We love our pets, so it’s not surprising that we spend big bucks on them.
But over $50 billion?
That’s how much, and more, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) says Americans spent on their pets in 2011.
Growth Of ‘Pet Services‘
Food and veterinary costs accounted for about 65% of the figure, but the category of “pet services” grew faster than any other, totaling $3.79bn in 2011. These include grooming, boarding, pet hotels and pet-sitting.
About 63 percent of U.S. households, or 71 million homes, now own at least one pet — up from 64 million just five years ago.
From the BBC:
Spending on pet services should continue to grow and reach $4.11bn (£2.59bn) by the end of 2012, said APPA President Bob Vetere.
“We are seeing a boom in this category as people continue to work and require services such as pet-sitting, boarding and walking to care for their pets at home,” Mr Vetere said.
Pet insurance is expected to be another growth area, with spending estimated at $450m (£284m) in 2011.
A wide range of pet clothes are available from US retailers, from polo shirts to wigs and fancy dress costumes.
“We are seeing a lot of puzzle feeders for dogs – not just toys but ones that are geared toward the mental needs of the animal. Then there are bionic toys for destructive chewers, a lot of very niche items.” (San Diego vetenarian Jessica Vogelsang told the Associated Press)
$695 Annually For A Medium Dog, $670 For A Cat
How does this break down for each individual pet? According to the ASPCA, the first-year cost for a medium dog is $1580, while a cat will set you back $1035. That first year is expensive. After that, it costs around $695 per year for a medium dog, and $670 for a cat. The chart on their website explains exactly where the dollars go.
That sounded like a huge amount to me, until I started to figure out how much I spend on my cat, Sergeant Pepper: around $1000 including food, vet bills and pet sitting expenses. She’s not big on toys. Of course, then there are the expenses of time consumed cleaning the house, since her fur gets everywhere, even into the rooms she’s not allowed to enter.
But take heart! According to thisismoney.co, the average annual cost of owning a dog in the UK is currently £1,183 ($1873), while the average annual cost of owning a cat is slightly lower at £1,028 ($1627).
And besides, we can’t do without our pets.
Photo Credit: Sephiroty Fiesta