Cost of Pet Products

saving money pets frugal living
Recently, I have decided to provide foster care for a dog that is being rescued from execution (being put to sleep) at a high-kill shelter in Ohio. The dog is a young, fluffy, golden retriever/collie mix that was picked up as a stray at the beginning of February 2010.
The reason I opted to provide foster care for a dog as opposed to adopting/buying a dog was that I didn’t think I could commit at this time in my life to providing care for a dog for the long-term, especially since I do not have a private yard/house. Also, the foster program I am teamed up with is very supportive, and they actually pay all of the veterinarian bills for the dog (very nice!).
So, I decided that I needed to go to the pet store to get prepared for the new guy. When I went to the pet store (Pet’s Plus) in the town I live in here on the East Coast, I was appauled at the high cost of pet products these days, and was curious to find out a little more.
The thing that suprised me the most was the range in price of the pet products. For example. you could get dog food starting at $10.99 (Gravy Train) or get organic dog food (same weight) for $70.00. Furthermore, you could get a plain metal water/food bowl for $8.99 or a fancy ceramic one for $40.00.
To further investigate, I did a quick online search, and I found the two articles below that describe in detail the full cost of owning a pet/dog.

http://www.aspca.org/adoption/pet-care-costs.html

http://www.moneyunder30.com/the-true-cost-of-pet-ownership

The total that both websites come up with is that the total cost of owning a pet for the 1st year is $1200-$1500. Wow! The key takeaways from this investigation, for me, are shown below.

Key Takeaways

1) Before buying or adopting a dog, be certain that you can financially committ to the animal for its lifetime. This could indicate that you will spend ~$10,000 total over the lifetime of the animal.

2) Determine if you are capable of getting the emotional return on investment from having a pet. Make sure that you truly will enjoy it and are not just doing it “because everyone else is,” etc.

3) When buying pet products, SHOP, SHOP, SHOP, and COMPARE, COMPARE, COMPARE. There will no doubt be a wide range of product/price alternatives to consider. Also, realize that many times, products sold at discount stores such as Wal-Mart or grocery stores can cost significantly less than the same products at fancier pet stores.

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Keep on learning!

Jacob

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