Author Topic: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?  (Read 25668 times)

James

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Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« on: April 17, 2012, 09:51:32 AM »
I'll start by saying we have a pug dog.  She is well loved and I can't see getting rid of her at this point, but we have had a decent amount of regret in getting a dog.  The cost of food is not tremendous, nor is she is not spoiled with toys, and we don't spend on grooming or other expenses.  But the vet bills, heart worm pills, invisible fencing, etc add up.  The town requires registration with a fee, and when we go places it's just a general hassle to find care while we are gone for more than half a day.  If we are successful in selling our house it's going to get interesting finding rentals that allow an inside dog, and it might more inconvenient in the next location we move after that.

I came across an article today about the cost and benefits of having a dog that got me wondering what the Mustachian opinion would be regarding pets in general. http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2012/04/17/the-costs-and-benefits-of-the-family-dog/

It mostly got me thinking about whether I would still get a dog today if I had the option, since I'm a totally different person than the guy who got our dog five years ago.  My values have changed, my thoughts on money have changed, and my goals have changed.  On the other hand, my desire to bring experiences into the lives our of kids had not changed, and having a dog is one of those experiences it's hard to put a price on for kids.  The several thousand we have spent on our dog over five years would grow to a significant amount by retirement, whether that's in ten years or 25 years, so I the question weighs the future benefit of that money against the current "benefit" of having a dog.  That will necessarily be different for every individual, but I'm interested in what, if anything, Mustachian principles have to say on the matter.  Thoughts?

arebelspy

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2012, 10:10:29 AM »
Quote
Do pets fit in Mustachian living?

Yes!  The Beauty of Mustachianism is the conscious choices in spending and the cutting out of wasteful spending allows you to choose where you want to spend your money.

Be that pets, travel, whatever.

Different Mustachian folks will spend their money different ways.  For some, pets aren't worth it.  For others, they'd draw a line (i.e. no expensive surgery to save it).  Others might not.  Any of these ideas are compatible with Mustachianism.

Mustachianism isn't just not spending money.   Otherwise having kids would never be Mustachian.  It's more about not wasting money so that you can spend it on what's important to you.  If that's pets, that's fine.
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Brett

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2012, 10:10:54 AM »
This is a great question. I don't have a dog at the moment, partly because I really can't afford to, partly because the place I rent doesn't allow them. I think given that the idea of mustachianism is reaching a point at which you can maintain the lifestyle that you want to live indeterminately. If having a dog is part of that lifestyle, then sure it sets back your FI a little, but that's the life you want and the time it'll take to get there. It's similar to choosing to have kids. You make the decision to have them, they set your FI back a bit, but it's worth the sacrifice if they are part of the life you want.

Does that make sense? What I'm trying to say is don't view the dog as an obstacle to FI, rather as a part of your life that you want to be able to support when you have reached FI. Unless you decide you don't want the dog, in which case please find it a good home.

Bethany J

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 06:03:21 PM »
I consider my dog my third child ;) He is a miniature poodle, so he gets groomed every 3 weeks at $35 each. His food costs $40 a month, etc etc. Honestly, I don't even think about the costs much. He needs to get groomed, he needs to eat, and he needs to go to the vet. The cost is irrelevent, he is a part of our family. To me, one of the benefits of being debt free, saving lots of money, frugality
is that you are able to spend where it means the most to you and not really have to think or worry about it.

Parizade

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2012, 08:21:37 PM »
I grew up on a farm, so dogs and cats were not just pets. They had important roles to play in pest control and security. In that context they were very cost effective and consequently very mustachian.

When I got a dog and a cat as an adult I expected them to play the same roles, which they did. As a single woman I felt much safer after I got a pet pit bull and was able to sleep more soundly. And mine was the only house on the block that did not have any mice problem.

