Whoa, Pets are Expensive!

Here is something I overheard during lunch yesterday. I know eves dropping isn’t exactly good manners, but in my defense, these ladies were talking very loudly, and I was sitting all by myself with nothing to do, waiting for my friend to join me.


Lady 1: “My mom gave Vic (son?) a dog for his birthday, and its killing me!”

Lady 2: “Um… hmmm….”

Lady 1: “My apartment charges $500 pet deposit. In addition to that I spend $12 a day on doggy day care since both Tom (husband?) and I work. And today I got a call from the day care that Timmy (the dog?) had swallowed something and was coughing and dry heaving. So they took him to the vet. The vet charges $43.99 for inspecting the dog. But since Timmy was very agitated and snapping at them, they wanted to sedate him first. That would cost an additional $100. And if he has indeed swallowed something then it would cost an additional $159.99 to retrieve it. It’s crazy. I asked Tom to handle it.”

Lady 2: “You can’t be serious! That’s over $300 just because your stupid dog swallowed something? You need to get rid of that dog!”

Lady 1: “I don’t know. Vic is so attached to him. And Timmy is really very sweet and affectionate…”


At that point my friend arrived and I had to leave to get my lunch. But boy, was I shocked! That’s a lot of money they were talking about. When we moved into our own house, one of the first few things I wanted to get was a dog. I pestered my husband about it (and still give him a hard time sometimes), but he managed to talk me out of it saying its too much work and the dog will be “depressed” if there is no body at home all day. (I think the thought of having to pick the doggy doo was what really persuaded me though – but that’s a different conversation). After listening to the ladies today however, I am glad we didn’t get a dog!

When I came home I remembered that conversation and thought I would just check online if it really cost that much. I came across this site which has the national average vet costs. Reading this, it seems like the lady in the restaurant was actually getting away cheap :) Here are some of the costs from that site –

Gastrotomy (to retrieve swallowed object): $274
X-rays: $58 for the first, $36 for each additional
Anesthesia (per half hour): $56
Preanesthetic sedation: $23
Preanesthetic exam: $28
Anesthetic monitoring: $19

I have no idea what Preanesthetic sedation is or why it would even be needed, but boy, those costs are quite staggering. I browsed a little more and found several articles that talk about similar high costs. Wow, that’s something.

I really love dogs and would love to have one, but seriously, I doubt if I can afford one at this cost!

If you are thinking of getting a pet, be sure to think of the financial aspects among other things and make an informed decision!

If you already have a dog and love it, here are some articles that might help you keep the costs down. I understand that once you get attached to a pet, and it becomes a part of the family, you will not want to “get rid of it” or be too stingy with medical expenses. We had dogs in our house all through my childhood and I cannot imagine giving away the dogs that we had come to love because they cost too much. But I hope, some of these articles will help you find a way to keep the costs down and manage the expenses as efficiently as possible!

If you like this article, you can bookmark it or subscribe to the feed.


Patrick said...

This article i s a great reason not to have pets. It's not just the money, but the fact that the dog is obviously a burden on the family. They have to drop it off and pick it up every day from "day-care" and they can't spend the time with it that it deserves. It does not sound like a pet is good for their situation.

Thrifty Penny said...

I have a cat whom I call sweetly "a walking liability." I had to pay $600 for a pet deposit which only $300 is refundable. I also pay $10 extra a month for pet rent. I still haven't included monthly fees such as food and cat litter. Don't forget there are yearly vet appts and etc. I love my cat, but jeez he's so expensive!

Stephanie said...

Phew - tell me about it! My dog ate an entire package of hot dogs (18 pack) and a loaf of bread this summer, and gave herself pancreatitis (sp?). It ended up costing us almost $2,000 in vet bills! But she's been a part of the family for almost five years now, so what can you do?

It's painful to think it, but we won't be getting another dog when this one eventually dies. We've moved to the suburbs now, so it's now inconvenient as well.

Joel T said...

I specifically looked for apartments that did not include extra rent or deposit for my cat when I was apartment shopping last month. Several places wanted an extra $20 a month for the cat. I found an apartment with hardwood floors in a historic district that meets my budget without extra costs for having a pet. Score.

dong said...

yeah pets are expensive. One of my friends got a dog last year, and it's costing them more than their car. Between doggy day care, training, vet services, dog psychologists. You name it, they pay it.

Nivek said...

Just found out this week that my Pomeranian needs $550 knee surgery. Last year I had to pay $250 for corrective surgery for her "nether regions".

Yeah, she can get expensive at times but she's affectionate, playful, and everyone in the family loves her (except for the cat).

xshanex said...

several ways to look at this

-$240(plus gas/time costs) a month on doggy daycare is not needed and just wasted $. Maybe 5-10% of people at most regularly use that kind of a service and is an unfair representation. A dog is just fine by itself at home and does not need 24/7 company to be a happy well-adjusted animal. They are not children or people and do not need constant supervision. There is no end to what you can buy for pets...it's a $40.8 billion industry!

-pet deposits are normally partially or fully refundable for renters which only account for the approximate 30% of people who rent

-if a pet or any other type of possession/activity that has a cost(money/time) would be considered a burden then simply don't get one or wait until you're able to afford the long term "cost." Some people simply will never make good pet owners because of their personality and living situation just like many people will not be good parents for the same reasons.

-any financial or time commitment could be broken down into a cost/use basis and if you have a pet and wouldn't get much enjoyment/use/companionship/fun/time with or from the pet then it's not a worthwhile investment for you on any level. I personally get a lot of "use" from my pet as her and I go for walks, play fetch, and do normal pet stuff. She acts as a guard dog and companion thus providing me a little more use. For a $100 month or $1200 a year cost including food, medical care, medicine, and misc supplies it is a great investment of my time and resources on a per use basis

sorry....had a little extra time and have dealt with this very topic several times in the past 6 months so the post was on the long side