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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)?

Montybojangles Sun 31-Mar-13 16:26:31

Not sure they are a luxury exactly. For some people (particularly elderly or isolated individuals) they are their only companion, a living breathing furry friend who stays by them and loves them. They are good for reducing stress and blood pressure levels when stroked.

I factor in the pet costs each month, food, insurance, flea/worm treatment, it all adds up, but the old girl is worth it, she is part of my family.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 31-Mar-13 16:26:32

Different priorities then, which is fine.
Sounds like not having a pet is a wise choice for you.

E320 Sun 31-Mar-13 16:30:28

Oh, I would love a dog and could afford one, plus have room, garden, places to walk etc. etc. but sadly I am away from home so much that is it just not possible.

babybythesea Sun 31-Mar-13 16:30:35

I think it's one of those things where you are either an animal person or you are not.

I am. I've always (until recently) worked with animals, and because I was working full time with them my collection was limited to hamsters and fish. I wasn't around to look after anything else properly and I had my 'fix' at work.

Now, I am at home full time and I have a dog. I'd go mad without animal contact - it is just part of who I am.

We don't have much money, but then neither of us smoke, I don't drink alcohol and DH only has a four pack of beers every couple of months, and we don't go out to eat, ever - the last take away we had even was over a year ago, so I'm guessing we spend quite a bit less than others would spend on those sorts of luxuries. In fact, I mostly drink squash or water. I don't even splash out on coke or other fizzy drinks!!

I'd rather do that, it's no big deal, and have enough left to pay for dog food and insurance than drink 'nicer' drinks, or get take aways on a regular basis, and not have the dog around.

I'd also quite happily give up the TV before giving up the dog, if it came to it.
If you are not really that bothered about animals, you will never understand.
We went away for six weeks over Christmas, to see DH's family overseas. I missed my dog with a physical ache by the end of it. It is part of a lifestyle choice - the walking etc is all part of the enjoyment for me, rather than a responsibility and a chore, but I also find that after a few days of no animal contact I start to almost crave the feel of their fur under my hand, or the joy I get watching and playing with them, or the peace they can bring. You will either understand and 'get' that animals are more than a luxury sometimes, or you won't.

Corygal Sun 31-Mar-13 16:33:55

Mr Cory, my fat tabby, is essential to me - and reduces my heating bills no end (sits on head).

sydlexic Sun 31-Mar-13 16:35:02

I am definitely not an animal person. I would never expect anyone to get rid of a pet if their circumstances changed, they were unemployed. It is a living thing not an inanimate object.

babybythesea Sun 31-Mar-13 16:38:09

TSC: And if we had one, andi couldn't afford holidays (due to cattery bills) and dance lessons/cinema trips because we had a cat I'd wonder whether my priorities were right tbh.

Which is fine for you.
I reckon we go to the cinema about once a year if that. I like the cinema but I don't really notice not going - sometimes a film will come out that we really want to see and then we'll go "When did we last go??? How long has it been???" (We went to see the Hobbit - before then, we went to see the Lorax with dd, and before that, it was the last of the Lord in the Rings!) It just isn't something either of us are that fussed about. We're far more likely to want to go to the beach for a walk with dd and the dog.

Holidays - we're lucky. My family are also all dog mad (we are unusual in only having the one!) so we have an army of people ready to look after her but to be honest, unless we go to visit DH's family overseas, we only holiday where we can have the dog with us. Hire a cottage in the Lake District that's dog friendly, or in Norfolk, or somwhere similar.
So again, it's a non-issue. Neither of us feel as though haing the dog stops us doing anything we want to. And dd certainly doesn't go without.

BlessedDespair Sun 31-Mar-13 16:39:04

He's a very big, time consuming responsibility but yes he (the dog) is budgeted for especially as he requires special, expensive food due to allergies :-)

WestieMamma Sun 31-Mar-13 16:39:35

My dog is essential, but then I have AS so he plays a very important role in getting me out of the house and giving me emotional support. I'd go without heating before I'd go without my dog.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 31-Mar-13 16:41:20

TSC I'm fairly sure my DD is better off being told to put a jumper on if she's cold than she would be being told that the dog she can never remember life without has been euthanised because we can't afford him sad

TheSecondComing Sun 31-Mar-13 16:41:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sparklingbrook Sun 31-Mar-13 16:43:18

I'm sure if I asked the DC if they wanted to be cold or get rid of Sparkling Cat they would put another jumper on.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 31-Mar-13 16:43:56

It's about material possessions over emotional enrichment in some cases.
What is the important stuff in your life and what are your options?

