5 Most (& Least) Expensive Cities to Own a Dog

Though you can’t put a price on cold puppy nose kisses, you’re probably sacrificing a large portion of your small budget to take care of your best friend.

Expensive Cities to Get Your Pet DogCheckups, food, pet sitters — they all add up fast. But have you ever wondered if you’re paying too much because of where you live?

According to a joint study completed by Redfin, Trupanion, and Rover.com, the total cost of dog ownership varies drastically across the country. Data analysts looked at the major expenses dog owners face across 116 major U.S. cities to determine how they ranked:

The Most Expensive Cities to Have a Dog:

  1. San Francisco, California
  2. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  3. Aurora, Colorado
  4. Portland, Oregon
  5. Chula Vista, California

The Least Expensive Cities to Have a Dog:

  1. Phoenix, Arizona
  2. The Woodlands, Texas
  3. Nashville, Tennessee
  4. Detroit, Michigan
  5. Fayetteville, North Carolina

How did they figure all of this out? They took three big expenses of dog ownership into consideration:

#1 Dog-Friendly Housing

Real estate analysts at Walk Score, a Redfin company, discovered that prices for dog-friendly rentals were typically 6% more expensive than the average cost of rentals in each respective city.

Out of the top five, owners spent as little as 11% more in Chula Vista, to up to 20% more in Aurora. What’s that in numbers? A normal rental in Aurora is $1,363, but a dog-friendly one was $1,638. Big difference.

Dog friendly rentals in the least expensive cities were cheaper than average. Compare a normal rental in Phoenix ($1,400) to a dog-friendly one ($1,101) and you’ll notice a 21% decrease.

Don’t forget that it’s also harder to find affordable pet-friendly housing. Across all cities, only 16.5% of rentals even allowed dogs!

#2 Health Care

Using a health plan with a $250 deductible for a mixed breed dog, Trupanion, a medical insurance provider for dogs, checked on the average monthly payment for medical coverage. They learned that owners were paying $69.59 in Ft. Lauderdale versus $32.45 in Detroit.

#3 Doggie Care

To check on the costs of dog sitters and doggie daycare, Rover, a network of dog sitters for hire, weighed in on the costs associated with both. The average daily rate for a dog sitter in an expensive city like San Francisco was $34.75, while in a more affordable city like Fayetteville, it was only $17.97.

And doggie daycare tuition in Portland was $29.17/day, compared to just $21.14/day in Nashville.

As the American Humane Society says, “Hundreds of thousands of people relinquish their pets to animal shelters every year simply because they cannot easily find pet-friendly housing.” Dogs are also frequently abandoned due to the rising costs of ownership.

Whether you’re thinking about adopting a new best friend, or moving to a new city with your old buddy, don’t forget to check the cost of living for your dog when you’re crunching the numbers.

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ann shea (craig davis)Craig Davis

Craig Davis, CEO and Chief Happiness Officer at www.vet-organics.com
Craig is the founder of Vet Organics, where he and his team share additional pet-related articles on the company’s blog. Vet Organics is an eCommerce provider of EcoEars and an array of premium natural products dedicated to the health and wellness of pets.

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