Let’s Talk Pets and Other Unexpected Expenses

The following is a guest post by Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. Her blog covers living expenses, saving for your future, and the fun stuff in between.  (Ed.  Thanks, Crystal!)

I’ve been complaining on and off about the cost of my poor Pug’s allergies, so I thought I’d do a little post to let all of us vent a little about unexpected expenses. 🙂

Here’s how much Mr. Pug has cost in vet bills and medicine alone since he developed major allergies to meat proteins and dairy in February 2010:

  • February 4, 2010 – Mr. Pug licked off some hair, so we visited the crappy vet I will never go to again – $185.29
  • May 11, 2010 – Mr. Pug stopped eating and his eyes looked cloudy, first visit to new vet for dry eye – $177.78
  • May 12, 2010 – Dermatology Exam, Skin Scraping, Ear Check, and 6 medicines – $254.00
  • May 18, 2010 – Check-Up on dry eye – $53.34
  • June 2, 2010 – Check-Up on Ear Infections, Skin Infection, and medicine refills – $134.00
  • July 8, 2010 – Check-Up on Skin Infection, 2 new medicines, and 2 refills – $146.80
  • July 8, 2010 – Antibiotics – $60.60

AND we’re scheduled for another $105 check-up this coming week for his hopefully healed ear infection. So, between February 4 and this coming week, we will have paid at least $1116.81 for vet visits and medicines alone. That doesn’t even take into account the $45 bags of vegan dog food that only lasts about 6 weeks or the $500 we spent last year on 5 tooth extractions. 🙁

Thankfully we didn’t get pets until we had excess cash flow, but DANG! He’s an expensive little boy! I love him and we’d pay it again, but I wouldn’t suggest pure breeds for anybody not willing to lay out major dough for something as “simple” as allergies. We would totally let our dogs go if they needed chemotherapy or something (yes, I have my lines), but allergies…well, how do you turn down treatment that can make a pet 99% better? I’m a sucker for his big Pug eyes…I mean, look at him:

Have you had any unexpected expenses pop up? If so, what have they been and how are you dealing with it?

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    1. Ohhhhh he’s adorable! Sorry his allergies cost so much. I just had to replace our water heater and that cost a pretty penny too.

    2. Fine fine, he’s cute. Not as cute as my kitties, but still cute. 🙂

      • Just tell me when you have kitty pics up and we’ll see, lol. 🙂

        Oh, and those pics are not staged…he really does like putting a paw on my laptop to keep me from giving it attention. Yesterday, he moved his paw over the sensor just right and closed gmail…punk… 😉

        • You two are going to make me whip out some animal pics, just to win the argument. 🙂

          I can just about guarantee that out of the 5 cats, 2 gerbils, 2 pythons, and lonely dog, I can find something cuter than anything anybody else owns.

          As a side note, I think it’d be fun to put the snake cage next to the gerbil cage, just to watch them all flip out.

          • Jason, nope, sorry, I now am forced to challenge you to a pic off…my Pug and Dachshund mutt can take your zoo any day, lol. 🙂

            And, what do you mean “I think it’d be fun”…you haven’t tried it yet?! Hahaha.

    3. Crystal & Jason– You’re on! Next week we will post some animal pics and you’ll have to outdo us.

    4. My dog has food allergies (she’s allergic to beef, of all things). Unfortunately, many dog foods are made from a lot of beef byproducts.

      So lucky us, our dog (chocolate lab) cost twice as much to feed as a normal dog her size.

      But she’s a great dog, so we deal with it 🙂

    5. I can sympathize — I inherited a cat from a friend that has food allergies. The friend just kept pumping him with steroids to cure the symptoms. When I got him, I had him tested ($400) and switched his food until we found one that worked — all natural, no wheat/corn/soy. Thankfully, it’s only $12 a bag, and his cat litter is only $8 a box. Of course, since he spent three years on steroids, I have to have his kidneys & liver tested every year. But I’d rather spend the money keeping his little baby face happy than on anything else!! 🙂

    6. I just had a nasty unexpected expense today. Our less than 2 year old refrigerator is having freezer issues. Our freezer was totally thawed this morning, so I’m going to have to shell out money for the repairs, plus all the food I had to throw out.

