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Ask a Terrier: Dogs Are A Bargain! Except For The Money

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Budleigh the Terrier offers professional advice from a licensed dog.

Dear Budleigh,

I’m having a disagreement with my Cockapoo, Mighty, and I’m hoping you can straighten one of us out. Maybe both.

According to a recent Cost of Dog Ownership Survey conducted by the website Rover, people drastically underestimate the costs of owning a dog. Most believe a dog costs between $26 and $75 per month. When I stopped crying bitter tears, I read that dog owners spend an average $153 per month.

Mighty, who is 14 years old, considers that reasonable. I say he owes me $137,624. But I’ll settle for $125K. Mighty insists that he’s paid his way in licks and kisses and scaring away squirrels and invisible monsters. He raises a good point. Am I wrong to keep things on a strictly cash basis?

Hope you can settle this while I’m out taking Mighty for his walk.

Thanks, Sam and Mighty the Cockapoo, Illinois

Budleigh says:

Dear Sam & Mighty,

To be honest, Giant money confuses me. What is it, one dollar equals seven dog years or something like that? I have a Giant Intern to deal with all that.

As a Terrier, I analyze a lot of scientific surveys. Some produce useful data; others dubious results best described as the kind of stuff I deposit twice a day on our neighbor’s lawn. But most often surveys generate more questions than answers.

This Rover survey begs the question: Who still names their dog “Rover”? That’s like from the Columbian Exposition, right? Are they being ironic? Dogs don’t appreciate irony. Too much to explain at the dog park.

As Mighty must know.

The survey breaks down the true cost of owning a dog into four categories: One-time expenses, monthly costs, annual costs, and potential expenses.

This is very similar to how I rate my Giants: “What have you done for me?”; “What have you done for me lately?”; “Have you thought about what you can do next?”; and “I’m hungry!”

<strong>Budgeting for your dogs’ needs can be expensive. Especially if they’re collectors of fine art.</strong>

Budgeting for your dogs’ needs can be expensive. Especially if they’re collectors of fine art.

One-time costs can run as high as $1,487, according to the survey, and include such expenses as adoption fees; flea, tick and heartworm medications; crate and bed; “pee pads” and poop bags.

Monthly costs include food, toys, treats and poop bags. Potential expenses can take in emergency vet bills, dog training (Hahahaha! Good one!), grooming, and, I assume, poop bags.

To the untrained eye, poop bags seem to be the problem. But let’s hang on to those “pee pads,” shall we? I don’t know what they are, but they sound interesting.

To your question, Sam, where can expenses be reduced that’s fair to Giants while not taking advantage of a dog’s inability to reason?

I’ve struggled with this because of my inability to reason. However, the survey also found that for the sake of their dogs, a good percentage of Giants would give up alcohol, takeout/food delivery, and coffee.

Fine! Do that!

Also, a third of Giants surveyed would throw a birthday party for their dog, nearly half would take their dog out for a special birthday meal, and a quarter have paid for a massage for their dog.

Sam, do you get the sense that maybe…just maybe you still owe Mighty?

And Mighty, that tennis ball rolls both ways. What are you willing to give up for Sam?

I suggest poop bags.

Budleigh

Read more Ask a Terrier columns on the national award-winning blog, Sleeping between Giants: Life, if you could call it that, with a Terrier.

Dave Jaffe

Writer, columnist, former Chicago reporter, humorist Dave Jaffe has written for online, print, television, and radio. Creative, clever, witty – these are traits that kept Dave in detention for most of the eighth grade. But as an adult those skills led to multiple award-winning columns and commentary, numerous published articles and essays, and even sketches for Bozo the Clown. Dave’s blog, Sleeping between Giants – which explores life, if you could call it that, with a terrier – received the 2018 and 2017 National Society of Newspaper Columnists awards for humor blogs. His work has twice been honored with Peter A. Lisagor awards by the Chicago Headline Club, and by the Parenting Publications of America.

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Tags:Ask a Terrier, Budleigh, costs, dog, dog owners, pet, shelter, Sleeping between Giants, survey, Veterinarian

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