AIBU to think that pets are a luxury?

(137 Posts)
E320 Sun 31-Mar-13 14:57:13

prompted by a post on another board.
Do people also factor their cost (food, vet's bills, insurance etc.) into the monthly budget or even the weekly shopping (food)?

float62 Sun 31-Mar-13 15:30:04

Yes Sparkling I do agree with you, but mostly that would be describing extreme situations I think, where people may have general probs with budgeting their money (for a variety of reasons), too many animals or don't have the right conditions to keep the type of animals they have. I hold my hands up to being an animal lover myself, so I'm biased, but they do bring so many people so much pleasure. Our dog is one of us, we love him and he loves us, priceless.

crazynanna Sun 31-Mar-13 15:30:42

Inclusive of food,litter,insurance and immunisations, my cat costs me no more than £10 per week...cost of a bottle of wine. Value for money...certainly!

Our dog costs us about £30 a month (insurance and food).

Granted, we could do with a spare £30 a month at the moment, but I would find it very hard to give her up. She is a big part of our family - she is a rescue dog and still very timid and shy. She's a great burglar alarm though!

toboldlygo Sun 31-Mar-13 15:31:47

Goldfish are very expensive if cared for properly - they require very large volumes of water and high rate filtration systems. The cruelty involved in small tanks and bowls is unbelievable.

I spend a lot of money on my dogs because they are also my hobby - we compete in sled dog racing and dog agility - but their basic costs are not massive. Insurance, raw food, vaccinations etc. for two medium sized dogs is less than £100 a month and budgeted for. They replace other luxuries like clothes, holidays, dining out etc.

Admittedly the horses are expensive but there's still a huge variation there - anything from a pony living out in a shared field compared to a competition horse on full working livery at a top facility. We don't have a horsebox or anything, just happy hackers, and their day to day costs aren't huge. Again, we choose to prioritise this over other things and live in a rented hovel so we can afford it.

Sparklingbrook Sun 31-Mar-13 15:32:52

Yes, I couldn't imagine being without Sparkling Cat float. I definitely think cats pets enhance peoples lives and are good for the DC.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 31-Mar-13 15:44:30

Yes, they are a luxury, in the same way that so many of our possessions are.
But I'd give up the phone, the tv, the laptop, the dishwasher, the central heating and a lot of other luxuries before I even considered not having the cat.
It's factored into the family finances.

I reckon my dog costs around £45 a month to keep, if I add up food, insurance, vaccs, worming, flea treatment, toys, kenneling, equipment etc over a year. Yes, he is a luxury, but he's also a member of our family and a hell of a lot less expensive than another child.

Parker231 Sun 31-Mar-13 15:54:04

Our cat is part of the family - we wouldn't get rid her anymore than we would get rid of the DT,s - she is cheap compared with a pair of teenagers (and causes less mess and noise !)

Sparklingbrook Sun 31-Mar-13 15:56:08

That is so true Parker. I sometimes think Sparkling Cat gives a better return on our investment than the 13 and 11 year old DSs.

EMUZ Sun 31-Mar-13 15:58:09

My goldfish are fairly cheap to maintain now the tank is set up. Hamster is toilet trained grin so its spot cleaning, he eats my veg trimmings, hamster food and bits of chicken etc
Horse - um perhaps not so cheap grin but I went for 6 years without any horse contact and I couldn't do it again

EMUZ Sun 31-Mar-13 15:58:47

Posted too soon. So I don't really count fish/hamster costs just horse ones

mmmuffins Sun 31-Mar-13 15:59:12

Pets are a luxury, yes. I have a spread sheet for my finances and there is an "animal" section, in which the cats, chickens, and horses (I don't own, just ride) have their columns.

I have just gotten a placement as an apprentice, and one of the considerations for accepting was whether I'd be able to afford my cats (answer, yes, if I give up every other luxury smile).

I think you need to make sure you have enough money to care for your animal properly - if you will have to feed your pet bog-standard food, wont be able to provide enrichment, and wont be able to afford the vet, then you shouldn't take the pet on.

LynetteScavo Sun 31-Mar-13 16:02:05

Well, children are a luxury, but you don't just get rid of them if your circumstances change and you can't afford them any more.

My cats have always been quite cheep, until this year when one, at the age of 15, has had a medical problem, and is now on medication. I've been told she could have more tests, and go on more medication, at great cost, which may prolong her life by a couple of years. I don't think I can afford the luxury of possibly prolonging her life.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 31-Mar-13 16:03:31

My two dogs were a Luxury when they joined the family (and well budgeted for at the time) but they are expensive responsibility now - not only has the household income dropped by 80%, but their insurance has crept up year on year and so they are easily the biggest household expense after the mortgage (more than the utility bills!).

We are now at the point where we have given up everything we can - if things get any tighter financially, then we may have to make some hard decisions sad

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 31-Mar-13 16:11:47

Cat costs £20 a month to insure, we started when he was 5 and it's for life, so now he's old and expensive, he's covered for ongoing medical conditions.
Around £20 for the special renal diet, but that lasts about 5 weeks.
Worth every penny.

TheSecondComing Sun 31-Mar-13 16:12:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 31-Mar-13 16:13:41

You'd dump a pet before swimming lessons? Do you have a pet, TSC?

zukiecat Sun 31-Mar-13 16:14:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sparklingbrook Sun 31-Mar-13 16:15:15

Getting rid of Sparkling cat would be like rehoming one of the DCs. She is a family member. sad

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 31-Mar-13 16:15:31

I suppose one of the differences for me is that I was a child of the 60s, and many of the items considered essential now I grew up without. Likewise paid activities.
So it's not such a trauma for me to consider reverting to a simpler era in my life.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 31-Mar-13 16:17:05

Oh, and although my children are from the 90s, they'd feel the same. smile
OH still lives like he's in the 60s, so no change.

crazynanna Sun 31-Mar-13 16:17:45

I would teach my dcs to swim myself and keep the cat.

My dcs being able to swim with the aid of a paid instructor will not keep those pesky mice outta my kitchen wink

ChoudeBruxelles Sun 31-Mar-13 16:18:08

Not a luxury exactly but I do have to factor in expenses for our 2 dogs and 2 cats. Wouldn't swap them though I would rather go without something else

badguider Sun 31-Mar-13 16:18:47

Choosing to take on a new pet is a luxury.

BUT, caring properly for one you already have is an essential. You can't opt out of it once you have it.

TheSecondComing Sun 31-Mar-13 16:21:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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