OVER THE TOP: Staggering figures on what we spend on pets.

Hello German shepherd puppies lovers:

Listen to these staggering figures.  How much do you spend on your German Shepherd puppy or older dog?

The APPA states that total US pet industry expenditures totalled a staggering $51 billiion in 2011.  I am dumbfounded.  In a previous article I mentioned 38.  That is because I was using a figures from 2006.  So, in the last 5 years the industry grew 34%, and that even during considering the financial crisis.  Of that almost 40% went to food, 13% to vet care (ouch), 13% on supplies and medicines,  4% to live animal purchases, and 8% to grooming and boarding.

So by far we are spending the most on dog food.  I spend about $53 on one 35 llb or dog food.  In fact, what they have been doing is reducing the size of the bag and keeping the price close to the same.  In all their marketing wisdom they have figured that we will not notice the smaller size and the number of times we have to refill.

However we get another troubling stat when we combine vet care and suppplies/otc medicine.  That is 26% of the total.  This means that food and vet care accounts for over 75% of the 53 billiion in expenditures.  That is an absolutely mindboggling $170 for every man, woman, or child in the United States every year.  The average family spends over $1,500 for their dogs and cats per year.

And if current trends with designer foods and exotic supplements, mouth wash, electric toothbrushes, beauty treatments, bird pedicures and nail polish, yoga classes for animals, massages for animals, faux mink coats for your pet, matching jewel and leather collared leash sets, monogrammed sweaters, every new gadget and trendy toy etc. continue, we will be spending even more.

Figure, over three billion people in the world live on less than $2.50/day.  That means they survive on less than $912 per year.  Some on less than $1/day.   At the rate of $2.50/day, the estimated pet expenditures for 2012 in just the United States would be able to feed 58 million starving people.

Lets put this in perspective.  With what we spend on our pets, we could feed the entire population every year in Haiti, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, and Togo, some of the poorest countries in the world.


Certainly we are fond of our dear animal friends, but maybe, just maybe, we should do some deep thinking about our priorities.

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