The unexpected costs of your pandemic pet

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The unexpected costs of your pandemic pet

Approximately 12.6 million households in the United States got new pets during the first year of the pandemic. And at least 50% of those say that their decision was influenced by the pandemic, because: let’s face it, only so much time can be spent baking sourdough bread. (And many of us didn’t even have the energy for that.) What better way to wile away the many, many days than playing fetch with Dennis or snuggling with Popcorn? 

Our furry pals were there in the bad times and the continued bad times. But with their comfort comes great responsibility. Think about the cost of cat hygiene alone: Our extremely unscientific research reveals that most cat litter costs between $9 and $16 a bag, and if you’re changing that once a week…well, you can do the math. 

When life was almost exclusively remote, the upkeep and cost of a dog or cat (or iguana) might have felt less acute. Who would have known if that 11 AM standup you had blocked out on your calendar every day was really when you took Mittens for a walk? No one, that’s who! So there was no need to shell out for a dog walker (or even more for a full day of doggy daycare). But now that life is somewhat back to normal, costs are skyrocketing. 

So much time with our pets has made some people more attuned to every ailment and injury, so besides the aforementioned dog walkers, there are also veterinarian appointments to pay for. Not to mention the price of grooming, toys, and accessories — it all adds up. According to the American Pet Products Association, pandemic pet spending remains on the rise. Owners are increasingly shopping online, a market which has increased by almost 20% over the past twelve odd months. And these numbers don’t even account for pet insurance, which alone can cost hundreds of dollars per year. 

On top of all the new animals, fewer people are giving up the pets they already have, which means there are more animals going for walks, getting sick, or just needing treats. Demand for vet appointments has grown, and like basically every consumer product in the world, pet food too has been hit by supply chain issues. What’s an owner to do?

For starters, we suggest looking into pet insurance, as it can help to offset what could amount to massive bills for health problems. If your pet is a service animal such as a guide dog, you may be able to use your HSA, FSA, or HRA to help with costs, but you’ll want to check with your provider first. And many people find that simply opening a pet savings account can help. Be warned though: because these funds can be used for anything, it may be tempting to spend the money on something other than your pet parakeet. 

Whether you have ten cats or just one, we want you to have some peace of mind when it comes to taking care of your pet. That’s why we built a digital wallet to help you organize your insurance, so you can find everything you need when you need it — including Churro’s pet insurance policy details. Create your Marble account today to start managing your insurance — and get rewards for doing it!