How much is that doggie in the window

John Heinzl, a columnist for the Globe and Mail ran a funny but true little piece on just what it costs to own a dog. His observations are humorous because like most good comedy it’s funny ’cause it’s tragically true. Heinzl goes on to discuss how one might fare if they were to invest their money in a G.I.C vs. a D.O.G.

While this article is a sobering look for anyone considering getting a dog. One needs to remember that you don’t get a dog to make you rich, but they do enrich our lives. I’m sure John doesn’t mean to put anyone off doggy adoption when he says…

The kids were thrilled. Even their dad, who had resisted getting a pet, had to admit it was pretty nice the way Brenda would plop herself down in your lap for a tummy rub and a cuddle. But it had all been a cruel act. Not long after we brought Brenda home, my schooling in the true costs of dog ownership began.

A good friend and mentor once told me, “there’s no such thing as a free dog“. This is very wise. Not to mention the demands on your time and money they are a huge emotional commitment as well. One cannot simply write them off as a bad debt like a spontaneous time share purchase.

The author price tags the lifetime ownership cost of his dog to be around $27,502.95 about what one could expect to pay for a nice midsized sedan. Without all the face licking and bum sniffing but where would be the fun in that?

His numbers are a bit out of whack because not many people would consciously set aside the money otherwise spent on a pet into a nice safe 5% return investment. He drives home a good point when he said…

When we adopted Brenda, one of the employees at Toronto Animal Services told us that a lot of owners give up their dogs, not because they don’t love them, but because they have fallen on hard times and can no longer afford them. Now I understand why.

Now you probably already knew that dog ownership is a big step but like many big steps you need to weigh all the options and considerations. Also like many big steps the bigger they are the more reward received. I wouldn’t even think of trading in my 2008 Labrador for a 2012 Mustang.

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