Friday, 20 July 2007
Do you want a dog or £26,000?
Perhaps at 10.30pm it was difficult for the Battersea expert to phone a reasonable sample of vets, insurance companies etc?
When we were doing our research, I have to say my preconception of how much dog ownership cost was very, very wrong - and I discovered I wasn't alone.
A survey by Churchill Pet insurance showed most owners imagined having a dog cost them £5k over the dog's lifetime. Churchill calculated it as being nearer the price of a nice, new, shiny Mercedes.
Becoming more aware of my exact canine expenditure did nothing to make my day any less depressing!
If you have proper pet insurance, don't feed your dog rubbish, go on holiday occasionally and either use a kennels or a sitter, worm and de-flea as often as it says on the packet, boost, buy the odd bed, pig's ear, collar and lead - we reckon you're spending £2k a year.
Over a dog's lifetime... your best friend will cost you more than most weddings. Enough for a deposit on a new house.
But in our case, it's obviously a lot more than that.
There's also the grooming bill for our Beardie, Oscar. I have to admit it's a little bit extreme. It's more than we spend on dog food. It's probably more than we spend on human food come to think of it!
Twice a month he has a full wash and brush up with the former International Groomer of the Year.
It's worth every penny.
I work, I have kids, I write a blog. When do I realistically have time to even breathe deeply - never mind groom the hairiest dog in Britain?
I do get a lot of pleasure from seeing him looking so very gorgeous ... often for a good 10 minutes if there's only been light rain.
And our personal total also includes the £6k it cost to fence the garden to make it dog proof (it was meant to be rabbit proof, too ... yes, right!).
Plus we had to upgrade to a big estate car that cost a lot more to run.
Then there's children's shoe replacements (some have never been found) and the bill for all the garden furniture Oscar mistook for chew toys - and the fact a vacuum cleaner doesn't last much longer than a loaf when you're living with Beardie hair.
Tess is much. much cheaper to run, however - but then she's a Dogs Trust girl.
Perhaps they're almost as cheap to keep as a Battersea dog!