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February 22, 2006


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What are people buying for their pets that cost $1,000 or more a year? Even with buying Science Diet food, litter, two vet visits a year and misc. toys there's no way I spend close to $1,000 a year for my two cats. Lucky for me they're healthy, they stay inside and I'm not THAT pet crazy. I can see how dogs might be more expensive but 1-2K a year? Yikes!

Also, I can't skimp and give my cats cheap food anymore. One of them is allergic and science diet is way cheaper than frequent trips to the vet for steriod shots (and he couldn't have more than 3 per year and I can't stand seeing him miserable and scratching). But I buy the biggest bag and it's almost alwas on sale at one of the pet store chains.

Candi -- Work through the posts I have here:

You'll see where almost every source estimate pet costs to be in this range.

I had no idea this was such a loaded issue until I posted on it!
I think that your posts are right on and that a lot of pet-lovers are looking past the fact that you are just stating the obvious facts - pets are expensive! However, of course, if that is a worthwhile expense to them, then by all means they should get an animal. You are just pointing out to people who may not have thought the whole situation through that it indeed is costly.

I understand your points, I think people should consider the costs of pets more BEFORE getting a pet. You have to be prepared to take care of them, my point is some of these costs seem quite inflated to me. Like anything else, you can be frugal with how you spend money on your pets, while still meeting and even exceeding their needs.

I have had a small dog now for 13 years. She has been incontinent all of her life. I have found the purchasing diapers (any brand, generic) and cutting a + at the base of where the diaper folds on the side with the decorative border on, and pulling out the pilling from the area around the + so that there is less mess from spillage of the filling and putting the diaper on with the border side on top makes a great fit. You may have to experiment with sizes, but once you've got it, you are on your way to a more fulfilling life with your pet. No more urine in your house and if you make the diapers up in advance, it's a quick change and off you can go without any worries. It is so much less stress on yourself and especially on your pet. You can both now live a long and happy life together.

Sounds like an outside dog to me. ;-)

I thought this was a web site about caring for your pets and still being economical. My bad! I am just glad that I anm not your pet. Small dogs do not belong full time outside. Your bad!

How small is your dog? We have cats outside in our neighborhood all the time. Is your dog smaller than a cat?

Where do you live in the Bahamas?, In Minnesota it get pretty darn cold. I was only trying to give a bit of advise for people that have unwell pets and how to make theirs, and yours a little less stressful and save a few bucks on Petco or Petsmart expensive diapers. This banter is stupid, I meant what I said about my last comment regarding this web site. You obviously don't have a great love of animals or you would not be trying to egg me on.

P.S. I obviously chose the wrong avenue for my tip. Excuse me.

I live in Michigan. Not the warmest place in the world -- though warmer than where you live.

I'm not trying to egg you on. Yet I am surprised that there are dogs who wear diapers -- I've never heard of/seen one. We had dogs/cats for years (until we had kids and they were allergic) and never had a problem like this with any of them.

There are a large amount of animals with incontinence problems. People either put the animal to sleep, or just let them make a mess, or as you say keep them outside. This advice I give is from my heart for people who would choose to not put the pet to sleep if this was their only problem and they were not suffering from anything else. It is a quality of life issue. My dog is very healthy outside of the incontinence problem and I thought I found a resonable solution to a sometimes very sad, and very expensive problem for a pet owner. Small dogs are usually the ones who have this problem. I am a very responsible pet owner, and I was never able to have children. My pets are my life. I have 2 dogs, 2, cats, and 2 parakeets. Who all live the life of riley and make my husband and myself very happy and fulfills our life. We believe in keeping our pets safe, never running loose to get into trouble or possibly injured or killed. We excersize them and live indoors. My home is kept very clean, and never would you even know I had any pets. Maybe more people who have this problem with their pets should come out of the closet. I really wanted to share my idea, as I know that those people, like myself, are out there and that this issue is rarely if ever discussed. I really want to get the message out because I saw doggie diapers on sale at one of the pet chains for $15.00 a dozen and I make my own for $13.00 @ 120 diapers. Always remember that just because you never heard of it doesn't mean its not there. Just like people, animals have their own health and aging problems and we do love our pets in America don't we. I really want to get the word out on this to help the people that are faced with this very personal issue. You don't have to put your pet to sleep or have your house ruined. And you don't have to spend tons of money to resolve the problem.

Interesting -- I would have never known.

How many diapers does your dog go through in a day? (in other words, how long do 120 diapers last?)

Also -- any idea how many dogs have incontinence problems? I'm sure it's a small percentage.

Wow, I totally disagree with the comments on pet insurance and food. Pet insurance has saved me over $850 this year alone. And as far as food, well, feeding a dog cheap food can sure cause those medical bills to rise, not to mention reducing the quality of life of the pet. I'm not saying you have to buy the fanciest food out there, but paying close attention to the ingredients is important, and the stuff you get at the grocery is horrible if you look at the ingredients (by-products and wheat). Invariably, the good stuff is more expensive, but I find good deals out there by comparison shopping and making my local vendors compete with online wholesalers.

At the end of the day, you can seriously reduce your pet costs if you do everything, but how poor of a quality of life does your pet deserve? I'm not talking about splurging on toys or fancy treats, but pet insurance or medical costs, decent food, flea/tick treatment and preventative health alone will run a good amount. For those who aren't willing to put that kind of money in for the joys a pet brings, I suggest they look into one of those robot dogs. Maintenance runs a lot lower. :)

Dog food is one of only a FEW budget items where I spend a bit more for quality. Here is why: name-brand dog foods typically give the same nutrition in smaller servings. With store-brand dog foods you typically get more VOLUME, and the serving sizes are bigger. (Much of it ends up in your backyard.) That makes it a false economy. Here is an article that explains it in more detail:

Maybe the magazine has name-brand pet foods as advertisers? I don't know. But the facts are rather convincing.

I should clarify: it's a false economy because the cost-per-feeding ends up being more for the store-brand dog food. The lower cost-per-volume is misleading.

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