New Report on Pet Care Costs Reveals Millennials Spend More on Their Dogs Than Baby Boomers

The average annual cost of owning a dog can range from $650 to $2,295, the report found

Man walking dogs on leashes in grass
Photo: Getty

A new report has found that, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, millennials have spent more on their dogs when compared to the older baby boomer generation.

The report, based on a recent survey of dog owners conducted by Rover, concluded that 33 percent of millennials — defined by the Pew Research Center as those born between 1981 and 1996 — said they’ve spent more than usual on their dogs during the pandemic.

By comparison, only 10 percent of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) said they have increased their pet-related spending. The majority of baby boomers surveyed — 78 percent — have spent the same amount in recent months as they usually do.

A similar survey earlier this year found that within the millennial generation, men are more likely to pamper their pets when compared to female pet parents.

pet survey

According to the survey, from Volvo Car USA and the Harris Poll, 39 percent of male millennial pet owners have bought organic pet food, compared to 29 percent of millennial women and 27 percent of all pet owners surveyed.

Men are also more likely to take their pets to daycare and to celebrate their furry friends’ birthdays with a party — 30 percent of millennial men plan to have a birthday bash for their pets, while 17 percent of women will do the same.

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In addition to comparing recent spending, the recent Rover report discussed the total cost of owning a dog, including the initial costs of adopting a pooch, the annual costs of a dog, and the additional costs that arise, such as special grooming, toys, and treats.

"The annual cost of owning a dog can range, on average, from $650 to $2,295 a year — with the most budget-minded pet parents spending less than $1,000 per year," the report said.

However, the survey found that nearly half of dog owners actually spend far more than that average, with 47 percent saying they spend about $3,400 on their pets each year.

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