Saturday, October 06, 2007

Are having pets truly for "frugal" people????

I have had people tell me that if I was truly frugal, I would not have pets! The first few times I heard this....I was at a loss for words. (Yes, it does happen on occasions! hehehe)

But since then, I have thought about this often. Usually after a vet visit OR buying a big bag of food.

Yes, pets cost money to own (or at least they SHOULD). There is the cost of vet visits to keep them healthy, the cost of food and other items that keep them healthy and happy.

But there are other things to consider about owning a pet, besides the cost involved.

Are you an animal lover? Is the idea of NOT having a pet of some sort abhorrent to you?

Is the cost of owning that pet offset by the love and companionship they give you?

These are things that I look at when I am re-considering pet ownership. I beleive that kids benefit greatly from owning a pet. The experience of caring for another living creature and also the real issue of dealing with death are for their good, in the long run.

Currently at my house we have several pets. We currently have 3 hamsters, 1 cat (which my 17 year old pays for...since it is his) and one puppy.

The biggest expense comes from the puppy. She is 4 1/2 months old, so we are dealing with all the vet bills that come with a "baby" animal. Soon, we will be dealing with the expense of having her fixed, but balance that with the cost we would incur if she had a litter of puppies! Believe me, having her fixed is cheaper in the long run! LOL

After all the initial vet bills, we will only need to take her once a year for a checkup and boosters. Her food bill is still uncertain. LOL I have never had a dog that will be as large as she will be, so I might have to make allowances for her food costs. (She is a black lab/golden retriever mix)

There is one thing that can not be calculated with dollar signs, and that is companionship! I have this giant puppy that wants to be a lap dog! She is already becoming protective of the kids, which out in a semi-rural area is PRICELESS! I send her out back with the kids and feel safe that I will hear if anything unusual happens.

So, after all that rambling... let me just say that YES, this frugal mom can have a pet and they do NOT have to be a "money pit" or an "extravagance"! At least, not in this One Frugal Mom's opinion!


Sunny said...

We have two large dogs, and go through a 40 pound bag about every 3-4 weeks. It costs around $28-30/bag, unless I can find coupons. I don't feed my children junk food, so I don't feed the dogs junk either! The deposits in the backyard are much smaller as a result. Highly recommend a high-quality food for your new lab mix! I love Iames.

After that, I do get a cheap bag of treats (I make it last a long time by breaking them into tiny pieces...great for training) and some rawhides. Each of them has a kong toy which we put a little bit of peanut butter in when they seem bored...and that's it. I budget $50/month MAX, and most months I'm under that.

In case you can't tell I am one of those who think a life without pets would be terrible. You can be frugal and have pets.

Raven said...

It depends on your definition of 'frugal.' To me, being 'frugal' means that I watch my expenditures so that I can afford the things that really matter to me,like my two cats, and not that I avoid spending. That broaches on miserliness, I think.

Anonymous said...

Besides companionship. I think my kids get an education from owning a pet. A pet can be an interest to learn about. PRICELESS!
Plus, With an Asperger child I find pets are a great help to him.

love our pet friends
Fawn K