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Old 03-28-2015, 11:29 AM   #41
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We got 2 kittens in 1998. They were eventually allowed in our apartment building. Then in 2002 we retired. We do not travel with them. They are ok for a couple of days on their own. We fly them to our snowbird place in the airplane cabin. We have allocated $25k in our will.

Travelling with them in the car is a bit of a challenge but our friend with a dog has no problem finding hotels along the way.

For our annual one month trip to Europe, we hire a house/cat sitter.

We are not planning to replace them when they cross The Rainbow Bridge.
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:39 AM   #42
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Pets are great.
How do pets figure into retirement planning? An expense during normal times, a food source during really hard times.


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Old 03-28-2015, 12:16 PM   #43
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.......... But she wanted to make sure that if she died someone would report her missing before her dog started eating her. .............
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......... An expense during normal times, a food source during really hard times.
Ah, yes.
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:31 PM   #44
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I don't have any pets. Taking care of a few plants is enough for me, let alone a little buddy. My question is: how much $ per year do you folks spend on your pets?
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Old 03-28-2015, 03:03 PM   #45
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I don't have any pets. Taking care of a few plants is enough for me, let alone a little buddy. My question is: how much $ per year do you folks spend on your pets?
I have 3 ~9lb cats who live with me in my 280 sq foot studio.

The eldest is on a prescription diet to prevent a re-occurrence of a urinary tract infection. Unfortunately, she resolutely refuses to eat wet food, so she eats the dry prescription food only. Estimated cost is ~$20/month. The middle kitty (who is blind) is also on a prescription diet for the same reason. She likes wet food, so eats exclusively wet prescription food. Estimated cost is ~$60/month. The youngest likes wet food, but also likes to poach her eldest sister's dry prescription food, so her diet is 1/3 regular (good quality non-prescription) wet food and 2/3 prescription dry food. Not the way I'd like it, but it's virtually impossible to keep her away from her big sister's food bowl! Estimated cost to feed this little tinker (wet and dry) is ~$30/month

Total food cost for all 3 kitties ~$110/month.

As for vet costs, the eldest is totally covered by the adoption agency from where she came. They have an amazing deal whereby, as long as you use their vet, they completely cover all vet costs for all senior cats adopted from them for life. They define senior as over 10 years old. So my vet costs for this lady are zero. The middle (blind) one was diagnosed with bladder stones very shortly after I adopted her. The adoption agency very helpfully ran an online fundraiser to cover the costs of her surgery and follow-up visits ($1200).

Other than the above, the vet bills for my middle and youngest are my responsibility. I take them for an annual wellness check, and occasionally pay for antibiotics and other fairly cheap medications for straightforward infections and common ailments. It's a rough guess, but the 2 kitties whose vet bills I have to pay probably cost me about $200/year each - maybe a little less.

So my total estimated cost for 3 little bundles of furry joy is about $1700/year + the occasional toy. They also have 3 cat trees, but I got those free
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Old 03-28-2015, 03:38 PM   #46
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$100 per year per dog for shots & license. $100 per year per dog for heartworm/flea/tick medicine. They are all small dogs, so maybe $10 per month on food.


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Old 03-28-2015, 05:20 PM   #47
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BSD is sometimes used for Belgian Shepard Dog.
Got it, good point and thanks.
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Old 03-28-2015, 06:23 PM   #48
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We have an eight year old Shi Tzu (10 pound fur ball). I like having a small dog. When she passes, whatever other pet we get needs to be one that our daughter is willing to “adopt”, in the event we pass before the next pet does.
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:08 PM   #49
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The biggest issue I have with pets in retirement is they really crimp my vacation plans.
I have had up to 5 cats with girlfriends and roommates, and really love the little critters.

I am currently down to one 13 year old cat, who is healthy except for needing thyroid medicine 2-3/times a day. I'd love to get 2 more kittens, but she hates all other cats so I guess I'll wait.

For a short less than a week trip I ask my neighbors to feed her. I feel guilty since they won't take money and I can't recepriocate with taking care of their two cats. But for longer trips, I need to rely on house sitters, or board the cat. I find it really hard to coordinate multiple house sitters.

What do other people do for trips of more than 10 days for their pets?
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:11 PM   #50
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..............
What do other people do for trips of more than 10 days for their pets?
My dog goes back to her foster mom (dog is a rescue). I pay the foster $25 a day, so it gets expensive, but the dog loves it and I can enjoy a guiltless vacation.
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:16 PM   #51
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The biggest issue I have with pets in retirement is they really crimp my vacation plans.
Sorry they are a crimp for you.....................
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:30 PM   #52
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We have one older dog that's a lab-pit mix (rescue). This is my first dog and when we got her I thought the biggest expense would be vet bills but these have been surprisingly small. Other than regular shots, she had one $500 cat scan. It's not that she hasn't had health issues but the ones she has are basically inoperable: valvular pulmonic stenosis (heart defect that went undetected until she was old) and a bad knee (we almost opted for the $5k surgery but decided not to for various reasons).

Where we've spent the most money is on boarding & dog sitting (ranges $30-60/night) and home repair (she chewed up some walls when she got scared).

