As much as you may love having a furry dog friend as a roommate, sometimes it can feel like financing a dog’s lifestyle is burning a hole in your wallet. Especially with the overall rising cost of household essentials, considering the cost of taking care of a dog is more important than ever.
That sentiment can certainly ring true after you see the bill from a surprise trip to the vet or when you buy yet another replacement for a destroyed chew toy.
Through the good times and bad, your bank account is still better off owning a dog in Idaho than in any other state.
The Gem State ranked as the cheapest state to own a dog, according to a recent study from Pettable, a pre-screening service that lets you obtain a letter for your dog to become an emotional support animal or psychiatric service dog.
Idahoans pay, on average, $1,232 per year on their dog, below the national average of $1,750 and less than half the $2,864 per year that nation-leading Delaware spends on their dogs.
Pettable considered four factors when creating its rankings: The yearly cost of food, pet insurance, vet office visits, and the cost of vaccines and spaying or neutering a dog.
Cost of food
Idahoans pay a nation-cheapest $103 on dog food annually, dwarfed by the $1,609 that those from Delaware pay. The national average is a more modest $581 per year.
Pettable gathered its food-cost data from the American Pet Products Association, which estimates that $50 billion was spent in the U.S. on pet food and treats in 2021.
Cost of pet insurance
Idaho landed fairly centrally nationwide for the cost of pet insurance, averaging $502 per year. Most states pay between $400 and $600.
Pettable used the insurance comparison website Pawlicy Advisor to calculate the average cost per state. Pawlicy Advisor considers non-controllable factors such as dog breed, age, and where you live, and controllable expenses such as your coverage type, deductibles, and the number of pets enrolled under the same plan.
Vet office visits and vaccines
Pettable used data from the U.S. Census Bureau to determine the most populated zip code per state and then plugged that zip code into Banfield Pet Hospital’s price estimator. The price estimator provides the average cost of a vet visit, six types of vaccines and different anesthetic procedures to calculate.
Idahoans spend approximately $53 on vet visits and $573 on vaccinations and other medical procedures per year.
The cheapest states to own a dog
Thinking of moving away from Idaho but want to go somewhere where it’ll remain relatively cheap to own a dog? These are the states that come close to the Gem State in average annual costs:
Idaho - $1,232
South Dakota - $1,404
Rhode Island - $1,414
Oklahoma - $1,426
Arkansas - $1,348