Pets come at a heavy price

Mounting expenses

From being a mere guard to a member of the family, the role of a pet has surely changed over the years. So much so, that they are taken out to restaurants and spas.

At times, they are even kept in pet resorts when the family is out travelling. Even the kind of food given to the pet has become more personalised with more and more pet food brands coming into the market.

With the cost of living going up, it is quite natural that maintaining pets is also getting more and more expensive. Many families in the City, with already one pet, are thinking twice before getting another one. And those who don’t have a pet are refraining from bringing one home as they feel that it is a huge responsibility.

When Prateek Yadav, a professional’s four-year-old son asked him for a pet dog, he felt that he really needed to think twice about it. “Keeping a pet these days has become more of a status symbol than a need. It’s almost like an extra mouth to feed. Taking on an added responsibility right now is not wise especially since there is a price rise in nearly every sector,” he adds.

Apart from dogs and cats, even keeping fish at home has become expensive. Anil, a student of Christ College, says that he had to give up his tank of fish because it was becoming a high-maintenance activity. “Firstly, fish tanks are very expensive. And if the family is going out of town, you have to find someone who can feed it,” he says. Added costs come in the form of veterinary bills and transporting the pets.

Snigdha, a professional, says that she recently spent Rs 15,000 to get her dog operated for an ulcer. “I didn’t think of the money because I love my dog but then it does get difficult,” she explains.

Those in the pet industry say that they have not felt a huge pinch in business. “These days, most families who have pets have high-paying jobs. So not many in this industry will feel the lull in business,” says Nazeer, the chief executive of Pets and Aquarium Expo.

Chandni, a student of RVCE, says that a lot depends on the kind of breed one has. While she has a healthy Great Dane at home, most of the expenditure is on the food as this particular breed tends to eat a lot. “At the end of the day, it’s a personal choice. If you really love your pet, why not spend that extra on it?” she sums up.

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