Humans domesticated dogs and cats for a reason, and those reasons are just as valid today as they were a thousand years ago. The emotional benefits are very real too but icing on the cake IMHO.

sol

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2012, 09:02:11 PM »
When my wife moved in, with her two dogs, those damn animals cost me about $1000 in materials for a new fence.  Not to mention all of the hours required to build the damn thing.

zinnie

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2012, 10:24:34 AM »
To me, having a dog is sort of my cheaper/ easier alternative to having a child. Sure, it's a pain to find care when you want to go out of town, but you can leave them home alone all day. And they're ridiculously straightforward and easy to train. I guess I just compare it to how much more expensive children would be, and how much they would limit my freedom, and two small dogs seems like a steal :)

What do others spend on their dogs? We estimate that in a year for two dogs we spend $400 for vet bills, $240 for heartworm medication, $240 for food, $100 for misc/ chewing toys/ rawhides. So a little under $1000 total? But mine are both around 12 pounds so they don't eat a lot. I supplement their calories by giving them anything I'd throw in the compost bin that is good for them (veggies/fruit scraps), so this saves a bit on food.

I guess I agree that it's about what is worth it to you to spend money on. I'd rather cut back in other areas of my life because they make me happy! They come after friends/ family but certainly before any of the "stuff" I would buy instead.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 12:43:35 PM by zinnie »

AJ

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2012, 01:13:46 PM »
I grew up on a farm, so dogs and cats were not just pets. They had important roles to play in pest control and security. In that context they were very cost effective and consequently very mustachian.

Ha! We just bought a lawn tractor to maintain our three acres. My neighbor, however, keeps goats and sheep. His yard (if you can call 10 acres a "yard") is always nice and short, plus he can eat them. It would have been cheaper for us to run a hot wire around our property and keep goats than buy the tractor, I just wasn't ready to deal with livestock again. Still, I regard him as the smart one. Food + free grass cutting = mustachian lawn care :)

I too would also feel better with a big dog around. My pom-pom is great for letting me know when someone is at the house, but he would be rather ineffective at actually keeping anyone out.

Plus, studies have shown that people who keep pets live longer. In that sense, isn't it somewhat like spending more for healthy food? Or investing in good running shoes to keep in shape?

nolajo

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2012, 05:03:53 PM »
Ha! We just bought a lawn tractor to maintain our three acres. My neighbor, however, keeps goats and sheep. His yard (if you can call 10 acres a "yard") is always nice and short, plus he can eat them. It would have been cheaper for us to run a hot wire around our property and keep goats than buy the tractor, I just wasn't ready to deal with livestock again. Still, I regard him as the smart one. Food + free grass cutting = mustachian lawn care :)

I too would also feel better with a big dog around. My pom-pom is great for letting me know when someone is at the house, but he would be rather ineffective at actually keeping anyone out.

Plus, studies have shown that people who keep pets live longer. In that sense, isn't it somewhat like spending more for healthy food? Or investing in good running shoes to keep in shape?

Not to mention the wool! I would be willing to bet if he played his cards right, he could even find someone who would pay him to shear the sheep and goats for him.

In defense of your pom-pom though, intruders tend to dislike small dogs more than big dogs precisely because of that fact - a lot of big dogs are actually less likely to bark and it's the noise that tends to dissuade criminals. I can't wait until a dog can be part of my life, but right now I'm placing a premium on mobility. It'll have to wait for now and in the meantime I just play with as many of my friends' dogs as I can.

James

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2012, 05:42:30 PM »
Ha! We just bought a lawn tractor to maintain our three acres. My neighbor, however, keeps goats and sheep. His yard (if you can call 10 acres a "yard") is always nice and short, plus he can eat them. It would have been cheaper for us to run a hot wire around our property and keep goats than buy the tractor, I just wasn't ready to deal with livestock again. Still, I regard him as the smart one. Food + free grass cutting = mustachian lawn care :)

We had goats to tame parts of our property growing up also, could never understand how they could eat prickly ash...  And their milk didn't taste so great after they ate it either.  :D

I agree that it's a very mustachian method though.

Parizade

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2012, 07:54:22 PM »
In defense of your pom-pom though, intruders tend to dislike small dogs more than big dogs precisely because of that fact - a lot of big dogs are actually less likely to bark and it's the noise that tends to dissuade criminals.

Very true, check out this video of a chihuahua chasing off some armed robbers to see just how effective those little dogs can be...

http://youtu.be/cyHeM4KGXxA

catalana

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2012, 07:45:18 AM »
Hmmmmm I'm on the fence with this one.  We've got two big dogs and a cat, and love them dearly.  They do however cost several thousand PER YEAR to keep.  This is because we feed them top quality dry food, keep on top of all their vaccinations and the dogs have expensive insurance.

However.....

