A Month Spoiling a Boxer on a $200K Salary · The Wildest

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Petty Cash

A Month Spoiling a Boxer on a $200K Salary—Tailored Jackets, First-Class Plane Tickets, and More

This New York City entrepreneur may have also bought a Mercedes SUV so she can drive her dog to the beach.

by Editors
May 23, 2024
Woman hugging her Boxer dog.
Collage: Kinship Creative

Welcome to Petty Cash, a series where we find out just how much real people are spending on their pets in a month — from weekly costs and treat budgets to surprise vet visits and next-level splurges. To take part in Petty Cash, submit your monthly pet spends  here.

Pet name: Chloe

Pet age: 8

Pet breed: Boxer

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Household salary: $200,000

Pet parent’s job: Entrepreneur

What’s your gotcha story?

Chloe was adopted through The Sato Project, a rescue that brings dogs over from Puerto Rico. Her family abandoned her before Hurricane Maria hit. She survived, despite being outside and chained to a wall. She’d also just had puppies, whom the family took with them when they figured out they could sell them. Chloe survived by drinking rainwater that was collecting in a broken bleach bottle. She was so emaciated, and her skin was moldy and pink. The situation was heartbreaking and cruel. 

I was volunteering at Animal Haven, a New York City-based nonprofit, because my Boxer had suddenly passed away a few months prior, and I missed having dog energy in my life. I came in for my shift, and they informed me a Boxer had come in. I tried to resist and told myself if she was still there during my next shift, I’d walk her. She was. It was incredible how loving and sassy she was, even with everything she’d been through. She came home with me a week later.

How much did your pet cost?

It was a $325 adoption fee.

How much did you spend on up-front costs for Chloe?

Oh brother… I won’t lie. I spend a lot of time researching gear that is cool, but comfortable and effective. I got a lot of stuff from Dog & Co — they consistently have excellent, high-quality products from really cool brands. As for the stuff in our home, it needed to look good, be functional, washable, and match my decor.

I probably spent about $1,000, and spend about the same every year. I wash everything she wears every two to three weeks, so once something looks worn, I recycle and replace it. Please recycle your textiles.

What kinds of things does Chloe wear?

Chloe has some cool outfits, but I have to say, they all have a purpose, like keeping her warm in the snow or dry in the rain. I don’t dress her up for the sake of it, I cringe when I see dogs in dresses.

My girl has a personality, and I want her stuff to reflect that. She also has a chunky bod, so I get all of her jackets and sweaters tailored to fit properly. Boxers tend to have big chests and smaller waists, similar to an “s” curve, so things that fit her chest tend to be too long and extend past her stumpy tail or too baggy around her waist.

I’m not the only person who does this! I was picking up some of my own tailoring today, and the tailor was finishing alterations on a teeny denim jacket for another dog client.

How much do you spend on any subscriptions for your pets each month?

Ollie fresh dog food — $352 a month.

How much do you spend on pet insurance each month?

Healthy Paws: $95 a month. It covers medically necessary veterinary treatments, including but not limited to: diagnostic testing, such as X-rays and blood tests, hospitalization, including any treatments while in the hospital, surgeries, prescription medications.

What’s the most you’ve spent on a health emergency for Chloe?

Unfortunately, she had cancer, so getting the tumor removed was quite pricey. It was $1,686, and I got $921 (80 percent) back between the deductible and reimbursement.

She also gets growths on her eyelids that need to be removed with surgery. She’s had them twice in the past year and a half, and we’re currently monitoring another growth that seems to have popped up in the past two months. It costs around $1,100 each time, but I have been reimbursed $855 (80 percent). 

What is the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought for Chloe?

A first-class plane ticket. Chloe loves to travel with me, but I realized that getting her own seat was actually pointless. She’s a Velcro dog, so she prefers to be as close to me as possible. Most people are incredibly surprised when they realize she’s there, since she’s super quiet, well-behaved, and despite being 67 pounds, she tends to curl up into a little Cinnabon at my feet and sleep through the flight. She does snore quite loudly, though, so sometimes people think I’m the one snoring.

I have a feeling that people may wonder how I’m flying with my dog. I think it’s important to not encourage people from faking service-dog papers and flying with dogs who really shouldn’t be. That’s for the safety of the dog and others around them.

I’m able to fly with her because I have a sleep disorder. I don’t talk about it that much; a lot of my good friends don’t even know, since I don’t “look” like I’m sick. She’s trained in deep-pressure therapy. She was a natural, given her tendency to lean and “hug” using her two front legs. When I have a really bad episode, I can’t see or hear well, and it’s extremely hard for me to speak. Chloe knows what to do to, and I’m able to come out of it a lot quicker when she’s there to help. 

Does she have any of her own travel gear?

She wears a Shed Defender, so she doesn’t shed all over our area on the plane — or on the person next to us. It’s basically a dog leotard. While effective, she looks ridiculous. She gets a lot of comments and pictures taken. I truthfully get a little embarrassed, because it’s not a style choice — rather, for utility.

