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article imageOp-Ed: Pet expenses from wedding to grave to awe you

By Ajit Jha     Jun 23, 2013 in Lifestyle
Pet owners view their dogs and cats as part of their extended family. The patterns of overspending in US households are therefore more evident in homes that have domesticated animals.
The logic of pet consumerism rests on “an emotional bond between consumers and their pets”. In other words, pet owners have been known to have special attachment to their pets and view them more than mere purchase or possession. This exclusive emotional bond between the pet owners and their pets forms a strong reason why marketing of pets and pet related products is used by the marketers. They are able to easily sell almost anything related to the pets. Typically, the logic of consumerism rests on fun, feelings, fantasies, or possessions that are seen as extension of the self. However, pet consumerism goes even beyond, especially in terms of money spent on pets. The pet industry in the United States is so huge as to easily dwarf many other industries in terms of annual outlay. The pet industry in the U.S is a huge $40 billion annual industry.
The ownership of a cat or dog is quite expensive. It is estimated that the ownership of a dog or cat in “acquisition, maintenance, and disposition” comes to approximately $10000 for each pet.
On July 12, 2013, the wedding of two baby dogs, Baby Hope Diamond and Chilly Pastemak at Essex House Hotel in New York set the Guinness record for most expensive dog wedding ever at a whopping $158,187.26.
Interestingly, the bride Baby Hope Diamond was the replacement for Lucky Diamond, the originally intended bride who died of cancer few days earlier. So, Wendy Diamond, a wealthy animal activist not only went ahead to adopt Baby Hope Diamond but made no changes to Lucky Diamond’s wedding plans replacing her with the newly adopted pedigree to celebrate the late dog’s memory.
While pet aftercare can also be hugely expensive, no pet owner ever haggles. Who would know it better than Bob Walczyk, who owns two funeral businesses, one for humans and the other for pets?
When Walczyk informs people how much it would cost to cremate their grandfather, their response is, “How much? You’ve got to be kidding me!” says Walczyk, “But when the exact same family brings their dog next door, they don’t even ask about money. They just tell me what they want and they take out their checkbook.”
Pet aftercare includes grave markers such as memorial gravestone, headstone, memorial cross and the monument each of which can cost anything between $30 and $300. In addition, there are several pet aftercare options available.
The overall cost of pet aftercare can be especially high as the size and weight of the pet are critical factors in the total cost. But then no cost is high enough when you have to deal with grief and loss.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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