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December 20, 2008


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I don't think I've ever commented on your series of pet posts, but I just wanted to let you know that you effectively killed any thought I've ever had of getting a pet. Seriously. ;)

My boyfriend and I just adopted a SECOND dog, because someone else was giving him up (lack of time and money). Pets are incredibly expensive, especially when they get old, and there are thousands of people in this world who should NOT have pets. If you're suffering buy food in bulk, negotiate with your vet (they will usually cut you a deal if you are desperate), check sales at bit pet outlets and buy bigger pet stuff on Craigslist.

My dog pays her way by guarding our property -- the other one hasn't begun the hard work yet but I'd cut things out of my own life before I cut things out of theirs. It's so sad to see so many people giving up their animals.

You are so right! We must think before getting a pet because it is a big commitment! I was thinking of getting a little dog... but now, I am not so sure!
Thanks for sharing!

They obviously aren't for everyone....most of the commenters on your previous post seem extremely adverse to pets, which is fine. As some comments have said, some people want plasma TVs. Some people want nice cars. Some people want bigger houses. I want two dogs I can run around with (like so:, and this is more worthwhile to me than much else.

Select a breed carefully, adopt carefully and weigh your options. Most breeds are severely overbred, which causes eventual inbreeding and health problems. People need to do their research and not just buy a dog one day in a pet store because it's cute. I have two boxers, and I can't tell you how many sedentary people buy these dogs -- they get fat, develop joint problems and then cost a ton of money because people don't understand what high energy dogs they are purchasing. Sorry to ramble!

I've groused about the same subject online at endless length, especially near the (expensive!) end of my German shepherd's life.

Another thing prospective pet owners should consider, before they take the leap, is how bad you will feel as the animal reaches the inevitable end of its life and you're forced to take money into consideration when you're faced with breathtaking bills for veterinary care and pain palliation. By the time you've had a dog or a cat for 12 or 15 years, it feels like the pet actually IS a member of the family, and the line between species blurs. Guilt goes a long way toward emptying your bank account.

It also goes a long way toward prolonging an animal's suffering, when really the kindest thing to do is to put him or her to sleep.

Consider, too, that smaller dogs are often less expensive to maintain larger ones -- not only to they eat less, but they need smaller doses of medication and so vet bills are slightly less.

And it's easier to keep Fifi from biting someone than it is to call off an 80-pound Spike -- you can pick up a small dog and carry it away from conflict or danger. This tends to keep your lawyer's and homeowner's insurance bills down. Some insurers, BTW, jack up homeowner's insurance if certain breeds are kept in the house. Their choices are irrational (Hartford, for example, thinks German shepherds are OK but Dobes are not), so you should check with your insurer before you buy or adopt your next watchdog.

I have a dog and I can't imagine any circumstances under which I'd abandon him -- loss of job, loss of my home. I wonder about these people's commitment to having a pet in the first place.

It's sad - Most people wouldn't make the connection between animals and the economy. "They're animals! They don't need money!".

Seems that financial troubles don't stop at one species. Many of these people might have had to move to apartments or other dwellings where pets are not welcome as well. A lot of places charge astronomical amounts for pets including hundreds of dollars for a non-refundable deposit, and "pet rent" which I find ridiculous..

Fortunately I found an animal loving landlord.

My terrier is 11 years old and in the last year has cost on average $120 month due to one large medical expense. Most months it's just dog food, but as she gets older you have an occasional spike of medical expense. The love and devotion my family gets from her pays us back tenfold. This is my first dog and she has definitely made me a better person. She has taught me tolerance, compassion, loyality, integrity and the importance of keeping promises. If I was in financial peril, I don't think I could give up my dog as a cost cutting measure. I'd rather sell my house and keep the dog. A dog loves you no matter what situation you are in. That is priceless, especially in the worst of times.

Some pro's versus the cons: One, a barking dog behind a window is a much stronger deterrent than any security system. A small dog will warn you, and thieves would rather not mess with a big dog. Cats are naturally effecient mousers . And, lastly, pets can offer benefits not measured in dollars and cents- especially the bond between a toddler and a cat.
Any lifelong commitment should be considered seriously before beginning- whether it's buying a house, marriage, having children, or domestic creatures.

I am with you here. Kids are expensive too, yet one wouldn't abondon a child during hard times. Certainly pets aren't kids, but they are members of a family not a warm teddy bear my can just throw away.

When a friend of mine kept a cat in Russia. The period when the Soviet Union was collapsing was a time of intense shortages that were greater than any shortages experienced before. There had never been any kind of special cat food in Soviet Union - people cooked for their dogs and gave leftovers to cats - row meat, chicken by-products, some soup, etc, but when the Soviet Union was collapsing any food but simple bread and potatoes became scarce. Unlike dogs, cats need meat. My friend stood several hours in line to get meat, not for herself, but for her cat. She could survive without meat, her cat couldn't. I don't believe the situtation these pet owners are in is any worse than that of ordinary Russians at that time.

alluding back to your earlier post about generic dad (also a pharmacist) agrees with most in the health care industry that generic drugs are an easy way to save money; with the exception of his pug. He buys brand name Osteo-Biflex (OTC arthritis supplement) and wraps it in cheese (brand name Kraft I imagine), because his "best friend" deserves all that money can buy.


My wife and I have a dog and 2 cats. One of our cats has diabeties. He needs insulin twice a day and special food that costs $60/month (plus the cost of the insulin and needles). Yet we'd buy food and meds for them before ourselves. We love them so.

ps- Kitty: Dogs need meat too. They are carnovours. They may eat non-meat for awhile but can't survive long (or healthy) w/o it.

Not to sway the conversation from the original point, but dogs are considered carnivores based on evolutionary classification (they are members of the order Carnivora). HOWEVER, more importantly, based on their dietery needs, they are omnivores. They can survive on a vegetarian or high meat diet, unlike cats, which are obligate carnivores. It is extremely difficult, almost impossible, to formulate a vegan cat diet because they need meat to "meet" their daily needs. Dogs can live quite well on either, although they can develop some pretty severe nutritional problems if on a meat-only diet long-term. I am a veterinarian (not that this makes me the foremost expert on every animal topic on the planet), just thought I'd lend a little info.

Adopted pets vs high dollar pets

I adopt all my pets, some are feral and have more health problems. i adopted 3 at one time, 1 died, one has leg problems and 1 is in the process of having her teeth pulled. i adopted a dog in 2 weeks i spent over 1000.00. she started having seizures, went thru the ER vet, lab test, poison control, medicines, then had to return her, 2 weeks later she died. they think the person tossed her out the car and she may have hit her head. you couldnt repay me for all the money i spent on unloved pets, i see it as they had a few months to years being well loved and taken care of...i wouldnt have a high dollar dog..

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