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— January 27, 2015 —
Pay Now or Pay Later…with Interest!
by Daniel McElroy Jr.

Over the last two weeks, I wrote about good and bad habits some dog owners may have regarding their dogs. I made a statement that your dog will get the exercise he needs one way or another. Here is what I mean by that.

Often we see advertisements for merchandise like computers, furniture, televisions and so on. “BUY NOW, PAY LATER” they all say. Sounds great, right? What they aren’t telling you is that the cost of these items ends up being WAY higher than if you saved up your money and paid up front.

Many years ago, when I was a young Private in the Army, I bought my first car. It was brand new and I felt like I had accomplished something for myself. I went in, picked it out and got financing on it. I thought I had figured out the downpayment, insurance costs and monthly payments. I could afford it and I was good to go.

When we got to the signing of the contracts, the salesman pointed out a line that showed how much I would actually be paying in interest after I paid the loan off. I was quite surprised. The interest over 4 years would increase the total price of the car by thousands. I had not factored that into my calculations.

Now I know that everyone can’t pay up front for major purchases like cars, houses and such, but in some cases you can. Our dog’s well being is one of those areas. That, like our houses and cars, can have interest payments attached to them which are totally avoidable. Like the old adage states, “Time is Money” and there are ways that we can “Pay Now” with our dogs and avoid those costly interest payments down the road.

Exercise is one of those ways. Exercise is an often-overlooked component of our dogs well-being. I made a humorous point about the cooped-up dog exercising by destroying the couch, but that is exactly true. Think of it this way. If you pay up front, by giving your dog regular, vigorous exercise, he will be tired and satisfied. That’s a pretty cheap investment with a nice pay off. If you wait to exercise him, and he takes it out on your couch, you’ll still have to spend time on him…cleaning up the mess. Then comes the interest payment; buying a new couch. I always say, “A tired dog is a good dog.” There are things that exercise can do for your dog that no amount of training will ever give you.

In real terms of dollars and cents, it makes sense to give our dogs the exercise they need. Besides being destructive or possibly developing other bad behaviors, an exercised dog will be healthier and stronger. This means a longer life with less trips to the vet. How’s that for saving money by paying up front?

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