Inflation drives up the price of pets. But the owners always splurge

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Pet parenting is getting more and more expensive, but many owners are still willing to splurge, according to a report from Rover, an online pet marketplace.

Rising costs and inflation are a growing concern for Americans, affecting everyday expenses like groceries, gas and housing. Pet parents are also feeling the sting, according to the report analyzing data from more than 1,000 US dog owners.

More than 70% of pet owners have spent more on food, treats, toys and vet visits, and 73% are worried about continued rising prices, according to the report.

Indeed, annual pet food inflation rose 3.7% in February, according to the US Department of Labor, and pet services, including veterinary care, jumped 5.8%. %.

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“Like most consumer goods and services around the world, the cost of many pet products has increased over the past year,” said Kate Jaffe, trends expert at Rover. “Despite these rising costs, Americans continue to splurge like never before for their beloved pets.”

For example, nutritious food made with fresh ingredients is a popular splurge, according to the report, with the majority of pet owners willing to spend more.

Personalized services, such as dog walking and sitting, especially for city dwellers, are also a priority for pet owners. Many are willing to pay extra for “green” products, like biodegradable poo bags, and some will shell out for smart pet devices.

These results may suggest that pets and their welfare “are not discretionary expenses, but rather part of the mandatory family budget,” Jaffe said.

These results are consistent with a 2021 report from the American Pet Products Association, showing that 35% of owners have spent more on pet supplies in the past 12 months, and 51% are willing to pay more for products ” ethically sourced” and “environmentally friendly”. some products.

The percentage of US homes with pets has continued to grow during the pandemic, reaching around 70% in 2022, up from 67% in 2021, according to the American Pet Products Association.

Costs vary by breed

Typically, dog parents spend around $100 to $149 per month regardless of location, Rover found. Of course, expenses can vary depending on unique needs and lifestyle.

However, if you’re ready to adopt a dog and are concerned about your budget, you can compare average costs by breed, Jaffe suggested.

For example, mixed breeds, Dachshunds and Chihuahuas are generally less expensive, costing less than $100 per month.

And while Labrador retrievers, surprisingly, can cost between $50 and $99 per month, golden retrievers are on the high end, with owners spending anywhere from $100 to over $150 per month.

“Race Factors [into the cost of dog parenthood] on many levels,” said Dr Rebecca Greenstein, Veterinary Medical Advisor for Rover. “In its simplest form, it could be a matter of size, and size is a huge determining factor in cost.

“Medications are dosed based on body weight, for example,” she noted.

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