People try to tell me how expensive having a dog is. I don’t buy it.
Have they ever considered the money we save by getting a dog?
Getting a Dog Saves You Money, Really
Here’s the short list of ways I’ve saved money by having dogs:
Cable Television - Who needs bad television with a perfectly entertaining dog around the house? And if you’re addicted to Breaking Bad, just foster a couple of puppies. You’ll have lots of broken and plenty of bad (smells) in no time. I figure this saves me around $1200 a year.
Long Distance Calls - Why call friends and family far away when your best friend is right beside you on the couch? Besides, your dog is probably a better listener. Savings? About $900 a year.
Gym Membership - Who needs to sweat with strangers when you can run, hike, walk, and kayak with your dog? That’s about $660 saved.
Parties – You’ll save money on food and liquor when your friends see your dog licking the plates and refuse to eat in your house ever again. Or the stress of preparing a nice dinner in a house with a counter surfing dog convinces you that potluck picnics in the park are the way to go. I’d expect to save at least $500 a year.
Not Having Kids - If you decide you can satisfy your desire to nurture a life by having a dog instead of a child, you’ll save big bucks. I suspect it’s somewhere over $20,000 each year.
Medications – Who needs blood pressure medicine, tranquilizers, and antidepressants with a dog around the house? Okay, maybe you still need your medications. But you probably don’t need as high a dose with a dog for company. Depending on your insurance, this could save you $30 to $3000 a year or more.
Season Tickets to the Local Sports Team - Skip the overpaid prima donnas who make millions of dollars for sitting out the season injured or suspended. My dog is a better fielder than most ball players, she runs faster, and she’s certainly prettier. Depending on where you sit, you could save $1700 to $21,000 a season.
Heating Fuel - The utility companies tell us to turn our thermostat down over the winter to save on heating costs. No way. At least not unless I have a fuzzy lap warmer (all 50 pounds of her) to keep me comfortable. Savings estimated at $300 – $500 a year.
Fashionable Clothing – If it’s going to end up covered in dog hair and slobber, why bother being stylish? Just get whatever’s comfortable at the Salvation Army and call it a day. You could save $3000 a year or more.
My dog Honey is my companion, my friend. She’s worth much more than gold.
So even though I stand to save as much as $51,760 each year, it’s not all about the money. Even if Honey cost me more money than she saved me, I’d love her anyway.
Thank you, Tim, of Christian Personal Finance. Your article, The Real Cost of a Dog, inspired this post.
Your Turn: Does the cost of that ACL surgery or monthly heart worm preventive seem less expensive now? How does your dog save you money?