The Life of Luxury

February 28th, 2007 by Kathy Hawkins

Do you dress your puppy in designer coats? Do you feed her premium, organic dog food that costs more than your own meals? Does she curl up beside you in bed every night?


If so, according to a recent article in USA Today, you’re not alone:

Over the past 100 years, each generation of pet owners has increasingly pampered their animals, to the point where 56% of 8,000 pet owners surveyed this month said their dogs sleep in bed with them.

“Animals used to be considered assets of the farm,” says Carol McConnell, a veterinarian who now works for Veterinary Pet Insurance, which conducted the survey. “Now, they’ve come from the barnyard to the backyard, into the house and into our beds.”

All this pampering comes at a price. In a typical pup’s household, an owner might spend $90 on dry dog food, $600 on vet visits and medicine, $80 on grooming, $75 on toys, and $210 for a 2-week kennel visit, all within one year, for an annual bill of more than $1,000.

For a dog accustomed to the finer things in life, the cost can be drastically higher. Does your pooch start to shiver when the weather turns cold? You could pick up this leather and beaded leopard print coat—for the low, low price of $104.95!

Looking for a stylish designer bed for your four-legged friend? Check out the Wowo Dog Pod, a Jetsons-style contraption with a choice of bamboo or maple wood—it’ll only cost you $749.50.

We all love our dogs and want the best for them. But how much is too much? When you’re spending more on your puppy than you do on your kids, is it time to put the credit card away?

When we first adopted Coco, her fur was completely matted and filthy. We took her straight to the groomer, who had to practically shave her bald to get rid of all the tangles. This was in December, and our poor little girl was so cold that she couldn’t even stand in the yard for a minute without shaking violently. We knew we needed something to keep her warm—so did we go for a $105 designer leather coat?

No. A $3 preemie shirt from a discount store did the trick. We spent the other $102 on treats, toys, and a nice, cozy bed—and still had change left over to buy a little something for ourselves.

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