54% Of Dog Owners Have Regrets About Getting A Pooch – Forbes Advisor

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“I am the one who has to completely take care of everything even though everyone else promised they would,” says one dog owner when asked if they had regrets about getting a dog.

Other dog owners expressed similar frustrations. A new Forbes Advisor survey of 2,000 dog owners found that 54% have regrets about getting a dog, and of those 27% have strong misgivings about dog ownership.

The unconditional love of a dog was a big motivating factor for many to get their canines: 56% of dog owners got their furry friends for companionship. But the responsibilities that come with caring for a dog can be challenging. One dog owner with regrets says, “It’s like a baby. I can’t just take off, I have to make arrangements.”

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “I have regrets about getting my dog”?

The Northeast has the highest percentage of dog owners with regrets and the Southwest has the least:

  • Northwest: 68%
  • Southeast: 56%
  • Midwest: 48%
  • West: 42%
  • Southwest: 39%

Challenges of Owning a Dog: Ruff Times

While no one disputes dog owners’ love for their pups, or the benefits of dog ownership, the challenges can be many. Remorseful dog owners cited many issues that trigger regret about dog ownership. Among the top reasons they regret getting a dog were messes, challenges in finding care for the dog and dog training.

What have been the biggest challenges of owning a dog?

Many Dog Owners Can’t Afford Vet Bills

The cost of dog ownership has forced some dog owners to skip routine veterinary visits, take a pass on emergency surgery and/or not buy medicine for their dogs in the past year because they couldn’t afford it:

  • 31% of dog owners say they can’t afford up to $2,000 in vet bills, even if the treatment could extend or potentially save the dog’s life.
  • 66% can’t afford vet bills under $5,000.

Pet insurance can help decrease your out-of-pocket costs for unexpected veterinary bills—such as broken bones and sickness—and even routine care. The best pet insurance plans allow you to add a routine wellness plan to coverage, which can offset the cost of annual physicals for your dog, vaccinations and other preventive care.

I would not be able to afford to pay this amount in vet bills, even if it meant extending or potentially saving my dog’s life

While existing health issues are always a concern for pet parents, future illness or injuries can also be worrisome. The top health concerns for their dogs were:

  • Ingestion of foreign substance or object, such as a toy: 33%
  • Getting hit by a car: 30%
  • Injuries from other animals: 30%

Almost Half of Dog Owners Are Without Pet Insurance

Despite the cost of vet bills in the past, and the fear of illness and injury in the future, nearly half (48%) of dog owners don’t have pet insurance.

Do you have pet insurance for your dog?

When results were analyzed by gender, age and region, the survey found:

  • More male dog owners (46%) have pet insurance than female dog owners (38%).
  • More dog owners age 77 and older have pet insurance (57%) than those of younger ages.
  • The Northeast has the highest percentage (57%) of dog owners with pet insurance, followed by the Southeast (38%), West (33%), Southwest (31%) and Midwest (30%).

Perceived Cost of Pet Insurance

Many dog ​​owners who haven’t considered buying pet insurance think it’s too pricey (37%).

Why have you not considered buying pet insurance?

Yet 89% of dog owners estimated pet insurance to be more expensive than it actually is. And 76% of dog owners overestimated the cost of pet insurance by three times the average price, the survey found.

Pet insurance for a puppy costs an average of $34 a month, according to a Forbes Advisor analysis.

How much would you estimate that pet insurance costs per month for a 3-month old puppy, for $5,000 of annual coverage?

Pet insurance plans typically have a choice of maximum annual coverage, amounts such as $5,000, but some plans offer unlimited annual coverage. This financial safety net can help dog owners reduce the potential cost of a dog.

Related: Is pet insurance worth it?

Survey Methodology

This online survey of 2,000 US adults who own dogs was commissioned by Forbes Advisor and conducted by market research company OnePoll, in accordance with the Market Research Society’s code of conduct. Data was collected April 29 to May 2, 2022. The margin of error is +/- 2.2 points with 95% confidence. This survey was overseen by the OnePoll research team, which is a member of the MRS and has corporate membership with the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). For a complete survey methodology, including geographic and demographic sample sizes, contact pr@forberadvisor.com.

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