My friends tease me about keeping a financial spreadsheet for how much I spend on my dogs each year. They argue it’s better NOT to know. Funny, right? Nothing will ever compare to the nearly $31,000 we spent in 23 months trying to save Lilly’s life. I was still surprised at the 2016 total for Clover and Tori. Here is our report on the annual cost of having a dog.
Annual Cost of Having a Dog
The veterinary line includes Tori’s spay and rear dewclaw removal surgery (about $629) and Tori’s 1-year-old titer tests and genetic tests (about $350). It also includes several $300 or so things that came up with Clover last year.
The training line is higher than usual because I invested in some agility equipment for here at the house. And, clearly, I bought WAY too many toys and treats.
Our pet insurance went up 21% for our policy year (September to September), so that line will be more this year.
The costs aren’t exactly evenly split, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s say it’s 50 / 50:
That means the annual cost of having a dog (at my house) is just under $3,600.
This is why those typical articles about the cost of having a dog make me laugh. When I see estimates like $700-$1,200, I know the data is averaged, but whew!
Annual Cost of Having a Dog – What Might Be Different in 2017
I think Clover’s training costs will stay pretty steady, but if we can ever get Tori over her extreme car-sickness so that she can take classes too, then her training costs will increase.
If all goes well, neither of them will have big veterinary expenses this year — no surgeries or big emergencies, for example. But, I did just drop $116 last week when Clover scratched her cornea.
I’m going to restrain myself on the dog toy and dog treat front. I’m making a lot more training treats at home because it’s SO much more affordable. I can buy actual beef liver and cook it for about $5 (resulting in at least 4 training days of treats) … versus buying “liver flavored” treats (tiny bag) for a lot more.
We also went through a lot of bison chews from a local company (that I love, but that are NOT cheap, even bought in bulk), so I will probably cut back on that too.
For 2017, I’ve split some line items into separate categories so that I can keep better tabs on my spending.
I wouldn’t be too worried about my dog expenses, except MANY of our other household expenses have gone WAY up (nearly 40% in some cases), so I need to pay even closer attention to my pennies.
I guess that means I need to put this Valentine’s Day garland I bought (about $3) into the spreadsheet somewhere. Maybe I need a category for photography props.
Do you track the details of your dog spending? How does your annual cost of having a dog compare to ours? Leave a comment and let us know.