WASHINGTON – While pet owners may suffer from economic times, their pets sure aren’t.
There are 218 million pets in the U.S. – not counting fish – and, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, their owners spent $61.4 billion on them in 2011.
Seventy-five percent of U.S. households have pets.
The new report says that means the average household spent more than $500. The spending on pets remained consistent from 2007 through 2011, the report finds.
For comparison, the average $500 a year spent on pets was more than households spent on alcohol ($456) or clothing for men or boys ($404).
On top of that, this spending wasn’t just on pet food. The average household spent about $183 on pet food in 2011 and $143 on vet services.
Out of total spending since 2007, the percentage of money spent on pets relative to total income has remained mostly consistent. In comparison, spending on dining-out dropped.
Here’s some more information on pet spending from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- In 2011, households spent more on their pets annually than they spent on residential landline phone bills ($381).
- The $183 spent on pet food was more than homes spent on chicken ($124) or cereal ($175). And it was more than was spent on bread ($107) or candy ($87) in 2011.
- Spending on pet food stayed constant during the recession, while homeowners ate out at restaurants less.
- Married couples without kids at home spent the most on their pets.
- Homeowners spent almost three times as much on pets as renters did.
Read the full report: