Pet owners ages 55 to 64 and couples without children are most likely to pamper their pets, compared to those pets owned by single pet owners and single parents, according to a new analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In general, American pet owners spend about US$500 on average, about 1 percent of their annual pet budget. But, pet owners from 55 to 64 years old and couples without children spend hundreds of dollars more than pet owners in their 20s and 30s. This equated to Americans’ overall spending on pets of US$61.4 billion in 2012.
Spending on petfood in 2011 reached an average of US$182.75, compared to US$142.6 spent on veterinary care in 2011. Despite the higher overall spending on pets, one-quarter of pet owners said they didn’t visit the vet in 2011, according to the US Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook .
The analysis also found that rural pet owners spent more on their pets than urban pet owners, at US$716 per year, on average, about 48 percent more than pet owners in the city.
One explanation is that city pet owners spend money on other activities, such as movies or concerts, which may not be as widely available in the country. Another is that pet owners in rural areas spend more on petfood because they own more dogs and cats. In rural Maryland, USA, Bureau of Labor Statistics economist and report author, Steven Henderson, said, “People drop off pets out here. We have a changing number of cats that we feed.”
New shelter data casts doubt on whether the pet population and pet ownership are truly growing.
While the pandemic caused unprecedented suffering worldwide in 2020, the disruptions to dogs, cats and other pets adoption numbers may normalize in 2021.