Pet Spending at Its Highest Levels, Especially Among Millennials

Spending an exorbitant amount on your pet has now become the norm. Spoiling your pet with extravagant toys, housing, and top cuisine was something seen on an episode of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” (Apologies for the ancient 1980’s reference.) Pet spending according to a recent finding by the American Pet Products Association reported that pet spending in the United States was at $69.51 billion, up 4 percent from the previous year.

Pet spending increased

Within their report were other interesting findings. Source

Spending on veterinary care in the U.S. increased 7.0 percent between 2016 and 2017, from $15.95 billion to $17.07 billion. Estimates claim that spending will increase another 7 percent in 2018.

Spending on pet food increased 2.9 percent to $29.07 billion in 2017. For pet supplies and over-the-counter medications, spending increased 2.7 percent to $15.11 billion.

Spending on services such as grooming, boarding, walking, training, pet-sitting, and exercise increased 6.9 percent to $6.16 billion.

With all these numbers presented, it’s plain to see that the pet industry is booming. People are spending as much on their pets as they would on their own children. And in many cases, pets are taking the role of children. No other generation is this evident than with Millennials (Born between 1985-2000).

Millennials with pet

Pet Spending Among Millennials

A recent trend among Millennials is they are delaying marriage and having fewer kids. This moved the object of their attention and attachment to their pets, to the degree that they are being humanized. In regards to the pet industry, Millennials are willing to spend more money on things like premium pet care and services along with higher grade food products.

Among Millennials and others who see their pets as children, excessive spending is not considered “discretionary spending”. It is an absolute must even when other expenses are at hand. According to experts, people are willing to give up other expenses to cater to their pets. This fact leads to believe that the pet industry is one that will remain stable even during a difficult economy.

A shocking report from a TD Ameritrade survey of 1,500 Millennials stated they were willing to spend more on their pet’s health care than their own. And close 70 percent of the Millennials surveyed were willing to take time off to care for a new pet if their employer offered it as a perk.

Pet Industry Seeking New Marketing Avenues

Humanizing pets is most prevalent on social media where many pet profiles have sprung up especially on Instagram and on Youtube. Pets are front and center on many of these profiles and channels and some of them create revenue for their owners from sponsorships and product placements. What we are seeing is that the pet industry is expanding their marketing efforts beyond conventional print and television, they are placing their budgets into the lucrative medium that is social media.

Investment firms and venture capital are seeing this trend. Over the past five years, more than $500 million has been invested into pet related technology startups. Chewy, Wag, and even our own company, Eusoh, are companies that are building and thriving from the interest coming from investors. Pet insurance, medicine distribution, and veterinary technology are also getting attention from investors and adding to the lucrative pet market. Source

Even well-established firms are making a move into the pet market.

General Mills and JD Smucker, well-established and storied food manufacturers recently dove into the pet food market.

Amazon, whose rise came from books to now becoming the predominant giant in online retail, welcomed their Wag brand of pet food with much fanfare at the beginning of 2018.

Zoetis, the largest producer of pet medicine, recently acquired Abaxis, a large provider of veterinary technology.

Nationwide, one of the largest insurance companies in North America has a pet insurance branch.

Well-established firms, investment groups, and entrepreneurs are making a move into the pet industry. The consumer base is growing by the day. Independent, specialized pet food brands are now competing with giants like General Mills and Amazon and against established brands like Purina (Nestle). Protection platforms like Nationwide and Trupanion are gaining membership and startups like Eusoh, Wag, and Chewy are also on the rise. Pet spending, especially from Millennials, is increasing greatly every year and with investors and industry throwing their hat into the pet market, it’s plain to see that this sector is promising a lot of financial growth and returns.

 

Pet Insurance: Why You May Need It

Pet insurance covers cats

Compared to humans, pet insurance may seem like just a drop in the bucket. From the time you receive or adopt your cat, dog, snake, or horse, it may be just an afterthought in the hierarchy of needs you will provide for your pet. You will give them shelter, sustenance, and of course, lots of love but insurance? The joys of acquiring a new pet is obviously a joyous occasion, but it will be offset by the reality of needing pet insurance.

