We love our dogs and our spending habits show it. In 2015-16, pet owners are expected to spend $60.6 billion on the care, feeding and entertaining of their pets, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
Spending is growing
Our spending on pets has nearly tripled in the past 20 years. The two biggest bites out of total pet spending are for food (38 percent of total spending) and veterinary care (26 percent of total spending).
These statistics come from an every-other-year survey by the APPA of pet spending and ownership in the United States. The survey documents that pet-related products and services are big business — and showing little sign of slowing down.
Costs not always considered when adopting
While it’s easy to get carried away with wagging tails and trusting brown eyes, few people considering bringing a pet home from a shelter or breeder realize that the basic yearly expenses of owning a pet are expected to average $1,641 through 2016. If that dog you adopt lives 10 years, you’re looking at a $16,410 investment.
Expenses of choice versus expense of necessity
While some expenses included are matters of choice — treats and toys, for example — expenses like food and vet care don’t allow dog lovers much room for pinching pennies.
The biggest component of annual expenses for a dog veterinary care, both routine and surgical. Dogs are living longer and many medical procedures are crossing over from human care to canine care.
Kennel and boarding care are the next largest category of spending for dogs. This may be a reflection of the number of working people who put their dogs in doggie day care.
Concerns about the quality and safety of pet food is leading more people to opt for premium brands. Spending in this category is up 27 percent compared to 2009.
Any dog lover will tell you that a dog’s love is priceless. But any responsible dog owner will tuck away the dollars to make sure that priceless dog is well cared for.