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Discussion Starter #1
I want the real information, I've looked up budgets everywhere, but I want the proper information from people who know what they are talking about.

So here's what I have so far for a 5lb chi (average). This is ANNUAL, I didn't put in one or two time purchases such as beds, leashes, clothes, blankets etc.

Food: $80-$120 per year for Acana small kibble, rated 5 on Dog Food Advisor, made entirely in Canada (yay my country!).
License: $35
Karo syrup: $5-$10
Flea Shampoo: $10
Grooming: $20-50
Tags: (I update annually in case of wear/tear) $10
Nails: $60 (based on once ever 2 months)
Teeth Cleaning: $100-$200
Average Vet Costs: ???

Without Vet costs, $320-$495 annually.

Why does everyone keep going on about Ziwipeak? I know that its a good dehydrated raw food, does it have some benefits for chi's that normal kibble doesn't?
I've heard controversial things about flea/tick treatments and whether or not it's necessary. Where I come from, there are no heartworms, there hasn't been a case since the 1890's, so I don't need heartworm meds.

Have I missed anything?
 

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I haven't added it up, but I know for sure that the values for Acana kibble and teeth cleaning would be more for me and where I live. We don't feed Acana exclusively (right now it's about 50% of a rotated diet, sometimes less), but I know that we spend more than $120 per year on it for our one 5 lb chi. A lot of people on here have seen great results from feeding Ziwipeak. Because it's a dehydrated raw, it's a good option for those who don't want to feed raw or pre-made raw and want the next best thing.
 

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We do not have any extra money and my girl is very low maintnence for now, which is good. I dont like to say she is a "cheap" dog to have because she is worth more than all the riches in the world to us.

She is only 2,so she has not been to the vet a lot, just when she was a baby for her pup shots and now just a routine visit once a year.

She has no health problems (knock wood) so we only go to the vet once a year. I will tell you in Euros because that is our currency here.

  • So once a year vet - 70 Euros per visit. (thats about $100)
  • We do her nails so - 0 Euros
  • We do the grooming -0 Euros
  • Her food costs about - 80 Euro a year. Belcando. (about $110)
  • Pee pads are about 40 Euro a year (she goes outside too)
  • Shampoo and TOYS- about 30 Euro the most
  • Flea/tick things about 10 Euros. (We have bought but not used it on her yet)
So, so far she costs about 200 Euros (give or take something I may have forgot) which is roughly $300. Money is so very tight for us so we are always looking for the most inexpensive but good quality things.

We might be needing a few more expenses this year because we want to spay her and are trying to save for that, but it is really difficult as my husband has some serious health issues right now.
 

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dont forget chews to keep the chi busy :) im not a fan of ziwipeak so i cant vouche but i do have my furballs on primal :D they love it. i heard xanada is cold so uu might need clothes too :D if beds, collars, toys are 1 or 2 time purchases...u have a very tight hold of urself....most of us buy a toy everytime we walk into a pet store or anyplace that sells pet things LMAO not to mention all the custom things u can get for ur baby ;p it gets very addictin to spoil with love once u get started. also for nails if u start touchin ur chis nails more often and paws and they dont mind u can easily cut puppy nails, little trims without spending money at the vets/groomers to do it for u.
 

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I want the real information, I've looked up budgets everywhere, but I want the proper information from people who know what they are talking about.

So here's what I have so far for a 5lb chi (average). This is ANNUAL, I didn't put in one or two time purchases such as beds, leashes, clothes, blankets etc.

Food: $80-$120 per year for Acana small kibble, rated 5 on Dog Food Advisor, made entirely in Canada (yay my country!).
License: $35
Karo syrup: $5-$10
Flea Shampoo: $10
Grooming: $20-50
Tags: (I update annually in case of wear/tear) $10
Nails: $60 (based on once ever 2 months)
Teeth Cleaning: $100-$200
Average Vet Costs: ???

Without Vet costs, $320-$495 annually.

Why does everyone keep going on about Ziwipeak? I know that its a good dehydrated raw food, does it have some benefits for chi's that normal kibble doesn't?
I've heard controversial things about flea/tick treatments and whether or not it's necessary. Where I come from, there are no heartworms, there hasn't been a case since the 1890's, so I don't need heartworm meds.

