Seven out of 10 pet parents think of their pets as family members, although almost half have underestimated the lifetime cost of care, according to a Synchrony report released Tuesday (Jan. 11).
The report, called “Lifetime of Care,” found that care costs can range from $20,000 to $55,000 for dogs, and $15,000 to $45,000 for cats.
According to the American Pet Products Association, 90.5 million U.S. homes now include a pet. Synchrony also found that half of owners who thought they were financially prepared actually weren’t.
In just 2020, there was $103.6 billion spent on pet care, with research saying dog owners could potentially spend around $1,300 to $2,800, while cat owners might spend $960 to $2,500 in the first year.
The pandemic also saw more people buying pets to keep them company during lockdown, and Synchrony has been trying to make sure they’re prepared. That could include things like pet insurance from Pets Best, as well as credit cards like CareCedit engineered towards pet care.
“Millions of Americans choose to share life with a pet, yet the true cost of ownership has historically been incredibly vague,” said Jonathan Wainberg, senior vice president and general manager, Pet, Synchrony. “Our Lifetime of Care study serves as a helpful tool to prepare prospective pet parents.
“We want pet parents to have a deeper understanding of what to expect financially, and knowledge of the flexible payment solutions that are available to help them manage the costs of care throughout their pet’s lifetime.”
PYMNTS reported that online pet supply retailer Chewy is testing a new marketplace for veterinarians to help them get better clinic revenues and experiences for pet owners.
Chewy will team with Practice Hub to let vets choose items to list on the Chewy website. They’ll be able to set prices, make pre-approved prescriptions and earn revenue where customers place an order in-clinic or through the site.
Chewy CEO Sumit Singh said the idea was to help those who don’t take their animals to the vet regularly. Through rolling out the new platform, vets will get access to the 20 million retail customers and pet patients will find care more easily.