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I am hoping to get my new will made next month and, of course, wanted to include money for whoever takes Newlie, should I pre-decease him. But I was having trouble figuring out how much money I should set aside so, to get an idea, I started going through all the receipts I had kept and adding them up. I don't know if anybody else has ever done this, but it sure was an eye-opener.

I have had Newlie for 3 years and 4 months and the figure that I have spent during that time was well in excess of $10,000. This is the total of only the receipts I kept, I am sure there were at least a few that got lost/misplaced along the way nor does it count the cost for food, toys, flea & tick or heartworm medication, etc.

Oh well, I don't regret it and I wouldn't really do anything different. It just can cost a lot more than people think to take care of a dog.
 

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aside from a large medical bill last year and even prior to the highly discounted products & food I now acquire through my job - I've never spent over $1000 annually on any of my dogs (incl food, toys, flea/tick, etc)

I completely understand that this is atypical and I've been very fortunate.

I think it depends on the age, health, diet and any special instructions you leave as far as quality of life. I opted for a voluntary/secondary life insurance plan that costs me pennies per month and I think, divided evenly, about $7500 would go to the caretaker of each of my boys.
 

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I am hoping to get my new will made next month and, of course, wanted to include money for whoever takes Newlie, should I pre-decease him. But I was having trouble figuring out how much money I should set aside so, to get an idea, I started going through all the receipts I had kept and adding them up. I don't know if anybody else has ever done this, but it sure was an eye-opener.

I have had Newlie for 3 years and 4 months and the figure that I have spent during that time was well in excess of $10,000. This is the total of only the receipts I kept, I am sure there were at least a few that got lost/misplaced along the way nor does it count the cost for food, toys, flea & tick or heartworm medication, etc.

Oh well, I don't regret it and I wouldn't really do anything different. It just can cost a lot more than people think to take care of a dog.
I love my dogs. But Shadows vet bills are crazy! Not so bad any more, but the first year or two were insane. Every time someone tells me they are getting a free dog I don't know if I should laugh or slap them.
I think people grossly underestimate what pets in general cost. Plus I'm one of those humans that impulse racks are designed for. I come from a long line of woman with a chronic shopping disorder, and I love my dogs so if I think it will amuse, excite, appease, assist or if it's just too freakin cute-Shadows lamby-it's probably coming home
 

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You may want to break it into two funds, I'd suggest an amount of $20,000 for medical, and $150 a month for living expenses. I'd err on the side of generosity.
 

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Two things really jacked up the amount spent in my case: Paying for half the medical expenses after the altercation between Newlie and the little dog and buying the materials for a privacy fence on that side and then the cost of Newlie's TPLO surgery. Those things probably accounted for around $5,000 right there.
 

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I am planning on leaving about $5K/year for care of my boy if we both predecease him, and his carer and our families know about the plan and the amount set aside.

She will get a net sum, 5K/year subtracted backwards from 15 years. (So he's 4 this year, so if we both die this year 11x5K = 55K.

She has to make sure she continues his health insurance with petplan from the bequest.

I think more important than the amount set aside is choosing the right person you can trust and rely on. My friend is a GSD owner (owns my doggy's "big" brother who taught my doggy the ways of the GSD) and she scrimps on herself to give her dog the best life she can. I have no doubt she will take care of my boy like her own should the worst happen.

I had a similar conversation with a couple other friends with dogs, and when they heard how much I was leaving as a bequest/trust fund for my dog they all volunteered to take him. Lol
 

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We suggest to rescue adopters they should budget (and even set aside) $2400 year minimum for this breed. Many people are shocked by that amount -- but as many here know, that's pretty conservative when factored over several years. There will be years you don't have to spend that much (Fodder's $1000/year experience), and years you spend a lot more (Newlie's multi-thousand dollar years). Most people either need to have a dog emergency fund built up or have pet insurance.

People who've had "good" experiences with few vet bills tend to assume that's "normal," until they get their $4,000 bill for bloat surgery, ACL tear, etc. I think of that as "mean reversion" (costs reverting back to average for the breed), after a stretch of very good luck.

For estate planning, you might consider setting things up so that your dog has a good pet insurance policy, then instruct your executor to pre-pay the policy for the next year, and factor that into how much you are providing for the dog's care (include the premium in what you set aside).
 

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I had a friend do this for her horse. She unfortunately passed away last week. It is a good thing she was able to plan ahead for her horse who has a past injury and only can do light riding. Her horse will now live the rest of her life at the place she is boarded at- a very lucky horse.
 
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