Pet care is expensive. Just for our 2 dogs to have their annual check-ups and shots this year was over $300. They go through a 48 pound bag of Iams weight control food every 5-6 weeks, which costs about $39. The oldest one has allergies and skin problems, so she also gets fish oil pills, at about $9/bottle. She has incontinence issues that are controlled with hormone pills, at a cost of about $15/month. And now she's diabetic and is having some kind of problem with stiff legs. The insulin costs $23/month, the syringes are $13/box, and we're giving her an Ascriptin (aspirin with Maalox in it) with every meal on vet's orders. That's $8/bottle. And being a lab, she's had ear problems all her life. She gets a dropper of meds in each ear once a week to keep that under control. A bottle of the ear drops costs about $45 and lasts about a year. The vet says she has a bone spur on her spine that's causing her problems with the stairs, but we're not so sure about that. We think the majority of her problem with the stairs is that her cataracts are preventing her from seeing downward.
We'll continue to care for her as long as she has a good quality of life, but we won't go to heroics to save her should something dire happen. That probably sounds heartless, but she's had a good life and she's approaching the end of it. Most of her health problems have developed in the last year. She'll be 12 in July, which is old for a lab. They usually only live to about 9. We've started preparing ourselves to be able to handle it when the time comes for her, which we hope will be at least another year or two.
Thankfully the other dog has been healthy as a horse. He just turned 9 in May (chronologically, anyway - he'll always be a 2 year old). Being a smaller, more athletic breed he's expected to live more years than she is. When he starts having health problems, we'll care for him the same way.
Our dogs are our kids. As long as we can afford to care for them, we will.