have been charged for two separate consultations. We’ve had first-time intake appointments accounting for both dogs with two different vets (including this one), and were only charged a single visitation fee each time. Perhaps intake appointments are automatically blocked across two time slots, so the single fee was an introductory courtesy. At any rate, I now know that this is my vet’s policy so I won’t be surprised next time. I preferred bringing them in one at a time, anyway.