See, we never thought we were going to move until May when we saw how condos were finally selling high and we could actually buy our very own house at an affordable rate. Though a new home also comes with a lot of things we didn't expect that could be surprisingly pricy (Blinds! A secure front door! A security system! A city mailbox!). which might not be so bad, but since we're both teachers in the city we don't get paid during the summer.
With elevated expenses, we realized we only had a month left in the school year to save up our paychecks and add to the savings we set aside for summer money.
Which really made us look hard at what we were spending our money on, and where we could save.
We found a lot of ways to save money overall (I think that could be its own post!), but we really struggled finding ways to cut back for the dogs. And these tended to be our biggest expenses.
These are the things we considered to be non-negotiable dog expenses:
High-Quality Dog Food
We know all dogs are different, and they might react to food differently, but we feed our dogs a combination of raw food, limited-ingredient canned food, a dehydrated mix, goats milk, fish stock, fish oil and joint supplements. We highly recommend going to Liz's Pet Shop (on Chicago and Western) where Liz can recommend food specific to your pup. She has spent her life learning the specifics of dog nutrition and she really knows a lot.
We know many dogs that have lived long, healthy lives eating table scraps and standard dog food, but we rationalize if there is any way to keep them healthier and elongate their lives it's worth taking that chance and just making other financial sacrifices.
Miss M has a lot to say about pet insurance!We know a lot of people have different thoughts about pet insurance, but I'm a worrier and it really has saved us. With unexpected things coming up, plus a couple of tumors removed, we've gotten thousands of dollars back. We also know several friends where a single accident has cost $5,000+. Sure we could save up the annual payments in a savings account where we might come out even in the end, but if that $5,000 accident happens only 3 years into pet ownership, you would still need to find that extra money. So we play it safe and we have our insurance.
We did a lot of research and we really like Trupanion because it covers breed-specific ailments many pet insurance companies don't cover, and they don't have the same yearly increases once your pet becomes a senior (we had tried Embrace before, and I think they had about a 40% annual increase once your pup turned 7). We also recommend that people who are thinking of getting pet insurance to get it immediately because it will not cover any pre-existing conditions that your dog has already been treated for at the vet.
Daily Dog Walks with the Dogwalker
Mr. B tries to take his stuffy every time!When our dogs were younger, I was more comfortable leaving them home all day. I knew that they wouldn't have to use the bathroom, and I just spent extra time in the morning and after work to make sure they were adequately exercised. Now that they're older, I think it's more important that they are able to get bathroom breaks mid-day. I also feel more comfortable knowing that there is some one there to check on them during the day.
These are some things that are important us, especially since our dogs are older and we are very aware that our time together might be limited.
We're also curious about other people's experiences, what are some dog-related expenses where you won't cut back?
Remember this gruesomely-comical accident?
Because food is this important to them.
And our dogwalker is this important to us.
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