In 2020, pet ownership in the US reached an all time high of 70%. More than half of newly adopted pets went to first-time pet owners. While wonderful news for the pets who now have a home, new owners aren’t always aware of the costs of owning a pet. There are 2 ways of considering pet costs. First, acknowledge the cost difference of a large dog versus a small dog. Second, the first year of owning a dog tends to be more than twice as expensive as subsequent years.
Pet spending encompasses several different categories. Food and treats is the largest category, reaching $42 billion in 2020. The next largest category was veterinary care and products, at $31 billion. Unexpected vet bills due to accidents and injuries are the most common driver of high pet care costs. Preventing unexpected vet bills starts with keeping your pet healthy. Be proactive with your pet, and join the 80% of pet owners who visit the vet at least once a year. Perform regular checkups and keep your home environment safe for your pet. Some houseplants or other materials are poisonous to them.
While pet insurance is a great way to cap medical costs, 3 in 4 pet owners don’t have pet insurance. That said, 3.1 million pets are insured today. Pet insurance varies by policy; some cover routine wellness while others are meant to insure against accidents or illness. Premiums vary accordingly. Consider whether pet insurance can help keep your pet safe.
Learn more about the benefits of pet insurance in the visual deep dive below: