Your link text

Do We Spend Too Much Money on Pets?

cocker spaniel


I am coming clean and admit to spending too much on my dog. If I couldn’t afford it, I wouldn’t do it. I am not sitting home counting 50 dollar bills nor am I wealthy.  I love buying pet products and I do so for friends and family with dogs. I also give to rescues and fosters and shelters. Something about walking the aisles of a pet supply store and perusing the aisles of online sites like Pet360 gives me, well, the warm fuzzies. (I get a similar urge in book stores and shoe stores, but I digress).

I’m not alone in the amount I spend on my dog. According to a report filed by Reuters last month, spending on pets was at 41.2 billion just five years ago, making for an almost 30 percent increase over that time frame. Yes, you read that right: a 30 percent increase in what we are spending on our pets.cocker spaniel

What are we buying and if so many pets are pampered why are the numbers of pets being dumped in shelters so high? It’s an odd juxtaposition, isn’t it?  More than 46 million American households own a dog, yet millions of dogs are euthanized due to lack of space on this planet every year. These things keep me awake at night.

Spending will keep going up, too. I was recently at the Global Pet Expo in Florida – spanning the size of 14 football fields. There, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) forecast more than $55.5 billion in spending in 2013 across all segments of the pet industry, surpassing the $53.33 billion spent in 2012 by 4.1 percent. WOWZA!

Not all of that spending is on pet products. The largest portion of a pet owner’s budget is used to keep their pet in good health. Yet, veterinarians I’ve talked to say their client visits are way down.

Spoil the Pooch: That is the bottom line, in our humble opinion. We spoil our pets. Their lives are short lived.  When times are tight, we buckle our belts and shorten our budgets but we spend on our dogs. You are not alone. Hard times and job loss make us closer to the ones who, well, don’t judge us or tell us we’re laid off. And we repay them with splurging. In whatever means that is, we splurge. In a survey of pet parents performed by Pet360 earlier this year, it was revealed that three of four people who participated would rather be  stranded on a desert island with their pets than a human companion. Now that’s loyalty.

cocker spaniel

Of course, that pampering comes at a price: An estimated 54% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese. Want to show your dog you love them? Walk him, play with her, spend some quality time engaging. Splurge to your heart’s content but play. Your dog will thank you for it, and you can take that sentiment all the way to the bank.

fidose of realityWhat say you? Do you splurge on your pet?

We’re also celebrating BlogPaws’  blog hop today and here are a few of our pet blogging fur-ends:




  1. Taryn says

    Hi! Popped over from the WW bloghop! I’m a huge splurger, but not with food, although I spend plenty there as well. I train for agility, so my money goes to training classes and agility trials. Of course, it’s as much for me as it is for my dog, but Jimmy loves it, too! I often joke I would be able to retire a whole lot sooner if only I banked all the money I spend on my dogs!

  2. Dawn says

    I just did a report on this for my Economics class! I think it is interesting that even though the economy is down, spending on pets is going up. There are those of us who know that getting past the hard times is much easier to do when you have a pet to cheer you up. I am spending slightly more on my dogs too, but mostly because I recently upgraded their food quality.

  3. Jessica@YouDidWhatWithYourWeiner says

    I had an interesting thought: We do the same with dogs that we do with children…try to show our love by buying them things. Studies have shown is that what kids really want is quality time and attention. They want a connection and to spend time with us. I am sure that is what our pets want too (especially since their attention is fleeting and they can’t brag to their friends about having the latest gadgets). In both cases, buying “stuff” is often more to make parents feel better or to overcome guilt.

    That being said, I spent as much on Chester and Gretel as my budget will allow 🙂

  4. Piranha Banana says

    Yes. Yes. We have loads of sweaters, harnesses, leashes, bow ties. Piranha does therapy work so he does lots of visits which require outfits. Once he is done using the outfits, he holds a sweater exchange fundraiser for local shelters, and such items are sold all monies to the shelter. If they are unsold, they are donated to fosters.

  5. Life As Alfie says

    Wow! Surprising figures there! Well…not too surprising, I spend way too much on pet products and get that warm fuzzy feeling!

  6. Stefanie @ DogSplendor says

    I most certainly splurge on my two dogs! It’s SO easy to do! Sometimes I think I buy things for the happiness I personally will get watching them with the item. But I agree with Jessica that, like with children, buying your dog things isn’t a substitution for quality time and attention. My dogs get time, attention, AND toys – and yes, they are worth it!

  7. Ledfoots Pet Bakery says

    I agree with Stefanie is is fun to give them things and watch them play or chew on it. We love to treat our dogs and cats well. But a pat on the head and kind words is what they really want from us.

  8. Jodi says

    Our splurging is on their food. We feed them raw which is fairly expensive. BTW they went raw because they were overweight. They are both down over 30 pounds and look and feel great! The food is the biggest splurge, I walk them every day, they get decent healthy treats and lots of love.

    I can’t do another dog but I will give when I can. It makes me sad that so many animals are abandoned and abused. I try to put it in the back of my mind because if I didn’t it would drive me crazy.

  9. emma says

    I would say we are spoiled but not so much in a material way as we don’t play with toys really, we have healthy food and treats and nice comfy beds but mostly we have lots of love. We also go to the vet as we should and have insurance in case something major happens, but mom feels that if she can make us happy and she can afford it, she will buy it. Stopping by from the blog hop today 🙂

  10. ASpottyedView says

    Yes. I admit I splurge, but not in a financial way.
    It’s true that their lives are much more shorter than ours, so I consider the time I spend with them splurging. Setting specific time aside to play with them at least twice daily and that is, in my eyes, an investment to both parties involved. 🙂 The items I buy maybe considered splurging but not at the same level as the time we interact.

    Happy Blog Hop WW to you. 😀

  11. Jana Rade says

    If vet expenses count as splurging, then certainly. I think everybody is allowed to spend whatever they want on their pets. I’d just beg they spend it on things that are useful to their pets’ health and happiness, rather than things such as diamond studded collars.

  12. Dogs N Pawz says

    Mommy spoils us lots with treats and lots of time together! Daddy works from home and mommy is retired so they are both home with us all day long! We never get bored!

  13. Flea says

    I don’t spoil my dogs. Or cat. I spoil my chickens and ducks with leftover fresh fruits and vegetables. The dogs get to eat duck poop, which they love. Dog blogging spoils my dogs, since now there are Jones Natural Chews bones all over the house. But that’s a blogging perk. None of them are complaining. 🙂 We’re a busy household, full of teenagers and company day and night, so the dogs don’t need spoiling.

  14. ellen says

    When I first read Flea’s response, I thought this post was a joke.
    Uh Flea, who the he$$ in their right mind would allow their dogs/pets to eat duck poop? Are you crazy? Flea, did you know that duck droppings carry infectious diseases and infect humans and dogs? Either you are ignorant and stupid but to think feeding your dogs duck poop is normal and a way to spoil your dogs, it’s NOT! If you really believe there is nothing wrong with your dogs eating duck poop, please consult your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY! Your pets could already be infected and so could YOU!

    P.S. If you think feeding the chickens duck poop instead, think again! It is not!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.