The thought of the unthinkable happening to your pet is difficult, but the thought of not being able to do anything when something happens is even worse. For ourselves and for our loved ones, purchasing coverage such as life and health insurance are absolute no-brainers but over 40 million Americans are literally “risking it” and going through life without it.

Want to know how many pet owners are “risking it” and going through life without insurance for their pet? 99%. Which means 1% of pets in the United States are insured. This doesn’t mean 99% of pet owners are doing absolutely nothing when their pet is injured or sick; They are choosing to pay out of pocket when something happens.

But what if they are not able to pay?

What if the prices of certain procedures are extremely high?

What if the price of these procedures are equal to that if humans?

Unusual Pet Insurance Claims and their Costs

We can assume that anything can happen to you and to your pet. Now, we are going to cover the expenses that result when anything happens.

Dogs like to go through rubbish bins to look for goodies that are left behind. One dog ended up swallowing a disposable razor blade, and it needed surgery in order for the blade to be taken out. On top of that, the dog required a muzzle and after-surgery medication to calm its nerves as the wounds healed slowly. All in all, that little visit to the rubbish cost $2,000 in vet bills.

Digging holes in the dirt are inherent in the genes of dogs, but one Swiss Shepherd dug up a dead pet in the garden, which had recently been euthanized, and ate some of it. This caused pentobarbital toxicity because of the euthanasia drug that was given to the dead pet. The treatment required the vet to induce vomiting. The costs: $700.

Always be wary of household items that may be confused with food. A Ragdoll cat ate foam nail painting separators and required treatment to ensure no blockage resulted. The cost: $533

One of the biggest claims occurred to one of the smallest dogs, a miniature Poodle. While chopping a tree, an owner fell on the Poodle, which caused hip dislocation. Surgery was required to fix hip back into place. The cost: a whopping $7,071.

Source: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1805/S00406/10-most-unusual-pet-insurance-claims-of-2017.htm

More Unusual Pet Claims and the Award Given to Them

Nationwide Insurance has its own award for the most unusual pet insurance claim since 2009. The “Hambone Award” received its interesting moniker from the insurance claim where a dog named Hambone, ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while stuck in a refrigerator.

Pet Insurance Award Winner
Curtis wins 2015 Hambone Award Presented by Nationwide (PRNewsFoto/Nationwide)

Here’s a shortlist for Hambone award nominees and winners. We apologize in advance for the graphic nature of these injuries.

Ruger, a Border Collie/Labrador retriever mix, was nearly killed in Northern California after being run over and pinned underneath a large golf cart. Ruger was trapped under the cart until he saved by a group of local firefighters.

Levi, a Labrador Retriever, suffered from anxiety over the loss of a fellow family dog. This caused him to start chewing items uncontrollably around the house. Despite the efforts of his family, Levi’s bad habit peaked when he swallowed a pair of adult pajama pants.

Tessa the mixed breed in Rhode Island, was trying to protect her family when she charged a running chainsaw, but the incident nearly left her with amputations after she sustained deep lacerations on her legs.

The 2016 Hambone Award winner went to Kismet, a spry Jack Russell Terrier, who bravely intervened during a violent burglary that left he and his owner in critical condition. Kismet underwent life-saving surgery for the stab wounds he incurred in the attack.

The second place award that year went to Ludmila the Tibetan Terrier, whose incredible curiosity got the best of her when she managed to get her head stuck in a solid oak coffee table so snug that not even the fire department could get her out.

Another Hambone Award winner is Winnie, a mixed-breed dog from Massachusetts, who broke open a bag of frozen onion rings and ended up eating all 2 pounds. Onions are toxic to dogs and urgent veterinary care was administered to Winnie, who survived the incident.

Sources: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nationwide-to-honor-most-unusual-pet-insurance-claim-of-the-year-300522804.html

http://www.hamboneaward.com/brave-battle-with-burglar-earns-kismet-the-8th-annual-hambone-award/

Selecting Coverage That Will Work For You

We just established that anything can happen to your pet. This doesn’t mean that you should put your pet in a protective bubble 24/7; That would be less cost-effective than the right option – protecting your pet through insurance and other forms of coverage. Still, even with reputable insurance companies, where you deposit monthly premiums, there may be an unusual scenario that they won’t cover at all.

The sharing economy brought us highly successful platforms like AirBnB, ZipCar and Uber. For protecting your pet, there are options aside from conventional insurance. Our product Eusoh is a new and unique concept that takes its inspiration from the modern sharing economy and ties in the communal group dynamics that have been prevalent throughout human development.

Eusoh is a place where you can build communities of pet owners with the purpose of protecting one another or each other’s pets. Weird incidents will happen to your pet. Who can you turn to when it happens and when you’re in a pinch? Pet insurance can certainly help you but the monthly premiums of your policy will increase over time. Eusoh is designed to make you pay only when something happens and studies have shown that compared to conventional insurance premiums, you’ll save at least 20%.

Visiting the Biggest Pet Adoption Event in SoCal

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgZMZQiRCaU[/embedyt]

NKLA Super Adoption Event – The Biggest Event in SoCal

On the weekend of May 19-20, the largest pet adoption event in Southern California took place at Warner Park in Woodland Hills, CA. Thousands of prospective pet owners arrived and greeted new furry friends. By the end of the weekend, over 400 cats and dogs found new homes.

[note]https://nkla.org/[/note]NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles) is an initiative led by Best Friends Animal Society, bringing together passionate individuals, city shelters and an entire coalition of animal welfare organizations to end the killing of homeless pets in L.A. city shelters. Since the inception of NKLA in 2012, the number of pets being killed in L.A. city shelters has decreased by 82%.

The Eusoh team was on hand for the entire event, meeting and greeting all the new “pawrents”.  We handed out treats for the pets, tennis balls for them to play with, and Eusoh branded “poop” bags that will be in use very soon for these new pet owners.

Randall, the creator of the famous “Honey Badger” video, made an appearance at the Eusoh booth. Already a great friend and supporter of our cause, he provided exclusive shirts for us to give away to new signups. Also, making an appearance at the Eusoh booth was Tucky from Kentucky, an Instagram pet celebrity, who was also a rescue.

Honey Badger at Super Pet Adoption Event

Honey Badger Shirt

 

It was a great experience meeting the large fellowship of rescue groups, animal shelters, and other organizations dedicated to saving shelter pets. Ultimately, it is our goal to not only build communities of caring individuals but to also partner with these amazing organizations so that every city America becomes a no-kill city.

We’re Giving Away $500! Sign Up for Eusoh and Win!

BIG NEWS! The Eusoh Website is Now Live!

In celebration of our site launch, we are giving out a $500 cash prize!

All YOU need to do is:

  1. Sign Up
  2. Create a Pet Profile
  3. Join a Group

CLICK HERE to GET STARTED

 

Not only are you getting a chance to win $500, but you will be part of our Eusoh community, which is committed to protecting pets everywhere.

The first 2,000 members will get Founding Member status and a host of benefits including a discounted monthly subscription. We’ll be raffling this contest, so get on the ball and sign up with Eusoh!

*Note: We will be announcing a winner tomorrow 5/22/2018. Eligible contestants need to join the site under their legal name.

Eusoh Is Sponsoring One Of The Largest Pet Adoption Events In SoCal

Eusoh team will be at Best Friends Animal Society’s No-Kill LA (NKLA) Super-Adoption event on May 19 – 20. We’ll be there with all the adorable, adoptable pets with over 50 NKLA Coalition partners, and LA Animal Services, all coming together to save lives! Gates open at 11 AM and 1000+ adorable adoptable pets will be waiting to meet their new Pawrents.

Together with our friends from @Friendshipcollar and @PrettyLitter we will be giving up prizes to the new furry families.

What to expect?

Best Friends NKLA Super Adoption is a cooperative effort in which shelters, rescue groups and local sponsors come together in a free, fun, festival-like atmosphere to find homes for hundreds of animals. Expect to have a lot of fun and to meet many adorable, adoptable pets.

Join us at the event and adopt a pet to help Protect & Save Them All!

Event details: NKLA.org/superadoption

Special Bond Photo Contest. Brought To You By Eusoh

Photo credit goes to Pitbull Cali & her Dad @thecalichronicals

When a relationship between you and your pet is steeped in love, care, and devotion, you know there is a special connection that brings you together, a special bond.  This bond can take different shapes and forms: from the excitement to see each other after a long day at work, playtime at the park or cozy snuggles on the couch, to ensuring your furry pal gets the best care necessary at times of need.

At Eusoh, we want this Bond to grow and last a lifetime.

Together with our friends from @Friendshipcollar we decided to celebrate this special connection with the photo contest.

Post a photo of you and your pet on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using hashtags #SpecialBond #PetCareWeShare and tag us @GetEusoh.

Share your own “Special Bond” story for the chance to win 6 month of FREE Eusoh membership and an adorable matching set of pet collar and a bracelet from @Friendshipcollar.

Sign up at Eusoh for an additional entry.

Ten lucky (10) winners will be randomly selected and announced on Tuesday, May 22. All winners will be featured on our and our partner’s social media news feeds.

Hurry! The contest ends on May 21st at 11:00 PM PST.

Eusoh In The Press

We’re moving on up. To the sky! Here is some recent press coverage we had the honor to receive.

From SoCalTech, “How Eusoh Wants To Fix Insurance With Technology, With Allen Kamrava”

LINK: https://www.socaltech.com/how_eusoh_wants_to_fix_insurance_with_technology_with_allen_kamrava/s-0074811.html

EXCERPT: The insurance industry is an old industry, with a lot of contradictions–it’s one where the more claims insurers pay to help customers, the less money the insurers make–and it’s also one that hasn’t been disrupted much yet by technology. Is it possible to use technology to replace the age-old system currently in use in insurance? That’s what Los Angeles-based Eusoh (www.eusoh.com) is hoping to do. We caught up with Allen Kamrava, the CEO and founder the startup, to learn about how the company is building a consumer platform that allows assembled and self-selected groups to form for the purpose of sharing unexpected costs of life. The startup has so far launched in the veterinary vertical–but has plans to go much bigger. Read More

From EconomyUp (IT), “

Sharing economy, le startup più finanziate sono cinesi e puntano sulla mobilità”

Sharing economy, le startup più finanziate sono cinesi e puntano sulla mobilità

EXCERPT: Nel P2P Lending, per esempio, sono state identificate e ospitate al Workshop Eusoh (startup californiana) e YourDesk: la prima, presentata da Allen Kamrava, CEO e Founder, è una nuova piattaforma che fornisce un modo trasparente per la condivisione delle spese inaspettate utilizzando una tecnologia scalabile e il potere della comunità.

From Insuretech Australia, Eusoh listed as a Member.

LINK: https://insurtechaustralia.org/members/

From SoCalTech, “Eusoh, Backed By $2M, Targets Veterinary Expenses With Fintech Startup”

LINK: https://www.socaltech.com/eusoh_backed_by__m_targets_veterinary_expenses_with_fintech_startup/s-0074537.html

EXCERPT: Afraid of running into unexpected veterinary bills for that new puppy? A new, Los Angeles-based startup, Eusoh, is hoping to make it easier for people to handle unexpected veterinary costs, by banding people together in groups to help provide an alternative to traditional, insurance plans. The startup, led by CEO and founder Allen Kamrava, says it is backed by $2M in seed funding, which was raised back in September of 2017 through mostly friends and family. Eusoh says it is building a consumer platform that allows assembled and self-selected groups to form for the purpose of sharing unexpected costs of life. Read More

From NKLA, “The Sponsors of the 2018 NKLA Super-Adoption Event”

LINK: https://nkla.org/get-involved/events/nkla-super-adoption

EXCERPT: Best Friends Animal Society’s NKLA Super Adoption, presented by BOBS from SKECHERS®
with support from Petco Foundation, Instinct, Cuteness, Petplan Pet Insurance – North America, KTLA, KAMP & KNX Radio, Pet Food Express, Catit and Eusoh. Read More

Golden Retrievers | Raising an Energetic and Family Friendly Dog

Golden Retrievers. If there was a perfect dog that represented America it would be the Golden. This friendly breed has been the star of films such as Disney’s Homeward Bound and the highly recommended and globally loved Air Bud film series. They are an aesthetically pleasing dog with their bright golden fur and an infectious smile on their face constantly.

