September 20, 2004
A "responsible" dog owner should expect to spend nearly $2,500 each year on a pet’s food, veterinary care, grooming and other needs, reports the American Kennel Club.
In conjunction with its celebration of Responsible Dog Ownership Day in September, the AKC conducted an online poll to see how much dog owners spend annually on their animals. The survey also took into consideration one-time expenses such as purchase/adoption fees and spaying/neutering a pet.
The AKC does not purport that its survey of 1,001 self-selected respondents is representative of the overall population. According to the club, 76 percent of respondents were female, mainly between the ages of 35-47. Thirty-four percent lived in a suburb, and 28 percent lived in an urban area.
Of the respondents, who spent an average of $646 to purchase or adopt their dog, more than 40 percent owned large dogs such as a Labrador or golden retriever. The price of owning and caring for the dog generally decreased with size, with the exception of medium-sized dogs, which cost slightly more to maintain than large breeds ($2,628 versus $2,569 annually).
Forty-seven percent said the cost would not deter them from owning another dog. Fourteen percent said the cost deterred them "significantly" or "quite a bit." Those living in urban areas were more likely to be deterred by the cost; they were also more likely to own smaller dogs.