She also severely limits options for travel. For example, we booked an apartment this summer in santa fe on airbnb and there were only about 5-10 options available. In comparison, if you don't have a dog there are 100s.
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Old 03-29-2015, 06:03 AM   #53
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Jack_Pine - No, the program is not limited to Kansas residents. We're in Texas now and we're in it. You set up your will to give them some $$, then if you pass away, they come and get your pets. They either keep them or foster them out. The $$ that aren't used for this process does into the vet school.

They're great to deal with, very friendly and down to earth.
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Old 03-29-2015, 08:27 AM   #54
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Clif I have used Trusted Housesitters for finding folks to stay with our herd in the past and found amazing folks! I also used the older site, Housecarers.

Our sitters in 2013 were an older couple from Florida and were excellent. Took care of everything for six weeks while we were traveling. The way it works is a trade of their care for free housing so no money exchanged hands. We did loan them our truck for running errands, as they arrived on a motorcycle.

I imagine you could easily find quality housesitters in your location.


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Old 03-29-2015, 09:05 AM   #55
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Turn_the_Page,
Thanks for the information. I'm familiar with KSU's veterinary program, highly thought of around here. I had no idea about the program you mentioned. I'll check into that.

In response to what do you spend on your pets? For each of our two ankle biters:
$100 - yearly shots
$100 - yearly flea, tick, heartworm prevention
$100 - yearly, teeth cleaning every 5 years or as needed, and emergency treatments
$ 800 - yearly food for both. One has a sensitive stomach has to eat perscription dog food. The other could care less but if the one with the sensitive stomach gets any regular food look out! Poor guy he couldn't even be an outdoor dog without the prescription food. The phrase "sick as a dog" has real meaning for him.

Plus boarding or, if they go along extra hotel room charges. Traveling with two dogs is three times the work, but very rewarding.
Last year we learned our Shitzhu/Japanese Chin is really a hunting dog she was trying to chase wild turkey and bull elk, working her nose like she's part bloodhound.
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:14 AM   #56
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Interestingly this has been a topic that I have discussed recently. DH and I currently have one 12 year old cat. When she passes I expect to get another cat. I have had a pet cat most of my life and would hate to be without a cat. My older sister was discussing her cat (several years younger than my cat) and said that this will be her last cat. She figures that by the time her cat passes any cat she got would likely outlive her and she would be at an age where caring for a pet would start to become difficult.

Yesterday, DH and I discussed getting a dog, but we travel too much for a dog. We are able to hire a neighbor to look after the cat and check on the house when we travel now. A dog would probably need to be boarded and would need more attention than a cat. If we lose the desire to travel and are still in good health we would like to get a small dog.


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Old 03-29-2015, 05:26 PM   #57
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Hi Everyone! I haven't posted here in a while, but I feel compelled to second what Sarah said about trustedhousesitters.com. My husband and I signed up with them to find a dog sitter and to become sitters ourselves. We have done 2 petsits through them and had a great time. Most of the sitters don't charge, especially if you are in a nice location! We have a great sitter here now, but once we move we'll definitely use them to find a sitter.
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:50 PM   #58
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DD's dog visits occasionally. That satisfies our need for animal companionship.
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:09 PM   #59
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1. How do the pets influence where you will retire?
2. How do they influence the type of property you choose?
3. How does age determine what type of pet you get when one dies?
4. How do you deal with living pets in your estate plan?
We have 4 dogs, all medium to large size, and 2 cats. Dogs = 90 lb female lab/pit mix, 80 lb male anotolian shepherd mix, 70 lb golden retriever male, 50 lb male cattle dog mix. If you ask DW they are her kids. I also enjoy the dogs and so not having a dog in any future is not very likely. I can do without the cats, but can also do with them.

1) I also do old cars as my hobby, so I need a place with a large detached garage; which also lends to being a large yard and dog friendly. I absolutely hate any apartment living, could never do it. Need my own space and yard - preferably with 2-5 acres. I always do my own yard work, will never pay as long as I am physically able.
2) As stated above, I don't see any future without dogs. Given answer to question 1, should not be any issues.
3) All of our dogs are rescues, with one being inherited when my mother died. We tend to get adult dogs, not puppies at this time of our lives, although we are still working OMY.
4) Have specific instructions in trust docs to cover costs and adopting of the pets.

As for travel, our best solution if we don't take the dogs, is to have someone stay at the house. Less hassle and better for the dogs to stay at home where they continue their routine. It is also lower cost than boarding. Cats are less trouble, you can leave them inside with dry food and water for several days.

If we take the motorhome we try to take the dogs. They travel good and make our trips more fun. I intend to take a lot more RV trips once retired and work not getting in the way.

Edit: Added bonus for the dogs - built-in security system. Any burglar would think twice or more about getting into a yard with four big dogs.
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Old 03-30-2015, 04:46 PM   #60
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My 12 lb poodle is now 7 years old. She has seizures and eats prescription food due to IBD. I budget $5k / year for her (actual average cost has been $2k - $3k per year).

Part of me says that after she is gone we'll not get another and we take the opportunity and "freedom" to travel more. Another part of me says that 52 weeks of a doggie companion beats 4 of 6 weeks of annual travel.

I suspect I won't travel and will have a dog until the day before they cart me off to the nursing home.
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