If you have small children, Golden Retrievers are quite possibly the best breed of dog for kids to grow up with. Now, the Golden is an overly energetic and rambunctious breed; There may be cases where a Golden may run into a child in an energetic fit or jump on a child sorely out of pure love and affection. There is no better breed of dog that could teach a kid responsibility and patience.

golden retrievers puppy photo

Golden Retrievers Are All Over The Place

Now here’s a picture of Kopi, my beloved Golden Retriever. This is a picture of her when she was 7 months old. As you can see here, the picture is very blurry. The reason why is because she couldn’t stay still in her younger years.

She’s named after the hockey player, Los Angeles Kings All-Star center, Anze Kopitar. Kopitar, the hockey player, is known for his offensive and especially his defensive prowess. He is literally all over the ice the moment whistle goes off. And like her namesake, Kopi is all over the yard the moment I take her outside.

From her younger days up until now (she’s about 8 years old), Kopi loves to run. She loves to run fast, and she loves to run all over the backyard. And then she continues to run circles, then stops and starts barking at the birds, the neighbor’s dogs or the jets flying above our house. And then she gulps down a big bowl of water only to go through her routine of running, barking, and bothering me.

This is a dog that wants to play, run, and most of all, serve you. You want to teach a child patience? Give them a Golden Retriever to chase after and make follow directions. It can be interesting, but it can be done.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iTTNRE-njM[/embedyt]

Golden Retrievers Are Mouthy

Goldens are Goldens because of their appearance. But why are they retrievers? Simply, they are sporting dogs. They became popular as sporting dogs in Great Britain, where they mostly used in wildfowl and small game hunting. They literally “retrieved” wildfowl and small game in places where a hunter could not go. These places were shallow lakes, cliffs, and ravines.

The other aspect of being a retriever is its mouth. This breed was designed to able to carry many objects, game, and other delicate items in its mouth. A Golden Retriever can carry an egg in its mouth without it even breaking. As impressive as that is, the Golden Retriever has an extended and more advanced teething stage where it (in my experience) had to put its mouth on everything. It wasn’t biting; I felt no pain when my Golden wrapped its mouth around my hands, wrists, ankles, and feet. It is just a stage that Goldens go through.

This is where discipline and training are needed. And this is a great lesson for children when dealing with a Goldens at this stage. When they get mouthy or start nipping at your fingers and toes, it is best to be demonstrative and yell “No!”, or “No Biting”. It could also help to hold their mouths closed as you say “No Biting”. This is not being abusive but rather acting as an alpha or dominant figure. Sometimes, young Goldens tend to bite and nip when fearful. This is where one must be protective, caring, yet dominant with their Golden.

As Goldens Get Older

Hopefully, you have enjoyed a long time of running, playing, belly rubs, and games of tug-of-war with your Golden (I know I have.) But they do get older and they do slow down. Of course, it has to do with age but also there are common health problems that Golden suffer from such as hip-dysplasia and cataracts.  According to PetMd, hip replacements could cost from $3,500 up to $7,000 per one hip, with the similar price tag on a cataract surgery. Check with your veterinary provider or your pet insurance plan to see what can be covered. Or register at Eusoh to see how crowd-sharing works in the pet care sphere. Eusoh is a new service allowing consumers to share together expenses such as treatments for your Golden Retriever. Everyone wants a few more years with their trusty, energetic, and loyal companion. Make sure you have the means to make that happen.

Single Payer Healthcare | Can It Be Done?

Single payer healthcare is the popular option right now according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll that reported 51 percent of Americans support it while 43 percent oppose it. The poll was conducted between January 22-February 24 of 2018 with the results published on April 12, 2018, in the Washington Post. Despite what the results of this recent poll declared, the United States is a long way from a tried and true single payer healthcare system.

Single payer healthcare protest

Single Payer Healthcare. What Exactly Is It?

From your staunch conservative all the way to your ardent “Bernie-bro”, every politically-minded individual has an opinion on single payer healthcare. But before we continue on the subject of single-payer healthcare, let us first define what single payer is. The most popular online resource of the 21st century, Wikipedia, defines single payer as [note]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single payer_healthcare[/note]”a healthcare system financed by taxes that covers the costs of essential healthcare for all residents, with costs covered by a single public system (hence ‘single payer’).”

