Animal Lovers, Please Be Aware of High Ownership Costs:
PEOPLE love their pets, but how often do they think about the costs? The question is akin to asking which child we love more.
Yet the reality is that pets cost far more than many people expect. And right now, as the economy continues to stumble, those costs have become a burden to many people, like the cat lover who cannot afford medical care or the horse owner struggling with boarding fees.
The problem is that the general information out there is not realistic. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates the cost for a large dog at $875 a year for food, medical expenses, toys and a few related expenses, and $560 for first-year setup costs. The estimate for a cat is $670 a year, with first-year expenses of $365, for a total of $1,035.
When I looked at these numbers, I thought they were taken from Voltaire’s “Candide”: derived from the best of all possible worlds. This month alone, my wife and I spent $600 on one Labrador retriever with a bladder infection who needed some kidney tests and $300 on the other one for an injured paw. This did not include the food for the two of them and our Maine Coon cat, nor their monthly flea and tick medicine or heartworm pills.
So with the holiday gift-giving season under way, I write this column for parents who may be asked by children for a dog or a horse. Remember that the costs need to be factored in.
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I’ve been hearing more and more stories from my classmates who work at veterinary hospitals, and a few from my professors too, who are vets themselves, about animals who are simply euthanized for lack of funds to treat problems such as bladder stones (can’t afford the cystotomy surgery if the prescription diet doesn’t work), hit-by-cars (emergency surgery = $$$), bad hip dysplasia (painkillers too $$$, don’t even ask about a hip replacement or even a more simple femoral head osteotomy), or other such things that are treatable, or at least manageable for the life of the animal.
It’s depressing and makes sense why I won’t get rich as a vet tech when vets aren’t raking it in anyway, because while a small percentage of people just whip out the credit card, others can barely count out their cash.
One of my friends who spent $5000 dollars (plus 13% Tax) on a brain tumor removal surgery that had recommended by his vet. I was trying to convinence my friend to put his cat down simply because that cat was way too old for the surgery. she was a 17+ years old cat. then the vet told my friend that there was a 50% chance that his cat would survive and live couple of more years.The result was the cat died the next day after the surgery.
Some vets out there don’t really give good advice, for surgery like this, they don’t really get many clients who’re willing to pay or can afford to pay such big amount of money. They really tried so hard to seize the chance to get your money out of your pocket, even though it’s a common sense that for a cat, old like this, wouldn’t be stronge enough to survice a big surgery like that.
the only thing i said to my friend was, i respect you love for your cat, but if i were you i would put her down and donate this money in her honor to save or to change other animal’s lives. for $5000 dollars you can defintely provide food, clean water or medical care for many childrens and save their lives in africa.
I switched to another vet simplely because my vet tried to sell me some really expense deworm pills. After I confronted him, he told me that the pill I wanted doesn’t work as good as this one. I’m not going to pay a triple price for a pill that does almost the same thing for my dog. then my new vet who’s my friend’s neighbor confirmed that those pills even have exact same ingrediants.
Dog lovers, beware of bad vets who are only after is your money!