As much as you might love to have a furry dog as a roommate, sometimes financing a dog’s lifestyle can feel like burning a hole in your wallet. Especially with the increasing total cost of household necessities, considering the cost of caring for a dog is more important than ever.
That feeling can definitely feel right after you see the bill from a sudden trip to the vet or when you buy another alternative to a devastating chew toy.
During good times and bad, your bank account is still better off owning a dog in Idaho than any other state.
Gem State has been ranked the cheapest state to own a dog, according to a recent study from Pettable, a pre-screening service that allows you to get a letter for your dog to become an emotional support animal or psychiatric service dog.
Idahoans pay, on average, $1,232 a year for their dogs, less than the national average of $1,750 and less than half of the $2,864 annually that the leading state of Delaware spends on their dogs.
Pettable took into account four factors when creating its rankings: the annual cost of food, pet insurance, vet office visits, and the cost of vaccinations and spaying or neutering a dog.
Idahoans pay $103 on dog food per year, dwarfing the $1,609 that Delaware residents pay. The national average is a more modest $581 per year.
Pettable collected food cost data from the American Pet Products Association, which estimates that $50 billion was spent in the United States on pet food and processing in 2021.
pet insurance cost
Idaho has fallen somewhat centrally nationwide for the cost of pet insurance, averaging $502 per year. Most states pay between $400 and $600.
Pettable used insurance comparison site Pawlicy Advisor to calculate the average cost for each state. A Pawlicy consultant takes into account uncontrollable factors such as dog breed, age, and where you live, and controllable expenses such as type of coverage, deductibles, and the number of pets registered under the same plan.
Veterinary clinic visits and vaccinations
Pettable used data from the U.S. Census Bureau to determine each state’s most populous zip code, then plugged that zip code into a price estimator at Banfield Pet Hospital. The price estimator provides the average cost of a vet visit, six types of vaccines and different anesthetic procedures to calculate it.
Idahoans spend approximately $53 on vet visits and $573 on vaccinations and other medical procedures annually.
Cheapest countries to own a dog
Thinking of moving away from Idaho but wanting to go somewhere where owning a dog will still be relatively cheap? These are the states that come close to Gem State in average annual costs:
Idaho – $1,232
South Dakota – $1404
Rhode Island – $1,414
Oklahoma – $1426
Arkansas – $1,348