A Dog Is For Life Not Just For Christmas

Share to...

a dog is not just a Christmas gift


Before heading out to buy that special dog for Christmas make sure that you know all of the expenses that are involved and remember a dog is for life and not just for convenience.

Having a pet is a big responsibility which goes far beyond cute faces, hugs, licks, kisses and someone to come home to each night.

There’s so much to consider when you are a pet owner

One of the biggest challenges besides my pet budget was always finding somewhere for my dog to stay when I wanted to go on holiday for Christmas or a summer vacation.

Christmas with your pet

As with many pet owners this time of year I’m certain that there will be at least one present under the Christmas tree for your four-legged friend. The family dog, the pooch, the mutt or even the Heinz 57, including our particularly daft dog will be there waiting for the special treat that they already sniffed out a couple of weeks ago.

Our little friend has spent many Christmas holidays diving in the wrapping paper and running off with presents that aren’t even his, but this year he’s getting particularly old.

Somewhere warm to stay

After many happy years running after bunnies and generally terrorizing the country side he’s really beginning to show his age. He’s going away for a couple of days so the wife and I can take a little trip somewhere that she doesn’t yet know about.

Now, normally I would be booking him in to a kennel, but he despises kennels, worries far too much that we’ll never come back and then proceeds to not eat.

Not all pets want to be in a kennel and the situation can turn sad quickly.

Once, the situation had gotten so bad he had to be picked up early by my parents when him and I still lived in the UK.

When he arrived back at my parents it took 2 months of love and attention and not to mention good hearty dinners to get the little fella back to his normal self.

Do what’s right for your pet

This time he’ll be spending a couple of nights at the local Vets and yes, I said the Vets. Now unlike a normal dog who will shy away from the thought of even going to the Vet, he seems to have this attachment to them.

Since going in for his surgery a few months ago, going back for a check up and sometimes dropping in for a free biscuit he’s more than happy to wander in and make his presence known with the girls who work there.

A familiar place may be the best place

What’s more, they love him to bits even if he is a little smelly round the edges. What’s even more surprising is he’s on first name terms with a host of local residents yet I have no idea who they are and they don’t even know my name.

It’s not cheap to board him at the Vets but for his well-being and my piece of mind it’s worth every cent of the $40 a night for it. Before you scream, what? $40?, this is the first time he’s stayed out of a family or friend’s supervision for almost 5 years.

Sometimes you have to pay the price for the best of the best service.

I had done some research into the prices of kennels and they ranged from $20 a night for 1 dog in 1 run and that includes being housed in a heated kennel, walked every day and so on, although dog washes are extra.

The upper end was around the $30 mark for 1 dog in 1 run per night.

A pet budget is a great way to save money for kennel times such as these.

A traditional kennel would have been cheaper and he’s been in them before and caught kennel cough, lost weight or just come back generally depressed. I would have booked a kennel but at his age it’s not going to happen.

Finding the best fit for your pet

Not only would I ask a host of questions to the potential kennel, but there are a host of idiosyncrasies particular with your pet. They like to know what kind of oddities your pet has so they can accommodate them. For us, our dog has to have biscuits before bedtime other wise there is hell to pay.

He won’t poop in the garden so you have to take him out on a walk. Plus you can ask what ever other questions you can think so that your dog will be well looked after.

Take a tour

A site visit is always essential, clean kennels and happy friendly staff are on the top of the list. I found one kennel in the UK that I used frequently, on a farm and it was fantastic.

A happy pet means a happy pet owner

He was always happy, healthy and clean on pick up day but he was always happy to be dropped off for the week, or longer. I can distinctly remember they washed and trimmed him because he had gotten dirty during play time in the field. I didn’t get charged for that, it’s all part of the service.

He never refused to go there and knew the staff well. The staff loved him so much they would spend extra time with him playing ball when he was feeling down. That’s the sign of great service and someone who loves what they do for a living.

Responsible pet owner

As a dog owner, it’s my responsibility to make sure he is well looked after all the time. It makes me cringe to see so many unwanted dogs after Christmas end up in animal hospitals or worse, end up having to be euthanized.

If you’re wanting to get a family dog then do your research as it’s not all bundles of joy. Yes, the puppy stage is cute but they soon grow up to be a much bigger poop machine that needs feeding, shots and vaccines, a license and walks.

Your Pet becomes part of the family

I knew what I was getting myself in for when I bought my dog all those years ago. But circumstances change and he and us have adapted but it would have been easier without having to consider him. The thing is, he’s been part of the family for a long time.

Unconditional love

The benefits that he brings to the household are that he’s always there to meet and greet you with an enthusiastic wag in his tail, no matter how bad your day has been.

He’s always eager to get going and drag us around the neighbourhood for a walk. He never misses the opportunity to come and help with the snow shovelling by throwing himself in the snow piles.

Dogs are pricey

The health benefits he bring to getting us up and out are equally taken away by the costs he brings along with him. I

‘ll be the first to admit though, he’s probably been the cheapest dog alive.

The only surgery he’s ever had been involved in was a few months ago and in the later years of his life.

That said, there are dogs on our street that are constantly in and out of the vets leaving the owners with huge costs, in the thousands of dollars. The costs of owning a pet are more than just dog food.

At least one dog is on a strict special diet which is expensive and to add to the problems the poor little guy has, he’s also allergic to a bunch of different things and suffers from skin rashes.

Some of the more handbag looking dogs get constant dog washes to keep them respectably looking like they’ve just stepped out of a doggy salon. The thing is you have to remember that a dog can last anywhere up to 18 years.

It makes me thankful that I’ve got a real CBB pet, cheap, no-nonsense dog.

