Industry studies reveal what the biggest pet caring expenses are with food and treats topping the list
Industry studies reveal what the biggest pet caring expenses are with food and treats
topping the list

Being a pet “owner” is both a moral and a financial responsibility. And, the biggest pet caring expenses they generally incur are food and treats, followed by veterinary care and then pet supplies together with over-the-counter medicines.

Every year, industry studies conducted in the United States reveal the latest statistics and calculate how much a pet parent is likely to spend on their four-legged companion. Here are the current figures. For a dog owner, that amount will be roughly $1,641 per year per pet and for someone with a cat, around $1,125.

The Entire Pet Picture

While I was researching data about canines and felines, I also came across this. So I thought I’d include it, just for fun. How about if we take a look at expenditures for the pet industry as a whole? 

These are the costs involving pet ownership of the entire group, which includes other species…birds, fish, reptiles, small animals and horses. For 2017, the projected amount is a whopping $69.36 billion. This is an increase of 24.5 percent over the last five years. And, interestingly, these figures have risen steadily each year since 1994, when spending reached a much lower, but still respectable, $17 billion.

Health Care For Pets

When it comes to our dogs and cats, this matter is also of concern to humans…access to affordable health care. In fact, providing proper medical attention happens to be one of the biggest expenses related to caring for pets.

The Cost Of Aging

Nowadays, many of our pets are living longer. And, with this extended longevity come age-related health issues, such as arthritis, cognitive disorder, diabetes, renal failure and cancer. In some instances, the necessary specialized veterinary care and medications can be rather costly. Consequently, a lot of pet owners are purchasing health insurance for their companion animals which is yet another expense to factor in to the yearly budget.

Annual Expenses

The following is a breakdown of the most significant costs that are involved with pet ownership. They are based on statistics gathered from a number of different sources that are know to be reliable.

  • Vet surgeries

Dog: $474; Cat: $245

  • Routine vet visits

Dog: $257; Cat: $182

  • Food

Dog: $235; Cat: $235

  • Treats

Dog: $72; Cat: $56

  • Kennel boarding

Dog: $322; Cat:$164

  • Vitamins

Dog: $58; Cat: $46

  • Groomer services and grooming aids

Dog: $84; Cat: $30

  • Toys

Dog: $47; Cat: $30

To Sum Up

As I mentioned at the beginning, pet ownership is a big responsibility. Our dogs and cats have no voice. It is up to us to ensure they have everything they need to lead a full and happy life.


With 94.2 million cats and 89.7 million dogs, pet parents’ economic impact in the USA is considerable
With 94.2 million cats and 89.7 million dogs, pet parents’ economic impact in the USA
is considerable

Last week my blog revealed the number of U.S. families that have a pet. And today I want to focus on the significant economic impact that pet parents have. We’re talking here about an estimated 85 million households that have a dog or a cat, or both. Or even more than just a couple of pets. And this is a number that’s steadily growing.

How Many Pets?

So, what are we really dealing with here? Well, in this country (the USA), there are approximately 94.2 million cats and 89.7 million dogs that have a human family. This not only means that more canines and felines have a home, which is a very encouraging trend in and of itself. It is also resulting in an increasing demand for products and services related to their care. Simply put, animal lovers are boosting business!

Products And Services For Pets

Pet parents’ economic impact is measured by their demand for products and services which is determined by lifestyle and empathy.  

As you will have read in my very first blog, we are treating our companion animals as true companions and members of the family. They live indoors, not in the outdoor kennels of decades past. Many are allowed to sleep on the bed. And, if their caregivers love the outdoors and the water, Fido will join the family on boat rides while he wears the latest technology in doggy life jackets.

As a result, pet guardians who are financially secure tend to choose products and services of higher quality. These include food, grooming, toys and medical care. Really what they are doing is treating their four-legged family members just like they would a child.

Business And Job Opportunities

Business in the pet sector is booming. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in the pet industry are expected to grow 11 percent over the 10-year period from 2014 to 2024. And, interestingly, businesses are employing people of all ages with a wide variety of skill sets. Sought after positions range from retail assistants, certified groomers, administrative personnel and highly specialized veterinary surgeons.

This, of course, also creates business opportunities for entrepreneurs who can zero in on an innovative idea and offer something that consumers will craving for. Success stories that readily come to mind are treadmills specifically for dogs to exercise indoors and de-shedding tools designed for long-haired cats.

To Sum Up

It is this bond between humans and their companion animals which is the driving force that has boosted the pet industry and this area of the economy. It’s a fact that is very noticeably in the messaging of so many advertising campaigns. 

For more on this topic, please join me next week when we analyze how much people are spending on their pets. There are some very interesting statistics. You won’t want to miss out!


In my first blog I ask how many U.S. pet families there are and give dog and cat stats
In my first blog I ask how many U.S. pet families there are and give dog and cat stats

Here I am, embarking on my first blog, with a question. And that question is…just how many U.S. pet families do you think there are? It seems to me quite logical to ask this given that everything on this site is about dogs, and cats, and their caregivers.

Well, the answer may surprise you, as it did me. It turns out that an estimated 85 million families in the United States “own” at least one pet. And to give it some perspective, that number is the equivalent of 68 percent of all households in this country. 

How Many Pets?

The latest statistics show that as U.S. pet ownership grows, so does the number of canines and felines in their care. And, if we put all the dogs and cats together into one big group, we get a combined total of 183.9 million. Now compare this to the human population of roughly 324 million. That’s quite an impressive number of pets. Furthermore, that’s an increase of 56 percent since 1988, nearly 30 years ago. And, that happens to be the year the American Pet Products Association conducted its very first industry survey.

Pet-Owning Population Grows

As the power of social media surges, there is indisputable evidence that the relationship people have with companion animals is changing. It is closer, more intimate and it is definitely more mainstream. Pets are now considered an important part of the family unit. And, consequently, the bond between humans and their canine and feline friends is increasingly stronger.

Pet ownership is also getting a boost from stories about dogs and cats at shelters that are looking for a forever home. So many people have a desire to rescue and give these companion animals the better life they deserve. In addition, an important point to remember is how dogs are participating in our daily lives in a variety of other ways. They are therapy dogs and emotional support dogs, that work with veterans, the disabled, and traumatized children. You see them in hospitals and court rooms, schools and grief counseling session and, of course, in private homes.

Demand For Pet Products and Services

Now that we have a pretty good idea of how many pet families there are in the U.S.A., here comes the next question. Do we also know what products and services they want for their dogs and cats?

Actually, we do, and the next blog will go into this topic further. However, I can give you a couple of hints. Pet parents are choosing more quality items. And, they are spoiling their four-legged companions like they would their own child. 

A Question for You

To all of you reading this blog, do you treat your pets any differently now than you did when you were growing up? Please let me know by leaving a brief message in the Comments box. Thank you.