Elements of single-payer healthcare are:

  1. Single payer is a government (federal or state) takeover of universal healthcare. This is similar to the current healthcare systems in the United Kingdom (N.H.S.) and in Canada.
  2. Private health insurance would not be an option for residents.
  3. The single payer healthcare system would be funded by taxes.

Given the characteristics of single payer healthcare, the question now is whether it can be implemented in the United States. There are a handful of lucrative, successful insurance conglomerates that currently dominate the healthcare sector. Therein lies the first impediment to implementing single payer healthcare: The current system will be opposed by the likes of Kaiser, Humana, and Aetna. Obviously, large conglomerates of a specific business sector will have the resources to oppose any legislation that may dissolve their current business. They will have the time, the money, and the political influence to keep the single-payer debate going indefinitely or even squelched.

Sanders Plan

Recent Democratic Presidential candidates support a single payer healthcare system. One particular candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, proposed a bill titled, “Medicare For All”, which expands Medicare beyond residents over the age of 65. Aside from expanding Medicare, Senator Sanders’ plan also involves:

  1. Eliminating deductibles, copays, and premiums.
  2. Eliminating private insurance companies. This would be eliminating residents’ choice of private or public healthcare.
  3. Expansion of Medicare in phases. 1st year, Medicare would be available for resident 55 and older. And in subsequent years, the age minimum would be lowered by ten years, (Ex. The following year, the plan would expand to residents 45 years and older.)
  4. Vision and dental would be covered. Currently, both are not covered by Medicare.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg2ZUZo2FpU[/embedyt]

Another impediment to Senator Sanders’ plan for single payer is how ‘Medicare for All” will be paid for. The Vermont Senator has yet to come up with a definite plan for funding but he proposed a 7.5 percent payroll tax on employers, a 4 percent individual income tax and an array of taxes on wealthier Americans, as well as corporations.

Recap

Let’s recap. Senator Sanders’ plan is not yet “rock solid” on funding, or rather the taxing of citizens for his bill. Private insurance companies would be eliminated. Citizens would lose the ability to choose private and publicly run healthcare. And billion dollar healthcare conglomerates, [note]https://blog.eusoh.com/index.php/2018/04/02/walmart-buy-humana-amazon-looming/[/note]who are now merging with even bigger retail conglomerates like CVS and Walmart, would be out of business or unduly written out as an option.

Another factor: The Affordable Care Act, colloquially called “Obamacare” is still supported by Americans. This same Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll estimated 53 percent of Americans are still in favor of the public healthcare act even with the Trump Administration attempting to “chip” away at it.

More factors: Both houses of Congress are Republican controlled, which will obviously put any single payer healthcare plan on the backburner. Any still, Senator Sanders’ plan had 16 Democratic cosponsors backing it. It will take a lot more Democrats and more than likely a few Independents and Republicans to turn in order to make single payer into reality.

Do you honestly believe with all those factors, single payer can happen or even can be phased into reality? It’s a possibility but close to impossible as the insurance companies will put up a fight for their literal lives when Sanders’ bill gets debated. The “right to choose” between private and public healthcare will be an issue as it is heavily correlated with what is considered the utmost American value, “freedom”.

How Technology Can Help

Will single payer solve the issues that healthcare ails from? Well-respected economist and billionaire, [note]https://www.cnbc.com/video/2013/10/16/health-care-is-the-tapeworm-of-the-us-economy-buffett.html[/note]Warren Buffett, describes healthcare as a “tapeworm” infecting the American people and its economy. It will take more than a well written and well-constructed bill and trillions of tax dollars to solve healthcare. It may take the dissolving of the health insurance industry or a concerted effort to improve the current system.

Whether healthcare is a right or a privilege is not a question that has a correct answer. Modern technology  has given us ways to connect people directly  for the purpose of sharing unexpected costs of life whether it’s a health emergency, car accident or necessary home repairs. Eusoh was created based on the concept of providing better access to care without the expensive and burdensome legacy middlemen, aka private and public insurance companies. At Eusoh,  we connect people directly together and provide them with all the protection, transparency  and guarantees they should expect.  so that groups of people, not just individuals, have a platform to share expenses. No bills have to be drawn, no debates and no filibusters on the House floor. Eusoh’s technology allows people to share and manage costs with the utmost transparency.

