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How do you deal with pet-related expenses?
I have a separate savings account and/or insurance 6%  6%  [ 5 ]
I have a budgeted amount per month 11%  11%  [ 9 ]
I have a rough idea of monthly expenses, but no savings 42%  42%  [ 33 ]
I don't have a budget/savings for my pets at all 41%  41%  [ 32 ]
Total votes : 79
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 Post subject: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:23 pm 
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Bathes in Braggs
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Do you have a separate savings account for your pets for their monthly expenses or major health issues? Do you have insurance for them? Or do you just have a budgeted amount in your account for monthly expenses and take major bills out of that if necessary?

I have been wondering whether I should increase our planning for our pet. We currently budget about $100 per month for him (food, pet-sitting, toys, vet bills), but rarely do we spend more than $50 so the rest just sinks back into out budget and gets used in other ways. I'm thinking I might start straight up saving the excess per month for the future... whether we have a serious vet bill or just take a hit on our finances for whatever reason. I'm not the kind of person who would wipe out my bank account for a pet health issue, but I was thinking that if I'd had $50 a month saved up for a number of years, I'd be much more comfortable using that money for a last-ditch chemo treatment or exploratory surgery or whatever.

How do you deal with this? I'm putting a poll in, but I'm interested in hearing about how other people plan for the future (and deal with recurring expenses) when it comes to pets.


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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:34 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I have a rough idea, but don't use the money from a specific account. I used to keep track of it, but it's not really worth tracking. We buy the huge bag of Natural Balance, so I think it actually lasts longer than 1 month. His flea/tick/heartworm stuff is every 6 months or so. Other things are minor.

Thankfully, he hasn't had any major vet issues (KNOCK ON WOOD).


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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:21 pm 
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I don't have an extra savings account or anything, but I do have a basic pet insurance plan for my cats, just in case. Thankfully I have not had to use it, but I would rather have the insurance than get stuck with a giant vet bill if something happened to one of them - so I guess I budget for their insurance (~$23 a month per cat) and food/litter/toys/etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:25 pm 
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I have a savings account for myself which I basically assume I would dip into if Chester needed it, but as of right now no insurance or anything. Because of our unique circumstances, I think my mom would help out if Chester needed something extra pricey.

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:15 pm 
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We have insurance for the cats. It covers up to $1500 an incident and $8000 a year. It doesn't cover routine care though, and I budgeted like $500 for that this year (cost $485 in the end, I think... I got Monchichi some routine bloods since he's getting older). Cat food is freakin' expensive cause two of my cats are on Rx diet, and the third eats Evo, but that isn't budgeted for in particular. We haven't needed to hire a pet sitter in the past, but I think we will this Christmas because I don't want to ask my friend who usually watches them to cat sit over the holidays, even though she probably would.

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:14 am 
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My partner and I are fortunate to have enough of a savings/inheritance that if our dog had some really expensive health need we could pay for it out of pocket. We also make his food from mostly stuff we eat (rice, beans, veggies, oil, nutritional yeast and a dog-specific supplement) so I don't budget for that either, Since it's groceries we eat.


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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:35 am 
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I really wish. Things were much easier when I was working, but since I last May we have forked out over #2,000 in vet bills between a lacerated paw (Rommi) serious UTI (Eleanor) and another serious reoccuring UTI and kidney infection (Neko). It makes sense for us to get insurance for Neko, our dog, but for the cats that's a different story. The best thing about fostering and adopting a lot of animals is that you are a part of a community that recognizes the individual worth of each animal and if there was ever a massive emergency I know I can count on friends. (It also helps that my sister is a vet tech.) I feel horrible though when good people get turned away at emergency vet clinics because they just don't have the money.

(Word to the wise, if you ever find yourself in that situation, take your animal into the emergency vet clinic anyways. They have a responsibility to stabilize the animal if it is inside the clinic, whether you can pay for it on the spot or not. Most people don't know this and most clinics work hard to gate keep and stop low income people from coming into the clinic.)

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:15 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I have a budgeted amount for regular things like food, litter, etc., but for unexpected vet expenses I just use savings. In the past year I lost my two older cats and adopted two kittens - I added it up last week and I've spent $2500 on pet-related expenses just in the past six months. Ugh! That includes a terrible emergency vet visit, adoption fees for the new littles + their shots and treatment of upper respiratory infections they brought home from the shelter, but still. STILL. So much money. Good thing they're so cute and cuddly!


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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:42 pm 
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I have an idea of how much we spend each month, but it really differs. With 3 dogs and a cat it can add up, but I think we do pretty good at budgeting for it without having to really budget for it. As far as big things, we don't have a savings for that, but do have a small regular savings which would be used in a heartbeat if one of our critters needed something. I also know my sister would loan me what I needed if absolutely necessary. I'd be selling all my cameras/laptop/etc. to provide the proper care for my babies if it really came down to it.

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:50 pm 
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I'm awful at this. Beyond budgeting for food and litter for my cat, I have no savings for vet visits or anything. Thankfully she's never been sick, and she doesn't go outside so the chances of major injury or fleas, ticks, worms, etc are pretty slim, so outside of routine stuff it's not been an issue so far.

