Ask the Readers: Do You Have Pets?

By Ashley Jacobs on 14 July 2015 77 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Kristin, Louly, and Betty for winning this week's contest!

There are many great things about having pets: the companionship, the love, the exercise if yours are outdoor types. It also involves a lot of responsibility and expenditures, so pet ownership shouldn't be taken lightly.

Do you have pets? What kinds of animals are they? What has been the greatest cost of pet ownership for you? What do you enjoy most about having animal friends?

Tell us about your pets and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, July 20th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after July 20th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
     
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
     
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  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

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Guest's picture
Amanda H

I have three little kids, but this winter while pregnant with my third I got a gecko. It was the most low-maintenence pet at the store and she only eats about a dozen crickets every two weeks, so she's a frugal pet. ;)

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Elena

I have 3 pets: two cats and one dog. What I enjoy most about them is how playful they are

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An G

We have a Jeagle (jack russel beagle) mix. Her name is Maggie and she is 14 years old. We also have a lizard that is named Steve.

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Julie Wood

I have a wonderful loving dog named Biggles! He is a Basset Hound.

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Catseye

No, I don't and I'd love to have some cats but I'm currently on a very tight budget. Also, I moved recently and my new place is smaller than the old one, so it would be crowded.

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Ernest S.

Unfortunately, no pets in our house. But would love to adopt a cat. They are such amazing animals!

Guest's picture

I have always had dogs and I cannot imagine life without them. They're not cheap, especially when they age and need veterinary attention, but not all of them go down that path. It's still very worth it to me because they're such wonderful companions. Our current dog, Seamus, is training our new baby to be polite to dogs and it's wonderful to watch.

Guest's picture

I have two cats, V and Ace! I also have two pet goldfish for the cats' entertainment--I had no idea goldfish could life so long, they've made it over a year! You'd think the biggest expense with having two cats is medical bills, but really what adds up are the food costs! My boys can really put away kibble and go BANANAS over wet food! Because I want them to be healthy for as long as possible, I spend extra money on the higher quality food, which of course raises costs. In the end though, it's all worth it when I come home and their waiting for me at the door, ready to nuzzle my face and cuddle. It's the best!

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Gina

I don't have pets. They are messy, expensive, and require a lot of care.

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Tina in NJ

We have a 12-year-old cat, a not-quite 1-year-old cat, and a 2 1/2-year-old guinea pig. The older cat had pneumonia when he was young, which required an x-ray; that was pricey. The guinea pig ate a straight pin out of a quilt I was making. The pin lodged in his cheek pouch, but the vet bill was nearly $300! The guinea pig isn't very demonstrative (unless he thinks you have a treat for him), but the cats are love bundles, especially the younger one. She's also very funny to watch.

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Jay H

No pets here - rest of family has lots of dogs.

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Susan P.

I have 2 kitty brothers, Kit & Caboodle, that I rescued. They are almost 2 years old and big guys. Both have very distinct personalities. One is always by my side and the other loves to act goofy. They are very well behaved and have learned to play fetch. They even know some words and commands. Cats can be trained!

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Guest

No pets in the house but I do have a cat at my mom's house!

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Cindy Lilly

I personally do not have a pet but my roommate has a cocker spaniel. Since she feeds her more “people food” than dog food, the greatest costs are associated with her grooming. What I enjoy most about having her in the house is how happy she is to see me when I get home, and how sad she gets when I don’t allow her in my room. It feels great that she wants my company.

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Mary Happymommy

Having a miniature poodle has been expensive because of grooming costs and boarding fees when we go away on vacation.

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Margaret

Since I'm allergic to fur and feathers, my husband and I have Freshwater Fish. Freshwater are lower maintenance than saltwater and generally are not as expensive to purchase. The initial cost is a bit much due to tank and filters, etc. but after that all you need is food and basic maintenance.

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Elle

I have a dog and a cat, both rescues!

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Chong

I have a bird. I really enjoy her company. She seems to understand what I am saying.

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Bethany M

I do not have pets. Maybe when we get our own home someday.

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Renee

Yes, 1 rescue cat, and he is the best investment I've ever made!

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Adeem

I have two cats.

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Mary W

I have had pets in my life since the day I was born. I am now lucky enough to have lots of fenced land perfect for my 4 rescued dogs. I also have 3 rescued cats and a house and savings enough to care for them all properly. Some people use their savings to take cruises, visit Disney or take vacations to Europe. I travel on a strict budget and use my savings for my pets.

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Amanda Sakovitz

I have a dog named Monroe!

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Liz

No but I wish I had a puppy!

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Emily

I do not have any pets, although I would like a dog. I grew up with rescue dogs and they're the best animals. Unfortunately I travel a lot for work and the cost of hiring a trustworthy dog sitter is unreasonable.

