The goldfish is often thought to be the ultimate cheap pet, but that title actually belongs to the Betta fish. All it requires is a bowl and thrice-weekly feedings (half as many as a goldfish). So how does a Betta stack up against a Labrador retriever, New York’s most popular dog? We ran the numbers.
ACTUAL FISH: $4
FISH BOWL: $4 (or just reuse a bowl you already own)
TWO MONTHS OF FOOD: $3
ANNUAL TOTAL: $26
ACTUAL DOG: Adopt free from New York Animal Care & Control
FOOD: $35 a month
DOUBLE BOWL: $12
ANNUAL VET EXAM: Up to $300
GROOMING: $55 (four times a year)
ANNUAL TOTAL: $1,058
(All prices from Petco, 860 Broadway, nr. 17th St.; 212-358-0692)
Fine, Keep the Dog...
But at least lower your canine costs.
1. Sign up for a dog-training camp put on by ABC’s of Dog Training in Astoria Park and Juniper Park (abcsofdogtraining.com).
2. Save an average of $30 on grooming by having your dog washed and trimmed by groomers-in-training at the New York School of Dog Grooming (212-685-3776).
3. Order bulk food from discount Website drsfostersmith.com (also saves you the trouble of lugging a huge bag of kibble on the subway.
4. Spaying or neutering your dog can cost $550 at a private vet. Have it done for about $75 at the Humane Society of New York (212-752-4840).
Annual Savings: $1,032
(Assuming the Betta fish doesn’t have to be replaced a few times.)