$600 Monthly Budget Breakdown for Two Large Dogs in Denver

Budget Breakdown is a content series where we ask real pet parents to showcase how much they spend on their pets every month. Inspired by Refinery29’s Money Dairies.

About My Pets:

Black pitbull mix in pink harness

Pet name: Colby
Age: 7 years old
Weight: 70 pounds
Breed: Pitbull mix
Health concerns: General wellness as she gets closer to her senior years. Colby is an extremely active rescue pup who loves to run, fetch, jump, give the juiciest pet kisses of all time and bug her brother Kevin whenever possible. She is an endless ball of energy.

Brown Shepherd mix in orange harness

Pet name: Kevin
Age: 6 years old
Weight: 90 pounds
Breed: Shepherd mix
Health concerns: Kevin has hip dysplasia (common for shepherds) onset arthritis, and as a rescue pup, a lot of stress when meeting new humans or when men enter his space. We’ve explored tons of food options due to sensitivities to beef and chicken ingredients. He has a very chill disposition and if you’re one of the few humans he decides to tolerate, he is truly the sweetest pet on the planet.

Budget Breakdown:

Expense Product Monthly Amount
Dog Food Stella & Chewy’s Raw Blend Free Range (2 x 22lbs bags) $193.96
Omegas: Grizzly Wild Alaskan Salmon Plus Supplement (32oz bottle, will last about 2-3 months) $53.90
Preventative Care: Pet Releaf Hip & Joint Edibites (Family Pack) $39.94*
Vet Prescription: YuMove Advanced 360 Osteoarthritis Supplement $77.40*
Additional Supplementation: Pet Releaf Sentesa Advanced Care Capsules $84.99*
Monthly Savings: Pet Emergency Fund $110
Pet Sitting Doggy Day Care/Pet Sitter $0
Total: $560.10

*Expenses are subscription payments

What financial planning did you consider prior to getting your pet(s)?

None! And I’d recommend pet parents spend a lot of time considering the ongoing costs of their pets prior to rescuing. We adopted both of our dogs when my now husband and I were 24 years old and newly into our careers. We knew our pets would cause additional monthly costs but not to the extent they have. We rescued both of our pets, meaning their sizes and overall long-term health were a total mystery. We are also overly obsessive pet parents and seek out the highest quality products possible and had no idea what that meant in terms of product costs until we started educating ourselves.

We have one pet with significant ongoing hip & joint issues that we are committed to managing as proactively as possible and both of our dogs are headed towards their senior years. All of these things have, over time, increased our monthly budget. We are fortunate to have both continued to grow in our careers, which has allowed us to keep up with our pet costs.

Do you believe where you live influences your monthly pet costs?

Yes, definitely. In positive ways, Denver aligns with a more active and outdoor lifestyle, so besides genetic predispositions, our dogs maintain a healthy lifestyle. Denver is also such a dog-friendly city that they can come pretty much anywhere with us, helping us to avoid pet care costs. On the other hand, the cost of living is increasing in Denver which obviously impacts the cost of the products we purchase.

How did you decide what was the right food option for your pet(s)?

We became passionate about feeding as close to a raw diet as possible when we got our second dog, Kevin, in 2017. We didn’t have the time or freezer space to feed fully raw and saw raw blended kibble to be a great option! Stella & Chewy’s was a brand recommended to us by our vet for trusted quality and ingredients. We quickly learned that our dog Kevin was more sensitive to common proteins like chicken and beef. Their Free Range Raw Blend incorporates game meats like goat, lamb, and elk which works for both of our dogs!

How much food do you go through in a month?

Each of our dogs receives about 4 cups of food a day so a 22lb bag lasts about twoish weeks.

Which Pet Releaf products do you use and why?

We use Pet Releaf’s Hip & Joint Edibites for both of our dogs. Colby, our super active pitbull mix, we give them regularly to hopefully prevent long-term hip & joint issues. For our dog Kevin who is already showing signs and symptoms of mobility problems we administer them before and after all physical activity. We also give Kevin a Sentesa Advanced Care capsule twice a day around mealtimes. We have found this supplement in conjunction with our vet prescription has made a massive difference in his mobility and improved his recovery time after long walks & hikes!

Which products are you subscribed to and what savings do you receive by being subscribed?

We’re subscribed to three products:

    • Discount: 15% off each re-order
    • Frequency: Monthly
    • Other Perks: Free shipping
    • Discount: 15%
    • Frequency: Monthly
    • Other Perks: Free Shipping
  • YuMove Advanced 360 Large Dog Supplements
    • Discount: 10%
    • Frequency: Every other month
    • Other Perks: Free shipping

What would be your biggest tip to pet parents when it comes to budgeting?

Make sure your pets are included in your emergency fund or that you have a separate savings account to plan ahead for future unexpected costs.

Also pet care! This is a cost that we are fortunate we rarely have. A mix of hybrid work schedules, having mature pets, and parents who treat our dogs like their own allows us to avoid additional pet care costs. I’d recommend pet parents think a lot about this line item when planning for a pet, especially a puppy!