Inflation drives up the price of pets. But the owners still brag

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Keeping pets is becoming 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, gasoline, and housing. Pet parents feel the tingles, too, according to the report, which analyzes data from more than 1,000 dog owners in the United States.

The report found that more than 70% of pet parents have spent more on food, treats, toys and vet visits, and 73% are concerned about prices continuing to rise.

In fact, annual pet food inflation rose 3.7% in February, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and pet services, including veterinary care, rose 5.8%.

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“Like most consumer goods and services around the world, the cost of many pet products has gone up in the past year,” said Kate Jaffe, Rover fashion expert. “Despite these high costs, Americans still show off like never before for their beloved pets.”

For example, nutritious food and fresh ingredients is a popular item, the report shows, with the majority of pet owners wanting to spend more.

Personal services, such as walking and sitting with dogs, especially for city dwellers, are a priority for pet parents. Many are willing to pay the extra for “green” products, such as biodegradable poop bags, and some will use smart pet tech devices.

These findings may indicate that pets and their welfare are “not a discretionary expense, but rather a mandatory part of the household budget,” Jaffe said.

These findings align with a 2021 report from the American Pet Products Association, which shows that 35% of owners have spent more on pet supplies over the past 12 months, and 51% are willing to pay more for “ethically sourced” and “friendly… environment” products.

The percentage of American homes with pets has continued to grow during the pandemic, reaching an estimated 70% in 2022, compared to 67% in 2021, according to the American Pet Products Association.

Costs vary by breed

In general, dog parents spend about $100 to $149 per month, regardless of location, according to Rover’s findings. Of course, expenses may vary based on unique needs and lifestyle.

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

For example, mixed breeds, dachshunds, and Chihuahuas are usually less expensive, costing less than $100 a month.

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

reproduction factors [into the cost of dog parenthood] It’s on a number of levels,” said Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, Rover’s veterinary medical advisor. “At its simplest, it can be about volume, and scale is a huge cost control factor.

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

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