      Grrr. Why aren’t appliances made to last anymore? So far I’m not dealing with it very well as it was over $1000. My last 70’s gold colored side by side was 35 years old and still running strong. I even predicted it would happen and was a little gun shy replacing my working appliances because all my friends with new kitchens had some kind of repair story to report.

      • My fridge died while the freezer was still working this weekend. I totally sympathize.

        • I’m so sorry for you both. I absolutely abhor crappy appliances…when they work or bust I feel personally betrayed. Hubby says I don’t handle stress well, I think I just don’t like crappy appliances… 🙂

          For what it’s worth, our $325 Frigidaire is 3 years old and still going strong so far (fingers crossed). It’s a basic top freezer, bottom fridge, and no water dispenser…water dispensers hate me and break all the dang time.

          Hope you both find great replacements that last FOREVER!

          • Our fridge is fixed. I’ve actually got a post scheduled for Monday about it. Short version: My appliance repair plan paid for itself again.

            • Whoo-Hoo!!! I love happy endings!

            • Didn’t get the extended warranty. Probably should have knowing how many people have issues. I wish quality appliances were still something to be expect, not hedged against with extended warranty plans.

              IMO, cheap appliances are the best because they have less things to break on them. Plus, I don’t think the designs change that often and alot of times the bugs are in the newer models.

            • I didn’t get the extended warranty. The fridge came with the house when we got it 12 years ago. I pay my gas company for their repair plan. They’ll come out and repair the appliances in the plan for no additional cost.

    7. OMG. I have a pug with allergies too!!!

      wait til I tell you MY story!!

      I think I have spent at least $1500 on vet bills alone (some were covered by insurance, some wasn’t) and at least $750 in raw dog food since September.

      He was allergic to everything, chicken, beef, buffalo, etc. so he was on raw dog food for a while but it didn’t seem to work that well anyway, and I was getting sick of dealing with the raw dog food shops.

      Poor thing, he’s so so much better now, his hair grew all back, but he’s not on raw dog food anymore, and it has helped a lot it seems (maybe he’s so domesticated that he doesn’t digest raw dog food anymore).

      Glad that Mr. Pug is all better!!

      • @youngandthrifty, I’m glad yours is better too! Isn’t the hair loss weird looking?!

        We get a 16 lb bag of vegetarian dog food from our doggy dermatologist for $45 a bag. It last about 2 months so I’m okay with it. I’m just happy I don’t have to cook him up his meals like some people are forced to do. I just don’t have enough motivation to make big pots of rice-based dog food every week…

    8. Jason, we don’t have a gas line, but that sounds like a fantastic benefit!

    9. I just want to say, that for those of you with delusions as to the cutest pet, I submit my photos. Top that.


      And when we rescued her she was underweight, was losing hair and cowered in the corner. After some vet visits, switching food around A LOT, and lots of doggie vitamins she’s stronger than an ox and the sweetest, most loving ball of red fur and hazel eyes that you have ever seen. Totally worth it though.

    10. Unexpected expenses are well, unexpected so it is really important for us to have emergency funds.

    11. Guaranteed no credit check loans says:

      I’ve been complaining on and off about the cost of my poor Pug’s allergies, so I thought I’d do a little post to let all of us vent a little about unexpected expenses. 🙂 this word is very nice..

    12. I completely sympathize. One of our dogs is a breed that is prone to allergies. His allergies did not appear until adulthood, and in his fifth year, the severity of his health issues took over my life. And pocketbook, for a while! He was eventually diagnosed as hypothyroid, which accounts for some of his inability to fight off environmental allergens… but still, had I known how such a “simple” condition could cause so much stress (I don’t have allergies, myself), expense, and difficulty, I would have been more diligent about finding a knowledgeable breeder, feeding a better diet to begin with, and so forth.

      Mixed breeds can certainly have allergies, too. It’s the most common veterinary complaint for *all* dogs, I believe.


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