I had to take our dog Finn back to the vet last week. He had a skin infection and his ears bothered him. It turns out he has a bad seasonal allergy as the doctor’s records showed the same problem arose around this time last year. He went to the vet a few weeks ago and the allergy shot didn’t help.
This time they put steroids on him, and an antibiotic was given along with medical drops for an ear infection. You feel your place in the food chain, and in the world in general, when you try to give drops to a dog.
Anyway, the bill was $ 289.75.
Then I had to go back and pick up heartworm and flea / tick repellent in the form of monthly chewable tablets. Unfortunately, I thought a year’s supply, twelve pills and another twelve pills, would cost about forty dollars.
So that’s $ 649.75 in five days. Can that be right? It was. It was so right that it was wrong. It’s downright ridiculous what we’re willing to spend on pets.
I’m dreading the day I’ll have to say, “I’m sorry my son, I know you had your heart for college, but Finn was itching, so …”
I thought. I lived. I was bitter. Then I did some research. What is the Average Cost of Owning a Dog in New Jersey?
Takespruce.com calculated the average annual cost of owning dogs for all fifty states. Remember, some pay more, some less. For example, $ 140 a year for dog grooming doesn’t seem like much, but that’s because some short-haired dogs don’t need grooming at all.
So in New Jersey, regular veterinary care, $ 209. Emergency veterinary care (which in my opinion is EVERYTHING but vaccines and an exam) $ 1,200. The annual meal costs $ 408. Toys cost $ 35 a year. Care $ 140. Flea and Heartworm Medication $ 272 (then why was mine so much?). Annual boarding costs $ 280.
That adds up to $ 2,544!
Even the first year in which you acquire the dog does not count. If you go through a breeder, you could be talking about thousands of initial dollars. Plus spay or neuter. In addition, obedience training. All costs for the first year.
Then there are the big things. Your dog will become seriously ill with hip dysplasia or cancer which could be the limit of medical bills.
Even avoiding this painful stuff, on average, in New Jersey, for a pup who stays with you for 10 years, you are talking about potentially nearly $ 30,000. Maybe $ 26,000 if you go through a rescue.
Is it worth?
Given when the time comes, people are willing to spend an average of $ 1,750 on a pet funeral, apparently it is.
The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of talk show host Jeff Deminski of New Jersey 101.5. All opinions expressed are those of Jeff Deminski.
LOOK: Here are the pets that are banned in each state
With the regulation of exotic animals left to the states, some organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States, are advocating federal, standardized legislation that would prohibit the possession of big cats, bears, primates, and large venomous snakes as pets.
Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state as well as across the country.