Most expensive, affordable cities to own a pet: Rover report

In addition to inflation, vet costs, food, pet insurance, grooming, medication, and a plethora of other factors, owning a pet is becoming increasingly expensive. 

A report released by Rover, a pet sitting app, found that pet parents are spending more money on pet supplies and goods than they would on other frequently purchased items such as groceries and personal care. 

"Stubborn inflationary cost pressures have added to the sticker shock of a new pet in 2024, but maybe paradoxically, the bonds that people share with their dogs and cats have never been stronger," said Kate Jaffe, a trend expert at Rover. 

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Inflationary cost pressures

Data collected by Rover in February 2024 found that dog food costs have increased 63% due to inflation. 

Treats and toy costs increased 48% and vet visits went up 47% since last year. 

Cat food prices increased up to 130% compared to 2023. 

"The majority (61%) of pet parents report continued increases in pet-related costs over the last 12 months, though this is down from 84% when asked the same question in March 2023," Rover said. 

Pet parents are also budgeting and cutting costs, but not for their furry family members. 

According to Rover, 30% of pet parents said they have reduced spending in other parts of their lives so they can ensure they can afford what their pets need. 

Approximately 45% of the dog parents who participated in this report said they have pet insurance and about 93% said it was worth the added cost. For cat parents, 36% have pet insurance and 92% agreed it was well worth it. 

Some pet parents are even reevaluating family planning for the sake of their fur babies. 

Dog parents (8%) said that they have delayed having children or have decided not to have them at all and got pets instead because they claim pets are more affordable. 

"While dogs and cats are eating up a larger share of disposable income, that’s largely because pet parents view them as an invaluable, beloved part of the nuclear family. Spending on pets is now seen as less discretionary and more necessary — and that’s a super encouraging trend and realization for the pet industry at large," Jaffe said. 


FILE - Dogs staying at a pet hotel in Germany.

10 most expensive cities for pet parents

  • Santa Monica, Calif. 
  • San Francisco, Calif. 
  • Oakland, Calif. 
  • Bellevue, Wash.
  • San Jose, Calif. 
  • Pasadena, Calif.
  • Seattle, Wash. 
  • New York, N.Y.
  • Kirkland, Wash. 
  • Los Angeles, Calif. 

10 most affordable cities for pet parents

  • El Paso, Texas
  • Lexington, Ky.
  • Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Virginia Beach, Va. 
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Columbia, S.C.
  • Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Kansas City, Mo.
  • Greenville, S.C.
  • San Antonio, Texas

This story was reported from Los Angeles.