Exhibit A: The Obama family has a new dog.

Exhibit B: The recession’s in full swing.

Exhibit C: Media sources say pets are expensive.


The new White House dog is a Presidential splurge...or so some say.

Can Obama expense Bo on his taxes, you think? Or should he declare him, as he was a gift, by next April 15th? Whaddaya think, Portuguese Water Dog...high quality...two, three grand? But then, that’s not the point, is it?

More to the point is what the Obama dog will cost over his lifetime. And what that means for us...in a  global sense.

Sure, Bo's escapades will almost certainly cost the taxpayers some:

  • Chewed legs on West Wing chairs.
  • Will the Presidential residence’s baseboards require re-tooling? 
  • Will the Oriental carpets call for shampooing?

I guess that’s why the Presidential pup is currently in doggie-training boot camp somewhere. Price tag? More thousands than his asking price. Promise. And his diet? I guarantee it won’t be Old Roy or Alpo. His toys? Only the best. Will the Secret Service allow the donations? Doubt it. (Is poisoning the Presidential pet a capital offense?) Will his veterinarians make house calls? More expense. 

But enough of the Obama dog’s priciness. Get to the point. What does it mean for the real pet owners among us? 

Ummm...it’s none too different, really. Most of us here are willing to spend as much as Bo will eat up in his time “in office.” No, we may not splurge on security detail or extra professional training and the items he may destroy are likely not as historically significant, but the rest? About the same. 

One study demonstrated that the average dog costs around $1,700 a year. The ouch factor is even greater if, like me, you opt for serious treatment for serious diseases. Radiation for your dog’s brain tumor. Radioactive iodine for your cat’s hyperthyroidism. $100 in insulin every month for your diabetic. Years of Prozac or pain relievers or (God forbid!) a total hip replacement. 

$1,700? It’s a drop in the bucket for some of us––based on average food and average vet care as it is. God knows the raw food feeders out there know it can be near-prohibitively expensive to feed a brood of large breed dogs. 

The Obama dog? For all the fuss about his expense, in the end he’s just as pricey as ours––with a few extra training concessions that, in the long run, will probably save the Obama family wads of cash.