May 2, 2012

Hidden Costs of Man’s Best Friend

They are adorable and playful, and the "puppy eyes" may be nearly impossible to resist. A pet may be a wonderful addition to your family. In fact, six in ten […]

They are adorable and playful, and the "puppy eyes" may be nearly impossible to resist. A pet may be a wonderful addition to your family. In fact, six in ten American families have a pet. And these six in ten families contributed to the $55 billion pet industry last year. How much is that "free puppy" really costing you? Listen to The Dani Johnson Show and get the real price breakdown before you add another furry friend to your family!

Categories: Budgeting   

Tags: @danijohnsonlive   budgeting   managing family   radio show   

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  1. Luke Coblentz February 22, 2012
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    This will be a great show! Can’t wait!! We have declared War on Debt and certainly are open or any other ways where we can save more money. We don’t have pets but we can become much wiser in recognizing coy marketing in every other area. I will be listening on my break at work from beautiful sunny Michigan!:)

  2. Mary Anne February 22, 2012
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    I was just on the air and didn’t really get to make the important point since you went down a “rabbit hole” on people who say they don’t have children but have pets. I’m in media and I know you have good listening skills as I’ve been to your workshops and think you’re great however it might be helpful to listen more to your guest instead of making an assumption.

    I agree there are a lot of rip off vets out there and I have been feeding my cats a pet store brand food. In general, there a little more expensive, but its the difference between eating McDonald’s (Purina) for every meal or better nutrition that keeps you pets healthy. They actually eat less of this food so the additional cost is NOMINAL.

    I did have to switch my cats to a prescription diet that I get through a pet store as my boy cats are prone to urinary tract issues that were caused by the food they were eating. It costs a couple thousand dollars in vet bills but don’t you put a “pet down” for a urinary tract infection, Dani. You find a solution. The one I did was cat food that costs $1 per day per cat and they don’t have to go to the vet anymore since the food cured the issue.

    BTW – I sponsor children in need and give a lot to good charities and although you say you’re not being judgmental on how people are spending there money on their pets, it comes across that way.

  3. Regina Saunders February 22, 2012
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    I lost connection with the show….but to Angela who was spending $400 a month on her dog. And to Dani…..I have 11 dogs, as a breeder, I watch out for our pets nutrition. Many things found in commercially prepared foods..like PURINA are known allergens. I feed an All Natural, nothing artificial food (that even some of the most allergic dogs respond very well to) for about the SAME cost as Purina and MUCH LESS than many store brands. For 11 dogs, including supplements (yes, just like us, your dogs need supplementation there is no way to get every vitamin and mineral that they need into a kibble without compromising on something else that is essential) my feed bill is only $150 per month…again, this includes FOOD & Supplements for 11 dogs (and 3 cats) So, I don’t know about what you are feeding and why many have issues with large vet bills due to nutritional issues, all I know is that I am saving ALOT of money and have SUPER HEALTHY dogs too!

    Thanks Dani for bringing attention to the issue of pet affordability. IF you CANNOT afford to care for your pet properly, DON’T get one! If you are in debt and cannot afford your own bills, DON’T get one. Take care of FIRST THINGS FIRST!

  4. Lucinda Coblentz February 22, 2012
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    Hi Dani,
    I have to say I completely agree with you about the crazy spending on pets. I don’t have pets now but I grew up on a farm and we always had a dog. My parents actually hardly ever bought any pet food because they ate the same food we ate as long as it was safe for the pet. We had 2 dogs, 1 at a time, who lived long healthy lives of between 13-15 years. We NEVER bought a toy but gave them a knotted old sock and also gave them dried out corn cobs from the farm that they loved to play with. We groomed them ourselves with a water, soap, a brush and a big tub in the back yard. NEVER took them to a vet. One dog broke his front leg and my dad tied it up with a rag and a stick to hold it straight and it healed so perfectly the dog didn’t even have a limp. They gots lots of exercise and love from my big family and were very happy, well mannered and beautiful dogs. All this marketing on pet products is a total scheme and 98% are totally buying into it. I don’t mean to sound insensitive but who told you that your pet has allergies and you need to buy that expensive medicine? Who told you that your pet needs a hip replacement? Pets are precious but they are NOT people, they are pets! All the toys and medicines and special foods…do they really make your pet happier or does it make you look good to your friends? My friend who is an MD paid $10,000 for chemo on his dog that had cancer only to have the dog die 2 weeks later! Seriously?!?! $10,000 would have fed A LOT of orphans!!!!! Pet owners are absolutely responsible to love and care for their pets but don’t be tricked into buying things because a stupid “Beggin’ Strips” commercial makes that dog looks so darn happy!! Trust me, give them a little love and they will be just as happy. For those who don’t agree with Dani…you don’t have to…but SHE is the millionaire and SHE is financially independant so I think it is worth paying attention…I am because I want to be financially independant. Thank you Dani for today’s show! Thank you for sharing a perspective that is not popular but will help us to become financially responsible and independant!

