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Inflation unleashed: The rising cost of pet parenting

A "True Cost of Pet Parenthood" report examines how much more dog and cat owners are spending on their pets.

NEW YORK — Inflation is impacting every part of our lives - and that includes how much it costs to raise our pets. A "True Cost of Pet Parenthood" report has been released by pet care network Rover examines just how much more dog and cat owners are spending on their pets.

"The food. The vet visits. The grooming. Everything has just increased so much lately," said dog owner Christie Gildart.

According to the Rover survey, the annual cost for dog essentials surged roughly 12% year over year; for cats, the number pounced around 8% over the last 12 months.

"Even as prices are going up, our pets are still our priority," said Rover trend expert Kate Jaffe.

The increases break down across three categories: upfront costs of bringing home a new pet; pet essentials including food, supplies, and medical expenses; and extras like toys and treats.

"In 2023, we saw the upfront cost of a dog going from about $1,100 to over $5,000," said Jaffe. "Annual costs for dog essential can range from about $600 on the low end to over $3,500."

The study shows more than half the pet parents surveyed have tightened the leash on their own personal spending, with more than 40% scaling back on their own groceries for the benefit of their pets.

"I used to go through the Starbucks drive-thru probably every day," Gildart said. "One week of Starbucks, to me, is probably equivalent to a long bag of dog food for [my dog]."

The study also reports spending for most dog breeds averages between $50-99 per month. However, one breed - the goldendoodle, bucks that trend, from $100-150 per month.

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