.... most of our leisure time is spent doing stuff outdoors with the dogs - and it is free or cheap!

So they are frugal because we don't want to holiday abroad without them.  We don't eat out much because we cannot take them with us.  And there is nothing to beat getting up on a sunny morning, taking the short trip along to the beach (with a thermos of tea) and walking along the shore in the dawn sunshine.

FI for me would mean doing more stuff like this, and I cannot imagine walking the scottish highlands without my dogs by my side.


onehappypanda

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2012, 03:27:33 PM »
I guess it depends on how you look at it.

My cat costs me a decent amount of money in yearly vet visits and decent food, not to mention the costs of finding a landlord that will allow her and often paying additional pet deposits and such. And she doesn't have much in the way of utility, given that she'd probably run from a mouse sooner than she'd chase one (and I don't have mice anyway, thankfully). But she's a good companion, she's been with me for years, and I'm close to her.

So she's not Mustachian in the sense that she's never going to save me money. But I've made the conscious choice to keep spending on her in part because I consider her a commitment- I'd never dump a poor animal just because it became inconvenient to me- and in part because I love having her around. I'd rather be a pet owner and retire a bit later in life than never have pets and retire early. I love animals, so that's a choice I've made.

From what I've gathered, Mustachianism is questioning standard spending habits so you can spend on the things that are truly important to you. My pet is important to me, both as a commitment that I made when I adopted her 12 years ago, and as a longtime companion. I think about it probably in much the same way as other people think about having kids- yeah they suck up a ton of money and time, and many people could retire much earlier if they don't have pets or kids, but it's up to each person to decide if it's worth it to them. To me, pet ownership is worth it, regardless of any utility or monetary calculations.

Sparky

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2012, 08:16:17 PM »
I'm in shock on how much people spend on their pets. Pets are cheap, feed them, fix them, pay attention to them and they'll love you forever. Money wise, they are worth having around. However it is a huge pain in the butt when you want to go travelling to places where you can not take them. My family has become rather limited in travelling because of owning a dog ("dog gets lonely")

AJ

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2012, 10:45:41 AM »
I'm in shock on how much people spend on their pets.

Really?

Annual checkup: $45
Shots: $20-60 (if done at checkup)
Food: $10-$100 a month depending on size and special needs
Flea treatments: $16 a month
Misc vet issue: say $100 a year averaged out over their lifetime

That's a rough average of $977 a year per pet. More if they're big and old (i.e. more special needs), less if they're small and young. That doesn't include spending extra to live in a place that will have them, or the cost to acquire them and fix them, or litter if it is an indoor cat, or replace chewed/peed on items if it is a puppy, etc.

James

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2012, 12:12:16 PM »
That's one reason I started the thread, people often don't know what kind of expense they are getting themselves into when purchasing a pet.  Certainly costs will vary quite a bit, and there are often ways to limit the costs, but knowing up front is what's important.

velocistar237

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2012, 01:35:02 PM »
Some breeds have more health problems than others.

Mr. ERE Himself has a pug.

Brett

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2012, 10:24:19 AM »
Some breeds have more health problems than others.

Mr. ERE Himself has a pug.

That is a big consideration that I don't know if enough people take into account when getting a pet. I'm kinda fortunate I guess in that when I do get a dog, I don't really like the breeds that end up with health issues, so I'll not have to worry too much about that.

Man this thread is just making me want a dog again.

kolorado

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2012, 08:09:17 PM »
$1K a year would be a lot to lose in our income range and would significantly reduce our ability to save. And that's assuming we get a pet in good health that doesn't like to damage things. My mother and sister both have small dogs and spend close to $2000 a year on them between special foods, vet visits, standard medications and grooming.
I agree that a huge part of frugal living is to be able to have the freedom to spend in ways closer to your heart. Pets have never been a part of mine. Too dirty, too nosy, too noisy and underfoot for me. My older children have processing disorders that have created a natural aversion to animals but my youngest is completely in love with every dog she gets to meet and pet and play with. My plan is to have her volunteer, when she's older, at a rescue or a boarding center and eventually be a regular pet-sitter if she still loves spending time with animals. We don't need to have one in our home and assume the expense when there are thousands that need care above that which their owners can give or previous owners have given.