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Kay

Yes, we actually have more pets than most! We have multiple dogs and cats, and the kids have a pair of gerbils and a pair of guinea pigs. The biggest expenses are always the unexpected vet bills! We have a separate 'vet emergency fund' to handle the big bumps in the road that can come along with pet ownership. But they're worth every penny for the unconditional love they give. They're also great for teaching the kids responsibility and to have respect for other living creatures.

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Tricia

We have a pet bunny. He is really not expensive to care for. The best thing about him is he is always appreciative!!! Sorry if it appears I entered twice. I had trouble on one computer entering so I used my tablet this time!!

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Kelli

I have two wonderful rescue Jack Russell Terriers: Cooper, 8, and Georgia, 3. The biggest costs have been vet bills (mostly routine health checks and vaccinations) and training classes because they both really needed to learn some basic skills! Then they did so well at school and enjoyed it so much that they also took a couple of agility courses in which they really excelled. I love that I was able to provide a forever home to two dogs that needed one, and they are my babies and best friends. Worth every penny!

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Guest

I have 2 border collie mixes and a Quaker parrot. The "girls" are high energy and both have health insurance for which I am grateful. My youngest tire her ACL one day. The surgery was almost $3300 and right after she healed from the first surgery, she tore the other side. I only had to pay one deductible and both surgeries were covered. Insurance for pets is a wonderful thing.

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lostAnnfound

We currently have a 7 year-old Corgi mix. He is a happy dog and loves to be with the family. Since my husband and I got married almost 28 years ago we have always had cats and/or dogs (sometimes at the same time). The biggest expense overall is probably vet bills, but we do our best to keep those in check by having our animals get regular checkups and keeping them up to date on vaccinations.

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Martha

1 rescue dog and 1 skink...the kids insist that we count the worms in the worm bin too.

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Tricia C

I have two cats - a Turkish Angora named Emma Watson and just got an 8 week old kitten who's got some gray stripes, Taylor Swift! Emma is currently very upset that Taylor has invaded her space but hopefully she will warm up soon.

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Lizz

I have a very human-like English bulldog :) He's my favorite thing in the world, best purchase ever made. The greatest cost with a bulldog is E V E R Y T H I N G. His food is $90/bag since it's prescription food. Bulldogs have lots of medical issues and his main issue is allergies. His insurance is also pretty expensive but I think it's worth it. The most enjoyable part of having him in my life is the joy he gives me just by looking at him or even a picture of him. He cracks me up. Funniest "person" ever.

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Daphne

I have to have plenty of help from my 13 year old son and 9 year old daughter to take care of our pets... We have 27 cows & bucking bulls, one which we are bottle feeding... 7 horses (2 are babies)... 2 dogs, 2 fish, 1 goat and about 15 cats!

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Guest

I have 4 dogs that mean the world to me. There's nothing better for a horrible day than to go home to 4 smiling, tail-wagging, slobbering bundles of love that think you can do no wrong. They love unconditionally & only ask the same in return.

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Nancy

We used to have cats. We adopted kittens when our children were young. Over the years, we have spent a lot of money on vet bills. After we lost Zoey, our last cat friend, we decided not take in another pet because we are retiring and cutting expenses. Now we enjoy our grandchildren and their cats.

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Louly

I LOVE my dog. I don't think I would be able to not have a pet; they are just too much a part of my life.

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Rcj276

Do you have pets? What kinds of animals are they? What has been the greatest cost of pet ownership for you? What do you enjoy most about having animal friends?

We have three dogs. One is a labradoodle, one is a border collie mix and the third is a chihuahua terrier mix. The doodle has cost us the most with her grooming, and vet expenses for things like ear infections and cheat grass removal. We take her on trails often and the seed heads bury themselves in her curly hair and eventually into her skin. They all have distinct personalities and we enjoy their interactions with each other. We call it "watching dog tv" which we have access to 24 hours a day.

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Sheryl

I have 3 amazing cats, Jasper, Chase, & K.C. They are great friends and bring much love and happiness into my life.

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Nat

I have a greyhound. She's 4 years old. The single greatest expense that I've had for her so far has been her pet insurance premium. I love having her around for the sheer entertainment value. She's so weird.

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Rich

I have 2 Australian sheepdogs and they are just pure joy.

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Judy

I have two dogs, a Maltese and a mini dachshund. They bring so much love and joy into my life. I have stage 4 bilateral lung cancer and they seem to know when I feel bad and want to be close to me. Snow, the Maltese, is a character. Every night when we go out for our last walk, he turns around in a circle at least six times, sometimes more, each time licking my hand as he passes it, before I can hook up his leash. I got Jr, the mini dachshund, the week after my Mom was buried with the Christmas money she had given me. His muzzle is turning white now but he still loves to play and be loved on. Yes, there are many costs in owning pets but it is well worth it when you see those little bright eyes full of love and wagging tails when you walk in the door. It doesn't matter if you've been gone 5 seconds, 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days, they are just as excited to see you!