Update: Our dog passed away in January 2014 after he fell ill. It was the worst experience of my life. I miss him every day.

Discussion: What do you do for your four-legged family member?

Related articles

Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos. net

Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. I always have a hard time understanding the bond people have with their pets. I had a cat as a very young girl, but we only had her for 6 months before my younger sister’s allergies were too much.

    Living in Canada (ottawa), where the weather is pretty miserable, I could never get past the fact that you would need to walk your dog rain or shine, come freezing rain, heavy snow, windchill….

    But, to each his/her own.

  2. Yes! We actually plan our travel around our dogs, and drive absurd hours instead of flying just so we can bring them (not to mention all of the money we save on boarding). One of the awesomer things we’ve been able to do since we got our finances under control is take in, fix up, and rehome any strays or rescues we find on the street in our neighborhood. Too many people (especially in the south USA for some reason) think of dogs as property and not family members. Thanks for sharing!

  3. We decided that our puppy (who is 10) is always coming with us on vacation. For one this their lives are way shorter than ours. And we love to see them having fun with us. So our vacations are more active too…since keeping a dog with us makes us play more! Thanks for the post!

  4. We have two dogs and the cost to board them for a summer week’s vacation is fairly steep. It’s even worse over holidays when some places charge more. This is all part of the budgeting you have to do if you are going to have a pet. We set aside a certain amount in a our savings account each month designated for dog care so that we can save up for the bigger expenses like this.

  5. We had a dog back when the kids were young. We used a boarding kennel for 3 years I think it was during the summer holidays so we could go here and there.It wasn’t a great experience as she was in an outdoor kennel and always came home covered in poop as she would roll in it. After a couple of years of picking her up stinky and being told….’oh we were going to bath her this afternoon’ The third year i told them I would be picking her up in the morning of and gave them the date. Told them the same thing when I dropped her off. I called them the night before and said I’ll be into pick her up tomorrow Morning!!! Yea…. she was covered in poop, and they were going to bathe her that afternoon. Clearly somebody didn’t get that memo….We never took her there again. If we were visiting hubby’s family we just took the dog with us, nobody cared if she came with us.
    We have always had cats. Currently it’s just Stuart and there is some catnip for him to have to celebrate with. Hubby has fussed in the past about getting some one in to feed the cats if we went away but I always figured it was a good thing to do anyway. Depending on how long you are gone your insurance company would like to have the house checked regularly. Getting some one in to look after the cats served that purpose. The furballs were looked after and fed and the house was checked to be sure all was well.
    Stuart is a healthy boy if a bit overweight.I buy the better cat foods for him. We had a male cat before that had troubles peeing as he was prone to blockage. In a cat the blockage is a medical emergency. If they can’t pee you need to get puss to the vets asap!!! We did buy Gunky a special food from the vets but we talked to Dr Larry and he figured if we got the better cat food our big orange lovable furball would be fine.He told us what to look for in the food. Iam’s and Whiskas were good with him and that is all I buy for Stuart now. He’s never had a problem. Our fur babies have all been spayed/neutered… it’s a condition of living with us.
    For the most part the cats have always left the room and hid if we had company which was fine. We have had our house up for sale a few times with the cats in residence and usually the people looking at the house don’t even realize we had cats until they saw the litter pan as the cats were hiding under the bed. We asked the agent about that once so that is how we know! It’s their house too and they are allowed to be there. Our cats have all been house cats, no going outside to bug the neighbourhood.

  6. I soo love this post. Its very timely. Im currently pup sitting a friends puppy that they really dont need, they make him stay in his kennel during the day. Hes my youngest pups BFF. My home is pup heaven. THey can go in and out at all hours of the day and night, as long as Im home in their fenced in yard and run and run. And back in for drinks and back out to run again. I have my cats too. A am so devoted to my pets that I have my blog as a pet blog. Im all about giving them quality time and spoiling them.

    I think youre a great dog owner for this.

  7. this is a lovely post ,mr CBB!
    I myself have 3 animals, a Pomeranian dog and 2 short hair cats. i brought them all from Hong Kong to Canada when i came. They all came from shelters in Hong Kong that my husband and I often brag about lol. They are our beautiful daughters.
    Our cats are super shy, we believe because they went through some terrible things when they were small before they got rescued. so we can’t really take them to a kennel or anything when we travel. we usually get family or friends to come by once every other day. while Gracie our little fluffy dog used to go to the shelter lady that we rescued her from when we were not in town. it cost money but better than some kennels that you hardly know if they are good or not.
    Since i moved to Canada, husband and i haven’t gone anywhere far so we haven’t tried any kennel yet here. Last time i went home for a visit, husband stayed to take care of them 😀
    We are as lucky as you, they haven’t had any major sickness. the cats only saw the vet twice all their lives and they are 8 years old now. the dog had a rash problem once, and a broken leg once and that’s it. so all in all we are lucky as well. we love them so much! glad to know you and the mrs are animal people as well! 🙂

  8. Thank you for touching on this subject. I work for a rescue who pulls from the city pound. About three months after the holidays (usually after Valentine’s day), pounds are FLOODED with “returned puppies” from families who wanted a puppy only or who have gotten frustrated with their dog’s lack of training. If you’re not in it forever, then don’t even think about it.

  9. I think it’s totally worth it to spend the money to board your dog at the Vet. He enjoys it there and he’ll likely get treated much better there. It may not be as cheap as a kennel, but you have to look at the impact on him as well as what it could cost you in the long run if he were to get kennel cough or something like that. We just have a cat and they’re pretty easy. We can have a neighbor come give him food each day – heck he probably enjoys it as the kids aren’t around to terrorize him. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.