Parizade

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2012, 06:47:42 PM »
My plan is to have her volunteer, when she's older, at a rescue or a boarding center and eventually be a regular pet-sitter if she still loves spending time with animals. We don't need to have one in our home and assume the expense when there are thousands that need care above that which their owners can give or previous owners have given.

What an excellent idea! My son volunteered at a shelter when he was in high school and really enjoyed it. Another option is fostering. Most shelters need foster families to take in new animals and assess them for adoptability. You get to have a dog or cat for a couple of weeks when you feel like it, then you give them back. Best of both worlds.

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2012, 02:56:26 PM »
This is a good question.  I have a cat and she is fairly cheap, given that she's had no medical problems.  However, she destroys everything in the house so in that sense she is blooming expensive.  It would've been cheaper to get a dog.  Financially, she wasn't worth it since the house now needs Redecorating, but then I do love her!

Richard3

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2012, 05:18:07 PM »
Money is for spending on things that make you happy. If you make a conscious decision that a dog would make you happier than the future income that what you spend on the dog could generate, then it's a sensible decision.

If you just get a dog because it looked so cute in the window of the pet store then it's not a good decision.

Heather

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2012, 08:50:21 AM »
Our dogs are expensive, because they are super high energy so we feed them expensive food, and they eat a lot.   

One thing that can save money if you are good with measuring, following directions, and you trust your calculator: You can buy bulk ivermectin (used for heartworm preventative) at farm stores.  We use the sheep drench, and carefully follow the directions for dogs, which can be found at various places on the web.   It's important to use the directions which match the concentration of the product you bought, since there is an injectable cattle preparation which is much stronger, so don't use the wrong stuff.   Not recommended for use on collies or collie mixes, because they are more sensitive to it, and so there is a lower threshold for error with them.  For other dogs, the general worming dosage is way higher than the heartworm dosage, so  there's safety room.   
Our dogs like their monthly dose on toast, with peanut butter.

We live in an area with a very low incidence of heartworm, so the risk from under-dosing is minimal too.

Most foolish vet expense so far: We had a dog on thyroid supplements for 10 years.  It turned out to be a mis-diagnosis, and he is now off thyroid supplements at age 15, and doing fine.   Some dogs just seem to test low.





Heather

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2012, 08:59:22 AM »
My vet friend says that when clients bring in a Pug puppy, veterinarians see dollar signs.

Healthy dogs can be really expensive too though:
Some of our vet expenses:
- Dog eats inappropriate object that becomes lodged inside and must be extracted surgically.
- Dogs get in fight, and need repairs.
- Dog tries his luck with a porcupine and gets lots of quills inside the mouth.

The only way I know to deal with these things is just to swallow hard, close the eyes, and hold out the credit card.
Although, I did find out one thing:  one of our dogs has a heart murmur, so can't be sedated to get stitches.  Instead he got stapled, which was a lot cheaper!  It seemed to work just as well.


Uncephalized

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2012, 10:04:25 AM »
We love our animals dearly. 2 cats (hers) and 1 dog (mine) in our household.

They certainly do curtail our freedom somewhat, though, make it harder to travel, and they do cost some money. I don't think we'll be running right out to replace them when they die, though I imagine I will want a dog again someday.

One thing I won't do is pay ridiculous amounts of money to keep him alive if he gets sick or badly injured. In the end he's not a person, he's a dog, and I'm not going to spend my whole emergency fund to save a dog, even if he is the best dog evar.

He also provides services. We have lived several places with high property crime (including our current neighborhood), and never once had a breakin or anything stolen or damaged. My old roommates got broken into right after I moved out (twice!), and one of them has had subsequent apartments burglarized several times since. Houses have been broken into on this block several times in the past few months, but so far we're clear--and I expect it's partly because we have a big dog with big teeth, an even bigger bark, and a very ominous growl which he deploys whenever he detects an unidentified person at the door. I think he's an excellent theft deterrent. Not getting burgled is worth the ~$45/mo in food (he eats bone-in raw chicken, giblets, beef meat/liver/heart, and eggs) and occasional vaccine boosters, and then some. Plus he's an excellent exercise buddy and generally a fun little dude.