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Susan Smith

I have 2 Cavalier King Charles spaniels. They are great lap dogs.

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Rebecca B. A. R.

YES!!! I have 3 dogs (a jack russell, a spaniel/dachshund mix, and a jack russell/chihuahua mix), 9 cats of my own, and 1 foster cat. At one point we had 16 cats, but now we're down to the 9. I also foster cats whenever it is needed for the no-kill shelter that I volunteer at nearby. They are all a blessing, even when they're ornery!

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Guest

No pets for me! I enjoy animals, but not the maintenance and cost of having one. Maybe one day when I have a family we would get a pet, but not now.

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Liisa R

No, we don't want to be tied down right now but would love to get a dog after we have kids and they are old enough to help out a bit with pet care!

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Guest

I have two rescued cats and a guinea pig. They can be a bit of work but the furry cuddles are worth it :)

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Ranee

My husband and I are owned by 2 black cats adopted from our local Animal Shelter. Claire is the oldest and was almost full adult when she came to us and was very helpful in training Rylee, who was still in the kitten stage when she came to us. They sometimes have a love/hate relationship but still will be found sleeping right next to each other very often. My husband chose Rylee and I chose Claire and strangely enough, Rylee seems to prefer my husbands company and Claire prefers mine although they both came into our home on the same day. These are the most recent adoption of black cats. We have shared our home with 4 other black cats over the years...Merlin, Shadow, Ebony (Beezer) and Maverick. We hope others will consider adopting black cats as well. They have all been excellent pets.

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Cassie

We have two dogs: Lola is an Italian Greyhound and Mia is a Terrier-Chihuahua mix. They're both low maintenance and sweet as can be.

Guest's picture

I have two cats Mikko and Milo, and a dog Max...they are all rescues! Rescues are usually a more frugal option. They biggest expense would be the unexpected vet bills, like when Milo the kitten gets into things he shouldn't. The rest is manageable and easy to plan for in the budget. My favorite thing about them would simply be their companionship. They all have such different little personalities! And Max the dog is fun because I can bring him with me places.

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Guest

I have a cat.

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Kristin

I have 3 cats - they are all girls and love to play together. Food and vet bills can be high but they provide a lot of love and fun.

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Wendy

I have 4 Dachshunds: Chas., Nelson, Riley and then Miles who was my Hurricane Sandy foster failure.

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Mitchell

We have a dog, a mutt. The greatest cost has been handling his allergies. Having a pet is a great source of companionship, exercise, and stress reduction. He is always happy to see people. When our lab passed away last summer, the house seemed empty. A dog livens up the home.

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Jamie

I have a betta fish named CC Sabathafish (after the Yankees pitcher). His biggest cost was a wall mounted clock tank.

I also have a half Yorkie, half Jack Russel terrier mix named Striker. His biggest cost was a $1500 vet emergency that he successfully healed from. He also consistently gets spoiled with treats.

I love having fish because they are so fun to watch when they swim, and I love having dogs because they are so good at giving unconditional love.

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Jeff

a stray cat adopted us five years ago... he's super affectionate and friendly and follows us around the house like a dog would.

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Christine

I have a rottie-lab mix named Piper. I adopted her when she was 4 years old from the local humane society, so the initial cost of ownership was relatively minimal. she is a sweet dog who loves people, but she has some anxiety issues that prompted extra training (never a bad thing) and an unsuccessful attempt at easing her symptoms with medication. I don't begrudge spending money at the vet for her. I have a line item in my budget for my pet's occasional medical costs. Her food is not that expensive. I realized a long time ago that having a pet is a luxury. My dog is a luxury that I have chosen over other things, like a more expensive car or trendy tech items.

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Rose Marie W

I am the "mom" to five adorable kitties. All were adopted from shelters or rescue groups. Two are litter mates, 1 year old orange brothers I adopted last October, and the others are an 8 year old black & white tuxedo male, a 9 year old gray & white tuxedo female, and a 9 year old calico female. They all get along reasonably well, and I enjoy their individual personalities and interactions!

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Christina

I have two cats, and while they are completely worth it, vet bills are never cheap and I have started paying attention to their food ingredients, which has meant switching to some more expensive brands.

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Suz_Glo

Our family includes 2 dogs, Gabriel and Ms. Bea, and 3 fish. They require a lot of work but I can't imagine life without pets!

