It’s No Surprise That Pet Owners Spend This Much Each Month on Pets

PetMD Editorial
Updated: October 31, 2018
Published: May 16, 2018
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In recent years, the pet industry has turned into a thriving business. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ statistics on “Personal consumption expenditures: Pets, pet products and related services,” American spending for pets and pet products or services exceeded $99 billion in 2016, and this number is still growing.

Many credit the increase in spending to the shift in attitude toward pets that has happened over the years. In his Forbes’ article, “How Generational Change Boosts the Roaring Pet Market,” Neil Howe reports that “Young Boomers began the trend of humanizing pets—making them ‘part of the family.’ They later changed the narrative from pet ‘ownership’ to pet ‘companionship’ and redefined civil rights to include animal rights.”

It is not uncommon to see pet owners dedicate a good portion of their financial resources to the care and happiness of their pets, which why the pet industry is still growing. So how much does the average pet parent spend a month on their pet? It depends on the type of pet you have.

According to the American Pet Product Association’s 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, pet ownership in the US occurs in 68% of all US households. Of those 68% of Americans, these are the types of pets they care for:

Dog: 48%

Cat: 38%

Freshwater fish: 10%

Bird: 6%

Small animal: 5%

Reptile: 4%

Horse: 2%

Saltwater fish 2%

In the OppLoans article, they ranked each pet from least to most expensive, and the results may be a bit surprising.

Fish: $62.53 per month

Rabbits: $65 per month

Mice or rats: $80 per month

Cats: $92.98 per month

Birds: $113.89 per month

Reptiles or turtles: $116.63 per month

Dogs: $139.80 per month

Others (e.g., horses, pigs): $351.67