He was a skinny, nervous, tick-infested little mutt from the pound when we got him, and now he's a big, strong, happy mutt and about the best dog I could have asked for. :-) I would totally recommend getting a pound mutt to anyone thinking about a dog, btw. Cheaper, just as great as any purebred, and usually WAY fewer health issues (he's had NO unexpected veterinary expenses in 5 years of ownership).
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 10:45:09 AM by Uncephalized »

sideways8

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2012, 10:24:21 AM »
Wow I've been very lucky so far with my pets (3 cats, 2 dogs). Six years and no major problems. My older dog is on meds but they're really cheap (~$30 for three month's supply). I'm the only human in the house so I really appreciate the companionship, especially at night after reading scary stories or watching scary movies!

I love puppies just like anyone but after adopting an adult dog, I think I'll be going in that direction in the future. The DISTANT future since I don't have plans to immediately replace any of my current pets when they pass away.


Heather

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2012, 12:23:01 PM »
I agree sideways8, mature dogs are nice additions to a household.   They aren't as likely to chew on things you want to keep, you know what their personality is going to be like, and they are ready to learn coolest tricks right away. 

One frugal thing our dogs do for us is to eat leftovers.  They like pretty much everything except lettuce.  I've been known to take home the leftover hamburger patties from the work barbecue, to distribute to the boys.  As long as it isn't  over salted, it's  good food.   They still get the majority of their calories from dog food, so we don't have to worry about nutrition balance.
We keep the dogs slim and muscular by adjusting their daily dog food portion every day in response to their current condition.  It's amazing how their calorie needs vary between summer and winter.   

Keeping an overweight dog is a foolish waste of money.  The extra food is just feeding the fat, and being overweight often ruins their health in the long term, causing diabetes and joint issues and the associated vet bills.   It's so much easier for a dog to be happy, active and slim, than for us humans who have opposable thumbs and can open the fridge.

Uncephalized

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2012, 12:26:31 PM »
Keeping an overweight dog is a foolish waste of money.  The extra food is just feeding the fat, and being overweight often ruins their health in the long term, causing diabetes and joint issues and the associated vet bills.   It's so much easier for a dog to be happy, active and slim, than for us humans who have opposable thumbs and can open the fridge.
Yeah, I actually sometimes wish that someone would hand me a bowl full of nutritionally-balanced food every day like my dog gets. I would probably be less fat. :-)

tooqk4u22

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2012, 12:49:54 PM »
Money is for spending on things that make you happy. If you make a conscious decision that a dog would make you happier than the future income that what you spend on the dog could generate, then it's a sensible decision.

Agree with this. Having pets is in no way a frugal lifestyle choice and is no different then having beer, a car, cable (gasp!), or anything else that requires an initial, ongoing, or future expense.

But if it makes you happy and you are willing to trade time for that then so be it. 

Jamesqf

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2012, 02:14:05 PM »
Keeping an overweight dog is a foolish waste of money.  The extra food is just feeding the fat, and being overweight often ruins their health in the long term, causing diabetes and joint issues and the associated vet bills.   It's so much easier for a dog to be happy, active and slim, than for us humans who have opposable thumbs and can open the fridge.

Don't overlook the effects of, and need for, exercise, both for dogs & humans.  From what I've seen, most people don't give their dogs anywhere near enough.  Just going for a walk isn't really sufficient for a medium to large dog (unless s/he is running free in the country).  Mine would happily come on a 10 mile or so mountain bike ride every day; the younger one will keep up when I'm hitting 20 mph.  And of course the need to give the dogs their exercise makes sure I get exercise too.

As for spending money on critters, dogs and cats just don't compare to horses :-)

bogart

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #30 on: July 13, 2012, 02:26:40 PM »

One thing that can save money if you are good with measuring, following directions, and you trust your calculator: You can buy bulk ivermectin (used for heartworm preventative) at farm stores.  We use the sheep drench, and carefully follow the directions for dogs, which can be found at various places on the web.   It's important to use the directions which match the concentration of the product you bought, since there is an injectable cattle preparation which is much stronger, so don't use the wrong stuff.   ...
Our dogs like their monthly dose on toast, with peanut butter.


I do this too, though I use the cow wormer (appropriately dosed, of course).  I've been injecting mine into fish-oil capsule cases (after sucking the fish oil out!), though I may explore the toast/PB alternative!  One of my dogs is a weirdly picky eater, though, so that may not work for us.