Have I missed anything?
No treats or toys?
Most chihuahua don't need much grooming, and you can cut and file their nails yourself too.
 

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I think insurance is the most expensive thing to factor in.
Other things to consider, chews, treats, carriers, boarding, tooth brush/toothpaste, supplements. If you use healthy chews like bully sticks, brush regularly and feed a quality low carb diet you shouldn't have to factor in routine dental work.
You will also need to pay for checks for worms etc and titers if you decide against worming and vaccinating routinely.

Ziwipeak is better than kibble because it is less processed, and closer to a dogs natural diet.
 

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I agree with pidge on the grooming and food. Chihuahuas are so easy to groom, so they don't necessarily NEED to go to a groomer. Maybe for a nail trimming if you have a difficult dog. My Kendall gives me a hard time when I trim her nails, so I have taken her to the groomer a few times. I have given my dogs Ziwi peak before, and they hate it. I feed a grain free high quality kibble, and I give freeze dried treats as snacks. I have nothing against raw diet, it's just not for my life style. After puppy shots, I go to the vet once a year as well. The new vet that I go to is very affordable and will easily work with any budget. I'm not one to run my dogs to the vet for every little thing. All of my dogs are healthy and happy. I used to spend a lot of money on dog clothes. But I stopped that 2 yrs ago, my dogs are happier getting new toys, or a collar, or treats. My monthly expenses are $12 for litter. $24 total on kibble (I buy about every 3 wks), maybe $20 on treats. In summer I buy treats a lot, I visit a downtown area of my town daily and there is a two story dog boutique I go to every time :). Occasionally a new outfit $50-$100. Other accessories $20-$75 ( about every 3 months I custom order tags and 2-3 greenbelts collars).


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oh brother..you don't want me to answer LOL ( but then again you did say typical and theres no way our two are typical )
 

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oh brother..you don't want me to answer LOL ( but then again you did say typical and theres no way our two are typical )
Kathleen-I was thinking the VERY same thing.

Mine do not get chews, VERY few treats, no clothes, really yet they are expensive.

Food is about $100/month (for 3) and because of pre-exisiting health conditions, one is not insurable for the things for which she would need treatment. I set aside a couple of hundred dollars a month in an account for their health needs rather than insurance premiums.

I am afraid to add up what my 3 chicks cost annually!
 

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Let's see.
A bag of dog food is $20 and lasts 1.5 months feeding 3 dogs. We feed Diamond naturals small breed puppy.
Treats are $10 and last 2 months.
Vet is $50 a year. He came to us fully vetted so we just have yearly to do.
Comfortis pill (fleas) is $10 a month.
Ivermectin (worms) is $31 a bottle and lasts over a year for all my animals; dogs, cat and goats.
We don't have insurance or registration fees here.
Toys... He doesn't play with toys and we have plenty hand me downs.
Collar/leash is a hand me down.
Bed he came with so I didn't have to buy.
Castration is $80 and one time thankfully.

The only thing is finding clothes for him. My jackets for the baby goats are bigger than him. So he can't use them.

So we are at $300 a year? No including ivermectin and castration.


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I'm a big chicken and can't trim my 2 girls' nails. They both also need their anal glands expressed (which I've tried to do but can't get the hang of it). I pay $14 for both to have nails trimmed and anal glands expressed at least once a month. If the weather is uncooperative and we don't get our daily walks in, I sometimes have to take them for nail trims 2x per month.

The anal gland thing was a total surprise, first time I've had this issue with a dog. The Vet does a better job of it but charges $30 so I take them to a groomer for this.
 

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Haha, keep in mind that I mention only ANNUAL costs. For me, clothes and treats are not factored in because usually I make my own natural, grain free treats (I did that for my golden retriever before she passed) and clothes can usually last more than a year. I'm more practical about clothes, and I don't do "dresses" or things like that. It's just not for me.

I don't buy pet insurance until my dog is about 7 or 8, because for me, including emergencies, it is just cheaper to pay out of pocket until that age. Once they become "senior" stuff like cancers and stomach problems are more prevalent and THAT is when it becomes practical to buy the insurance, so I will wait for that.

Worming is a good idea.
Castration is not annual, but is still important, thank you.

I understand that the first year for any dog owner is most expensive, so I know that I will be putting aside around $2000 for everything that I need (and this is a high number just in case! The actual number is probably closer to half that).

