For instance, did you know that according to the APPMA, 63% of US households own a pet? That translates to just over 71 million households.
Of those 71 million HH's 38.4 million are occupied by cats and 44.8 million have one or more dogs in residence.
As far as the total pet population goes there are just over 163 million dogs and cats in the US. Cats out number dogs 88.3 million to 74.8 million.
And we spend a ton of money on our pets. In fact we are spending more than ever before and more and more of it goes to totally discretionary stuff like Harley jackets and special pet shampoo from Paul Mitchell.
Total spending on pets is estimated to be $43.4 Billion. It breaks down like this.
$17 Billion on Food
$11 Billion on Veterinary Care
$10 Billion on OTC medicine and supplies and...
$3.2 Billion on boarding and grooming
It's a little cheaper to own a cat. For instance we spend an average of $175 on annual routine veterinary care for cats and $219 on dogs. That's just for annual exams, vaccinations, flea and heart worm prevention and routine dentistry according to APPMA statistics. If our pets get sick or injured that number can rise quickly.
And of course you've heard about all the ways we pamper our pets. Designer clothing, monogrammed sheets and pillow cases for their brass beds and even doggy daycare for those former latch key mutts.
And what do we get in return? Well besides the unconditional love and acceptance we don't always get from our family and friends, there are some nice health benefits according to the APPMA survey.
Statistics indicate that pet owners have lower blood pressure and, especially among men, lower stress levels. This would help explain the lower levels of heart disease experienced by pet owners too. Over all we have less depression and lower overall health care costs than those weird people that don't own dogs or cats.
So all in all pet ownership is one of the best bargains we can make. In our family we can't imagine not having the pitter patter of four little feet around all the time.
Now if Darcie could just keep me from crashing on my mountain bike.....