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 31-Mar-13 16:45:18

Didn't say heating, said central heating. DD is a student, and she's managing fine with jumpers and duvets. We have a real fire and hot water bottles if we need to cut down on the gas.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 31-Mar-13 16:46:22

nebulous Definitely - in our case, we sell stuff to maintain the emotional side of our lives. Thing is, we're rapidly running out of 'stuff' to sell sad

babybythesea Sun 31-Mar-13 16:46:51

TSC - I would agree if that was your last choice.
But most of us are saying there are loads of other things we'd give up first before giving up the animal. You mentioned a trip to the cinema - well that for me is a real luxury that would definitely go out of the window before giving up a pet.
The 'put a jumper on' comment didn't imply to me that NDM would never turn the heating on, but that it wasn't going to be turned up to 24 degrees just because someone complained, or that it wasn't going to be switched on all day but for a period in the morning and evening. Which isn't exactly cruelty to kids!

infamouspoo Sun 31-Mar-13 16:47:33

they probably are but my mum, on pensioner tax credit had 3 dogs. They were her companions. One died last year but before it went it cost £5000 at the vet! (too old for pet insurance). She had to borrow this money off of her wealthy sister and is paying it back at a tenner a week and keeping the heating off. Given my mum is over 80...
So she still has 2 and worships the ground the mutts shed fleas on, puts them first in everything. I really dont get it myself but they make her happy if even poorer. I know she spends a fortune at the vets as the PDSA is too far away to get too for a frail old lady on the bus.

HesterShaw Sun 31-Mar-13 16:50:49

Depends entirely on the family. If someone is depressed or lonely or infertile, a pet can be pretty bloody essential sad

To me it's like asking AIBU to think children are a luxury?

babybythesea Sun 31-Mar-13 16:53:11

It's also about defining luxury isn't it?

I'm sure that there are people on here who don't understand any I would have a dog but who smoke, and who don't define the cigs as a luxury but a necessity.
Or who always include a bottle of wine in their weekly shop.
Or who always buy a newspaper, or a particular magazine (whether daily or weekly).
Or who go to the gym.
Or who buy at least one new item of clothing every few months.
Or who own fancy gadgets (mobile phones, ipads etc).

I don't do any of the above (although I do hae a mobile - it cost me £10 three years ago and can only make phone calls and texts. I also do have a laptop - we were given it, it is about 7 years old and has a big dent in one side where we dropped it. Still works though). Those are life's luxuries to me, and I don't need them or miss them. The money someone else spends on those things goes on my dog.

babybythesea Sun 31-Mar-13 16:54:16

*don't understand why I would have a dog

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 31-Mar-13 16:54:20

NADM, that's a very tough position to be in. I remember being at a point where I was selling books to buy food, and that was hard. No dependents at that time though.
It's why it's worth going for an insurance company like Petplan, we insured the cat when he was younger and now he's old, he's claiming back.

midastouch Sun 31-Mar-13 16:54:56

I think YABU i wouldnt say they're a luxury exactly they are usually much cheaper than children!
My dog as part of my family, she has a condition called PLE i and is now very expensive we get through prescription food, £8 of cottage cheese and at least 14 eggs a week for her, she is very expensive now but to keep her alive and healthy i happily go without.

People who live alone sometimes need the company. Im undecided about whether homeless people should have dogs.

CandyCrushed Sun 31-Mar-13 16:55:09

I don't understand people getting a new dog if they are really skint. It does seem a bit irresponsible as they can be expensive.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 31-Mar-13 16:55:24

Makes sense to me baby, it's how you use the money you have.

midastouch Sun 31-Mar-13 16:58:18

NotADisneyMum can you not get help from the PDSA?

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