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Monday, January 05, 2009

True Cost of Dogs

Too many newscasts about the overpopulation of pets at the local shelters have begun to make me sick.

I truly understand that with difficult economic times, people must make sacrifices in order to pay their bills but what gets me is that so many people take on the responsibility of a pet too easily. Although they may have more than enough room in their hearts and love to give these animals, they will usually walk into dog ownership with a blind eye. Indeed, dogs cost money and it is impossible to be a responsible dog owner without understanding this before taking one into your home and heart.

Do I sound upset? For the most part, yes, I am quite upset because I see too many people online and in person that are quick to dump their dog off because it may not be "cute" anymore, the breed may be too much energy, they didn't know the dog doesn't already come trained, etc, etc. That is why I am going to open up and share a recent purchase with everyone to show how expensive dogs can truly be.

Not taking into account dog food, toys, normal vet bills, etc, below is our normal 6-month purchase to (really the cheapest place to buy dog medications anywhere):

1 Vet Solutions Ear Cleansing Solution $7.50
1 12 MONTH Heartgard PLUS $55.99
1 12 MONTH Frontline PLUS $134.99
1 Cosequin DS CHEWABLE TABLETS $74.95
2 Proin 50mg FOR DOGS $71.98
1 METACAM (meloxicam) $55.95

Grand total: $401.36!! That's $802.72 a year for 2 Labrador Retrievers to have their medications and keep them healthy!

Now add in food, shots, licenses, collars, toys, treats, and so on and you have two very expensive animals to pay for. And remember, most Labs have food allergies so higher quality (and more expensive) foods are necessary as well. Sure, prices will vary from dog to dog and breed to breed... not all dogs are created equal nor cost equal.

Now I am not posting this to deter anyone from owning a dog but rather for people to have a reality check before bringing a dog into your home and heart. Yes, keeping one or more dogs is expensive and should not be taken lightly. Owning a dog is a huge personal and financial responsibility that can last up to 18 years. Think before you act!

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Blogger Jamie said...

Great post! I am often detering young employees of mine from jumping into dog ownership. We spent thousands of dollars in vet bills for all three of our dogs in the matter of three weeks. A young person on a tight income might have chosen to euthanize or surrender their pets having to face such huge vet bills. Labs aren't quite as expensive as caring for a human child, but it is a substantial expense!

January 05, 2009 9:18 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Thanks Jamie! Dogs are definitely not as expensive as kids but people see them as more disposable. *sigh*

If the post makes just one person become a more responsible dog owner then I have done my job. :)

January 05, 2009 10:55 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Thanks for posting that! I can't stand it when people dump pets so easily either. Just makes me sad. Do your research people BEFORE you get a pet!

January 05, 2009 11:32 AM  
Blogger Kristen: Something Blue Alabama said...

I've switched from a combo of Heartgard and Frontline to Revolution, which takes care of fleas, ticks AND heartworm! It's a big savings if you think it's doable for your labbies! I also use

January 05, 2009 5:38 PM  
Blogger Miche said...

What a great post! Our lab is expensive so you are dead on. Whenever I think of getting another I'm like no way that is double the expense :) I had never heard of but I just logged on and picked up some Frontline for him to get the year started. Thanks for the heads up!

January 10, 2009 6:26 PM  

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