Wednesday, December 06, 2006

the worst investment ever...

Easily the world's worse investment ever is a pet. For us, we've got two rescued Bichon Frises. Why is it the world's worst investment? Because you spend a small fortune on keeping them and they eventually leave you after years at attachment. In many cases pets are four legged members of the family, so it's tough to let go, the cost not withstanding. But of course the benefits of having them by far outweight the cost.

However from an financial standpoint, pets are a nightmare. Starting out each little guy we rescued cost us $300. At least we were giving to a rescue group/shelter and not a breeder, but still that's a pretty steep starting cost for an investment that will require monthly maintenance fees. Next up is dog health insurance, laugh but we have a basic health plan in place with Banfield Pet hospitals. This is to ensure we have all the vaccines needed, easy accesibility to vet office visits, and discounts on major care. This costs us $30/month per dog or $720/year, not including the costs of medications (heartworm/ticks monthly). Then there is feeding, grooming, and the time of caring for a dog.

Of course a major medical costs is when your dog nears the end of it's life. When you pay any amount of money to sustain it's life. When letting go is difficult. My mom had a beagle for 15 years, since my childhood, and he had a stroke after 14 years. She just wasn't ready to let go, and had the vet IV and resuscitate him into living. She spent a few thousand to help him live, but he was like her second child. Thus you see the true financial impact of owning a pet.

Our particular breed, though absolutely gorgeous requires a ton of coat maintenance. One grooming session easily costs $50-60 without tip per dog. What you say? That costs more than a human haircut. So now we've started shaving them down ourselves occasionally and lessening the visits to the groomers.

Another expense is kenneling the dogs when on vacation or going out of town. It costs us typically $35-45/day per dog to kennel our boys. Meaning that a weekend trip costs us an extra $200 easily if not more. This Christmas I'll be spending $500 for dog kenneling while we're gone, more than DH's ticket home. Outrageous. Previously depending on the length of the trip, we've even sent Stefan home to Mom in Canada! Yeah, talk about costs.

Finally the cost of neurosis. A lot of rescue dogs have issues, and ours have got them as well. We've spent a fortune on dog behaviorists and trainers. In fact this weekend we'll be going to another trainer to see if we can lower the aggression in Mochi.

All in all the costs of pets are easily the worse investment ever. But the love and comfort you get in return is priceless. The true downside is the sorrow you feel when you lose your beloved pet. The price of having a pet can be high both financially and emotionally. Yet I personally cannot go without the companionship, love, and warmth of my boys.

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