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20140331 Stare stare

This is my fourth year of tracking pet finances 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 Cost of (Pet) Things for March 2014:

  • Food: $83 [previous month, $10]
  • Treats: $31 [previous, $12]
  • Grooming: $13 [previous, $8]
  • Vet & Medical: $80 [previous, $121]
  • Accessories and misc: $15* [previous, $44]
  • TOTAL: $222 [running average for 2014: ~$181/month]

How did I spend so much on food?? Well, there was a 15 pound bag of Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream, and I stocked up on four canisters of The Honest Kitchen Sparkle while they were offering free shipping, and while they still have this discontinued item in stock.

Bowdu has been stripped of nearly all his underfur, as you can tell above. My strategy in the past couple years has been to kick up the skin and coat supplements as he’s growing his coat back, easing into the spring allergy season. The remaining fur still doesn’t feel great after his February flea disaster, but the dandruff’s basically gone since there’s no more fluff to hide in.

20140331 Respective grooming
simultaneous self-grooming, side-by-side

The rest of the food expenses were rounded out by about $10 of raw chicken on sale.

Treat expenditures were relatively high this month, despite spending it almost exclusively on chicken gizzards and hearts for the dehydrator. That’s because about half of the 10+ pounds was gifted to my next door neighbor in exchange for some house maintenance assistance.

Last time I mentioned them, they were fostering a pit bull named Ashley. Well, they’ve since adopted her (saw that one coming!), and renamed her Addy. I’m lucky not only to have dog-friendly neighbors — they’re also handy and they’re willing to help for dog treats! Okay, okay, I also threw in a huge bag of fancy dark chocolate as well, but that comes out of the human budget, whereas I’m making the Bows absorb the cost of the treats even though it wasn’t all for them. It makes sense to me, since dog-life and human-life are interrelated, so the budgets may as well reflect that.

In grooming needs, I bought poop bags from the pet store. I have a bad habit of waiting until the last minute to restock, necessitating an in-person purchase instead of just ordering online, where I can get 5x the amount of bags at the same cost. Though I generally prefer to support my local businesses, that’s a situation where I’d much rather buy online for significant savings.

For vet fees, refer to Bowpi’s most recent visit.

In accessories, the Bows got updated ID tags from American Pet Classics. I paid and filled out their forms at my local pet store, and they mailed it off on my behalf. Turnaround was fairly quick — about a week. However, the tags are not particularly aesthetically pleasing. The fonts are all wonky and the spacing is uneven. They also misspelled Bowpi’s tag, so I had to return it for correction, taking another week of time. Anyway, these are just cheap temporary tags while contact information is in transition at the House of Two Bows, so it’s more important that they’re legible and functional rather than pretty.

Meanwhile, Bowpi’s Freedom No Pull harness finally arrived, and I’m very happy with it. A more full update later.

For all the doodads, the accessories and misc. total this month appears low because I decided to return the Hurtta jacket after all. I underestimated the size that Bowpi needed, and got her a 15″ jacket (length along spine) when I probably should’ve gotten the 18L (the next size up in stock where I got it). The material is nice, and overall well constructed.

Hurtta JacketHurtta Jacket

However, the design just won’t work with Bowpi, because she’s too squirmy to wrangle into these overalls. Basically, you have to stuff all four feet into the rather narrow sleeves before you can zip up the jacket along the spine. It’ll only work if your dog is accustomed to standing still in one place, which Bowpi is not. By the time I managed to get two feet into the jacket, the other two had already fallen out. I quickly gave up, and decided to return the item at a loss of shipping.

I’m glad these dogs don’t have many sartorial needs, because tailor-made wearables have worked out best. Dogs come in a funkier range of shapes and sizes than humans, after all.

20140205 Slipping on her collar
she looks so funny when she’s putting on her collar