The most — and least — expensive states to own a dog
Getting a dog is an exciting time but also a big financial commitment. Here are the places in the U.S. where owning a dog is the least expensive.
Watching the National Dog Show with your family on Thanksgiving Day may tempt you to bring home a new furry friend if you don't have one (or enough) already.
Loving a dog may not cost you anything, but feeding, entertaining, accessorizing and taking your dog to the vet can add up quickly. In the Unites States, new dog owners pay around $1,750 per year caring for their canines, a recent study from Pettable found.
There are plenty of variable expenses that come with owning a dog that budget-conscious pet lovers can skip (does your dog really need gourmet human-grade food?). But covering the basics like vaccines and spaying or neutering are pretty non-negotiable. And some states offer a more affordable experience than others.
Here's a look at the average cost of owning a dog in every U.S. state, according to Pettable.
To estimate the typical cost to own a dog, Pettable collected data on how much the basic needs cost during your first year of dog ownership.
Bringing your pup home in the first place may come with adoption fees or other extras depending on where you plan to get your dog. After that, dog owners can expect to pay for food, vet checkups, vaccines and spaying or neutering. Pet insurance can help cover some of those costs, but will come with its own monthly premium.
Dog owners in these states spend the least on their pets, according to survey data and price estimators from insurers and veterinary clinics:
1. IdahoAnnual food cost: $103.20Pet insurance: $502.44Vet visit: $52.95Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $573.22Total: $1,231.81
2. UtahAnnual food cost: $185.76Pet insurance: $484.80Vet visit: $57.95Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $594.77Total: $1,323.38
3. South DakotaAnnual food cost: $276Pet insurance: $468Vet visit: $59.52Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $600.90Total: $1,404.42
4. Rhode IslandAnnual food cost: $374.04Pet insurance:$509.16Vet visit: $61.95Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $469.63Total: $1,414.78
5. OklahomaAnnual food cost :$379.32Pet insurance: $428.52Vet visit: $51.95Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $566.41Total: $1,426.20
Many of those costs are going up like nearly everything else, thanks to inflation. A huge boom in pet ownership during the height of the pandemic has now turned into a crisis for animal shelters that report people are increasingly surrendering animals they can't afford.
Getting an idea of how much you're likely to spend on a new furry friend can help you figure out how to work it into your budget, or help you decide to wait until you're in a better financial situation to bring Fido home.
Dog food costs vary the most across the states, with owners in Idaho paying the least at just $103.20 per year and those in Delaware paying the most at $1,609.44. Those figures helped Idaho and Delaware claim the titles of least and most expensive states for dog owners, respectively. The other cost categories are far less varied.
1. DelawareAnnual food cost: $1,609.44Pet insurance: $548.40Vet visit: $66.95Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $639.70Total: $2,864.49
2. MassachusettsAnnual food cost: $1,406.04Pet insurance: $570.72Vet visit: $69.95Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $655.93Total: $2,702.64
3. New YorkAnnual food cost: $807.24Pet insurance: $732.60Vet visit: $76.95Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $688.78Total: $2,305.57
4. CaliforniaAnnual food cost: $792.48Pet insurance: $735.48Vet visit: $71.95Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $663.63Total: $2,263.54
5. WashingtonAnnual food cost: $961.68Pet insurance: $523.56Vet visit: $67.95Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $647.32Total: $2,200.51
Pettable compiled cost estimates from a variety of sources to rank the states by total approximate cost. Sources include:Average monthly pet insurance premium for a dog by state from Pawlicy AdvisorBanfield Pet Hospital price estimator for the most populous ZIP code in each state to find cost of vet visit, plus several common vaccinesEstimated monthly pet food spending by state from Pick Pet Vacuum, multiplied by 12 to estimate annual cost
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