Yeah, I might have to take my dog since I can't afford boarding, and I don't believe in giving up animals just because... She's my best friend, so she'll have to come along. However, that doesn't mean me as a person can't pack light. Even more so now, I need to be minimalist for myself, excluding my dogs stuff. However, I am sending her food to different areas, so I won't have to carry a huge bag of food. Also, her trailer can fit some of my stuff, so it would be great to not have to buy or search for as many panniers. I can take one or two panniers as opposed to 4 or 5 like I've seen. Also, I'll still only need one tent, since my dog can share that with me. Only thing I'll need extra is a blanket, leash, and proper clothing for my dog which all lightweight and most definitely not super expensive, especially if used.
I have seen many sites on where people have successfully and affordably taken their dogs, so that doesn't mean I can't budget. It may not be a lightweight trip, but most definitely can still be a low-budget one. One bag of dog food lasts two and a half months, unlike human food which is way expensive. My dogs will barely add any expenses to the trip. So, I'm not really worried. Crazyguyonabike has an article devoted to taking dogs and I like the benefits!
If I can successfully take my dog and self across America on a minimal budget, I will gladly share my story, so y'all can do it, too. Until then, I appreciate the advice you give, so that I can make it happen.