Pets by the Numbers

six Labrador dogs in a rowIn Canada, there’s no doubt that people love their pets. From cats to dogs and lizards to fish, pets bring joy, companionship and fun to the lives of millions of Canadians, and many people consider their pets to be members of the family. If you’re a pet owner, or if you’re considering purchasing or adopting a pet, below are some surprising and interesting facts regarding pet ownership numbers in Canada:

Pets vs. Kids

In 2012, Canadians spent over six billion dollars on their pets and five-and-a-half billion on care for their children. While these numbers may seem shocking to some, it’s important to remember that many people who own pets do not have children, meaning there are more people with pets when compared to families in the general population.

Which Pet is the Most Popular?

Studies suggest that right around half of all Canadians own some form of pet, and there are an estimated fourteen million pets in Canada at any given moment. Of these pets, over two-and-a-half million are birds and six million are dogs. Topping the list as the most popular pets would be fish at over eight million and cats at eight-and-a-half million.

Outrageous Pet Finances

In 2007, hotel mogul Leona Helmsley passed away, but not before including her dog, Trouble, in her will. After Helmsley’s death, Trouble stood to inherit twelve million dollars until a judge reduced this amount to two million. Also, entrepreneur John Sperling spent almost a decade and twenty million dollars to assist Genetic Savings and Clone in cloning his dog Missy. In 2007, Missy was successfully cloned, leading Sperling to begin efforts to clone other pets. Finally, if you’re in the market for a new cat or kitten, but allergies have kept you from welcoming a new feline friend into your home, all you have to do is find $7,000 lying around and you can purchase a hypoallergenic cat from Lifestyle Pets.

Costs of Owning Pets

Speaking of finances, it can get pretty expensive just for basic care of a pet. For example, it can cost anywhere between $15 and $40 per week to feed a dog and up to $45 a night for boarding. If you want to pamper your cat, be prepared to spend anywhere between $75 and $150 for a heated bed. You might also find costs for daycare for your pets to reach almost $500 a month in some cases, meaning a pet babysitting service may actually cost about as much as a daily child care service.

Whether you’re a first-time pet owner or you’re interested in adding a new friend to your family, it’s important to do your research and consider all of the numbers involved in pet ownership before making a final decision. While you might not be planning to spend millions to clone your pet, you will need to be able to devote time and affection, energy for walks and runs and money and attention for healthy nutrition. Consider consulting with a veterinarian before purchasing or adopting a pet for more information.

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