Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Are Pets A Waste of Hard Earned Money?

What is happening everybody?

No, I'm not in the doghouse for writing this post with Jessica, my wife, being the ultimate cat lover.  Here's a tidbit about us...Jessica would not move in with me after a year of dating unless her cat, Tiska (a Tabby) came along.  This feline hated my guts!  I mean, I couldn't even step inside Jessica's place without her hissing at me.

Tiska today taking her seemingly 4-hour nap on my side of the bed, of course.

I could never walk barefoot for fear of Tiska taking a vicious swipe.  She was so damn protective too.  Once, I had to go to Jessica's home to pick-up something I had left behind that I needed...can't even remember what it was; I didn't have keys to get inside Jessica's place, a two-bedroom attached unit in the backwoods of Vista, CA.  Jessica gave me permission to go through the window, simply by removing the warped screen.  Tiska met me on the ledge from the inside...A Mexican and cat standoff.  My hands were scratched-up something bad before I gave up and left defeated.  Tiska was, and still is, a serious guard cat.

Today, Tiska loves me...well, she lets me pet and grab her.  She'll also climb on top of me and lay her fat butt down on my lap.  Did I mention I have cat hair allergies?  It's not so bad anymore.  Tiska must have improved my immunity response over the years.

This post isn't all about Tiska the crazy cat, a cat that once royally kicked the crap out of a Pomeranian named, Nicky.  Jessica and her older sister, Brandie, thought it would be a good idea to introduce the two to each other in our upstairs loft where Tiska was hiding at the time.  I told them both it was a bad idea.

This was Nicky before the fight...

this was Nicky after Tiska got through with her:

No...this post is about Tiska, Garfield, Snoopy, Bronco, Mr. Whiskers, etc., and the financials of keeping a pet.  Check this PDF on Various Pet Care Annual Costs.  These are first-year expenses, after you initially purchase your pet.  A large dog breed will run you almost $2K, year-one.  A bunny will cost you just over $1K per year.  According to this chart, having a cat will cost you also around $1K for your first year.  Doesn't sound too bad, $83.3 per month.  Unless something happens!

A couple years ago, Tiska tried to attack a bird on the other side of the sliding glass door to our yard.  She chipped her right fang instead.  The vet charged us over $300 for meds to keep her from getting an infection.  Then there was the time Tiska got out (she's a house cat).  My wife was distraught for days.  About a week later, Tiska conveniently finds her way back to our backyard.  When we get a hold of her, she's visibly beat-up, ragged, and ready to come back inside.  Jessica found that one of her hind paws was bleeding, no doubt from a cat fight.  Another visit to the vet.  They cleaned up the wound, injected antibiotics, killed the fleas. and gave us more meds.  Total cost, $750!

A Long-Term Monetary Committment

Pets can live several years.  Just like humans, dogs and cats are living longer.  Count on a decade of minimum costs to keep a pet humanely, plus the added costs as they get geriatric.  You could be spending $20K easily on Fido over the course of ten years.  What about the time you have to spend with them?  Cats are very independent, but dogs are needy.  Any time you devote to a pet, you are not devoting to making money!  You can leave for a short (less than five day) vacation with a cat...if you load up their food tray and leave the toilet seat up.  But a dog?  Forget about it.  You'll need a pet sitter or a pet motel.  Pets become balls and chains attached to your ankles.  Cleaning up the cat litter box, or the newspaper in the bird cage, feedings...these are all time sucking chores.

Here's a great article on Forbes about The True Costs of Owning a Pet.

I know you love your pet.  I, lu, lu, lu, luv Tiska too; it was hard to say, okay?  I, however, have already talked with Jessica about making Tiska our last pet.  Pets are expensive to keep, and with two children, there's really no point to having a pet.  That didn't come out so right.

Tiska staying away from Ajani, Circa early 2014.

What I mean is, I guess it's okay to keep a pet if you don't have children, for the companionship.  And having a pet so your children can learn responsibility, about life and death, is probably a great idea too.  However, don't keep a pet if you are finding yourself money short at the end of the month, or you are living paycheck to paycheck.  It's monetarily irresponsible of you.

Are Pets A Waste of Hard Earned Money?

The answer to this question depends.  If you are buying or spending on senseless items like luxury beds, clothing, expensive treats, going to grooming spots to beautify your mascot, or getting your pooch a stroller, then yes, you are absolutely wasting your money.  If your pet is a companion and friend, and you're not pampering your pet, then having a pet is totally not a waste of money.  There are many emotional and health benefits that come with having a mascot.  They are enjoyable, lovable, and non-judgmental members of your family, or your loyal confidant if you're a single.  Yet, whether you have children or not, pets will divert money and time away from your financial goals, and thus you should not buy one without putting in serious thought.  We don't need more animals abandoned.

Thanks for reading, friend.  If you liked this post and want to get more like them (and three free eBooks), don't forget to subscribe to this blog! See ya later, alligator.   

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