kids vs dogs

I was scrolling through some very important new stories online about Britney Spears, Twilight, and other world changing issues when I came across an article much less important but still interesting.  The article . “Pricetag to raise a child-” was not so much shocking to me, but oddly made me happy.   According to the USDA (which I’m still unsure why they are in the business of prediction child rearing prices when we have issues like mad cow and swine flu…)

A middle-income family can expect to spend $291,570 including inflation to raise a child born in 2008 to adulthood (…) The figure does not include the cost of childbirth or college.

Wow!  That is a lot of benjamins for something that poos in it’s pants for 3-4 years, then relies on you for constant supervision and chaufer services for another 12 years, then rebels against you and hates you for another 2-3 years before just up and leaving your house while you pay the bill for them to party for 4 more years then moves far away and never calls.   Do I really want to spend almost $300,000 on that?

I get the question all the time, “Do you want to have kids?”.  My first inclination is always to respond, maybe I meet a guy, fall in love, get engaged, get married, live married life for a few years then decide, but everyone seems in a hurry to know if I want kids as if the prior life stages are merely a toll booth on the way to motherhood.

Five years ago when I was in college and trying to decide what I was gonna do with my life I would’ve said, “yes!” right away and say I want 2 or 3 kids, but now I’m hesitant to answer at all.  I love kids, I will offer to babysit my friend’s children anytime, but I’m 90% sure I really don’t want my own.  Maybe the idea of finding the love of my life first  is clouding my judgement, but I honestly am not really concerned if I have children or not.

Back to the article.  I was reading about spending $300,000 plus birthing expenses and college tuition on a child and I got to thinking, “How much does raising an average dog cost?”  Sometimes I feel like having a dog is similar to having kids, but I’m sure all you new moms would beg to differ.

Either way, I did a few calculations being very generous with vet bills, boarding expenses for travel, food, etc and decided that to raise my little dog Lane, who is much smaller than “average” but will live longer than a larger dog and decided it will cost about $15,000, which does not include breeding/purchase/adoption fees, or training classes.  I decided those things are like childbirth and college.

So $300,000 for someone who will argue with you most of their life, cause you stress, and leave you for bigger & better things, or $15,000 for something that will love you unconditionally and always show it, relieve your stress, and stay by your side until they die.

You can make the choice but I’ll stick with option #2 for now!  Here’s my “baby’!


2 thoughts on “kids vs dogs

  1. You could save yourself $15K by not even having a dog. That’s pretty much my plan. Unless Elizabeth convinces me otherwise.


    1. True…but what would be the fun in that? I estimate Lane really only cost $8000-$10000, but I was being generous. You never know, the way Elizabeth has taken to Lane she may change her mind about dogs. Monday when we were eating dinner Lane couldn’t make it up on the bench so without thinking Elizabeth just reached down and picked her up to help her…now that is progress!


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