The $600,000 Dog

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 :

$600,000.

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?

Comments

  1. says

    Holy cow, that is crazy! But, I guess they probably have more money than they could ever spend in a lifetime. At least I hope so. (Maybe they will need a dog bailout in the future…)

    I don’t have any pets because my son is highly allergic. However, if I did get one, I would head to the humane society.

    • Squirrelers says

      Everyday Tips – Going to the humane society seems a great way to go. It’s a win-win: 1) the previously unwanted animal gets to find a new, loving home; 2) You don’t spend an inordinate amount of money up front

  2. says

    I thought they had spent $600,000 on some weird surgery or something…not on just getting the dog. Now I feel pretty good with the small fees I had to pay to adopt my dogs from rescues ($75 and $200…inflation hit the dog rescues too apparently). :-)

    I’ve spent $1500-$2000 on dog issues in the last year, so I’m probably not the one who should judge. I’d think that they are completely insane except if they are mega-rich. If they do have $100 million dollars, I guess there are worst ways of spending just to spend. And there are better ways. But I don’t care as long as they didn’t hurt anyone in order to pay it.

    But I kind of hope they are in the market for a snarky red-head… :-)

  3. says

    That is nuts! I got my dog at the local animal rescue for less than 100! I dont think I could spend that much money on a dog, even though it’s a small portion of their overall net-worth. Totally crazy.
    Everyday tips is probably right: they’ve got more than they can spend in a lifetime.

  4. says

    This is really quite sad. Yes, it is their money to spend as the choose. No, I am not jealous but cringe when I think about spending that much money on a dog, even if they are mega rich. Just because they have a right to do something, doesn’t mean I have to like it (I guess). Disclosure: I am NOT a dog owner but hold nothing against them.

  5. says

    You make a good point comparing the cost to their overall net worth.

    I remember in college that spending a couple grand on a vacation was just unthinkable. Now with 4 of us, that would be a bargain.

    You’re perspective does change as you earn more. Talk about lifestyle inflation!

  6. says

    Haha about Tibetan Mastif bubble! No matter what my net worth, I can’t imagine paying big bucks on a dog. Why? Not because I am not a dog lover…I am. But we would rather rescue a dog from a shelter than pay ridiculous prices for one. Our rescued dogs, by the way, have been great pets.

  7. says

    That is an amazing little piece of news there. I’m with you, regardless the percentage of net worth that is still $600k and would’ve had the purchasing power of $600k. I can’t see this as anything but a publicity stunt – who knows maybe they had some corporate/private backing and there is a serious reason behind it. Wow if any of my clients did that on me I think I would have an anxiety attack lol.

  8. says

    These dogs are maybe $2000 in Australia. I think you pay $600,000 so you can say “this is a $6000,000 dog”

    Put to be frank let the rich waste their money, hopefully some lower to middle class person just got their paycheck. We’ve just got to be mindful to squander our money.

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