Haha, and Canada may be a bit chilly, but dogs don't often need more than a sweater up here. If it's too cold for a chi to go out even with a sweater, chances are I won't be going out either!!

Does anyone know much about litter-training chihuahuas? The cost?
 

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I couldn't begin to guess how much for my dogs. But I have one chi and one golden. I, too, make 90% of their treats. I buy a few, but not many. I feed them Wellness Core grain free and The Honest Kitchen Embark, dehydrated. They also get fruits and some veggies.

Clothes, I just made Angel 7 new fleece coats, soon he will need a few lighter ones, but I don't dress him for style either, only for warmth! As for beds, he doesn't need one! hehehe! If he is not in a lap, or on top of our golden, he is in his crate - by his own choice! He won't play with toys unless someone initiates play with him. He is a real couch potato!:rolleyes:

Hubby doesn't believe in pet insurance - he says whatever comes up we find a way! Right now I need to have his teeth cleaned - he has bad genes! The vets want between $250 and $300!! Sounds like highway robbery! Fortunately, I do not have a flea problem. They get heartworm and rabies. But they won't get anything that is not required by law. They don't really go anywhere! No dog parks!

For toileting, he mostly goes outside, but I do keep a pee pad available for when it is bad out or I get busy!
 

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I'd say minus clothes, my three are rather low maintenance. They are all long coats. I can bathe them myself and trim their nails. I take them for an annual exam which here comes to a little over $100 each, assuming nothing else comes up. I do feed them quality food (Ziwipeak and Stella and Chewy's) and treats and give them coconut and salmon oil. I estimate probably $75 a month for all three for food and oils (they don't eat much). I do pay for health insurance for them. Depending on dog it comes be $120-136 quarterly for each dog. I think the biggest expense is required health care due unexpected injury or accident (should an issue arise like my two who got into chocolate last year or Prince who fell on his head...both were emergency visits). Unless you can absorb a huge bill if something really goes wrong, I'd suggest insurance. I would do anything for my fur kids. I am willing to pay for the pet health insurance so taking care of them is not implicated by excessive cost. I do buy mine way to much in terms of clothes, toys, etc. but this isn't necessary and it is probably more for me than them. In terms of your costs, factor the cost of boarding if you don't have someone to watch your pup and you travel for work or vacation. Boarding can be expensive. I live in the Southern US so I do use flea, tick and heartworm prevention. This is surprisingly expensive (estimate $35 or so a month for all three), however, I wouldn't want them to get fleas or heartworm. There are one time expenses like pet gates, crates, blankets, beds, etc. depending on how you will keep your pup too.
 

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Here are some expenses I was not aware of until I got my dog.

Heartworm pills (Trifexis) protects him from other things too like flea eggs. about $20 a month. Plus that does not prevent fleas so I have to buy flea protection too.

Nail cutting. He hates it, the vet had to put a muzzle on him because he went crazy,
Yesterday I had to take him to Petco. They would not use a muzzle so when she tried to cut his nails he went crazy and tried to bite. Luckily they were able to dremel (sand/file) them instead. Cutting would have cost $10 but had to pay $15 for dremel.

Annual shots were $129 at the vet.
 

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I don't know if I would use the word "typical" for expenses as this subject is very much up to the individual owner. I have fed Ziwi Peak for a couple of years, and although I really don't have a big problem with it and would still feed it to my dogs, I prefer Primal (thank you Christie :)). I can tell you personally I can see the difference in Lulu's fur--shedding, softness--from Acana specifically and Ziwi Peak. Once I took her off ZP for a while and put her on Acana and it made a noticeable difference in her fur. I really can't remember a difference in stool, teeth, or any thing else, but you budgeted for Acana and asked about ZP, so I was giving my personal experience for those 2.

