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January 19, 2006


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Holy cow, you are making some big assumptions. If I'm doing the math right, that's more than $1100/year on fluffy. To me that seems *way* to high for the average pet owner whose real costs will only be food and a visit to the vet every year or two.

Dave -- Read the posts I note above, then see if you think the "real costs will only be food and a visit to the vet every year or two."

You're absolutely right that pets aren't cheap. We have a 10 month old beagle and we don't spend on him beyond the necessities - food, an occasional toy, boarding when we travel, occasional minor grooming, etc. - and even then it's not cheap. So I can't imagine how people justify spending extra on the luxuries for their pets.

That said, I think this is one of those quality of life issues. We're humans. We can't deny ourselves every possible pleasure in pursuit of another thousand dollars to stuff into our IRAs. We can cut out the lattes, the sodas, and every other little thing, but where do you draw the line?

Believe me, I'm as financially responsible a person as you'll meet. But sometimes it's important to spend money on things that make you happy. Our puppy makes me smile and runs up to greet me when I get home from work. That's worth something.

I think the real solution is to find that right balance of spending on the extras. Do enough to make yourself happy and enjoy life, without overdoing it. Get a dog, but just one, and cut back on the lattes. Or get the lattes, but take a couple less dinners out each month.

I agree with you 100%. I am just pointing out that pets do have an associated cost that isn't insignificant, and people need to consider this before they get an animal. I don't think many think of the financial implications when getting a pet.

Don't forget to deduct from that number what the pet can save you. For instance, I have a German Shepherd and I have never felt any need for a security system for my house. That alone saves me the price of his monthly food. Plus there is the health benefits from having a pet- decreased stress level and increased sense of well being, and an incentive to go for walks, etc. I would be interested to see how much someones average yearly medical expenses can be decreased by having a pet.

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