    • Tammy February 22, 2012
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      Seriously Lucinda?! Wow…you sound like the people who say “in my day I had to walk to school uphill in the snow barefoot”..lol. You have passed judgement on a man who spent $10,000 on chemo for his beloved pet. Good for him!! How do you know he doesn’t already support orphans or those in need? Geez! This man obviously viewed his dog as family and you do whatever you can for those you love. I think it is absolutely irresponsible to have a pet and NEVER take it to the vet. You would never do that with a human being would you? If you choose to have an animal you should take care of it properly, not just treat it as a thing.

      This type of judgement is similar to Christians who have all sorts of opinions and judgement calls about those who aren’t like them or those who don’t measure up to what their view of a Christian should be. I am a Believer and I hate the spirit of religion which really if you break it down is nothing more than a judgemental attitude in one way or another.

      If we are good humans then we will give good things to our animals and care for them with absolute love.

      • Lucinda Coblentz February 22, 2012
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        Tammy, I appologize if I offended you and that I came across to you as judgmental. That was certainly not my heart of my intention. I am actually quite young and so I am not one who had to walk to school barefoot in the snow. lol! My friend who spend $10,000 on his pet for chemo realized he made a mistake with that because all it did was prolong the misery and pain the pet was in from the cancer and the treatment and also because he is in a lot of debt. I shared that not to pass judgment but to note that it is good to make a good and responsible financial decision when it comes to situations like that. Yes, it would have fed a lot of orphans as well as done a lot of other great things which my friend is very aware of in hind sight. We took very good care of our pets and they were healthy and happy. We just chose to do the care ourselves vs a vet because that is what worked for my family. Yes, it probably sounds really old fashioned but my parents took care of us and our pets without the assistance of a physician as much as possible. They did an amazing job and we are all very healthy and I am thankful. I can tell from your post that you really take great care of your pets! I think that is absolutely wonderful and I agree with you that if we choose to have pets we should take care of them. I think the point of this show is not to say we shouldn’t have or take great care of our pets but to encourage us to be responsible financially. That is what I took from the show and I know I have room to grow in that area myself. Thank you for your response and please accept my appology.

  5. Tammy February 22, 2012
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    I LOVE my two cats. They are my kids and bring me so much joy. I’ve studied the crap that is put into MOST cat foods and refuse to feed my “girls” that. I want them to live long and healthy lives so I feed them properly. Its worth the xtra $ to take care of them. In light of vet bills, just like any “people dr.” It pays to shop around – look for references and THEN compare costs. I don’t care how affordable a vet is, if they are crappy with animals I want no part.

    I have never ever wanted children – talk about expenses and responsibility. I know having kids can be wonderful according to my friends, but I don’t miss not having them and having my freedom. My kitties cost nothing like human kids but I love them with all my heart and want to make sure they are happy and healthy. :)

    • Mary Anne February 22, 2012
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      Tammy, I relate to everything you just said. Thanks for posting it!

  6. Julie Knudsen February 25, 2012
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    I am 54 year old woman, single, no kids and I would curl up and die of depression if I didn’t have my dog…or any dog I’ve had. I’m on my 4th dog as an adult – one lived to be 19, two others to 16. They have never lacked for food or medication. The joy and unconditional love they have given me is absolutely priceless. Yes, some vets are expensive, some are not too bad and some, like mine, do it because they love animals and if you need some help with the bill and pay it out, mine works out a plan. My dog does get fed designer food – a 25 lb dog goes through about $30 worth of dog food a month. Yes, she gets yearly shots, teeth cleaning, monthly heartworm and flea/tick prevention. Barring any emergencies, roughly about $700 a year. She doesn’t need a cell phone, the latest clothes, money for the weekend and doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg to insure. As she ages, there will be more bills but that’s why I spend an additional $400 a year on pet insurance – $400 a year not the $200 a month most of my friends have to pay for dependents. And I have found, if you take care of them when they are young with proper health and nutrition, you avoid some of the problems with older dogs – kinda sounds like humans doesn’t it? If you can’t afford a pet, don’t have one. If you choose to be a pet owner, be a responsible one and take care of them. I will find budget cuts elsewhere…clothes from Kohls fit my life just fine and I see absolutely no need for an $800 pair of Jimmy Choo’s. I choose love over inanimate objects.

  7. Danielle May 2, 2012
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    Pooh my gosh Dani! I also have a dog named Kona for about 5 yrs now… I’m also a homeschooling mother of 5. We study as many of your resources as possible. God bless you. You have given me so much hope! We love our dog dearly but I have contemplated giving him up. If I found a family with some land and whom would really love him and treat him right. I would give him up. Im learning how to become financially responsible and it is harder with an animal….

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