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Pets/fur-babies: How frugal are you?

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  • Pets/fur-babies: How frugal are you?

    Riffing off STATscans’ great thread because fur babies are a huge part of family life for at least a few of us. (NOTE, this Q includes feathers, scales, and fins, if applicable)...
    1. How many fur-babies do you have?
    2. How do you add your fur-babies to your family? I.e. well-vetted breeder, shelter adoption, abandoned and they find you?
    3. Do you pay a groomer for bathing, trimming, etc or do you DIY?
      • If you pay a groomer, what do you pay and how often?
    4. How often do you pay a walker/sitter and how much?
    5. How much would you spend on a life-saving or significant QOL procedure for your fur-baby?
    6. How much do you spend per week on food, treats, kitty litter, toys, etc?
    7. What do you feed your fur-baby (i.e. make your own, buy at Costco/other, order specialty online)?
    8. Anything else?
    Answer any or all - I’m really curious to compare and see how/if your frugality extends to your furry loved ones. I’ll add my own answers in a little while.
    Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

  • #2
    Think about this one...For Halloween 2019, American spent half a billion dollars on pet costumes. Really?

    IMHO, some have more interest in the care of their pets than their kids.

    Comment


    • #3
      1. How many fur-babies do you have? 1 dog and 1 cat
      2. How do you add your fur-babies to your family? Cat is from shelter. Dog is from breeder. I was set on a breed. I actually put $50 down to adopt a deaf Australian shepherd. That person wasn't very responsive. After a couple months, I just called a reputable breeder.
      3. Do you pay a groomer for bathing, trimming, etc or do you DIY?
        • DIY. There is a boutique with a dog washing station that is $11 all inclusive with shampoos, towels, and blow dryer. Take as long as you need. The water pressure is better than what I can get out of my apartment bathtub.
      4. How often do you pay a walker/sitter and how much? About $200 month for doggie daycare. The cat doesn't need as much stimulation- he stays at home.
      5. How much would you spend on a life-saving or significant QOL procedure for your fur-baby? I guess it's $300 at this point. That was the cost of treating Giardia.
      6. How much do you spend per week on food, treats, kitty litter, toys, etc? $58/month. Chewy auto-ship. We have to be picky about chew toys because he destroys them quickly. It's hard to find anything that is durable. Luckily, he has only eaten one pillow.
      7. What do you feed your fur-baby (i.e. make your own, buy at Costco/other, order specialty online)? Purina Pro-plan. Cat gets indoor Iams. Cat used to get fancier stuff, but he prefers the Iams because the kibble size (he had a couple teeth extracted prior to me getting him).
      8. Anything else? In our custom build home, we actually have a custom built cabinet to hold the cat box. Probably the most we've ever spent on the cat.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have three cats and three dogs. All rescues. Luckily, the current group have all been healthy without crazy expenses beyond normal vet visits. We just give them the cat or dog food we buy at the local supermarket. When we go on vacation, we use a pet sitter. It’s usually a high school or college friend of one of my kids. We pay them $70/day to stay at our house and show them love, scoop litter, feed/water them, and play with the dogs.

        But, we’ve had some expensive ones in the past. We had a dog that needed chemo every three weeks at the vet school a few hours away. I cannot recall the exact costs but I believe it was at least $1000 every visit. I would not have cared if it was $5000 every other week, I would’ve spent the money. My family loved that dog so so much, and I believe we would’ve sold our house, if needed, to pay his medical bills.

        Comment


        • #5
          Boarding school for training. Three orthopaedic surgeries.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jfoxcpacfp View Post
            Riffing off STATscans’ great thread because fur babies are a huge part of family life for at least a few of us. (NOTE, this Q includes feathers, scales, and fins, if applicable)...[LIST=1][*]How many fur-babies do you have? 1 so-called miniature, 60-lb blue Merle Aussie, Beauregard (known as Beau, named after my grandfather, deceased (fortunately, b/c he might have disinherited me otherwise))[*]How do you add your fur-babies to your family? I.e. well-vetted breeder, shelter adoption, abandoned and they find you? Vetted breeder. I knew exactly what I wanted and searched adoptions within 150 miles but none were available (for those of you who don’t know, we live in flyover country for many miles around)[*]Do you pay a groomer for bathing, trimming, etc or do you DIY? Groomer, q2 wks, she charges $45 and I pay $55 because I think she undercharges and I don’t want to lose her - Beau loves her. Tried the DIY in the beginning but Aussies just have such a thick coat...Beau doesn’t fight a bath (Aussies are very obedient and eager to please) but I’m getting too old to lean over the tub and the back ache is not worth it.
            • If you pay a groomer, what do you pay and how often? See above
            [*]How often do you pay a walker/sitter and how much? $100/wk. This happens to be my stepdaughter who happily does a LOT for us, with her hubs and no complaining, so I want to help them out. She would do it for free as they have 2 dogs that they take on a long walk every night, regardless, and live m<5 mins away.[*]How much would you spend on a life-saving or significant QOL procedure for your fur-baby? See Eye3md’s response. Same as I would spend on a human family member (realize non-pet owners may not understand this and I didn’t before Beau became a family member, so I get it).[*]How much do you spend per week on food, treats, kitty litter, toys, etc? Prob $20, Purina Pro-plan after I learned it is just as good or better than the “designer” brands. Given where we live, still have to order online but Amazon’s club is great for this. Beau has no interest in toys that do not have food associated with them.[*]What do you feed your fur-baby (i.e. make your own, buy at Costco/other, order specialty online)? See above[*]Anything else? Some backstory - the Bobfather had told me no dogs. I finally told him I’d found one that I was getting with my own money and it was my turn to have a vote. Reply was, “well, as long as he stays outside”. Never happened. Next it was, well, keep him off the couch. A few days later, I walked in and they were on the couch together. Only comments since then have been of the face-saving type but he loves him (almost) as deeply as do I.
            Answers above. I don’t get the pet costumes, either. But, then again, neither do I get the obsession with Halloween decorations that go as all-out as Christmas. Maybe it’s a KY thing.
            Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

