Here's an interesting comparison between the first-year costs of buying a dog versus having a child.
The bottom-line numbers are $1,024 to $7,604 for the dog and $10,360 to $49,209 for the child.
A few thoughts on this:
- They are both expensive. And this is only year one!!!
- If you look over a lifetime, the costs are very large. Here are the stats for dogs: According to the ASPCA over 15 years total costs for a small dog could run from $17,560 to upward of $93,520. Over a 12-year lifetime, the costs of a large dog range from $22,025 to upwards of $82,929 for folks using dog walkers.
- Kids are much more expensive: "The average cost of raising a child born in 2013 up until age 18 for a middle-income family in the U.S. is approximately $245,340 (or $304,480, adjusted for projected inflation), according to the latest annual “Cost of Raising A Child” report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture." BTW, this does NOT include any costs after age 18, including college.
- Most people are in denial on the costs of both. I don't have a source for this but after writing this blog for almost 12 years, I can tell you that I haven't had a person yet say they spend this much on either their pet or their kid. All have said these costs are "way too high." Uh huh. Denial is not just a river in Egypt.
I'm not making any value judgments on whether someone wants to have a dog, a child, or both (and many!) Just pointing out the financial side of raising both, which is something many people give little thought to when deciding on either.