How much do we spend on pets?

March 26, 2012 — Leave a comment

Lucy dog and her ball

We love our animals and treat them as family, but how much do we spend on pets?   It obviously varies from the lady whose cat received her $13 million dollar inheritance to the crazy cat lady down the block whose cats are overtaking the neighborhood.

According to US Census Bureau, the average family spends $58 per month on their pets.  Since 1999, our spending on pets has increased by 99%!!  That’s the highest growth of any category in our monthly expenses; even higher than the ten year increases in healthcare and education.  Like I said before, we love our pets… and the same goes for our dog.

Even though I blamed our dog, Lucy, for breaking my hand, we still love her like a member of the family.  She brings us joy on a daily basis, and I can’t imagine a day without our walks or her greeting me like I’ve been gone for ages, when I have only left for a few minutes.

However, she has turned into her own little expense factory that propels us over the average monthly spending on pets of $58.  She has allergies that last year round, and the only way we’ve been able to treat it is to put her on daily steroids.  They cost about a dollar per day.  Add to that the occasional staph infection, and we’re paying the Vet’s cable bill!  When adding in other items like heart warm and flea prevention, our medical spending alone is around the average family’s pet expenses of $58/month.

In addition, her food is more expensive because we have to buy an allergy-free formula that costs around $65/month.  Finally, add in her pill pockets for her daily pills at $12/month and we spend around $77/month on food.  That brings our grand total to around $125/month on our one dog!  We wouldn’t trade her for anything, but it does make me question getting a second dog!

How much do Americans spend collectively on pets?

The American Pets Products Association (APPA) compiled some really interesting information on pet ownership.  They estimate Americans will spend $52.87 billion on their pets in 2012!!  Pet spending has increased every year since it was $17 billion in 1994.

According to their information, in 2011, 62% of households owned a pet.  That’s up from 56% in 1988.  Also, for the record, 46.3 million households own a dog while 38.9 million own a cat.

There you have it, the average American family spends $58/month on pets… while we spend around $125!  However, Lucy weighs 75 pounds so I think we’re doing pretty good on an expense to weight ratio.  How much do you spend on your pets?

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