Budgeting for a Pet

Dear Goodbudget,

Some time back, Goodbudget released a helpful blog post titled 3 sample budgets to help you create your own. One thing was missing in there was a pets envelope. I was curious if anyone at Goodbudget had a template they would be willing to share regarding how they budget for a pet (preferably a dog), as I find that it’s actually the most complicated part of my monthly and annual budgeting! There are annual fees, visits to the vets every six (or three) months, one-time adoption fees, irregular toy purchases—it’s a lot! So if anyone at Goodbudget has a sample budget for this, I would love to learn from it. If not, that’s okay!


We just got a puppy ourselves. I just created one monthly envelope called pet. There will be regular reoccurring expenses such as dog food and snacks, and other irregular expenses such as adoption fees and vet costs. I’ve estimated how much we’ll spend in a year, divide that by 52 and allocate that amount from my paycheck.

One can definitely create multiple envelopes for the various pet expenses, but when I run a report I’m just interested in what the overall cost is for our dog. How many envelopes you want to create will be determined by what you want to track/report. Some time in the future I may decide that I need to know how much I’m spending for some particular pet item, then I’ll create a separate envelope for that expense. My philosophy to create as few envelopes as possible then fine tune as I go, all based on what I need to track to better manage my expenses.

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Thank you for your response! Unfortunately, for whatever reason I’m the sort of person who needs multiple envelopes to keep track of things. :blush:

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Thanks for posting, @michaelandfarah!

Unfortunately, we don’t have a sample budget that includes pet expenses. You could try using wrbird’s approach of just using a single Envelope for all foreseeable pet expenses. But it sounds like you might want to track things in more detail. In that case, there are definitely expenses you can expect to pay for every 2, 3, or 6 months, and so making an Envelope for those makes sense. And if you find your system doesn’t work, you can always tweak things as you go until you figure out what works for you!

Hope that helps!

That’s okay! Thanks for responding. :blush:

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I recommend a monthly envelope for regular supplies such as food, treats, toys; an Annual envelope for the regular vet visits; and a Goal envelope for an emergency fund. One midnight emergency vet visit can easily run several thousand dollars, so it’s good to have that as a savings goal.