Pets are always with us. In our quest to provide you with the most accurate information possible so you can make the right decisions for you and your pet, we’ve done over 50 hours of research gathering the most relevant information about pet health and ownership and related costs . If you want to get your baby right, read on!
Common Pet Health Problems
There are many considerations for pet ownership, including accidents. For example, American Humane, an animal welfare nonprofit, estimates that 232,000 pets are poisoned annually in the United States. Your pet may also be genetically predisposed or susceptible to various medical problems.
- In a study last updated in 2021, Cornell University revealed that approximately 2.5% to 5% of healthy cats are infected with feline immunodeficiency virus. However, if one is already immunocompromised or otherwise unhealthy, that number can be between three and six times higher, at 15%.
- Cornell also reports that feline leukemia virus affects 2% to 3% of all cats.
- The Pet Obesity Prevention Association estimates that 56 million cats are overweight or obese.
The pandemic pet effect
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, many people turned to their pets for company or even brought new ones into their homes:
More people own pets than ever before:
- Statista and the American Pet Products Association say 70% of American households own one or more pets
- Pet ownership increased by approximately 3.5% from 67% in 2019
- Statista found that the millennial demographic makes up the largest portion of pet owners, making up 32%
|Breakdown of pet owners by demographic group||%|
|Pet ownership by species||%|
If your furry friend seems to pick the worst possible times to get sick or injured, chances are you’re not well-prepared—and you’re not alone. According to a May 2021 Federal Reserve report on the economic well-being of Americans, roughly one-third of Americans cannot afford an emergency:
- About 36% of Americans revealed they could not cover an emergency of $400 or more with cash
- Another 15% say they will have to use a credit card, which charges interest
Average cost of treatment
It’s no secret that veterinary care can be expensive. The American Pet Products Association estimates that pet owners will spend $34.3 billion on veterinary care and products in 2021. Even when we’re talking about routine, pre-planned visits, veterinary care isn’t cheap.
Annual medical expenses
|Routine medical expenses||225 dollars||$160|
|Initial medical expenses||$300||$150|
|Dental||500 dollars||700 dollars|
Of course, emergencies can set you back even more. Preventive Vet, a blog run by a team of credentialed veterinarians, estimates that:
- An emergency room exam can cost between $100 and $200
- Basic blood tests can cost you between $80 and $200
- Imaging can cost as little as $150 for an X-ray or up to $600 for an ultrasound
- Hospitalization can cost as little as $600 for one day or as much as $3,500 for five days
- Emergency surgery can set you back up to $5,000
The average cost of insurance
Given the unpredictable nature of pet-related expenses and how much they can add up, it would be wise to consider taking out pet insurance.
- Monthly premiums average $50 for dogs and $28 for cats
- Plans typically reimburse 70% to 90% of covered costs
- Several premium discounts are available, such as discounts for enrolling multiple pets or paying annually
- With a wide selection of providers available, finding an option that fits your budget and works for you and your pet is incredibly easy
Considering the cost of treatment, its unpredictable nature, and the relative affordability of insurance, the number of people who actually insure their pets is relatively small. The North American Pet Health Insurance Association reports that only 4.4 million pets were insured in 2021. Compared to the number of pet owners, this number is astonishingly small, representing only 4.9%.
If you’ve learned something from reading this post, feel free to share it with another pet lover in your life!