            Comment


            • #7
              1. How many fur-babies do you have? one dog!
              2. How do you add your fur-babies to your family? I.e. well-vetted breeder, shelter adoption, abandoned and they find you? breeder, in hindsight not that well vetted, some interesting and hard to understand dishonesty from them at the time
              3. Do you pay a groomer for bathing, trimming, etc or do you DIY? very rarely maybe once a year
                • If you pay a groomer, what do you pay and how often?
              4. How often do you pay a walker/sitter and how much? we did before we had out nanny
              5. How much would you spend on a life-saving or significant QOL procedure for your fur-baby? $10k max
              6. How much do you spend per week on food, treats, kitty litter, toys, etc? maybe $15? we have some nice food for her but it's not over the top and we don't really buy her toys
              7. What do you feed your fur-baby (i.e. make your own, buy at Costco/other, order specialty online)? more table scraps than i would care to admit, otherwise some single protein BS
              8. Anything else? i want at least one more dog, maybe 2

              Comment


              • #8
                1- 1 derp (<---- see stage left)
                2- adopt dont shop.
                3- DIY
                4- havent needed to yet.
                5- depends. easily in the K's.
                6- per week not sure: science diet food, tick meds, heartworm meds: ~$25/week maybe
                7- switched over to science diet after being mentioned here. nothing but good things to say. otherwise just random snackos throughout the day (milk bone here, pumpkin there, yogurt, etc)
                8- please dont get an animal if not everyone is on board.

                Comment


                • #9
                  1. 1 dog. 40 lb mixed breed with significant terrier contribution
                  2. A friend of a friend rescued her directly from animal control at a junkyard in a town where they said the shelters were overflowing. The FoF took her, got her checked out/vaccinated and searched for a home for her and 2 weeks later she was mine. Whoever abandoned her (she appeared to have been recently abandoned when she was found at 4 months rather than feral) is insane because she is the best dog ever.
                  3. I brush her most days to reduce shedding. When the weather is nice/warm we bathe her in the driveway followed by a long walk. When it’s not we take her to the dog salon in our neighborhood and they give her a bath. Usually around $40 with tip. When they do it I do note less shedding —I think they do a better job brushing her out. Frequency=prn.
                  4. Used to have a walker when she was younger for midday walks. Now no longer needed. Don’t want to interrupt her 6 hours of midday beauty sleep.
                  5. I don’t have a limit aside from it would have to be for her benefit and not to keep her lingering on in a semi-miserable state just to avoid the pain of saying goodbye to her.
                  6/7. I have no idea the cost per week but she eats Canidae supplemented with occasional pumpkin/egg/salmon from us. Occasional treats but we don’t go crazy. She’s not any more interested in a dog toy than a stick or ball or whatever so we don’t buy toys.
                  8. She has her own section on our expense tracking spreadsheet—2017-2019 we spent 3k-5k year. She had a dental surgery one year and the other main expense is the dog sitter when we travel (who loves her and gives me a great deal to watch her in her home). For 2020, when she’s had no big health expenses other than routine vet stuff and no travel it looks like it’s going to come in under $1000.

                  Edited to add: I put her in a costume once for a Halloween theme run. She loves to run but refused to run/walk or do anything else until I removed it. She wants nothing to do with such nonsense and I have respected her choice ever since.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    1 dog. Mini dachshund

                    Wife wanted a dachshund and we just waited until we saw an ad for one. $300. Not a breeder. Just got too friendly with neighbor's dog.

                    Never used a groomer

                    Only for the rare vacation that we cannot get someone else to watch her.

