Monday, August 8, 2011

Costs of Owning a Dog

Pups are cute – irritably cute! There is no doubt about that. But be not mistaken – they also cost money. Yes, even mutts, strays, hand-me-downs, and give-aways: Dogs cost money.

Too many people get a dog based on an emotional reaction to it adorable factor. They are more than willing to dish out their hard-earned money at first for all its necessities as if they are preparing a nursery for a new baby. But then later, when the dog chews up one too many shoes, knocks down too many human things in the house, pees on the carpet incessantly, its demands for more and more attention is relentless, and the cute factor goes away, it still costs money.

I’ve been babysitting for Coco, a 7-month-old Chocolate Lab this summer. Her owners left 3 50 pound bags of food, 1 toy, 1 small box of treats, and flea medicine for her. I should be set – right? What money would be required in addition to these basic supplies?

Well… On the first day (literally within the first hour she was with us), Coco charged into the glass-top table on the patio and shattered it: $65.00 to replace the glass. Later that day, I realized I couldn’t tie her rope to the tree without risking the life of the tree: $10.00 for a dog steak. The next day Coco chewed through the rope: $10.00 for a chain. Those things lasted only a couple of weeks – Coco kept pulling the steak out of the ground and wrapping the chain so tightly around its top that eventually I couldn’t break it free: $30.00 for a 4 foot augur and a coated wire cable. And another $35.00 to replace the garden hose Coco chewed up one of the times she broke free. Also, because Coco kept getting loose, I thought it was important to get her a name tag with my phone number on it: $15.00. Meanwhile, her flea collar came off and that too, was chewed to pieces: $45.00 for flea repellant meds. When I went away for a wee, there was the cost of kenneling: $150.00.

You get the picture, right? And Coco isn’t even spade yet, either. That will be another major cost for her owners.

My point here is simple: dogs cost money, even the “free” ones. So before you take that adorable, irritably cute pup home, calculate the estimated costs of every possible need you can think of – don’t be conservative in your estimation!

Please be a responsible pet owner. 
This begins with knowing the costs of owning a dog. 


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