Most People Underestimate the Costs of Dog Ownership, Survey Finds

The vast majority (82%) of respondents to a new survey from insurance and wellness provider Pumpkin reveals major gaps between perception and reality in the costs of dog ownership.

To kick off National Pet Insurance Month, Pumpkin released a new survey examining misconceptions about the costs of dog ownership.

Over a thousand dog owners nationally showed that pet parents have a hugely skewed perception of the veterinary care costs and are very unprepared for pricey pooch emergencies.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a whopping 93% of respondents have taken their dog to the vet with nearly half (45%) of dogs experiencing a serious accident or illness that required a vet visit.

Despite the high and necessary reliance on vet care, many owners struggle to meet the financial requirements of their pets’ health needs. Some of the survey findings include:

82% of respondents underestimated the lifetime veterinary costs associated with having a dog.

44% would not be able to afford an unexpected bill of $1,000 but 15% of dog owners report having had a vet bill of over $1,000 in the last 18 months.

39% delayed visiting the vet out of fear of how much it would cost.

For those who delayed a vet visit, 87% are without pet insurance and 60% would not be able to pay out of pocket for a vet bill over $1,000.

Of those that had a serious accident or illness in the past 18 months, only 22% had pet insurance.

Of those that would rather deal with unexpected emergency veterinary costs as they happen, 93% underestimated the cost of vet care.

Dogs are important members of the family, like children to many, and deserve the best care possible so they can live a happy and healthy life.

The American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Guidelines for responsible pet ownership, emphasizes the financial obligation owners have for their pets’ care and that without a doubt, providing your pet with appropriate lifelong health care is a fundamental part of being a good pet parent.

Through the insights from this survey Pumpkin aims to help pet parents take the best care possible of their pups so that all dogs can live safe, happy, and healthy lives.

For more insight on the results of the survey, visit

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