How much can you spend on a pet?

On Tuesday, financial services firm Synchrony released its Lifetime of Care survey of 1,200 pet owners and 100 veterinarians, which found that caring for a dog costs between $ 20,000 and $ 55,000 and caring for a cat between $ 15,000 and $ 45,000 during its lifetime .

Almost half of respondents said they underestimated the cost of caring for a pet, even though 70% of pet owners consider their pets part of the family.

“Millions of Americans choose to share their lives with pets, but the real cost of ownership has historically been incredibly vague,” said Jonathan Wainberg, senior vice president and general manager of CareCredit Pet at Synchrony, in a statement.


According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, one in five Americans got a pet during the pandemic. The American Pet Products Association now has a pet in a total of 90.5 million households in the United States. In total, pet owners spent $ 103.6 billion looking after their pets in 2020.

“We want pet parents to have a deeper understanding of what to expect financially,” said Wainberg.

Everyday expenses like food, treats, and routine health care can be expensive, but the costs multiply when an animal is old or near the end of its life.

According to the Synchrony survey, owners can expect to spend between $ 1,300-2,800 on a dog and $ 960-2,500 on a cat in the first year alone.

The coronavirus resulted in many people adopting or buying a pet. The APPA’s annual pet ownership survey last year found that pet ownership increased from 67% of U.S. households to an estimated 70% in 2020. Among the demographic groups, millennials were the largest owner cohort with 32%, followed by baby boomers with 27% and Generation X with 24%.

One in four respondents shared details of their new pet purchases in 2020, with 60% choosing saltwater fish, 47% dogs, 46% birds, and 40% cats. 35 percent of pet owners said they had spent more in the 12 months to June 2021 than in the previous year.

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