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MJ

I have two dogs, both mutts, both rescued as puppies. One is now ten years old and sixty pounds. The other is nine years old and sixteen pounds. They have a real "big brother/little brother" relationship. The sixteen pounder likes to be touching his big brother when he sleeps. I know that pet ownership is often frowned upon in the world of frugal living, but my dogs are non-negotiable. They provide so much comfort, companionship, laughter and love. There's a question posed in Douglas Coupland's book "Generation X" where a character asks another character, "...after you're dead and buried and floating around whatever place we go to, what's going to be your best memory of earth?" One character answers "snow." It took me a lot of years, but I know that now my answer to that question would be "dogs."

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Kate Kyleen

I have two indoor cats, Little Dude and Dexter. Both super sweet, adopted as adults. I have them visit the vet for all their necessary shots and if any problems arise (like the occasional UTI). Fortunately, vet visits aren't too costly at this point. I try to take any extra steps (special diet food, quality litter, etc) to ensure they live long, happy lives!

Guest's picture
sonja

I have 2 dogs, 4 cats and 3 horses. I have a variety of expenses for them.. My most expensive cumulatively has been the horses with feed, training and showing bills plus buying a truck and trailer. However, this year I've incurred a lot of medical expenses for two surgeries for my dogs and various other medical for all of the animals... Next in line would be my dog food which is grain free.

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Christie

We had a dog for 24 hours, and then we had betta fish: Bob, Bob2, and Bob3. We're good without pets, thanks! We like to travel and be gone for a few days here and there and finding a pet sitter is almost as difficult as finding a babysitter! We're a happier without pets household.

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J. Pario

No pets. I don't want any additional responsibility--I can barely handle the responsibility that I currently have!

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Guest

Just chickens. They're delighftul and the eggs are the best!

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Shanetta Stanley

I have two dogs, a German Shepard mixed with Pitbull and a Rocweller mixed with Pitbull. The greatest cost of them both are feeding them and I love having them as pets because they never allow me to cry. When they see tears, they come licking and hugging. I love my two dogs

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Betty

I have one cat, and love him. I have always had a cat. To me they are the perfect pet. The biggest expense is when he has to go to the vet, which thankfully isn't often.

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Miss Kim

I have a dog and a cat that I adopted from the shelter a few years ago.

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Michael

I have 2 rescues!

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MELISSA HANSSON

We don't currently have pets. We want to get a couple puppies, littermates, but we still need a fence and the expense has been prohibitive.

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Ashley

We have one dog and two cats. The first cats medical has by far been the most expensive. Unfortunately, we did not learn pf his very extensive list of allergies until after he had a very costly surgery. Since changing his diet, he has been much healthier.

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Donna D.

We are currently on a doggie hiatus. Our 16 year old lab passed awhile ago, but we now have a 3 year grand puppy name Chloe. She stays with us when her mom and dad travel.

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Pamela

I have a beautiful golden retriever. She was my partner in fostering over a dozen dogs for my local shelter and the best friend anyone could have.

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Moorea M.

My husband and I have a 7 year old long hair dachshund/chihuahua name Sadie who I rescued on Christmas two years ago. She is a true fur-baby. I love that she is always so excited to see me when I come home and can't wait to give me sweet cuddles. The most expensive thing about having a dog is the vet bills. Especially for a first time pet owner sometimes its hard to distinguish what is an emergency and what is temporary. I've found its really important to find a vet you trust and make sure you're up front with what you can afford! A lot of times I'll ask..."is there an at home alternative I can try first" and there usually is :)

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Happy Love

I have two cats, and my husband has a large dog. We believe in keeping costs down by keeping our animals up-to-date with vaccinations and feeding them quality food.

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Ruby

We have two dogs -- both female long-haired dachshunds -- and three cats. They were all rescues. It's definitely expensive having them, but I wouldn't want to live without them. They have very distinct personalities, but they are all so sweet and loving. Our biggest regular expensive for them is food, which runs around $150 a month, as one of the dogs and one of the cats have food allergies, followed by vet care. Keeping them well-fed, flea-free and healthy costs about $250 a month, all told. And I do have to clean house a lot -- the pet hair tumbleweeds can get unreal if I don't -- but that just goes along with having pets.

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SRK

I don't have any pets now but I do have 2 grand-dogs plus I take care of my daughter's 3 kitties whe she is out of town,

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Thomas Murphy

I have a black lab named jack

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Laura J

I have an elderly lab mix that I adopted a couple years ago. He was having a hard time finding a new forever home since he was older. When I saw him a the adoption days...he looked so sad. I fell in love with him...and the rest is history! He is the sweetest boy! The older pets deserve a good home for whatever time they have left! Will be hard when its him time to go...but I know I gave him a beautiful ending! :)