Nearly three-quarters of U.S. households own pets. There are about 218 million pets in the United States, not counting several million fish. Pet ownership crosses many demographic boundaries, with Americans of different ages and levels of wealth reporting spending on pets. Further, Americans spend a substantial amount of money on the care and feeding of their animals. Americans spent approximately $61.4 billion in total on their pets in 2011. On average, each U.S. household spent just over $500 on pets. This amounts to about 1 percent of total spending per year for the average household.
Using information collected in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure (CE) Diary and Interview Surveys from 2007 to 2011, this article looks at the trends in spending by household or consumer unit, and examines which groups spent the most and the least on pets.