Will Your Dog Cost You $100,000?

28 February 2015

Ebony and I were recently featured in an article titled ‘Pets Living the High Life for a price’ which focused on the changing spending habits of pet parents when they travel and have to leave their pet behind. It got me thinking is there a limit to what I would spend on Ebony? What if she got sick and I didn’t have the disposable income to help her?

Did you know a medium sized dog could end up costing $100,000 over its lifetime according to The Age Newspaper? With the average life expectancy for medium dogs being 10-13 years that’s a staggering $160 per week! While these figures look high it does depend on the level of pampering you provide your pet and their health requirements.

Why are we spending so much more on our pets? One of the reasons is the line between children and pets are becoming blurred. Once dogs were just the family pet and often left outdoors, however according to the Sydney Morning Herald, nearly 90 per cent of pet owners regard their dog or cat as part of the family and often treat them better – there’s nothing wrong with that! Right? Ebony certainly doesn’t think so. With couples getting married and having children later, pets are becoming integral to the family unit.

As a frequent traveller and Author of Have Pet Will, Travel – The Essential Guide for Travelling Pet Owners, I wanted to remind you that if you’re going away and leaving your pet in the care of others, professional or a family friend, it is important for you to be clear on what your financial limitations are, god forbid anything should happen while you're away. This way should you not be contactable your pet will be looked after with your interests and budget in mind. I typically tell Ebony’s carer’s there is no limit to what I will pay. If you have pet insurance be sure to leave these details with the carer and notify the pet insurer so a 3rd party can act on your behalf.

Although many pet owners spare no expense when it comes to their ‘fur-kids’, for many costs of essentials such as vet bills and food certainly add up and budget realities set in.

A friend of Pet Check-in, Terrie White, reached out to me with a predicament she is in – one I hope I will never have to face. Her beloved 15 year-old Maltese Terrier, Buffy was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, a disease that affects the adrenal system. The treatment is expensive costing on average $560 every 3 months. Terrie, being a disability pensioner simply can’t afford for her care, but instead of defaulting to putting her “furbaby” down has started a “crowd funding” initiative through youcaring.com (click here: http://bit.ly/1CYRvrT) to help raise the necessary funds. So far she has raised just over half of her $2000 goal. Pet owners, like Terrie are finding new and unique ways to help keep their pets alive, like many parents do for their children when they fall ill.

Terrie, like many other pet owners don’t have the financial means to spend a fortune on their pets. So if you’re in a predicament there are options out there for you. If you want to help Terrie out with Buffy be sure to click the link above, every dollar counts!

Safe Travelling,

Gareth & Ebony