Americans are pet love people. What this means goes way beyond a description of people who love their pets. While this may not be a news flash, there have been some serious statistics over the past few years that illustrate our status as pet love people.
According to the latest statistics compiled by the APPMA (American Pet Products Manufacturers Association), Americans are off the chart when it comes to spending on our pets.
For instance, as of 2006, 73.9 million Americans own dogs and another 90.5 million are cat owners.
There are more than 16.6 million bird owners in the US and 11 million US citizens are snake owners.
Show Me The Money
While the pet ownership numbers are impressive, how much money would you imagine is spent on those millions of pets? Well, according to the APPMAs’ Pet Industry Statistics and Trends Report, Americans spent $34 billion on their pets in 2004. This represented a huge growth in spending that in fact doubled US spending in the last 10 years.
It comes as no surprise that we treat our pets like members of our families. A regular routine is having your dog groomed and while you’re at it, why not have his ears rinsed, after all it makes your pet more comfortable and healthy?
And then there is medical care, which is another area of financial impact that is definitely felt by all families throughout the world. The family pet can now be covered as well. In fact, some form of medical care for pets has existed for the past 20 years.
With pet accidents becoming more frequent than accidents affecting humans, much to the dismay of many families, 24 hour animal emergency rooms are a fixture in many communities.
Additionally, pet health care by way of medical plans are available, however, the choices are not as simple as you might think.
Pet health care insurance is now marketed competitively throughout the US. The policies and are written with the familiar titles and options written into policies for the pet’s human care takers.
Such condition itemization as species, age, pre-existing conditions and even lifestyle (e.g. indoor VS outdoor cat) are included in the paperwork.
Most policies start at age 6 – 8 weeks and have no age limit. Others have an age limit of up to 27 years. Deductibles average $100 annually and the policy costs very widely depending on the issuer.
Services covered include:
o Office visits
o All shots
o Any elective procedure (e.g. Dental care)
o Any surgery (e.g. Spaying or neutering)
o Hospitalization and more….
Annual plans run an average of $99 up to $500 per year and most programs have monthly payment options beginning at $10 monthly up to $50 or so. Many companies are adding pet care health insurance to their employee benefit packages.
All in all, we are pet love people and there are many benefits across the board for both pets and their human family. Psychologists have documented measurable improvements in lowered stress levels and reduced blood pressure levels for pet owners.
The stories of remarkable courage and lifesaving heroics of dogs in police service, in addition to everyday house dogs and cats that have made dramatic rescues of family members requires no stretch of the imagination to recognize the importance of the four legged members of our families.
This article is a tribute to pet lovers everywhere.