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:40 pm 
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We don't have a pet-specific account or anything, but we try to keep a minimum of $1,000 or so in savings in case one of our four ferrets gets sick. They're very prone to adrenal cancer and a few other diseases, and surgery and/or treatments are very pricey. We didn't have any savings the last two times we went through cancer-related surgeries (for two different ferrets), and we managed to rack up around $1,200 in credit card debt both times, so we've been putting money aside given the high chance that we'll have to do it again.


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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:02 am 
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ugh
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I voted #3 for now, but I want to get insurance asap. Any recommendations?

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:08 am 
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b.vicious wrote:
I voted #3 for now, but I want to get insurance asap. Any recommendations?


I deal with the insurance companies on a daily basis and let me tell you, there are some great and some not so great but the BEST one I have ever delt with is by far "Pets Best" Insurance http://www.petsbest.com/ Every time I need to call them for approval on a client they are super friendly, kind and generous with their returns.

VPI on the other hand, is kind of like the McDonalds of Pet Insurance. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but they give lower quality service for a decent price and have a big monopoly on the pet insurance biz... It's impossible to talk to the same person twice and I would say the returns are probably 20-30% lower than Pets Best.



I think people forget how expensive owning a pet is. Our hospital offers 'Care Credit' which is essentially an on site credit card that you can get for emergency situations that can be used on health care, dentistry, or veterinary care. It has a HUGE interest rate but hey, if it saves Fluffy's life...


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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:27 am 
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ugh
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hailseitan wrote:
b.vicious wrote:
I voted #3 for now, but I want to get insurance asap. Any recommendations?


I deal with the insurance companies on a daily basis and let me tell you, there are some great and some not so great but the BEST one I have ever delt with is by far "Pets Best" Insurance http://www.petsbest.com/ Every time I need to call them for approval on a client they are super friendly, kind and generous with their returns.

VPI on the other hand, is kind of like the McDonalds of Pet Insurance. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but they give lower quality service for a decent price and have a big monopoly on the pet insurance biz... It's impossible to talk to the same person twice and I would say the returns are probably 20-30% lower than Pets Best.

Thanks, this is really helpful! The only insurance company my vet recommended is VPI so I probably would have gone with them otherwise.

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:07 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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hailseitan wrote:
I deal with the insurance companies on a daily basis and let me tell you, there are some great and some not so great but the BEST one I have ever delt with is by far "Pets Best" Insurance http://www.petsbest.com/ Every time I need to call them for approval on a client they are super friendly, kind and generous with their returns.

VPI on the other hand, is kind of like the McDonalds of Pet Insurance. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but they give lower quality service for a decent price and have a big monopoly on the pet insurance biz... It's impossible to talk to the same person twice and I would say the returns are probably 20-30% lower than Pets Best.


Thanks for this info!

I had my dog insured by VPI for about a year, but they basically denied any claims I tried to submit. Apparently, my dog has too many pre-existing conditions to be insured.

I realized that I was just spending more money out of pocket for the insurance premiums that I could have just stashed way in a savings account for a rainy day.

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:25 am 
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I chose option 3. When it comes to unexpected vet bills, my boyfriend puts it on his credit card and I pay him back as I can.

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:27 am 
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i simply budget all of my money, mostly through mint.com.

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:47 am 
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We decided a while back that we would self insure basically, any expenses that come up, we'll handle them. We have a regular savings account, a rough idea of what our pets cost us on a monthly and yearly basis but we don't put a savings account specifically for them.

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:43 pm 
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I know how much I spend on them on a monthly basis, and I expect yearly visits and shots. I just grit my teeth and bear it when something happens. We just pay for everything out of pocket, and could afford most things at this point. We probably should have a savings for them so it doesn't sting so much, though.

So far no major surgeries, other than the initial costs years ago of spaying our dog. The cats came to us sterilized. We've had the usual colds, and random things have happened (like cats kicking each other in the face and getting eye infections!), but so far, nothing major.

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:34 pm 
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I charge it all and try not to think about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:17 pm 
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I have a budget with an amount set at Mint.com. Sometimes I go over, but luckily I also have savings or enough income to cover it. I don't even want to think about how much I spend in a year on them, but they are worth every penny.


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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:04 pm 
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My Max died last year. During the last year of his life he got very sick (kidneys), so I went to the vet with him every week for drip infusions and he was on a renal diet, so the food was expensive, too. I did not have a savings account for him, but some money saved. I knew that if something came up I would be able to take care of him. Max lived with me, but he was my ex-roommate's cat, so we both took care of the vet bills. Thank God. Overall I think we paid about 3000 Euros of vet bills last year. Also, I moved during his last months, but my boyfriend stayed in our place. I didn't want Max to move since he was 19 already, so I continued to pay half the rent for our apartment, so that my boyfriend could afford to keep it and look after Max. That's an additional 1800 Euros.
If I ever get a pet again I think I will set up an account just for vet bills. Just to make sure I am prepared.

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:32 pm 
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We have a 1-year-old cat. We got her as a stray kitten last year and paid for all initial expenses out of pocket, some shared with our neighbors, who had found her.

We have her insured now and we pay for food, etc. out of pocket.

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:22 am 
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No kitty budget here, in fact, I never even thought of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Pets and Finances
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:56 am 
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I have insurance neither for myself nor Mr. Bran.

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Last edited by pandacookie on Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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