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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)?

TheSecondComing Sun 31-Mar-13 17:00:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 31-Mar-13 17:03:26

It's a different lifestyle TSC, mine seem comfortable with it.
Plus, being an Aspie family we tended to avoid the delights of soft play for running free on the Downs and along the beach.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 31-Mar-13 17:05:32

I wonder if your children miss the delights of having an animal companion in their lives, TSC?

ENormaSnob Sun 31-Mar-13 17:07:30


I think they are a luxury albeit not one that can be easily disposed of.

I love animals, especially horses, but I don't own one at the minute due to financial constraints.

Snog Sun 31-Mar-13 17:08:03

They are an expensive commitment ime rather than a luxury.
Our (recently rescued) cat has cost us a fortune in the 5 months we have had her - well over £1,000.
Her monthly running costs are about £70. Plus one-off costs for cat sitting, vaccinations, teeth cleaning etc etc. I increased my hours to full time just before we got her and wouldn't have had a cat if I hadn't had a lot of new money coming in.
My mum doesn't insure or vaccinate her cat and it costs her far less - just the cost of cat food really.

RatPants Sun 31-Mar-13 17:08:09

Urgh, mine certainly aren't. Mess, expense, hard work.

But they are technically DH's, I wouldn't keep pets if it was up to me.

zukiecat Sun 31-Mar-13 17:10:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 31-Mar-13 17:13:27

Thanks midas unfortunately because we have some income, we're not eligible for PDSA help, even though our income doesn't match our outgoings!
I'm a bit touchy about this at the moment - the ancient dog clippers packed up today, which will be another expense; they are a breed that needs clipping/trimming regularly and regular trips to the groomers are just a distant memory!

Budgiegirlbob Sun 31-Mar-13 17:15:03

YANBU, pets are a luxury, we have a dog, a budgie and three fish. The budgie (so far) has been cheep -lol- but the fish have been amazingly expensive and difficult to set up. The actual fish were cheap (£4.50 for 2) but to get the tank set up properly was difficult and dear. Tank, filter, gravel, toys, nets, gravel pump, brush, food, a never ending supply of chemicals to test levels, treat and condition water etc, I was surprised at much it has cost so far, but once it's up and running it should be quite inexpensive.

The dog is very expensive and definitely a luxury. Food and insurance alone cost £50 a month, plus de wormer, boosters and flea treatment. We have an excess of £80 for insurance, and he's been to the vet several times, especially in the first two years. He caught kennel cough and had to be kept in at the vet for a few hours on a Saturday (out of hours) and the bill was £900, so glad he has insurance.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 31-Mar-13 17:17:47

TSC Most families sacrifice the luxuries you mention, or others, in order to have subsequent children (planned or otherwise). Do you think all DCs are better off as only children - or is it ok for DCs to miss out on extras in their lives in order to enjoy sharing their life with a sibling?

Tortington Sun 31-Mar-13 17:17:59

Tories should add petfood to alcohol and cigs on his crusade to reform the underclass cogs in the capitalist machinery

midastouch Sun 31-Mar-13 17:18:33

sorry you're struggling Notadisneymum i do know how you feel!

Snog Sun 31-Mar-13 17:20:16

I absolutely think it's good for a homeless person to have a dog if they want to since a dog can provide you with warmth, affection, love and a reason to carry on.
I personally don't think I would buy a dog if I was struggling for money - but if I was lonely or depressed then maybe I would.
I don't think you can decide that poor people should not have pets if this is what the OP is hinting at.
I do however think that adults should take responsibility for their dependents be they children or animals.

TheSecondComing Sun 31-Mar-13 17:22:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 31-Mar-13 17:25:26

The boys - the three: £1000 pa insurance, circa £300 pa on flea drops, worm drops and vacs, £1500+ on food, £250 pa on emergency vet treatment - insurance excesses (sometimes more). £150 invested in a micro chip cat flap last year. £200 - £300 on the Cat Lady when we are away. Notwithstanding £60 on a new laptop charger for dd last week, because the lad the terrible chewed through it.

Three I think are a luxury but the first two came as brothers (and no, I don't think they are easily affordable) and the third arrived when neighbours moved (he had been "living" here for the previous 18 months).

The insurance I'm not sure about. One has been accident prone and has cost £3,500 in the last five years (amputated tail and life threatening poisoning - and off to the vet on Tuesday because he has a bleeding paw), the other bro has just developed diabetes, so I think it has paid for itself.

Having said that, they are our "boys" and we all love them and wouldn't part with them for the world. The wine, the beer, the mobiles, the cleaner, would all go first so they aren't really a luxury - more a lovesusry.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 31-Mar-13 17:26:14

Thanks midas despite everything , I'm still much happier now than I ever was when luxuries were possible!
We're not a rock bottom yet,by any means smile

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 31-Mar-13 17:28:27

Bit like small children then, TSC. grin
One of my relations is a helicopter/neurotic parent of the finest sort. Staying with her was a trial, so I understand that you may be feeling a little subjective at the moment.

milktraylady Sun 31-Mar-13 17:31:15

I occasionally cost out the "cost per cuddle" of my cat- food, litter, insurance, meds etc.
And she's still worth it (currently snoring on my knee smile)

Liskey Sun 31-Mar-13 17:36:03

We've had an expensive weekend with our cat (& thought we'd lose her on Friday). We had to get her to the emergency vet on Friday at 05.30 which was £160 call out to start with then put on a drip, blood tests and finally found a kidney problem - total bill over £400+ even without pet insurance we'd pay that as the cat is a loved family member who adds to all our lives.

issey6cats Sun 31-Mar-13 17:41:02

i have cats and a dog, i put some money in a bank account each month for vets fees and so far have not had to spend much over the years certainly less than insurance would have cost, i got my pets when we were a two ibncome household and now i am on my own i wouldnt dream of getting rid of or rehoming them if i have a crap hours work week i just eat cheaper food ,batch cook, go without biscuits and treats that week so they get fed, but overall 4 cats and 1 dog cost me about £8 a week so they are not that expensive to start with, i buy large spray bottle of frontline which costs £30 once every six months and worm stuff costs about £6 every 3 months

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 31-Mar-13 17:41:15

Is she pulling through?

Liskey Sun 31-Mar-13 17:45:14

Yes our cat is back home now being spoiled rotten with tuna and cuddles and allowed to sleep anywhere she chooses!

CandyCrushed Sun 31-Mar-13 17:58:33

Do other posters think it irresponsible to get a new dog if you are skint. I think it is. The costs are so long term and unpredictable that I don't think you should get a dog unless you are financially secure. It is easy to cut down on other luxuries (wine, mags, sky etc) if you have a rough patch but you can't suddenly stop paying for a dog once you have one.

This RSPCA Press Report details the huge rise in abandoned pets.

midastouch Sun 31-Mar-13 18:01:22

Of course its irresponsible to get a dog when you're skint. When DP was jobless for 4 months we went to the PDSA twice both times we saw people with puppies going there for there first injections, its not on and i dont think the PDSA should do it!

NotaDisneyMum Sun 31-Mar-13 18:02:20

candy Yes, I do.

If I'd known when I got my dogs (2 years apart) that I'd be made redundant 5 years later (and be divorced by then too) I wouldn't have got them (especially the second; she's a rescue).
Unfortunately, my crystal ball wasn't working so I had no idea that the public sector would be culled to the extent it was! wink

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