PetPlace infographic 2020

Despite 2020 being a tough year for the U.S. economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of pet owners (64.7 percent) still spent between $100 and $500 or more on non-medical needs and supplies, according to a reader survey conducted by PetPlace, an online community for pet owners.

The goal of the survey, A Year in the Life of a Pet Parent, was to assess the habits and preferences of pet owners across the country. PetPlace officials distributed the survey to their reader community during the fall and collected more than 400 responses. Readers were given the opportunity to address their day-to-day pet care routines, as well as the ways pet ownership affects annual traditions, like holiday celebrations and vacations.

About 46 percent of respondents were dog people, just under 26 percent preferred cats, 16 percent kept both as pets, and about 12 percent responded with another type of pet in mind.

Pets are definitely part of the family, and treating pets like family means “spending quite a bit of money throughout a given year,” officials said. Discounting necessities like veterinary care and food, PetPlace officials asked survey respondents how much they spend on their pets every 12 months. Nearly 4 in 10 (38.05 percent) pet owners spend more than $500, and some made it clear they spend much, much more, officials said.

“One reader couldn’t name an exact figure, but noted, ‘trust me, she is spoiled,’” officials said.

About 74 percent of respondents said that they buy birthday presents for their pet each year.

Other readers, according to the survey, admitted to spoiling pets with treats and regular snacks from the table. While more than a quarter of pet owners (28.5 percent) say they never offer scraps, nearly a third (30.8 percent) can be convinced to do so, and almost 10 percent are always ready to offer a handout, according to the survey.

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