Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Will Exxon Decide Your Next Breed of Dog?
So many people buy larger cars and SUVS in order to carry their dogs around, that my web-friend Gina Spadafori has a whole web site devote to dog car selection.
But what happens when the price of gas shoots through the roof?
It does not take a psychic to see that this dog-car thing is a two way street.
If oil hits $200 a barrel (it's already at $130 a barrel) over the next year (which Goldman Sachs and others say it may) the cost of crude alone is going to be $4.76 a gallon. After you add on the costs of refining that oil into gasoline, distributing it, and taxing it (to maintain roads and bridges), pump prices could rise to $6 to $7 a gallon
What will that mean for the world of dogs? Well, for one thing it will mean fewer people will be willing to travel long distances to attend dog shows. It may mean less long distance travel for hunting as well.
More importantly, it will mean that getting a large dog will come with a new premium due to the rising cost of fueling a larger "dog car."
At $6 a gallon, and assuming a 12,000-mile year, an SUV that gets 15 miles to the gallon (i.e. a Ford Explorer) will cost you $4,800 a year for gas, while a Toyota Prius that gets 45 miles per gallon will cost you $1,600 a year in gas -- a $3,200 difference.
Assuming the dog lives 10 years and so does the car, the choice between a dog that requires an SUV and a dog that can fit in a Prius is a $32,000 difference.
Yow! Add in the fact that a larger dog will also cost more to feed, vet (larger dogs have larger medical bills too), and board, and you easily have a $50,000 cost differential between owning a small and large breed dog.
Bottom line: Rising gasoline prices may push more folks to smaller breeds such as terriers, dachshunds and lap dogs, and away from larger breeds such as Great Danes, Pit Bulls, Border Collies, Pointers, Greyhounds and Labrador Retrievers.