Join Date: May 2008
Location: outside Philadelphia, PA
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I don't spend hardly anything, but that's because I don't follow my vet's recommendations at all. Also, the last puppy I had was my 14-year-old dog. The first year is much more expensive.
My dogs get a check-up once a year at best which is $40+the cost of any shots. They are kept up to date on rabies (every 3 years). Sometimes, I get a heartworm test, but not yearly. That's been my only medical expense for them for many years now. They aren't current on other vaccines. I don't give them heartworm medication. I do put Advantage on my flea-prone dog as necessary but I buy that online as it's cheaper.
I spend extra money feeding them raw, which I believe is what's kept my 10 and 14-year-old dogs, who should both be badly arthritic by now due to previous severe bone and joint injuries, freakishly healthy and nearly pain-free. Also, it cured my 14-year-old dog's long-standing ear infections - she had them for 9 years, and it cleared up the first 4 months
So really, I think it depends on what you are planning. I think $228 would be a bad idea, unless you're going to do the twice-yearly exams, yearly shots and tests that are covered, etc. And even if you do you might not break even every year.