                    Depends who you ask.

                    $500 a year. Most of that is vet and prevention meds. Then food. Minimal toys and treats. She ruins toys the first day anyway.
                    She has a hotdog costume that we make her wear every year. Otherwise no clothes.
                    ​​​​​​

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bentley passed about 8:45 pm
                      December 15, 2018. I will miss him.

                      My partner in crime was an accomplished traveler. Not once did he get on free. Switched to ground transportation due to stress of flying for him. It was an honor to be his friend for 14 years.

                      Holiday season. First time pet-less that I can remember. Dogs were always family pets, so dog at home when off to college etc.

                      My wife wants a break. About time she deserves a “win”. When I hang up the Xmas ornament with a pic of him wearing the Santa hat, we both get a tear.Tis the season. Seriously debating a surprise present.

                      Comment


                      • #12

                        How many fur-babies do you have? 2. A Golden retriever and a shepherd mix.

                        How do you add your fur-babies to your family? I.e. well-vetted breeder, shelter adoption, abandoned and they find you? We got our golden from the classifieds in the newspaper during my 4th year of medical school for like $200. Clearly doesn't have his papers. The shepherd mix was from a rescue when she was abandoned as a puppy.

                        Do you pay a groomer for bathing, trimming, etc or do you DIY? I mostly bath them, brush them, and do some trimming but we do have them groomed 2-3 times per year.

                        If you pay a groomer, what do you pay and how often? Typically around $150 including tip for both of them.

                        How often do you pay a walker/sitter and how much? Depends on our schedules but typically anywhere from 2-6 times per month where we have a 30 minute visit where they let them out to use the restroom and play with them. $18/visit. We have a house/dog sitter we've been using for several years for when we go out of town. $50/night.

                        How much would you spend on a life-saving or significant QOL procedure for your fur-baby? LOTS. Probably easily into the five figures.

                        How much do you spend per week on food, treats, kitty litter, toys, etc? Probably averages out to $25-$30 or so a week.

                        What do you feed your fur-baby (i.e. make your own, buy at Costco/other, order specialty online)? Chicken Soup for the Soul dog food.

                        Anything else? We couldn't imagine living in a home without dogs.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tim View Post
                          Bentley passed about 8:45 pm
                          December 15, 2018. I will miss him.

                          My partner in crime was an accomplished traveler. Not once did he get on free. Switched to ground transportation due to stress of flying for him. It was an honor to be his friend for 14 years.

                          Holiday season. First time pet-less that I can remember. Dogs were always family pets, so dog at home when off to college etc.

                          My wife wants a break. About time she deserves a “win”. When I hang up the Xmas ornament with a pic of him wearing the Santa hat, we both get a tear. Tis the season. Seriously debating a surprise present.
                          That made ME tear up. Hope you find the right companion soon and hugs to you.
                          Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jfoxcpacfp View Post

                            That made ME tear up. Hope you find the right companion soon and hugs to you.
                            Spouse gives me a hug everyday. Life is good.
                            Got breakfast and putting up the tree. Kids are pondering. Who knows, opportunities to spoil family pets are probable. Keeping the spouse for sure.

                            A sad story, my brothers ex has churned through 4 husbands. My brother has had 3 dogs, all Shih Tzu
                            and all unique.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Tim, I’m sorry for your loss. Hope it is getting easier with time, and I’m sure you’ll find another companion in the right time.

                              How many fur-babies do you have?
                              Currently 3 cats and probably about 30 small fish in 4 tanks

                              How do you add your fur-babies to your family? I.e. well-vetted breeder, shelter adoption, abandoned and they find you?
                              We previously had one cat and one dog, but our dog passed away. We were going to adopt one kitten to keep the cat company since she was obviously lonely and depressed. We decided to adopt the kitten’s sister as well once we found out no one wanted to adopt her because she wasn’t “pretty”. Hence we ended up with three cats.

                              Do you pay a groomer for bathing, trimming, etc or do you DIY?
                              DIY

                              How often do you pay a walker/sitter and how much?
                              Not often, thankfully we have had family or friends help with petsitting during vacations.

                              How much would you spend on a life-saving or significant QOL procedure for your fur-baby?
                              Our dog had a chronic illness that required medicine, and she was immunocompromised. She had several stays in the veterinary hospitals in her lifetime, and one weekend would cost about $5k. We decided to draw the line when she developed cancer.

                              How much do you spend per week on food, treats, kitty litter, toys, etc?
                              About $75/month

                              What do you feed your fur-baby (i.e. make your own, buy at Costco/other, order specialty online)?
                              We purchase grain-free single source protein dry kibbles and also Hill’s science diet canned food.

                              Anything else?
                              We want to get another dog but the timing is not yet right. We plan on getting a livestock guardian dog (in addition to a family dog?) at the future farm.

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