Recently, I shared an article on how a pet owner left a dog in a car while shopping for items that included dog food and supplies, only to find the dog dead in the scorching hot car. Apparently, based on reports, she summarily went right back into the store and tried to return the items purchased for the dog. Reactions to this story ranged from more or less calling her incredibly callous, all the way to suggesting that maybe she was in a state of shock. However one looks at it, most would probably agree that the pet owner picked a very odd time to think about saving a few dollars.
Here’s totally different situation: a couple in China spent a lavish sum to buy a purebred Tibetan Mastif, which is deemed a “status symbol”. Now, there are lavish sums, and there are extra-lavish sums. What they spent rates as a world-class lavish sum :
Yes, these people spent $600,000 on a dog!
Full disclosure: I’m not a dog owner, and never have been, due to allergies. I do like dogs, and enjoy seeing those owned by friends and family. If I wasn’t so allergic to them, I could see myself being the type of person that would be into them and have a lot of fun and love to give one. I have seen a number of friends and coworkers totally miserable after their dogs died, so I totally get how dogs can a part of the family.
That said, can you – pet lover or not – see yourself spending that much money on a pet?
I would want that dog to be able to slam dunk a basketball, pour a glass of wine, tell funny jokes, and basically be the coolest pet the world has ever seen.
I don’t know how much money these people had, but clearly they were wealthy. Having said that, let’s pretend that you were very wealthy – to the tune of, say, $100 million in net worth. Would you spend $600,000 on a dog in that case? It would be like someone with $100,000 in net worth spending $600 on a dog, based on 0.6% of income. That seems reasonable for a pet lover.
But on an absolute scale, $600,000 is still $600,000! How about buying a “downscale” dog for say, $10,000? This would still rank well up in the top range of all expensive dogs worldwide. Let’s say that you saved another $20,000 for the dog’s lifetime (luxurious) care. This would give you $570,000 of savings, and you still get a very expensive dog that will get great care. Then, perhaps you could take some of that $570,000 and be charitable to people-related causes that are dear to you? You know, like helping feed kids starving to death, people who can’t afford life-preserving health care, etc.
Now, I realize we can say that about any big-ticket expense, but this one really caught my attention as being pretty funny, quite frankly. $600,000 for a dog. Really?
If the dog lives 10 years, that’s $60,000 per year for the dog (not counting food, toys, etc).
At $60,000 per year, that comes out to $5,000 per month. Which, as an after-tax figure, would cover many families’ monthly expenses.
So, where does this go from here?
Maybe, with this publicity, there will be an increase in demand for these dogs. I’m sure Google searches on “Tibetan Mastif” have increased lately. With increased demand, perhaps there will be increased breeding. Perhaps this will ultimately lead to such high prices that there will be an increase in the breeding of these dogs. Then, several steps down the line, maybe we will see a “Tibetan Mastif” bubble 🙂
Anyway, this was quite a sharp contrast to the lady who wanted a refund on the dog food, don’t you think?