The other day I passed by a group of swinging seniors in a Chrysler Sebring with a bumper sticker that said "Labs rule".
Sure they do, as anyone knows Labradors are one of the best family dogs.
As cute and frisky as they are, how much does it cost to raise them?
According to the American SPCA, the minimum annual cost of raising a small dog is $1,314; a medium-size dog is $1,580; and a large one is $1,843.
The organization approximated minimum annual food costs for a small dog at $55 a month, a medium at $120, and a large dog at $235.
The average cost of medical expenses was $210 for a small dog, $235 for a medium, and $260 for a large one. (The B.C. SPCA has figures on its website but doesn't break the numbers down based on the size of the animal.)
It's been said that the average cost of owning a dog in a year ranges between $700 and $2,000.
What I pay attention to are hidden costs that you might possibly incur. Like dental care, which can be $300 a year, to having different beds in the home, or even expensive little treats. The beds themselves range from $50 to $200.
Of course if you raise a dog in Vancouver, there's the annual licensing fee of $40 compared to Calgary, where it's $37 for a spayed or neutered dog.
However, there's a silver lining in all these expenses. That's the basic cost of adopting a dog from Vancouver Animal Services: $275 with an extra $84 fee if the animal is seven years or older.
If you adopt a dog from the shelter, it includes benefits like neutering or spaying, six weeks of insurance coverage, and a free bag of dog food.
According to the American SPCA, fish are the cheapest pets to raise at $235 for the first year. Cats cost approximately $1,035 in their first year. But none of those animals can rival the gorgeousness of having a little Golden Lab waiting for you at home.
At the end of the day, you just have to look into those big brown puppy eyes and you know nothing compares to them.
For more information, contact Vancouver Animal Services at 1280 Raymur Avenue. It has showings during the week.