How much money do Americans spend on their furry friends each year? We crunched the numbers, and here’s what we found.
The American love of pets is legendary, so it won’t come as a surprise to anybody that Americans spend more on their pets than the citizens of any other country in the world. The numbers also suggest a warning: pet ownership comes with great responsibility and can involve a considerable financial cost.
- 2 out of 3 U.S. households own a pet.
- $124 billion was spent on our furry friends in the U.S. – an equivalent to the net worth of Bill Gates or 163,157 houses in New York City.
- An average U.S. pet owner will spend $1,480 a year on their dog and $902 on their cat.
- Both cat and dog owners spend most on vet visits, food and boarding.
- Highly educated people aged 55-64 with an income of $100,000-$149,000 spend most on their four-legged friends.
- More and more people insure their pets. The number of insured pets in 2021 was 26% higher than in 2020 and 63% higher than in 2018.
How Many Pets Are There in the U.S.?
Studies show that 2 out of 3 U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 90.5 million homes.
It’s not surprising that dogs outnumber all other species by far. Also not surprising is that the second most kept pet is a cat. It might come as a surprise that 5.7 million U.S. households own a reptile. In fact, there’s one reptile for every 10 dogs. 
How Much Do Americans Spend On Their Pets?
In total, Americans spent $124 billion on pet products and services in 2021. This is equal to buying 2,638,298 new cars. The average dog owner spent $1,480 and the average cat owner spent $902.
Total Pet Spending
As mentioned above, Americans spent $124 billion in total on pets in 2021.
This represents a 17% increase in spending on pets compared to 2020 and a whopping 30% increase compared to 2018.
Pet Spending by Products & Services
Unsurprisingly, the costliest items of owning both a cat and a dog are vet visits and pet food. The thing that is quite interesting to see is that the third most expensive item is kennel boarding. A dog owner spends on average $228 a year for this service, while cat owners only spend $78.
Pet boarding as a service has been on the rise in the U.S. for the last couple of years (with a pause for COVID in 2020 and 2021), mostly thanks to services like Rover and Wag that allow pet owners to easily find and book pet sitting and walking services. If you are interested in this type of service and would like to learn more about how it works, read our article on Rover dog sitting.
Cost Of Owning A Dog Vs Cat
U.S. pet owners reportedly spend on average $1480 every single year on their dogs and $902 a year on their cats. On average, this comes out at around $50/month per dog and $30/month per cat.
The total amount includes items and services ranging from food and treats to vet visits and grooming.
Money Spent On Gifts For Pets
When it comes to toys and treats, dog owners spend $137 a year on gifts for their four-legged friends, while cat owners spend $113 a year on their cat companions.
Who Spends Most on Their Pets?
Next, let’s take a look at pet spending by demographics. We’ll look at differences in pet spending by income, age and education level.
Pet Spending by Income
Pet spending statistics show that pet owners of almost all income levels spend roughly 1% of their annual earnings on their pets.
The 2020 Consumer Expenditure Survey data shows that pet owners in the $100,000 – $149,000 income bracket spend most on their pets – $1,277 per year.
People earning less than $15,000/year still spend $249 a year on their pets.
Surprisingly, the proportion of money spent on pets actually gets lower when people’s income exceeds $150,000.
Pet Spending by Age
Pet spending statistics show that people aged 55-64 spend the most money on their pets: $1010/year.
Pet owners aged 75+ spend the least of all age groups: $266/year.
Low pet spending in the <25 and 74+ age groups correlates to fewer people either owning pets at that age or being financially responsible for them.
Pet Spending By Educational Level
Pet spending statistics show (with one exception) that the more educated pet owners spend more money on products & services for their pets. This correlates to the spending by income level we’ve seen above since people with higher education are more likely to earn more.
The one exception seems to be pet owners who did not graduate high school. They spend on average $653/year on their pets.
How Many Pets Are Insured?
Over the course of 2021, the number of insured pets in the United States increased by 28.3%.
Dogs represent 81.7% of the insured pets, while cats account for only 18.3%.
The reason behind the small number of insured cats could be due to the fact that cats mostly stay indoors and they rarely travel with their owners.
Pet Spending FAQs
Studies show that Americans spend a total of $124 billion on pet products and services. This is the equivalent of buying 2,638,298 new cars.
Average dog owners spend $123 a month on their dogs and average cat owners spend $75 a month on their cats.
The average price that a pet owner has to pay for pet insurance (accident & illness) amounts to $584 a year for dogs and $343/year for cats.
The average price of microchipping a pet ranges between $40 and $50 for both cats and dogs.
The average cost for vaccinating a dog is between $75 and $100, while for cats the cost is around $65 and $110.
Pet boarding costs amount to $228 a year for dogs and $78 a year for cats.
The average cost of cleaning your dogs’ teeth is between $300 and $700 for a basic cleaning routine.You’ll spend around $50 to $300 for your cat.
Costs of spaying a dog usually run between $200 and $500 depending on various factors, while costs for spaying a cat typically run between $200 and $300.
One-time costs of owning a pet usually include a crate, carrier bag, spay, leash, pads, litter box (for cats), training classes (for dogs), and toys. The first year of owning a pet is usually the most expensive one.
Pet grooming can cost between $30 and $90 for dogs and around $30 to $70 for cats. Keep in mind that the price can vary widely based on what the grooming session includes.