A little over a year and a half – my wife came to me with a request to purchase a pet rabbit. Having only experience with cats, I knew very little about how to care for one or even what their annual expenses might be. To top it off, my wife wanted the bunny to be a “house” rabbit. What? The only way I had seen rabbits as pets was in outdoor cages. I’d never seen one in a house. Don’t they poop all over the place? Needless to say, I was not gung-ho about the proposition.
Well – the wife finally got her wish and soon-after, we welcomed a cute little dutch rabbit into the house. It didn’t take too long to warm up to the little lady. She was spayed/neutered and (thankfully) potty-trained. It was almost like having a cat around the house – except for the scratching, meowing and naughty messes.
Now that its been over a year, we can look back at some of the costs associated with raising her. And it was no surprise that our bunny was expensive!
Quick poll here (before going any further)
I’ll get back to the poll answer in a bit. But here are a few fun facts about America and our love for pets:
- American’s spent over $50 billion on pets in 2011
- Of that expense, almost $20 billion is for food
- 62% of American households own a pet (about 73 million homes)
- Pet ownership is up 56% since 1988
- Big name companies including Paul Mitchell, Omaha Steaks, Origins, Harley Davidson and Old Navy are now offering lines of pet products
- In 2011, dogs were the most popular pet, followed by cats, freshwater fish, birds, small animals and reptiles
The most expensive pets
I thought it would be interesting to see if any one had compiled an “official” ranking associated with annual pet care costs – and what were the most expensive animals to keep. I searched online and found The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). They have a great website that has loads of information on pets and also has a chart detailing annual pet costs.
So, getting back to the poll – what pet did you think was the most expensive? Now, this one is going to surprise you. Of the animals listed above – the rabbit had the most expensive annual pet care expense. Can you believe that?
Here’s a run-down of those costs, per the ASPCA:
I’m glad we didn’t get health insurance for the little lady! That would have really thrown the figures out of whack.
How do you keep costs down?
If you are a pet owner – and have one of the preceding animals, how do you keep costs down? I know for us – this past summer, my wife starting growing her own greens to feed the bunny. With food costs going up – this is something we’ll probably continue to do.