When did owning a pet become so expensive?

When we were kids, our mom would take us down to the Animal Protective League and we would pick out a dog. It came with shots, records and if I remember correctly, we were out the door for about $25 (no, I am not that old). If the dog needed a husband or wife, we would go back down to the Animal Protective League and pick out another dog. It was very simple and very affordable. 

Today, I can’t seem to get out of the vet’s office under $350. It doesn’t matter what the dog needs or how I preface the conversation by saying "please don’t do any expensive procedures without speaking with me first," the bill is always $350. They will administer ten different things that add up to $350 instead of one procedure. It’s a good trick. It used to be $250 and I thought that was a lot. All I asked for is a heads up on the costs prior to receiving the bill so that I could digest it a bit. 

It seems that today veterinarians are billing us for a lot more. Our pets have become more like investments than companions. It bothers me a bit because I use to think that people became vets because they loved animals. Now, I realize that the profession has become big business!

Today, veterinarian clinics have deluxe facilities, hotels and spas.

I wondered why there were so many new charges on my bill and then I figured it out. I watched the animal spas and daycare locations popping up and guess whose paying for them? The people paying the $350 bills, that’s who! 

Who knew that having a pet would become such a luxury. You can’t include them on your healthcare. I am thinking if the costs continue to increase, it should be an option. Maybe Obama can include pet care as part of his healthcare plan. After all, our pets are getting MRI’s and chemotherapy, regular check-up visits and medication that costs more than people medication. Why not? 

People are spending thousands and thousands of dollars on their pets. When did this happen? When did the veterinarians get so good at guilting us into paying ridiculous amounts of money? Most don’t even tell you what something is going to cost before they administer it. They just look at you like “you want to do everything you can for your pet, don’t you?” Then they hand you a bill that looks like a car payment. When does it stop?   

I know there are good, affordable veterinarians in the area and I don’t mean to generalize. That is not fair. The next time you take your pet to see the veterinarian, take a good look around. Then check out your bill. 

– Colleen Harding, Bay Village

Colleen Harding

Colleen Harding lives in Bay Village

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Volume 3, Issue 24, Posted 3:30 PM, 11.29.2011