Top Notch Toys January 2017


WHICH DID YOU GET FOR CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR, A NEW CAR OR A NEW PUPPY? B uying and maintaining an automobile is cheap com- pared to paying a fair price for a purebred dog and then getting hit with rip-off veterinary service fees. Why is there such a discrepancy? Sure there’s business insurance and advertising for a veterinary practice and there’s staff and equipment. But if you are a successful breeder, you may have kennel help. You spend a fortune either owner-handling or paying a profession- al handler which is often cheaper than travel expenses. You have a dog vehicle or motor home and all the grooming gadgets and you advertise too so it all pretty well equates to an x-ray machine and other standard office stuff. So here’s the rub. In 2016 pet owners will invest $2 billion on pet purchases and spend over $67 billion on food, supplies and veterinary care. The disparity is staggering. You will pay many times more to care for your pet than you paid for the pleasure of his company or the services he provides such as protection, emotional or physi- cal therapy and companionship. You love your car and depend on it to get you where you have to go. But whether you buy a top of the line auto- mobile or a late model used car, your ownership costs over a five-year period won’t come close to the purchase price (Kelly Blue Book). Why is that not a comparable fact when purchasing a purebred dog? In 2015, American pet owners spent $60.28 billion (APPA) and 2016 owner- ship costs will be higher. Breakdown: Food: $23.05 billion Supplies/Medicine: $14.28 billion Vet Care: $15.42 billion

Live animal purchases: $2.12 billion Grooming & boarding: $5.41 billion So let’s get real here. A car is a neces- sity for most families. What about your pet? Whether you are suburban or urban, a pet can be an emotional or physical necessity as in the case of handicapped owners. Rancher or res- taurant owner, a canine companion brings laughter, appreciation for nature, gets you outdoors and is a significant health benefit. There’s little doubt that a Porsche or Ferrari makes you feel good, power- ful and provides pride of ownership. A devoted dog does likewise and like your wheels, some breeds signify that you’ve arrived whether you own a country estate or a Manhattan high rise with built in grooming parlor and dog walking services. Okay, so let’s compare cost of own- ership. Online research and breeder interviews show that the cost of a well- bred, lovingly raised purebred will average $1,500. Some breeds, especially the giant breeds will be much higher. Beware of any cost lower than $700 because no one who cares about their breed’s temperament (personality), type (correct appearance) and overall

health can create a litter for less. If the breeder has provided genetic assur- ance, quality food, hygiene, loving attention and veterinary care, they will have that much invested at least that much in your puppy. It goes without saying but I will any- way; any caring breeder will want to know something about you, and unlike the car salesman, he or she will be there for you throughout the life of that dog and often long after. So now let’s compare upkeep. You take your car in for servicing in order to keep it running at top efficiency. It will be washed and polished and get fuel appropriate for its engine. You chose a mini-sport for good mileage and scooting around town. If you have a big family, you choose a bigger car or a van. If you appreciate a nod from a sports car or classic car enthusiast, you bow a little to your vanity and choose some- thing exotic. All of the above applies to buying a dog that you will have for at least twice as long as the automobile! So let’s compare upkeep. You can wash and polish your car or pay some- one to do it for you. You bathe and groom your dog or pay someone to do


64 • T op N otch T oys , J anuary 2017

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