More than two years ago I asked the question “how much does a dog cost?” At the time my wife and I were just thinking of getting a dog. Time flies. Earlier this month we celebrated our second anniversary with Jake. Perhaps celebrated is a little strong of a world, it wasn’t like there was a candlelight dinner or anything. Even if there was, it would have been overshadowed by Lady and the Tramp anyway.
I would have started this post a half hour ago, but I was urgently needed elsewhere. Specifically there was a dog tummy that needed rubbing. That’s my favorite kind of job. It beats where I was a 24 hours earlier – the vet. Jake has developed an ear infection. It’s nothing that a little “ear squishy”, our scientific term for medication, won’t fix. Unfortunately the cost of the medication, along with his yearly shots, was $250. The cost for a doctor for my dog is more than the cost of a doctor for me.
The other surprise was the veterinarian suggesting that we look into hypoallergenic food, because he was showing signs of an allergy. I didn’t realize such things existed for dogs. The idea is to get the dog on a protein that they haven’t had before. If signs start to disappear then we can gradually introduce him to new foods to find out what’s not agreeing with him. Of course the food doesn’t come cheap. A 32 pound bag is $100 – four times what we’ve been paying.
Doctor bills and food costs aren’t really that big of a deal. It’s the vacations that get expensive. Dog sleepover camp (or what some may call a kennel) is around $40 a night. That adds up quickly in a week. The answer to this is to find a friend who is willing and able to take care of Jake. We haven’t been able to pull that off. Jake, at 72 pounds, is a little like a bull in china shop. You have to really be a dog lover and have your house set up perfectly for Jake. Fortunately, it may turn out that Revanche of A Gai Shan Life kind of fits the bill. Jake fell in love with her when they first met. He instantly quickly when on his back asking for tummy rubs. He’s only had that kind of reaction to two people. It seems like an especially good fit because she is likely getting a dog too.
When you add it up, Jake ends up costing us about $1500 a year. I man enough to admit that I pay for my best friend. Now we’re off an adventure… those fire hydrants aren’t going to water themselves you know.