Consumer spending on pets is at record levels
According to Pet Age magazine, total pet spending was 41.2 billion dollars in 2007 up from 38.4 billion in 2006. The American Pet Products Manufacturers (APPMA) predicts a 5.6 percent increase over 2007 spending for 2008 resulting in a prediction of $43.4 billion.
Attributing to this grow is a combination of things including:
- More baby boomer’s owning pets and treating them like members of the family and showing their appreciation to their pets.
- Increased spending overall on pet insurance. According to the APPMA, more than 2 million pet owners have pet insurance, and by 2010 5-7% of overall pet owners are expected to have it.
- Increased expenditures on high-end grooming services such as doggie day cares, pet spas, and pet hotels and other luxury pet services becoming available.
Here is a more detailed breakdown comparing 2007 sales and 2008 projected sales:
Controlling Pet Spending
Here are a few tips you can put in place to place a little control around that extra spending for ol’Fido:
- Don’t make impulse decisions – Avoid succumbing to all of those impulse items close to the register at the local pet store. When visiting the pet store, come with a list of items needed just as you would when you visit the grocery store. Stick to your list. Pet toys and treats are expensive and are often unnecessary.
- Budget for your pet - If you have a pet, add line items in your budget for your pets expenses. Include food, vet bills, grooming supplies, and medication. From a budget perspective, treat your pet like you would any other member of the family.
- Have a pet emergency fund – Unexpected pet medical expenses can really put a dent in your wallet. If you have a pet that could incur expensive medical bills, establish a pet emergency fund. I know with our dog some years back, we ended up having to pay close to $1000.00 when she was diagnosed with a rare disease. Foolishly, we put in on a credit card. Now I know better.
A few tips to reduce your pet spending
- Wash your own pet – Avoid paying the high prices for pet grooming. Instead bath and brush your pet yourself. With basic grooming costs starting around $50.00, a bath at home with some high quality pet shampoo can really save you some hard earned cash.
- Utilize local clinics – Many large pet stores, animal shelters and other community service providers offer low cost spay/neuter clinics. You can find information and locations by visiting http://www.spayusa.org. Low cost vaccine clinics are also available and can save you a considerable amount of money.
- Buy supplies in bulk – Purchase food, cat litter, bedding, etc. in bulk. The larger you buy, the move savings you’ll receive. Many discount Pet Store chains offer larger sizes than available in the local grocery store.
- Keep up with preventative car – Spending a little money every so often for preventative car for your pets can save you a great deal of wallet pain and heart ache down the road. According to veterinarians, many pet diseases can be avoided through routine check-ups and preventative medication. Many of these same diseases become very hard to treat effectively when in advanced stages. Vets also recommend checking your pet monthly for skin problems, lumps, discharge or redness.
How do you avoid spending too much on your pets? Share your tips and suggestions, add a comment!