Originally Posted by Live And Learn
I have $2500 /year budgeted for pet costs but I think I've budgeted too low. My last dog definitely didn't cost $2500 / year. This one is definitely costing that much (and I have the receipts to prove it)
My experience is that this is highly variable. We have high pet costs (we have cats and large dogs). Basically I look at these costs in budgeting for pets:
1) normal food and supplies (like litter) - This can change if a pet develops a special condition. For example, I have a cat with allergies and food he needs is more expensive and since we have multiple cats all eat the new food (it wasn't that more expensive)
2) normal immunizations and vet visits - In some cases you can give shots yourself, but most probably go to the vet
3) Everyday illnesses - These come up occasionally and are part of the regular vet bill. We might have none of these in a year or one or two. In any event they aren't that expensive
4) Major illnesses, injuries - These may never come up or can years between them. They can be short and acute or chronic. This is what is hard to budget. Last year we didn't have any. This year, one cat developed allergies and next year will likely require allergy shots. So that is more chronic. I try to budget something for this kind of thing each year and if unused then it can be used the next year.
5) Boarding or pet care if you travel - Doesn't apply to those who don't have to pay for this. For us, this is a major expense (I debated whether to call it travel or pet and came down on including it with pet care)
6) Everything else - new pet toys, new crates, new pet bowls, etc. This is usually not a lot but again something should be budgeted.