You can also buy dog and cat vaccines, except rabies, at the farm supply store at least in my state and they are easy to give (sub-Q).  Our state holds rabies clinics which, if you get to one, gets a 3-year shot for $5.  Check, though, on your vet:  mine is OK with me giving the (non-rabies) shots, but some will not treat an animal that hasn't got certification of vaccination through a vet.

OTOH, I just spent ~$500 to have a lump that had gotten too big to ignore excised from one of my dog's feet.  Oh well...

elincolnp

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #31 on: July 13, 2012, 02:38:35 PM »
I want to follow up on the idea of fostering! My boyfriend and I didn't want to commit to a pet, so we signed up with the local MSPCA. So far, we fostered a guinea pig, a rabbit and a dog, and they all went on to find nice homes. It was great, because it helped me figure out what animals I would actually want to own, and what I was looking for in an animal, as well as problems I didn't forsee. Also, they pay for all food, expenses and vet bills.


WageSlave

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #32 on: July 13, 2012, 04:43:59 PM »
Growing up in the country (though not a farm) we always had cats and dogs.  It's hard to imagine life without pets.

We have two cats currently.  I really want a dog, but my wife says no until both kids are potty trained (and kid #2 isn't even conceived yet, so that's a ways off).

But the two cats have been fairly cheap, until one of them started spraying.  First we were spending lots of money on Feliway, hoping that would stop it.  Then we spent nearly $1000 for the vet to run all kinds of tests.  Now he's on meds, which are only $4 for a three-week supply (feels cheap after everything else).

My neighbor, however, keeps goats and sheep. His yard (if you can call 10 acres a "yard") is always nice and short, plus he can eat them. It would have been cheaper for us to run a hot wire around our property and keep goats than buy the tractor, I just wasn't ready to deal with livestock again. Still, I regard him as the smart one. Food + free grass cutting = mustachian lawn care :)

Will he really eat them?  In that case---at least to me---those sheep and goats would be livestock, not pets.  I couldn't eat a pet, where a pet is an animal with which I've developed an emotional bond.  I could drink its milk or sell its wool, but I don't think I could eat it.  I could eat its brother I never met without thinking about it.  Irrational, but that's how I am!

My mom said they had a pig as a pet growing up.  It was the runt from a neighbor farmer's litter.  My grandpa told me he wanted to butcher it when it got old, but my mom and her siblings had grown too attached.  So it got a "proper" pet-style burial.

smalllife

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #33 on: July 13, 2012, 05:21:48 PM »
Pets are like kids, except that asking the question "Do kids fit into Mustachian living?" isn't nearly as socially acceptable.  Some people can't live without them and others think they aren't worth the price and sacrifice.


Uncephalized

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #34 on: July 13, 2012, 05:31:47 PM »
We have two cats currently.  I really want a dog, but my wife says no until both kids are potty trained (and kid #2 isn't even conceived yet, so that's a ways off).
Point her to this research that shows that kids who are raised with dogs from an early age grow up with stronger immune systems and fewer infections than kids in dog-free households.

Will

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #35 on: July 13, 2012, 08:04:32 PM »
They say "You can't buy love."  Really?  You can buy a dog.  Same thing!

Rangifer

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #36 on: July 13, 2012, 10:22:55 PM »
If you want a pet but don't want to end up with big bills you can just adopt a dog from the pound. If/when any issues pop up just take the dog back and adopt a new one. The dog will consider it a really long vacation from the pound and you get a cheap pet for a while.






I'm totally kidding, but reading most of the posts in this thread it seems fairly clear how each person views the value of a pet.

happy

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #37 on: July 13, 2012, 11:13:28 PM »
If you are getting a pet please strongly consider getting a rescue animal or an animal from the pound. Western societies breed many more animals than are required.

Make sure you can afford vet care and good quality food and housing.  On the other hand don't fall into anti-moustachianisms: eg over-feeding said animal, toys, diamante outfits etc, showering them with material goods as if they were a person.

As others have suggested  if you don't want the never-ending responsibility try petsitting, or fostering, or even a family/friend arrangement where someone agrees to look after the animal/s when the owners are away.

We have 6 rescue guineapigs. They make manure and their bedding turns into compost (reducing my need to purchase such things).  The cheapest and best food is freshly picked grass, which is good exercise. I do feed them other things but try to get grass as often as I can to reduce costs. I learned to clip their toenails to save paying for it to be done.

sideways8

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #38 on: July 13, 2012, 11:54:28 PM »
A plus about adopting an adult cat- NO KITTEN FARTS. Those are the worst and they always fart on you when you're holding them. Gross.

