Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pet Finance

A couple months ago we bought a dog, Buddy, our family's first one. He's a totally cute Bichon and we love him lots. But there are a lot of costs associated with dog ownership - unexpected costs that I really didn't consider before we brought him home.

First there was the cost of the pooch himself - not having done a lot of research prior (I guess it was a bit of an emotional decision - those puppy dog eyes blinded us) He was on sale, but with his crate, toys, food, stain remover, shampoo, leash, collar, chew bones, etc....Let me just say I nearly fainted when I saw the bill... Yikes.

Fortunately, he was current on his shots (we thought). Apparently there were a couple more he needed (including rabies). We found this out when we took him in to be neutered. We did find a vet who offers neuter and spaying services at a discount, as a community service in cooperation with the DuPage County Animal Control division. Still, the final bill was around $200 for anesthesia, antibiotics, and pain meds.

Then there's grooming! Fortunately, this is pretty affordable. Buddy is a small dog, so $15 every six weeks or so is all we need. Puppy training class was $75 at the Fox Valley Kennel Club (but Buddy was too distracted in the big group setting so we stopped going - that was a waste of money. The book we found at Borders taught us loads more...)

Being health food nuts as we are, regular run-of-the-mill puppy chow won't do for our pup. Besides, we've learned the Bichon breed is susceptible to food allergies if he eats too many additives. So we pop for the $15 bag of natural doggie food.

That's it, for now! I think that's enough. Of course every time we go into the pet store for the all natural dog food, we rarely come out without a new chew toy or something else for Buddy.

I haven't added up the total here...I just can't bring myself to do it. Thank goodness we don't need a college savings account for him....Still he has added so much joy and fun to our home. We smile a lot more now. You can't put a price on that.

Watch a video of Buddy!

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