By Shawn (co-author of CleverDude.com)
I’m a dog person. My family has had a dog as long as I can remember — my aunt had a dog, my grandmother had a dog, etc. However, I’ve noticed that it’s become increasingly expensive to own a pet. I’ve seen our vet bills creep up, the cost of food creep up and the cost of grooming creep up.
I love having a dog, but at what point does the cost outweigh my desire to have a pet. I will say that the costs involved will not affect my decision to keep our current dog. He’s been a great dog, and he’s a part of our family. But, the increased costs would make me hesitate getting another dog in the future.
Because of this, I’ve tried to find some ways to save some money.
One thing I found was that our county offers rabies shots for $5. Consider that it costs me $50 just for the vet appointment and another $15-20 for the rabies shot there, this seemed like a steal. I did have to wait in line, but, I felt it was worth it.
We only have to get a rabies shot for the dog (in NC) every 3 years, but we need other shots every 6 months. So, I wasn’t really saving all that much because I still have to go to the vet for the others. Thus, I’m still paying the office visit, so my net savings on the rabies shot is only $10-15.
Another way I’ve been able to save some money at the vet is by just saying “No”. I’ve found that the vet is constantly trying to upsell services to me. I’ve gone to a few different ones, and they all do it.
My dilemma is that our dog is 14 (which is pretty old). I have a really hard time justifying $300 or so per month in extra services such as acupuncture. I haven’t really looked much into pet health insurance because of our dog’s age (most places won’t take new policies on pets over 10), so I can’t say if something like that would be cost-effective.
If anyone has had experience with any of these plans, I’d love to hear about your experience.