When it comes to pet ownership people, including Black Americans, spend big time on their cherished animals. In fact, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) reports the industry posted $123.6 billion in sales during 2021, the highest ever and the second straight banner year for the business.
The data come as a new study asks how much are you willing to spend on your pets each year. It suggests that if you are looking to add a pet such as a cat or a dog, you might do well to check your finances first— annual cost could exceed $3,500.
The survey of 2,000 pet owners—including 1,000 each that own cats and dogs—found that 52% have a monthly budget with an average cap of $309 to cover the basic needs of their pets.
Though 98% of those quizzed have exceeded their monthly budget, some 79% “don’t care” if that happens. The top factors that prompt owners to spend money include pet care (37), emergency visits to the vet (35%), and enhancing their home situation or taking care of their annual/continuing medical needs (33%).
The APPA reports that 70% of U.S. households own a pet, tallying 90.5 million homes. And people keep adding furry pals or family members.
The study was done by OnePoll for pet health insurer Lemonade. It showed that 45% of respondents believe dogs are more expensive to care for, 13% say cats take more money, and 42% report both cost the same.
Yet, the research showed that 55% of owners don’t have pet insurance policies, with cost being the biggest obstacle. Of the 45% with insurance, they researched at least three policies before buying one. Some 75% stated it is important to plan for their dog or cat’s end-of-life care whether they have policies or not.
“There’s no doubt that bringing a pet into your home can add immense unconditional love, but it’s important to understand they do come with a cost,” Dr. Stephanie Liff, a vet health expert at Lemonade said via Talker News. “Whether it’s a routine vet visit, food, toys, or emergency surgery, pets have financial needs that can add up. Being prepared and knowing your options, whatever that looks like for an individual, is crucial to have in place before there is an issue that becomes a heavy financial burden.”