I’m not sure whether this should be in IMHO or Great Debates…mods may move as they see fit of course!
The ‘pet’ industry has grown in leaps and bounds, particularly in the last 30 or so years. Prior to that (in my experience) if you wanted a generic pet, you’d ask around the neighbourhood to see who’d had a litter of puppies or kittens, and you’d likely be given the pup/kitty free of charge, or for a nominal cost at most. If you wanted a pedigreed animal, the rules were different!
OK, so you’ve got your new crossbred pup, kitty or rabbit or whatever…you do the right thing and have them immunised against the common diseases that infect that breed, worm them, feed them good munger and give them lots of love (and in the case of puppies, training too).
But then, something happens when the pet is older. Either an accident or an illness means that your beloved pet is going to need major medical treatment by a vet, and it might cost many hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
My experience (in RL and via social and other media etc) is that the ‘love’ you have for your pet is measured in the dollar amount you are prepared to spend to save that pet’s life.
So, what are the benchmarks?
Edith has a kitty who developed kidney disease in it’s old age. Edith loves her kitty, and spent $700 on surgery, and will spend $100 per month on meds to prolong her kitty’s life. Edith is on an old-age pension and paying for the vet bills means that she is late paying her utility bills AND cutting back on her already spartan food costs.
Jason has a pedigreed black labrador, vet checked at birth for dysplasia etc, but now exhibits symptoms of the same. Jason is a high-flying banker, vacations to St Moritz each winter, and the Great Barrier Reef for snorkelling each summer. Not short of a dollar, he chooses to have his dog put down rather than pay for the vet bills that will ensue to treat the dysplasia.
Geoff and Dianne have a rabbit, actually a pet for their children. The rabbit is now four years old, and has developed cataracts. Geoff and Dianne don’t have the funds available to treat the rabbit’s cararacts, so elect to have it put down rather than suffer in blindness.
Going by what I read nowadays, unless you have the available money AND the willingness to spend money on pets, you’re not a fit pet-parent! A good pet owner will spend (often) MEGA thousands to provide the vet care needed, and anything less means that you are not as loving, caring or fit to care for a pet at all.