The Costs Of Owning A Dog, Or How Mocha Almost Ate My Wallet

Mocha and me

While you can’t really put a price tag on cozy snuggles with your furry friend and endless puppy love, the costs  owning a pet, whether it’s a dog, cat, or any other animal, can get really expensive. According to the 2017-2018 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, the annual cost of owning a dog is $1,502 and $958 for a cat (both numbers include basic expenses only).

Unfortunately, a majority of people underestimate the financial burden that comes with their pets. As a result, thousands of animals are returned to shelters by people who weren’t adequately prepared to make the adoption in the first place. Sadly, around 56% of dogs and 71% of cats that enter animal shelters are put down. Adopting a pet is a serious financial undertaking and every first-time pet owner should budget accordingly!

In this post, I will explore the costs of owning a dog through my experiences with my Labrador retriever puppy (and chocolate-colored troublemaker), Mocha.

Let’s crunch some numbers:

Initial Costs of Owning a Dog

Adoption Fee – $100-$400
Adopting a dog from an animal shelter is the cheapest (and best!) option but be aware that in many shelters, dogs have been through various levels of emotional or physical trauma, and may require additional love, training, and medical care.

Breeder Fee – $500-$3,000
Adopting a dog from a breeder is typically more expensive and can range from $500-$3,000 depending on the dog’s breed or pedigree, the breeder’s reputation, etc. Make sure to do your research beforehand and pick a responsible breeder who you are positive is not running a puppy mill in his backyard.

Mocha as a pup

Spay/Neuter Surgery & Vaccinations – $300-$600
Responsible breeders and animal shelters usually take care of vaccinations and spay/neuter procedures prior to putting a dog up for adoption. However, if your pooch is not fully vaccinated or hasn’t had a surgery yet, shop around at your local vet clinics or animal hospitals to make sure you get the best quality care for a reasonable price. The cost of these procedures may vary depending on the size and breed of your dog. Be aware that in many states, you are legally required to spay/neuter your pet or face fines and/or community service!
Lifehack: Throw in an extra $30 to microchip your pooch during the surgery for peace of mind in case they get lost.

Crate & Fencing – $50-$150
Crate prices range depending on their size, style, and brand. Invest in a high-quality crate that will last for at least a couple of years. Make sure you get an adequately sized crate for your doggie. For larger breed puppies, you may want to get a large crate right away and use divider panels to adjust the space within the crate as your puppy gets bigger. The same applies to outdoor and indoor fences.

Lifehack: You can save a lot by getting a used crate or fence. Websites and apps such as Craigslist, LetGo, and OfferUp will come in handy in your search. You can get crates and fences of any type and size that are in very good condition for less than half the price of a brand new one.Mocha and her crates adding to costs of owning a dogMocha on the day of her graduation from the small crate 

Food & Water Bowls – $20-$30
Dogs get really excited about food. Although ceramic and glass bowls may look pretty, your pooch can accidentally break them and swallow a sharp piece of the damaged bowl. Invest in some well constructed, heavy-duty, metal bowls that will last for years.

Large breed puppies tend to eat too much and too quickly, increasing their risk of gastric torsion or bloat.  One of the ways to teach your pooch to eat and swallow their food slowly is to get a slow-eater bowl.

Lifehack: Outlet stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, etc. have great pet supply sections with even better sales and deals. Food bowls of different types are always there in abundance.

Collar, Harness, Tag, Leash – $30-$50
You will need these to take long luxurious walks with your pooch. Get a leash that’s 4-6 feet long, and make sure to get tags that have your phone number and address on them in case your dog gets lost. You may want to consider getting a harness for large breed dogs. The EasyWalk correction harness is perfect for pooches that pull and have yet to learn how to properly walk by their favorite human.

Lifehack: You can find Amazon’s entire selection of leashes and collars on the AliExpress website for twice as cheap if not more! However, plan ahead of time and only purchase pet supplies that you are not in the rush to get, as shipping and delivery may take up to a month.

Mocha wearing a scarfMocha staying putWearing her Easywalk harnesses  — a true fashionista! 

