How Much Are People Spending On Their Dogs? - TV To Talk About | The Tulsa CW

How Much Are People Spending On Their Dogs?


It’s no secret that Americans love their dogs, with US pooch lovers racking up an impressive figure of $70 billion dollars a year spent on their canine companions alone. Dogs have long been the pet of choice for many Americans, with over 89 million dog owners recorded in the last census. America beat China’s pet spending with flying colors, as Asian dog lovers are forecast to spend $2.6 billion on their dogs this year.

More than ever, dog owners are splashing out their cash to ensure their pooches have the best of what life has to offer. The days of your standard backyard kennel are over, with pet mansions, pet rooms and portable luxury kennels taking their place.

As our technology has advanced, so too has that for our furry companions. Dog walking apps to find the best parks and social groups have millions of downloads, whilst grooming and boarding kennels are now state of the art facilities. It seems that everywhere we turn, another massive pet barn is opening with even more gadgets and gizmos designed to let your dog live in the luxury it deserves.

It’s not really surprising, as more and more millennials are choosing to purchase pets rather than have a baby. The need to nurture can still be quite strong in pet-only families, and we’ve started not only treating our pets as members of the family but as if they were our own babies too.

Looking at the figures

Let’s have a look at the figures from dog owners in the 2017 census. Unsurprisingly, the largest amount of money was spent on food, coming in at $29.1 billion. Ongoing food costs are an addition to the shopping list we come to expect when you have a pet, however, specialized pet food offerings have begun to pop up, proclaiming the best nutrients and scientifically proven formulas for your pup. These can come with a much higher price tag in comparison to good old’ Chum in a tin.

The next highest on the list was again unsurprising, vet care at $17.1 billion. Good owners should be making sure their dogs have regular checkups and vaccinations, just as you would take your child to the doctor. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent to pet bulk billing, and vet costs can cost upwards of $500 each visit, more if there is something wrong.

Vets are highly trained and specialized in all areas of canine care, and study for many years to be able to make sure your pet gets better, so these costs are unfortunately unavoidable. Many people have been forced to take out loans to be able to cover these expenses when they inevitably pop up.

Following in third at $15.1 billion are the additions to your vet bill: medication. Some breeds of dogs, such as Dachshunds and Pugs, are known to have many medical problems, and this could mean daily medications or needles; especially as they get into older age. Medicines are another unavoidable cost of pet ownership, but a very important one. That’s why it’s so important to ask the right questions when rescuing or buying a puppy, so you are aware of the potential costs and considerations.

At $6.2 billion came pet services, particularly grooming and boarding. A recent Japanese trend of shaving hearts into dog’s behinds sparked a boom across the world for dog grooming services. Suddenly, everyone wanted their dog to have the chicest and up to date look in the canine world.

As people pour more money into their dogs, the demand for quality places to board their dogs whilst working abroad or on holiday has become very high. Kennels are no longer depressing cages but have become playtime sanctuaries for your best friend. Some even offer a live cam service so you can watch your dog play from anywhere in the world via the internet.

Finally came the live animal purchases, coming in at a whopping $2.1 billion. In comparison to the figures Americans are spending on pet services and medical care, we are putting a lot of value on our pets.

Treating our dogs as a member of the family makes the financial amounts pet ownership costs unnegotiable. If our children were suddenly unwell and needed surgery, we would cover the medical costs with no questions asked; and this has also spread onto our dogs.

A world of pet lovers

These figures are only going up around the world too, and have sparked a lot of debate across the world as to how much is too much when it comes to spoiling our dogs. Some believe a dog is happy with a soft blanket, a ball, a chew toy and the love of their owner.

Others prefer to give their dogs mini-mansions, spa treatment, and five-star service all the way. Whatever side you’re on, the most important thing is to keep your pooch happy and healthy. After all, they love us unconditionally. It’s the least we could do.

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