Vegetarian Pet Owners ?

in Home Expenses, Money

Pets Are Vegans Now?

It is interesting to see how various industries pander to folks who seem to have a heck of a lot of disposable income, and they seem to create new lifestyle concepts and ideas, witness the sudden outbreak of Vegetarian Food lines for your dogs and cats.

Nothing screams disposable income louder to me than the concept of “designer foods” for your pets, especially vegetarian diets for your pet. There are some pets where a vegetarian diet is just fine: hamsters, gerbils, rabbits and other domesticated rodents. Deciding that your dog or cat should have a designer vegetarian diet is a different matter. Dogs and cats, even domesticated ones, are omnivores, and can (and maybe should) have meat in their diets.


This pet IS a vegetarian

I realize that in some instances your pet’s diet will change, as they get older, and their digestive system gets older, but really folks this whole: going into serious debt for the family pet is getting a little over the top (in my opinion).


I have already discussed spending $3000 to have an operation on your Golden Retrievers hip, but spending premium money for pet food is even more insidious, since that is a weekly drain above and beyond for your pet. If a pet is going to be this expensive, can you really afford the pet in the first place?

If a pet came with a typical monthly costs or budget, my guess would be that the sales of pets would drop dramatically. Most folks add a pet to a family thinking of how much it cost when they were kids, but the game has completely changed now. Veterinary sciences is now a huge business, pet food is another big business and when I was a kid there was no such thing as pet health insurance.

I do own two cats, but my wife and I are talking about not having any more pets after this due to costs, and allergies in our family.

How much are your pets costing you?

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{ 13 comments… add one }
  • GGG June 8, 2011, 2:46 PM

    I wouldn’t dream of regularly eating processed foods, so why would I feed it to my pets? Imagine how you’d feel if you ate hot dogs and chef boyardee at every meal?

    Feeding pets doesn’t need to cost any more than it does to feed yourself or your kids – just do a bit of research and go to the grocery store! Of course, most people know that the processed, pre-prepared food people eat is not only bad for you, but more expensive than making it yourself. The same holds true for pet food. Cost isn’t necessarily the issue, but laziness might be.

  • My Own Advisor May 30, 2011, 8:08 PM

    Food, toys and medical care probably run us on average about $75/month, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We enjoy having our cat around and hopefully we will for many, many years.

  • Bankruptcy Ben May 30, 2011, 8:36 PM

    I have 2 vegetarian dogs. I’ve a vego so it didn’t seem to make alot of sense to kill animals for the dogs. it’s actually cheaper than normal food. 2 cups of lentils to 1 cup of rice is the base and then i just add left over vege’s and some vege oil and some molases for iron. The vet always tells me they’re in great condition. I don’t know what the issue is.

    • bigcajunman May 31, 2011, 6:07 AM

      Mostly folks who spend Hundreds of dollars a month on “Special Vegan” diets, you seem to have it down (I applaud your frugality).

  • Kendra May 30, 2011, 2:23 PM

    I own a 3 year old beagle, who – until experiencing hip issues about 6 months ago – costs me about $250/month in food, toys, accessories, grooming and daycare. In recent addition, quarterly chiropractic appointments ($80) and various ear-cleaning solutions; he’s become an expensive addition to our family. The fact that I didn’t insure him as a puppy (where the vet/health costs are potentially covered) it would have been ~$50/month for his life, which would be $1800, it may very well equate. All in all, I’d say we ‘broke even’ on the pet insurance thing. Heaven knows what’s next with him though.

    Anyone considering purchasing a pet, should budget at least $100/month in the beginning, especially with spay/neuter, vaccinations and micro-chipping.

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter May 30, 2011, 1:18 PM

    I grew up with pets and I plan to have more in the future. They don’t have to be that expensive. Sure the odd medical bill might happen but they are family and it is just something you do. I think this is the frame of mind people need to adjust to before they get a pet; make sure they can handle it.

    You can also feed your dog a cheap vegetarian diet if you want too. I know friends that do this and their animals are super healthy.

    Don’t buy brand name food and you’ll be fine.

  • breezilla May 30, 2011, 12:30 PM

    I think buying the cheapest food for your pet is short-sighted. We do buy premium high quality (emphasis on high quality) dog food (not vegetarian) for our dog–but buying premium food means high quality people-grade ingredients and results in less health problems now and in the future. You also have to feed twice the amount of the cheap food compared to the high quality stuff.

  • Jr Deputy Accountant May 30, 2011, 10:24 AM

    I inherited my 14 year old cat from my mother when she passed away last year… I was always amazed at the insurance policies, vet bills and dental cleanings she sunk into the cat, and maybe a little offended as I don’t remember my mom sinking that kind of money into *my* care when I was a child and here she was spending money she didn’t have on the cat. It wouldn’t matter if she had bucketloads of disposable income but let’s just say that was not the case.

    I spend $15 on a case of wet food a month, and maybe $8 every two weeks for litter. That’s it. I used to pick her up toys and things from the grocery store on every other shopping trip but she doesn’t play with them at her age, what’s the point?

    I, too, have to laugh when I see the ads for refrigerated (read: premium) pet food. People are just that gullible.

    • bigcajunman May 30, 2011, 10:30 AM

      Maybe your mother was sinking all that money into the cat to protect your inheritance? 🙂 Yes, bad taste, I am sorry.

  • krantcents May 30, 2011, 9:36 AM

    We have a medium (Cocker Spaniel) size dog. The average cost of $25 per month.

    • bigcajunman May 30, 2011, 9:43 AM

      Holy cow, that is mighty cheap for a dog, is that your budget or your actual outlay?

  • Sustainable PF May 30, 2011, 7:58 AM

    Our pets have cost us quite a bit this year. One cat had to get some dental work, and then he and another cat got an infection.


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