Imagine that you arrive home to find that your beloved family canine has ingested nearly half a bag of chocolate chips. While this is upsetting, it is not a new endeavor for your pup. You just hope he doesn’t vomit his delicious snack onto the newly steamed rug. However, after looking through the graveyard of scraps on your kitchen floor, you realize that Fido has also taken a fondness for the expensive biscotti that you thought had been safely put away in a cupboard. Although this is now a cause for worry, you simply assume that, along with the chocolate chips, the biscotti will simply end up somewhere inconvenient.
However, after an hour and a half of unsuccessful dry-heaving, you make the decision to take the dog to the emergency veterinarian. Your children would be devastated if anything happened to their favorite furry pal, so after 35 minutes of speeding down the highway and a little doggy sick on the floor mat, you arrive at the vet. She checks the dog out and informs you that the biscotti have expanded in the dog’s stomach, effectively trapping the chocolate chips inside. An emergency procedure must be performed to remove the chocolate/biscotti mass from the dog’s stomach. This surgery will cost approximately $3200 dollars.
Sudden expenses are one of the unacknowledged problems with having a domesticated animal sharing a living space with humans. Emergency procedures present a cost in addition to the $1000 that some estimate it will cost in the first year of adopting a dog. Still, people love dogs, and they always will, so they will shell out the cash to make sure their best friend is healthy and happy.
Many people are faced with tough decisions regarding family dogs. They sneakily assimilate into a familial role in the home, worming their way into the hearts of adults and children alike. Still, having a pet is expensive, especially because even if a home is completely “puppy proofed,” the animal is still able to tear apart a living room and ingest several indigestible objects in the most adorable way possible.
One option people usually do not consider is purchasing an insurance plan for their pet. There are actually many companies that specialize in dog insurance, and people can compare rates to determine what the best plan is for their situation.
Veterinarians have noted an increase in the amount of dogs that fall ill after eating chocolate, but pet illnesses are not simply limited to experimental food consumption.
Many people without pet insurance are dissuaded by the fact that over the course of the pet’s lifetime, the cost of the insurance could accumulate and the pet would be fortunate enough to never need costly emergency care. Additionally, if the cost of a procedure becomes too expensive, owners do have the option of simply putting the animal down. However, along with medical technology for humans, medical technology for pets has also improved. Treatments previously only possible for humans, such as kidney transplants, are now able to be provided for pets. Furthermore, medical technology is only going to advance. According to the American Pet Products Association, in 2009, Americans spent $45.4 billion on their pets, 27% of which was estimated to have been spent on veterinary care. A wide variety of pet illnesses now have treatments; good news for an individual willing to do anything for their pet. However, the cost of these treatments is reflected in the increased technology.
Perhaps 40 some years ago, the cost of having a pet might have been insignificant. However, strives in the medical field have not been limited simply to treatment; veterinarians are able to detect disease with a much higher rate of accuracy with new techniques and equipment. Sometimes, the diagnostic equipment and methods used to merely attempt to find the disease could cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Pet adoption is a wonderful thing, especially when an animal is provided with a loving home. However, this does not come without expense, especially unforeseen expenses that arise from keeping a curious and energetic creature in your home. Still, any animal adopted deserves to live a full life, regardless of the accidents it may get into or diseases it may develop. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
- Written by Eve Pearce