11 Dec
2012

Pets are an integral part of the American household. Some families are willing to spend a significant amount of money on supplies and trips to the vet. Others throw elaborate birthday bashes and even include their dogs and cats in their Christmas shopping plans.

Nearly 90 percent of the 64.1 million dog owners and 63.8 million cat owners consider their pets part of the family, according to Pet Finder. This mindset not only results in increased spending on pets, but may also impact consumers’ major financial decisions.

An estimated 63 percent of dog owners bought a home while keeping their pet in mind. In addition, 37 percent of cat owners have let their pet impact their decision making when they purchased a car.

With the holiday season approaching, 63 percent of dog owners and 58 percent of cat owners plan to purchase gifts for their pets. This equals an estimated $5 billion in holiday spending. A notable share of dog owners also throw a birthday party in honor of their pet every year.

Costs Of A Trip To The Vet

Similar to human medical bills, a trip to the vet can cost a significant amount of money.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the average annual costs of vet care for a cat is $160. Dog owners face average costs closer to $235. Meanwhile, one in six pet owners face vet bills totaling more than $1,000.

Larger bills could be the result of owners not taking their pets to the vet for annual checkups. Failure to do so often allows minor ailments to evolve into more serious conditions. However, this can be difficult, as nearly one-third of Americans claim they can’t afford vet visits.

Whether it’s for an annual visit or during an emergency, there are a number of ways to cope with the cost of the vet. Dipping into your savings, using your credit card or taking advantage of small personal loans are all viable solutions. Examining your budget is the best way to determine which option meets your financial needs.

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