Jamesqf

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #39 on: July 14, 2012, 12:25:41 AM »
I couldn't eat a pet, where a pet is an animal with which I've developed an emotional bond.  I could drink its milk or sell its wool, but I don't think I could eat it.  I could eat its brother I never met without thinking about it.  Irrational, but that's how I am!

Seems pretty rational to me.  It's simple predator ethics: you don't eat your friends.

bogart

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2012, 12:50:30 PM »
It didn't come up in the original thread, but I'll note too that depending on your pet(s), goals, and circumstances, the responsibilities (vet visits) and/or recreation (long walks in the woods with dog) they entail can be a major obstacle to gas-powered-vehicle-free living. 

Perpetual_Student

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #41 on: July 16, 2012, 01:09:15 PM »
I think a better question is: is having a child Mustachian living?

In the sense that Mustachian living entails care for the planet, absolutely not.  But in the sense that Mustachian living is about finding joy in a simple life, maybe having one or two kids are Mustachian.

My pets far outearn their keep, even though their only contribution is headbutts, snuggles, and purrs.  But I am an extraordinarily frugal pet owner.  I cut corners in every area except their health - and eating quality foods to maintain health is very, very Mustachian.

Uncephalized

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #42 on: July 16, 2012, 01:21:21 PM »
It didn't come up in the original thread, but I'll note too that depending on your pet(s), goals, and circumstances, the responsibilities (vet visits) and/or recreation (long walks in the woods with dog) they entail can be a major obstacle to gas-powered-vehicle-free living.
Since when does walking your dog require driving to a forest?

grantmeaname

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #43 on: July 16, 2012, 01:33:34 PM »
I think a better question is: is having a child Mustachian living?

In the sense that Mustachian living entails care for the planet, absolutely not.  But in the sense that Mustachian living is about finding joy in a simple life, maybe having one or two kids are Mustachian
Two inflammatory posts in two minutes? Wow.
Having a child is only opposed to care for the planet if you accept the logic that all human presence on earth is detrimental. I, for one, do not. You may accept that premise, but you shouldn't go around stating it like it's a universally true observation of the human condition.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #44 on: July 16, 2012, 01:47:33 PM »
I think a better question is: is having a child Mustachian living?

Kids cost money and are optional and therefore a choice that is no different than any other possession when looking at it from a financial perspective....that said my kids add way more value to my existence.  If your sole existence is to be frugal and retire early then don't have kids, but there is more to life.

Quote
In the sense that Mustachian living entails care for the planet, absolutely not. 

Fuck that.  We are here and not going anywhere.  If our existence destroys the planet then we will ultimately pay the ultimate price.  Don't get me wrong we should be mindful but in the sense that we depend on earth and not the other way around.  But if we weren't here then it wouldn't really matter anyway. 
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 01:53:59 PM by tooqk4u22 »

sideways8

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #45 on: July 16, 2012, 02:10:44 PM »
Well, having kids you obviously can't afford is anti-Mustachian.

smalllife

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #46 on: July 16, 2012, 02:42:40 PM »
Those without kids can certainly have a meaningful life tooqk4u22, to say otherwise is negating the lives of the millions of men and women without children.  On the flip side, there is more to life than having kids and if you don't want them for whatever reason (the financial perk is just a side effect for most) you shouldn't have them.

grantmeaname

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #47 on: July 16, 2012, 02:49:39 PM »
I read that as "there is more to life than frugality for the sake of frugality", not "having kids is a higher calling than not having kids".

tooqk4u22

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #48 on: July 16, 2012, 02:51:21 PM »
Those without kids can certainly have a meaningful life tooqk4u22, to say otherwise is negating the lives of the millions of men and women without children.  On the flip side, there is more to life than having kids and if you don't want them for whatever reason (the financial perk is just a side effect for most) you shouldn't have them.

Please reread because I don't believe that is what I said. 

tooqk4u22

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #49 on: July 16, 2012, 02:55:07 PM »
I read that as "there is more to life than frugality for the sake of frugality", not "having kids is a higher calling than not having kids".

This squeezed in there before my last post but yes to this - applies to life in general.