Food--including supplements for only Lulu (not including Gidget)--annually for Ziwi Peak around $500-550. For Primal which I've recently started I'm going to estimate--$325-375. I'm not giving any allowance for treats because I rarely buy dog treats. Lulu's treats are tiny bits of human carrots, blueberries, apple, broccoli, cheese, meat, etc.
Grooming--$30. I clip Lulu's nails most of the time, but I will take her maybe 2 times a year because I'm afraid to get them too close myself. As far as baths, if they are eating a good 4 or 5 star kibble or raw food diet where food toxins aren't coming out of their pores polluting their coat, they shouldn't need a bath but every 2 or 3 months, so 1 bottle of shampoo should last a year I would think.
Flea control--$50? I use Revolution in the tubals that you apply once a month, but I only apply once or twice a year in the summer months when I see fleas. I treat the yard and house with diatomaceous earth and/or beneficial nematodes. I only want to put flea treatment on her when absolutely necessary, and I live in the deep south in the US where they are bad, but I just try to stay ahead of them before I have an epidemic. I use heartworm meds every month because we have mosquitos year round--I killed one in my house a couple of weeks ago, but you said you don't deal with that.
vet--I take her for an annual check up and heartworm check. I do not have pet insurance. She is 6 years old, and I really didn't know about it when I got her. I would have to see what it cost and what it covered before I decided if I would carry insurance or handle medical needs on my own. That being said, I have spent around $300-400. the last 2 years (and this is just February) on unplanned vet expenses. These medical issues were scary, but minor. She is in good health, and frankly I can't remember what a routine annual vet visit is, but that really won't help you as it can be very different from place to place.
puppy pads--Lulu is completely indoor pad trained. I used disposable pads for many years. I bought them at Sams, and I bought the human pads for hospital beds that came 250 to a pkg for $24.99. I usually used 2 a day. I now use washable pads that I bought at Walgreens for $11.99 a piece, so my expense is washing and drying.

Oh, and teeth cleaning--I ask the vet about her teeth every time she has a check-up, and he always says her teeth look good, and she doesn't need any cleaning. They have never been cleaned by the vet in her 6 years.
 

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I agree with Tina, it really depends on the owner and on hopes any issues don't arise health wise. My newest puppy Mimi has cost me an extra $500 last year due to an elevated liver enzyme issue that arose the in her pre surgical lab work the day of her spay. You always have to put a little money aside monthly in the event of an emergency.


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Discussion Starter #18
Nice! It all really seems like great advice! Also very individual! I really love seeing different people's rituals and trying to understand where they are coming from!

For me, it's looking closer to about a base of $300 per year, including vet costs. If I feel like spoiling my dog, closer to about 350-400.

I'm very much a DIY person, I could easily create my own dog crate for less money, and I'm making a dog bed right now that cost me about $5 worth of materials, and it isn't the crappy cheap stuff, its very good quality(to be fair, I have a sewing machine). I make my own treats, groom my own dog, and I have lots of friends who love animals and would be willing to take my dog so I wouldn't need to kennel her.

I'm definitely going to buy clothes though because I do not have the patience for that. Maybe I'll crochet a simple sweater but as far as real raincoats or boots, I'm buying them!

Hmm, I make my own treats, if I wasn't so lazy I would make my own food too! But I don't want to be responsible for anything if my dog gets sick.

Any good ideas for DIY stuff?
 

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This is what I expect to spend on Cuddles, at least for now (could end up being more or less in the future, probably more). I do her nails, and hopefully I can do her grooming when her hair grows out more (she's only 7 1/2 months old).

Yearly:
Food: $96 (Tractor Supply 4 Health, which has 4 stars according to dogfoodavisor)
Heartworm pills: $40-50
Flea/tick med: $90
Shots: I don't remember exactly what they cost at my vet, but maybe around $100?
Vet Visit: $45

$381 total, not including coats, toys, etc. Not bad. I really want to start making her her own toys and coats, anyways. But I'll still want to spoil her if I see something.
I think I want to start saving up a lot of money for her, though, in case she ends up with a health issue or ends up getting into something she isn't supposed to. Eventually, it's bound to happen, and I want to be prepared for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I decided to add a small-dog vitamin supplement as well.

Does anyone know what would be a good small dog supplement? I've heard of Simply Nourish sold at petsmart, and 21st century, but I don't know much about them. Is this something a vet should talk to me about?

Something that is bugging me that I don't think I've said yet. While I understand that many pet owners are on a tight budget, I'm not creating a budget with the reality that I do NOT have the money to properly care for the dog should emergencies arise. This is merely a guideline.

Also, does anyone know some high-quality brand chihuahua-sized coats? No hoods.
I've been looking around but I can't find anything I like.
 
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