While you can't put a price on man's best friend, spending-analyzing firm Bundle has tried - by looking into which cities spend the most on their pets. From felines to canines, and lizards and horses too, pet ownership in the U.S. has tripled since the 1970s according to the Humane Society of the United States. In 2012, 62% of American households had at least one pet, bringing the total number of pets in the world up to 164 million. And in 2012, American Pet Products Association (APPA) found that Americans spend well over $50 billion on their beloved furry friends annually.
According to the APPA, there are 83.3 million dogs owned in the US, and 47% of all households own at least one dog. Not shockingly, the more apartment-friendly feline companion is more popular than man's best friend as there are 95.6 million pet cats in the country (or should we say, 95.6 million cats who own a human companion?)
It's no secret that pets cost money. There are routine expenses such as food and veterinary care, but there are many other costs associated with owning a pet that the average owner might not realise at the outset. Things like dog training, grooming, treats, toys, crates, carriers, boarding, and non-routine health costs. Not to mention the fact that the more we think of our pets as family members, the more routine medical costs seem to crop up. At one time, it might not even have occurred to animal owners to get their pet's teeth cleaned, yet today it's becoming more and more common as a treatment to keep the animals healthier for longer.
So which cities spend the most on their pets? (One state in particular likes to splash out on furry pals with a whopping four cities on the list...) The citizens of these 10 cities are the biggest spending animal lovers in America.
10 Phoenix, Arizona - $33.38 / month
Phoenix isn't the only Arizona city that shows up on our list. In fact, Arizona shows up on here more often than any other state in the U.S. So along with food and other animal care necessities, what else are Phoenix residents spending their money on? One pet company operating in Phoenix is named Cow Dreamz Photography, and owner Michelle Pelberg makes a living taking portraits of people's pets in their own homes. Photo packages start at $175 and her clientele ranges across all income levels proving that adoration of one's pets isn't only a trend for the rich.
9 Greensboro, North Carolina: $33.63 / month
Greensboro, North Carolina is the third largest city in North Carolina in regard to its human population. Located in the Piedmont region of central North Carolina, this city of 277,080 people apparently loves their pets. Pet sitting, boarding, doggy day care... These are just some of the pet-based businesses you can find in Greensboro, and considering that they're on our list, apparently the residents know how to spoil their furry best friends.
8 Dallas, Texas: $33.63 / month
Dallas, Texas is apparently a fairly pet-friendly place. For instance, in 2008, the city council provided a variance in their city codes that allows dogs on restaurant patios. This just shows how much residents value their pets-- they want to bring them out to social gatherings with them. There are least 46 restaurants listed on the dallascityhall.com website which allow dogs, and one in particular caught our eye... Mutts Canine Cantina takes the whole idea one step further and has a special one-acre dog park that dogs can play at while their owners grab a bite to eat or just have a couple of cocktails with friends. There's even a dog menu with a bite-sized hot dog and a doggie dessert for your pooch. Of course, access to the park comes with a fee... but Dallas is on our list, and residents are obviously willing to spend a little more on their pet.
7 Virginia Beach, Virginia: $33.73 / month
The saying may be “Virginia is for lovers,” but perhaps it should also be said that “Virginia Beach is for pet-lovers.” The city prides itself in being very pet-friendly, allowing pets to play on the beaches and join vacationers in hotels and rental homes. There's even a specialty pet boutique called Care-A-Lot Pet Supply which has pet floatation devices, water toys, pet strollers, bike trailers and just about anything else you could possibly want or need to have fun with your pet while in Virginia Beach. It's no wonder the community spends so much on their furry friends, given the wide variety of fun activities to do with your pet!
6 Nashville, Tennessee: $34.25 / Month
Nashville may be nicknamed “Music City,” but apparently pets are also a high priority in the capital of Tennessee. There are several great pet-friendly hiking trails, dog parks and more, making the city friendly for those who want a pet in their life. Being a great place for pet owners means more pet spending, obviously. And there are kennels, boarding facilities, dog walkers and more located in and around downtown Nashville.
5 Colorado Springs, Colorado - Average Monthly Spending: $35.75
Colorado Springs is consistently ranked as one of the most pet-friendly destinations in the country, and this also means its residents have access to a ton of nifty pet-friendly amenities. Not only are dogs and cats welcomed around there, but so are horses. At Grey Wolf Ranch, you can stay in a pet-friendly cabin or tee-pee and are welcomed to bring your pet along with you. Horses are also allowed to stay there as there are many riding opportunities in the mountains. But not only are pets allowed in the typical pet-friendly places, many shops, restaurants and even museums, like the Cripple Creek District Museum, allow you to bring Fido along for the fun. Obviously, this means you're more likely to pick up a treat or two, or perhaps a new collar or toy, for your best friend while you're out.
4 Chandler, Arizona - Average Monthly Spending: $35.88
I told you Arizona would be on this list a few times, and we're not finished with it yet, either. Chandler is a prominent suburb of Phoenix, which showed up on the list earlier. So what do Chandler residents spend their money on? Well, just for food and medical considerations for a median dog, one can expect to pay about $695 a year. Then on top of that, you have collars, crates, grooming, toys and services such as walking, boarding and daycare. It would seem Arizona residents in general are on top of things when it comes to their pets, but oh wait... We're not done with them yet.
3 Tucson, Arizona - Average Monthly Spending: $36.50
Tucson boasts 350 days of sunshine a year, allowing humans pets alike plenty of opportunities to get out and about. And with many options for pets, such as dog parks and restaurants that allow for dogs to sit on the patios, they obviously do. But there are more than just the obvious types of pet-friendly activities in Tucson...They have stores such as Paws and Claws Pet Boutique and Bakery that's a specialty dog boutique and pet bakery. And for the dogs who like to get down and dirty while playing at the park, there's Dirty Dawgs, a self-service dog spa and green boutique-- because washing your dog off with a hose is never as easy as it seems.
2 Durham, North Carolina - Average Monthly Spending: $38.13
North Carolina is second only to Arizona in the amount of times it shows up on this list. Durham is the second city from N.C and it's also the second city on our list. Not only does Durham have plenty of dog parks for the residents and their canine friends to enjoy, they also hold special recreation programs that are affordable for pet-owners. These programs range from Dog Park Etiquette to a Disc Dog Training Workshop to teach Fido some new tricks. And if your dog likes swimming, there's always Lap it Up, a company with a large in-ground swimming pool for dogs and owners to participate in a wide range of activities with others. Lap it Up provides activities such as dog mazes, dog games and paw painting/music making.
1 Scottsdale, Arizona - Average Monthly Spending: $47. 88
Arizona isn't just on this top-spending animal owners list the most often, but they also boast our list's number 1 biggest spending city. And Scottsdale's spending is a huge jump up from second place, meaning this city truly dotes upon their four-legged friends. It's an affluent community and it's well-known that residents will go the extra mile for their pets. So much so, that there are doggy hotels that offer private suites with televisions, an exotic-car chauffeur service, and “paw-dicures” for the local pooches and felines. Sounds like the pets in Scottsdale might have more luxuries than many people in the rest of the country!
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