But, I get it. Here’s this medium-sized white dog, with her tongue hanging out, prancing through the airport in a hot-pink dog leotard. That would make me stop in my tracks. (Shed Defender, call us!)

What’s the most outrageous purchase you’ve made for her?

My car for $55K. It’s a 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC. As much as Chloe would love to be a passenger-seat princess, she is quite content sprawling out in the back. I’m basically her Uber driver now. 

Like many Boxers, she needs a lot of mental stimulation. She isn’t big on exercise (ie., jogging or running), so she burns most of her energy by taking long walks and sniffing. As much as I love my neighborhood, we don’t have the safest walking paths for dogs. I feel like we spend most of our walk dodging dog poop (yes, I’m shaming people who don’t clean up after their dogs!), broken glass, mystery puddles, and rat poison.

Chloe is cool with dogs, but she isn’t really into dog parks. So, I got a car. Most mornings, we drive out to places like Prospect Park and Rockaway so she can sniff away. It’s a win-win for both of us. 

Have you ever bought anything inspired by Chloe/with her face on it?

I got a custom Staud x C.Bonz oversized sweatshirt that has her face embroidered on it for $195.

Do you have any tips for saving money on your pet spending?

Pet insurance! It’s saved me thousands of dollars. Also, nutrition. Investing in high-quality food and supplements will keep your pet healthier in the long term. 

Week One

Purchase 1: Ollie dog food, $352

This is my biggest expense of the month, but it comes right to my door, and I‘m set for the entire month. I love feeding her fresh food with whole ingredients, so it’s worth it.

Purchase 2: Eli Pet K9 Sunscreen, $17

We spend a good amount of time in Miami, and she loves the sun. She burns easily, especially since she’s white. Too much sun exposure, and my girl turns pink! This sunscreen is easy to apply and effective.

Purchase 3: CC Party Co. It’s My Birthday Mother Puppers party banner, $13

I made this banner for her birthday, and now it’s one of my top sellers on Amazon shop, where I sell party accessories.

Purchase 4: Dyson pet-grooming tool, $70

Chloe. Hair. Everywhere. It drives me wild. I don’t know how she has any hair left. This attaches to my Dyson, and she loves it because it feels like I’m petting her.

Week Two

Purchase 1: BENCMATE Pet recovery collar, $19

Those plastic cones look so uncomfortable, so I purchased this soft cone. It’s inflatable and easy to store between the inevitable surgeries she gets. 

Purchase 2: BioVibrant Taurine Plus, $21

This is one of the supplements I mix into her food. Boxers tend to suffer from heart issues, and I’m doing everything I can to keep her ticker happy!

Purchase 3: The Paws leopard-print bandana, $15

Chloe wears bandanas on particularly slobbery days. I use it to help minimize the amount of slobber on my legs during our walks.

Purchase 4: Healthy Paws monthly insurance fee, $95

This seems like a steep fee, but with the amount of trips we’ve made to the vet for surgeries, it’s incredibly worth it. Get pet insurance — trust me.

Week Three

Purchase 1: Doggie Dailies Glucosamine Hip & Joint Chews, $36

She loves these, which is great, because she has mild arthritis in her back hips, and these help with that.

Purchase 2: Animals Matter Companion Collection Faux Fur Shag Puff Companion-Pedic Luxury Dog Bed, $390

I love this brand. Their beds are gorgeous and washable. It’s her second-favorite bed (mine’s her top choice).

Week Four

Purchase 1: Spark Paws Hot Pavement Pawtector Dog Shoes, $35

She wears these in the summer to protect her toe beans from hot pavement. She also wears them we go places with a high potential for hookworm, which dogs get from sniffing poop, contaminated dirt, or stepping on a contaminated area and then licking their paws. She got a bad case a few years ago. Make sure you wipe your dog’s paws after every walk!

In the winter, once people start salting the sidewalk, we also love the Flex Shell Water-Resistant Dog Boots from Sparkpaws. We found out the hard way just how much that salt stings her paws. I had to carry her home and felt horrible because she was yelping so much, so these have been a Godsend.

Purchase 2: Maxbone GO! With Ease Hands-Free Leash and Pouch, $80

Chloe is really chill, so I can walk her with a hands-free leash. This one is sleek, and I love that it has attachable pouches for your keys, phone, and treats.

Purchase 3: Woof The Pupsicle Enrichment Dog Toy, $25

Chloe loves this toy. I recommend it to everyone because it keeps her occupied for at least 30 to 40 minutes, and it doesn’t make a mess. You screw it open to put treats inside. I either buy Woof treats or make my own using their recipes.

Total monthly spend: $1,224

  • Pet insurance: $95

  • Medications and routine care: $93

  • Grooming accessories: $70

  • Food: $352

  • Treats: $56

  • Toys: $25

  • Lounge accessories: $390

  • Walk accessories: $80

  • Clothes and wearable accessories: $50

  • Miscellaneous (party favor): $13

How do you feel about this month in spending? Will you change anything going forward?

I regret nothing. She’s my best friend, and I don’t know what I’d do without her. I’d spend more if I could afford it!

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