Sunday, March 18, 2007

Payback of Pets

On a message board, people were debating the cost/value of pets. I guess it's pretty obvious which side of the debate I'm on. But I had to sit and reconsider many of the heartfelt posts by people on both sides of the issue.

Is it wise to spend $3k on treating your dog? Many said no way, others said of course. And some said depends on age and quality of life of the animal.

I took our dogs yesterday to the vet for some shots. Because of our "medical" plan it costs $61.90/month for 2 dogs. This includes all the shots for the year, teeth cleaning annually, blood tests annually, etc. That means we spend $742.80/year for two dogs on just vet treaments. We also spend $20/month on dog food, I bought another 30 lb bag of Eukanuba Senior diet because it was on sale for $30. However the previous bag purcashed 2/2/07 still hasn't run out yet. It typically lasts about 2 months a bag, and typically costs $40 a bag.

Thus on food we spend $240/year. This does not include dog treats, which I guess runs another $10/month = $120/year. Realize we do have two dogs so these numbers are double what a single pet would cost.

But we also spend about $20 for 6 month supply of heartgard = $80/year for two dogs. Then we also pay $50 for 6 month supply of frontguard tick medicine = $300/year. So our overall basic cost of maintaining our dogs is $1482/year. I could have guessed we were easily into 4 figure dog ownership.

This does not include extra like eye surgury these past two years for S to the tune of $300/each surgery. Nor does it include things like kennels, leashes, pet beds, etc. Also not figured in is the cost of kenneling our dogs if we travel. And the medicines we buy if they are ill.

That being said, I guess we probably spend about twice what I've calculated so $3k/year on our dogs. Geez, seeing that hard number on paper sort of hurts. Granted we just got one dog a years ago, so it was half the cost previously.

But is it worth it? Every penny has been worth it. Both guys are our best friends. Especially for DH, I know he talks a lot to them, plays with them, enjoys their company. To him, they are equal in friendship level to real humans, but without the complications. To me they are steadfast, loyal, and loving.

I guess the truth is that I'd rather spend $3k/year on "the boys", than going out to eat with people every night of the week. The boys are our happy hour. Instead of going to happy hour with coworkers or out to lunch, "the boys" are our latte factor. And I know DH would agree that the payback of love they give us and the feeling of family we get is priceless.

As a side note, we both grew up with dogs and would definitely not be with a person who didn't love dogs as much. So I guess this would be a dealbreaker for any relationship we're in. Love our dogs or bye bye.


Anonymous said...

Pets can help keep you healthy and sane. FMF has his bicycle, my sweetie's got her cat Leif, and you've got your dogs.

Some people say "health is invaluable, and so it doesn't matter how much you spend on things that keep you healthy". I prefer "it doesn't matter how much you spend on WHATEVER you want to buy, as long as you can afford it and you try to get good value for your money".

Living Almost Large said...

Thank you, I guess it does help keep us happy and healthy. It's good preparation for having kids. Also it makes us a little more patient, little less selfish, and a lot more responsible than before. Now we know we can't just go out and have so much fun without letting the dogs out.

Anonymous said...

This was great, I'm thinking about adding another dog to my family. It does cost a lot to own 2 dogs, the love and companionship you get back is worth it!

Living Almost Large said...

Interestingly I'll be paying a lot for a long time. Bichons live a long tim, and M is 3 while S is 11. We've had S for almost 6 year, quite a long time. But without him I think I would definitely not be the person I am today.

Sounds crazy, but dogs really try your patience. Because of them I'm much more tolerant and patient than I would have been without them.