While maximizing my internet time by remaining highly focused on the task at hand (yeah, right), I came across a Bloomberg article regarding the exorbitant cost of canine companionship. “Tally up the lifetime costs and it’s more than a few college tuitions,” touted the article. They compared “a top-of-the-line Australian Labradoodle living the high life vs. owning an equally-loved mutt or rescue dog whose owner has a more down-to-earth approach.” The items and prices for the Labradoodle were beyond ridiculous, so I threw them out the window and decided to stack my beloved mutt lab Wendell against their hypothetical down-to-earth 50-pound dog in New York City (with a 12-year lifespan, in case you were wondering).
While this isn’t a dog about blogs (there are enough out there already), longtime Mountain Kidd followers know that over the years there has been one constant companion for adventures long and far: Wendell, my black Labrador Retriever mutt. But the article made me wonder – while I couldn’t put a price tag on my dog, just how much does he cost?
Wendell ‘cost’ 500 pesos that I donated to the lady in Mexico who was helping launch a vet clinic and ran a very, very informal pet adoption program. That’s roughly $50US, and I did get him microchipped so I’ll let this cost stand. Yup, Wendell was a street dog in Mexico. How much more “mutt” or “rescue” does it get?
That would be $10 in Wyoming. Clean air is free, too. But I digress.
Yup, gotta have these.
Wendell never asked for a Bible.
Wendell’s crate was $20 at a garage sale. Incidentally, the best garage sales in the universe are in Jackson, Wyoming. Don’t say I never shared my top secrets with you. As for the quilted crate mat, I just move the blanket that was his original bed… genius, right?
Swank bed was free, courtesy of the owner of The Blue Lion in Jackson, Wyoming. It was too small for his dogs. I did spend $10 on a small fleece throw for Wendell that functioned as his bed prior to this windfall.
Wendell came to me at age two, thus saving me this $6 and countless pairs of unchewed chews. It’s easier to not adopt a puppy.
Wendell was two and was never tried to go in the house. If he’s sick (rare), he even scratches at the door to go outside and vomit. That’s a good dog and again, it’s easier to not adopt a puppy.
I taught Wendell his manners.
I don’t know what these are. Nor do I want to.
I’ve bought two pet cleaners, mostly to clean my house up after other peoples dogs. I’ll put $40 in this column.
Pooper scooper? How about “the shovel that you already own”? And I get pick-up bags from the station on our daily walk. My taxes pay for them, anyhow.
Alright, these are fair. I buy Wendell the good food, too.
Checkups and stuff. It’s the responsible thing to do.
No fleas or ticks in Wyoming. There are pluses to living in a bitterly cold climate.
It’s only warm enough to do this half the year, so I’ll add half this number.
They make vitamins for dogs? Really?
From here, the article starts to get just silly in my eyes. $4,348.00 in premiums on catastrophic pet insurance? Really? And Wendell’s grooming category falls under sunk costs such as “the garden hose” and “the dish soap”. Don’t even get me started on the doggie clothes for the dog and the doggie-related clothes for the human. Buying a dog that is comfortable in your chosen climate is a lot cheaper. Pugs get cold in Wyoming, Huskies get hot in Arizona. Is this really a surprise to anyone?
The lifetime total for the hypothetical mutt was (are you sitting down?) $59,668.88, but as you can see there are a number of costs that my mutt doesn’t incur. However, even with my fairly minimalist approach (my dog doesn’t even like toys), I’ve ran the cost of Wendell up to five digits. For this, I get constant adoration and a willing mountain bike and ski buddy 365 days a year, which is a pretty good value in my eyes.
Read full article: Labradoodle vs. Mutt: The Real Cost of Owning a Dog.