Becoming a parent comes with a whole host of expenses, even if the child has four legs and is covered in fur. According to a new report, pet owners spend an average of $1,163 annually on food, treats and other expenses – including props for social media content.
The survey, conducted by LendingTree, asked 1,425 American pet owners about their spending habits and budgets. Gen Z owners were the most generous, shelling out an average of $1885 annually on their fur babies compared to just $1,195 from millennials, $1,100 from Gen Xers and $926 from Baby Boomers.
There are a few different reasons why the youngest pet owners also have the highest expenditures. For example, they’re more likely to:
Have pet insurance (56% compared to the overall average of 27%)
Pay for a monthly subscription box (14% versus the overall average of 8%)
Buy items specifically for social media posts (47% versus the overall average of 28%)
However, despite understanding that owning pets is a financial commitment, 45% of all respondents said they don’t have enough cash on hand for a $1,000 emergency pet expense. About 36% said they would have to use a credit card and 9% said they would borrow a personal loan to cover the cost.
Nearly one in 10 owners (8%) reportedly that they are currently in debt due to their pet. One in four (27%) have previously taken on debt for their pet. Of those currently in debt, 25% owe between $300 and $499, and 11% owe more than $2,000.