Bed & Other Home Fixtures – $20-$100
Selecting a quality dog bed is really important, considering how much time your canine spends there. It’s should provide adequate support, especially for senior dogs who may need help with joint pain. Young pups may not appreciate their first bed as much and may see it as another thing to “chew on”. Don’t spend a fortune on an extravagant bed for young doggies, Mocha’s didn’t last a day!

Lifehack: Look for decent pet beds in outlet shops such TJ Maxx, Marshall’s or Ross. Costco & other wholesale stores have great options too.

The costs of owning a rambunctious dog

The most expensive chew toy we got for Mocha was an $80 dog bed

Training classes – $150 – $500
Unless you’re a great dog whisperer like Cesar Milan, it will do you some real good to invest in affordable but effective canine training classes. No one wants to be around a dog that jumps on people, can’t sit, stay, or get off the couch when necessary.

Lifehack: Don’t be afraid to use YouTube to find useful videos on how to train your pooch at home!

 

Recurring Costs

Food: $20-50 a month
Your monthly dog food expenses will vary depending on your dog’s size and breed. Do your homework and choose a dog food brand that will keep your pooch healthy and happy throughout his or her life.

Lifehack: No need to carry heavy 50+ pound bags of dog food. Let delivery services do the work! Websites like Chewy.com offer two-day free shipping on $50+ orders and they will usually throw a bunch of discount coupons towards your next order.

Treats – $20 a month
When choosing treats for your dog, try different types and flavors to determine the one your dog likes the most. When feeding your dog a treat, split it into a few smaller pieces. This will make the bag of treats last much longer and keep your pet from gaining too much weight.

Lifehack: Boiled chicken, raw carrots, apples, bananas, mango, cheese, berries … Everything goes! BUT keep your pooch away from grapes, avocado, onions/garlic and chocolate! Even in very small doses, these foods can cause serious health issues for your dog.

Toys – $100 a year
Dogs, especially young pups, are very into their toys. Stock up on balls, squeaky toys, frisbees, and bones to keep your doggie happy and active.

Lifehack: Toys can get ridiculously expensive, so make sure to check out pet supply departments at the outlet stores mentioned above. If you hate shopping or simply don’t have time to go out shopping, companies such as BarkBark, PupJoy, or Bullymake Box can deliver toys and treats straight to your home for a reasonable subscription fee!

Mocha and her toy

“Give me a kiss, you” – $2.99 alligator chew toy from TJ Maxx

Regular Vet Checkups – $250/ year
Bring your pooch to see the vet on a regular basis to make sure your dog is up to date on all their vaccines, flea, and heartworm medications.

Emergency Vet Visits – $2,000 and up
A majority of dogs, especially young pups, are very active and curious creatures, which often compromises their safety and health. Be prepared for emergencies and the large vet care bills that can follow. You can either start by creating a savings account with a few thousand dollars deposited right off the bat or purchase a pet insurance plan, which can add an additional $800 to the annual cost of caring for your pet. Veterinary industry specialists agree that if you are unable to spend at least $2,000 for your pet’s care in the case of an emergency, you shouldn’t have adopted them in the first place.

Lifehack: Become a Eusoh member – the first non-insurance service platform that guarantees of at least 20% savings on veterinary care expenses. As a Eusoh member, you don’t pay monthly premiums. Instead, you’ll be sharing your veterinary expenses with a virtual community of responsible pet owners only IF and AFTER accidents happen. Learn more about Eusoh here.

Additional expenses:
Boarding & Dog Sitting: $25-$60 a night
… Multiply by the amount of out-of-town traveling you do throughout the year.

Grooming: $100-$400
The number of times you need to take your pooch for grooming & nail clipping will vary by breed. Many pet owners choose to groom their pets at home. However, if you have a big fluffy dog, you may have to hire a professional groomer to keep your pooch’s coat clean and free of tangles.

Professional Dog Walking: $15-$25 per walk
If you’re thinking of getting a dog and you spend most of your day at work, you’re going to need to hire a dog walker to keep your apartment accident-free and your pup happy and healthy.

If you think there are other costs and expenses to pet ownership that I might’ve missed in this post, please comment below or contact us directly!