Vet Spending

We have a Viszla and no children. He gets “ultra-premium” dog food, ridiculous toys, and relatively expensive treats (because he likes them better!) When we were deciding on a vet, we picked the place run by people with degrees from Cornell, because we looked it up and Cornell is the top-ranked vet school. I’m pretty sure we’re not economizing. And I’m pretty sure Robin Hanson’s on the right track. But it is possible to call around and get accurate quotes on the cost of neutering your dog. I didn’t happen to call around because Winston gets the very best! (Also, I figured prices wouldn’t vary that much in a competitive market.) I don’t think Winston is impressed, but we’re pretty happy with ourselves.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center

15 thoughts

  1. You're happy with the food? We've been using Science Diet, and we've tried almost all of the “premium” foods, but I'm always looking to find something better. What made you choose that one instead of some of the other ones?

  2. Yeah. We're happy with it. We didn't really choose it. It's what his breeder started him on and recommends, and we've had no cause to change.

  3. Thanks, Rich. He doesn't seem to have shown any food allergies, so far.

  4. We picked a puppy from the litter and Kerry said he looked like a Winston and I agreed. On reflection, I think this has something to do with an association between jowly wrinkliness and Winston Churchill, but we didn't name him after anyone. He just seemed to us to resemble the name.

  5. May Winston stay allergy free. It's not fun, though it is nice that it can be controlled with food and a little Benadryl. Also, Eagle Pack has a buyer loyalty program and every 10th bag is free. That's just good marketing. On another note, if I didn't already have 2 dogs I would be tempted to add a Viszla to my household, primarily based on your descriptions and FB pics. I live in NW Arkansas and the fact that they're bird dogs keeps the breed fairly available. Lots of hunters in the area. But I do have 2 dogs and I run my house like Noah. Two parents, two cats, and two dogs. Only one kid, but that'll go to 2 in November.

  6. Liz – New York – University of Rochester grad with a BA in history. Attending law school at Syracuse University. Politics, fitness, Calvin and Hobbes, dudes.
    Lizzaroni says:

    My family will likely choose vets from Cornell for the same reason, with the added benefit of my father being able to sneak in the fact that he went there into many, many otherwise unrelated sentences. Oh well.I do feel bad about the neutering thing, though….

  7. You can often get spay neuter services for many vets by checking with your local animal shelter for discount certificates. Our local shelter (Alexandria, VA) sells these and it saved me about $100 for my vet.

  8. Prices vary tremendously on the neutering/spaying costs, at least in DC & environs. When we adopted our second dog, a Malamute, he was not yet neutered but was scheduled to go under the knife a couple of weeks later by the rescue organization, CHAAMP. We had the choice of keeping his appointment at the rural clinic three hours away in Shenandoah Valley, or going to our own vet here in Fairfax. Cost from our vet: nearly $400. Cost at the clinic: under $100 with a teeth cleansing and microchipping thrown in.

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