Freedom, my black lab will be celebrating his 8th Bday this year on September 11th. My sister and I were discussing, more like arguing, that now that he has passed the age of 7 that he should be taken in annually for his check up. I don't doubt my sister's love and commitment toward our lab, however, money was a huge reluctance in regards to annual check ups.
My sister begged my mother for a lab for her Bday without giving considering to the financial costs involved in raising a dog. The cost in food, care, tagging, blood work, training, toys etc. works out to at least 10% - 15% min per paycheck.
Most of us do breed research before purchasing a pup, however, how many of us do financial long term calculations? My sister didn't and now we're both slowly paying the price. Thankfully through financial budgeting we're preventing ourselves from going bankrupt.
My lab is a mix and weighs approx 60 lbs and is fairly expensive to feed. As expressed in a finance article earlier this week: A cat whom turns his/her nose at most foods will cost you more in health bills than a medium to large size dog. Of course if cats aren't eating properly, especially their food giving by their owners, will naturally result in illnesses.
Cats generally live longer than dogs, therefore, although it is cheaper to feed a cat than a dog, in the long term you're looking at a $2,000 difference between raising a cat and a dog. The average cost of raising a dog, based on the average income of both Canadians and Americans is $8,000 over the dog's lifetime and $10,000 for a cat's.
"You can't put a price tag on love, especially for a pet." I can understand that statement as my devotion to my dog means more to me than most of my family. He is my best friend, however, I don't want to go in debt for his care. I also can't sacrifice my own health for his.
I receive at least 4 calls during the work week of potential customers, customers and recurring customers informing me how they were already in $10,000 in debt over the care for their pet before they had found our site petwellbeing.com
. Costs that they either didn't budget for or didn't cross their mind when they saw that fluffy tail wagging in the pet shop window.
My sister and I take trips often to the pet shelter to volunteer our love. The most common reason for pets at our local shelter is less about health and more about abandonment 'cause the owner didn't take the time to think about the financial cost of the pet and were forced to give up the animal.
With the economy crisis facing most American's, it's no wonder that pet's in shelters live the rest of their term without the chance to live in another home.
I hear of pet owners often forced to penny pinch by not taking their pets to the vet and looking for alternatives before consulting a certified vet often leading to more health problems.
If you're still considering a dog or a cat here are a few things to consider by the financial report published early:
1. Get a detailed long term estimated cost from the ASPCA.
2. Consider time commitment.
3. Reduce costs from the front end such as adopting from shelters.
4. Save up in advance after you have an estimated cost from the ASPCA.
5. If you do not plan on buying pet insurance, open a savings account for your pet for emergencies.
Luv Sheila & Freedom, my black lab