Pet owners spend an average of $1,100 during the first months of pet parenting

New pet parents should be prepared to spend upwards of $500 in upfront costs when they bring home a new four-legged family member — and that’s just the beginning of the cost of pet parenting. A new survey of 2,000 pet owners found that respondents spent an average of $553 on things like adoption costs and food to prepare for their new pet. In addition, they spent an additional $550 on their pets in the first six months, leading to 63% of respondents spending more than they intended. About 40% believe they have spent more than other pet owners. Items such as toys and beds (45%), grooming appointments (42%), different foods (39%), and “puppy-proofing” their home with items such as fences or covered garbage cans (20%) led to high costs during those first few months of owning a pet. And while costs such as vaccines (46%) and spaying or neutering (42%) can be expected, the average respondent had three unplanned medical expenses or vet visits within the first year of owning their pet. Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation, the survey showed that the average respondent spent more than $1,100 in the first six months of pet parenting — more than they’re willing to spend on a vacation ($620, 50). In addition to preparation and routine medical care, respondents have set aside more than $600 for emergencies, but 46% worry it won’t be enough to cover it. Experience shows that one in five have experienced an emergency and have not received the required amount. To give the pet the care it needs, many pet parents would travel any distance (42%), empty their bank account or savings (41%), and go into debt (38%). Others would go even further and find a second job (41%) or even sell their car (35%). “You don’t plan on your dog swallowing a plastic chew toy or your cat developing diabetes. These are the types of conditions that can cost thousands of dollars in emergency or specialty veterinary care,” said Rob Jackson, CEO and chief pet care provider at Healthy Paws Pet Insurance. “Enrolling your pet in insurance at a young age will help your wallet when these unforeseen events occur.” More than a third (37%) of respondents got their pet from a breeder, but others came from a friend or relative (27%) or a shelter or shelter (24%). Others unexpectedly welcomed their pet into their home – one in 20 found their four-legged friend by the side of the road or in their garden Nearly three-quarters (73%) took their pet home for their second birthday and they have had them for an average of four However, just over a third (37%) fall under the “pandemic pet” umbrella – they have brought their pet home in the past two years. ed took about four months to decide that they would get a pet. In addition to finances (45%), pet parents considered their lifestyle, mental (43%) and physical (44%) health, and their living situation (48%) before bringing home a new pet. Yet a quarter (25%) felt unprepared to bring their pet home. If given the chance to redo the preparations to bring their pet home, the respondents would “set aside more time for training” or “save more money.” But in the end, most respondents wouldn’t change anything. One respondent said: “I wouldn’t do anything again. It was a learning experience, and it wasn’t bad. Whatever I had to do, I did. I wouldn’t change it for the world. She is worth every penny I spent on her.” “This survey makes it clear that people view their pets as family — to the point that they would find a second job or forego a vacation to keep them healthy,” Jackson said. “Planning ahead by keeping track of routine care and purchasing pet insurance ensures that people can enjoy their pets throughout their lives without going into debt or sacrificing other priorities.” Survey Methodology: This random double opt-in survey of 2,000 pet owners was commissioned by Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation between December 19, 2022 and January 2, 2023. It was conducted by market research firm OnePoll, whose team includes from the Market Research Society and are corporate members of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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