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April 12, 2006


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Where are they getting these numbers. I have a mid-sized/female/mixed-breed/spayed dog and it doesn't cost anywhere near $1K to have her. I get her a huge bag of food ($20) that lasts about 3 months and then her shots and heartworm meds which are about total $200/year. I figure I may spend $400 total a year on her.

I must say though, that I have freinds and family that spend all kinds of money on their pets. They won't even buy a $5 pair of nail clippers, but will take their dogs to the local animal store and pay $8 to have it done. Some also pay for the dog to get bathed. And I am not talking about people that earn high incomes. One couple in mind makes half what my wife and I make.

My daughter has asthma and she's allergic to most animals. Before we decided to get a pet, I did a lot of research because I was concerned about her reaction. I found that maltese (our dog) and poodles are best for children with allergies. Both breeds shed very little, and even then, they do not shed dander (the pet allergin). This is because they do not have the 2nd undercoat of most animals. We've had our maltese for 5 years with no problems.

I know these are "girlie" dogs (lol) but you might want to consider one for your son.

Good idea, but you're right, they are "girlie". ;-) We had a collie and a German shepherd when I was younger -- those are my kind of dogs!!!! :-)

I think this is totally off. I have a cat and I think that I "pamper" her.
But figure at about 8 dollars per container of litter lasting 2 weeks ,
...and a big bag of food for about 16 dollars that lasts 2 months,
...and "soft paws" for her nails to keep her from ruining the furniture too quickly every two months,
...and finally "shots" at the vet for 100 per year

8*24 = 192
16*6 = 96
20*6 = 120
100 = 100
508 dollars

But, to be fair, she is only 2 yrs old and it may be more as she gets older, but somehow I doubt it.

Everyone thinks they spend less than this on their pet -- that's just my point. But as I said, why would the SPCA over-estimate the costs of pet ownership?

Here is a site that gives low, medium, and high estimates for pets.

I read your animal care costs post. I only have one question for you. What do you mean by "I figure that if I keep bringing up the topic, someone will listen and be helped." If we choose to spend our money on our pets, what's it to you? Anyone with a pet burdens the cost themselves. It's almost like by posting this you are stating you can't comprehend how someone would choose to spend that much on their animal. If you are posting to warn people that what seems like an easy commitment is actually a serious one, and to be prepared for emergencies financially, that is one thing. But if you are trying to disuade people from owning animals because of the cost of their care, well I think you are completely ridiculous. Luckily for my pets, our family chooses to spend it's wealth on their care. And luckily for me, I own several pets. Their financial cost doesn't bother me at all. I get the best thing back = unconditional love.

I mean that someone who's considering buying a pet but hasn't considered costs will look at costs prior to getting a pet and make an intelligent desision (either to get one or not) based on the facts. That's what I mean by helping people.

you are so dunb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This has been incredibly helpful! I am newly out of college and living alone and have been longing for a pet! Now I can figure out how much it would actually cost. Thanks!

Yearly cost for the 2 rabbits I used to have was definitely under $100 each (SPCA estimate: $450). Difference due to:
- our veggies were kitchen leftovers
- no need to trim nails (our rabbits had a garden)
- and no vet checkups unless there was reason to be concerned

I figure the cost of my two indoor rabbits is $480. I trim their nails, and do monthly maintenance. I figure $7 for food a month (a big bag usually last 2 months at $14), a 30lb bag of litter a month at $17, and a big bag of Timothy hay a month about $10, plus about $6 a month in veggies = $40/month. Not really that bad, I usually limit their pellets and use our left over veggies. This does not include their cages, dishes, litter boxes and toys which was about $110, and a neutering was $97, and the spaying will be $297. I wish there were rabbit clinics for that, but they are just too fragile.

"why would the SPCA over-estimate the costs of pet ownership?"

Because it is always better to overestimate than underestimate.

If you say it costs $800/yr and it winds up costing someone $1,000 the chance of them giving the dog to a shelter increases.

If you say it costs $1,200/yr and it winds up costing $1,000... that person should be prepared and won't be as likely to give the pet up.

As an employee of an animal shelter I think it is important people know the true costs of pet ownership. I think it shows you care for animals, not an "animal hater" to display these costs. Even before the economic downturn we had many animals surrendered or adopted and returned because their owners could not afford proper care. Many animals are at high risk of medical problems because their owners cannot afford simple veterinary exams and vaccines.

This spca is an estimate and costs can vary by region, vet service, and retail stores.

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