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owning a pet is expensive

October 10th, 2016 at 11:39 pm

So this past year we've spent $7938 on our dog. He's still alive amazingly. He was diagnosed with cancer left september and he torn his ACL and was 14 years old or so. He's a rescue so we're not really sure how old he is but we've had him for 10 years and they thought he might be around 3-4 years old in 2006 when we got him. The acl healed, we did chemo, and he's in pretty good spirits still.

When our other dog died 2010 I would guess I spent even more in his last year of life. I wasn't ready having been pregnant and just had a baby. I wasn't ready to let him go. When he did go I was ready and we'd had a good year with him.

But now I see lots of families who go to school with my kiddos getting a new puppy. For the "kids" to grow up with. I hope they understand what they are getting into. A huge commitment both of time and money. It's expensive to travel and when they get older you don't travel unless they are with you. Hence for now we're stuck driving because he can't handle plane rides anymore and we're too nervous he'd die if we left him at a kennel for more than an overnight. And a dog walker wouldn't work since he'd get upset being left alone so long.

Truth is I get that pets aren't family. He's not my kid. But he is I will admit probably my best friend. I am the one who walks him 2-3x/day. I'm the one who cares for him by brushing and bathing him. He sat next to me on the couch when I cried with post-partum depression. I was medicating halfway through my second pregnancy it was so bad. He walked with me when I pushed the stroller 365 days a year and when I felt lonely. I admit that he's not a person and he's not "family". But he is my friend and I've never admitted what we spend on him or our previous buddy.

I don't think that we'll get another dog anytime soon. Certainly not while he's alive. But seeing the numbers in black and white now before he passes is easier. It's not a pretty number, but it's real. I guess we know where a good chunk of our money last year went. LOL.

If anyone ever gives you a "puppy present" give it back. It's probably one of the most expensive gifts you'll ever get.

Do you know what you spend on your pets? I feel a little sticker shock since I've never added it up.

6 Responses to “owning a pet is expensive”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I think the money spent on each pet is a personal decision. It sounds like you have no regrets!

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Pets aren't cheap, but are worth every penny.

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    We haven't spent much on our cats, by comparison. We've been putting off taking our newer cat for a checkup and to get him officially licensed ... more of a "oh I hope someone else takes care of that" kind of thing where none of us has stepped up. He's healthy and happy, plus he fear-pooped in the carrier when we brought him home, so we're in no hurry to put him back in! But both our cats are FIV+, so it's in the back of my mind that their care may get more expensive at some point. And I'm prepared. The number you quote would be a lot to swallow, but if I could see one of them having a potentially fixable problem that cost that much, I'm pretty sure we'd fork it over. I think. I mean, I wouldn't get the family in financial trouble to keep a pet alive, but if we could afford it I'd do it.

  4. Kiki Says:

    Have you considered a pet sitter? Someone who would come and stay at your house while you are gone? Better than a kennel, cheaper too, and better than a dog walker. In Sacramento it runs about $35-55 per night.

    I believe that pets ARE family. They know when we are hurting, sad, happy, anxious, and are there no matter what. My heart hurts for all he has been through but I am glad to know he is with loving owners. It is so hard when we lose them.

  5. debt-free by thir-ty Says:

    I definitely think pets can be family. My dogs sometimes detect my mood and read me better than my husband. Are they people? No, but family is more than just the humans around you, and all 3 of my 4-legged peeps are part of mine.

    We've probably spent several thousand on ours to this point. I live in a high cost of living area, so the vet visit before any meds or diagnoses is usually $60. One of the things I'd like to do after we start getting the debts paid off is a pet emergency care fund. Our oldest is 7, so I'm guessing care expenses will increase in the next 2-3 years.

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    Many people do consider pets as family, and I'm probably one of them. That being said, my plan, if i have the self-discipline to carry it out when the time comes, is not to go out and adopt more cats/dogs when my current 2 cats pass on.

    It is quite expensive. Even when there are no vet bills, I averaged $169 a month this year on the cats. In addition, I realized I am tired of cleaning smelly, dusty cat litter boxes, hauling smelly used cat litter to the dump and purchasing new cat litter and heavy cases of cat food, home on a weekly or biweekly basis.

    I would also like to travel and i haven't gone hardly anywhere in a very long time and i have to say one reason is i feel bad leaving the cats alone, especially the older one who is very timid and now requires meds 2x daily anyway.

    Over the years, I have gone through a countless number of nice rugs, drapes and shower curtains, plus a couch, that got scratched up or damaged beyond repair. I also need to refinish wood floors now. I love my cas but recognize I've made a lot of sacrifices for them over decades, and I'm looking forward to living a cat-free life. This is what i told myself when my last cat died in 2009, but i was so upset and sad i went out less than a week later and found Luther. I really hope I can do a better job of dealing with the grief this time and withstand that temptation.

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