PennVet students look at total lifetime cost of dogs

Many of us in the veterinary profession have long raised an eyebrow at the estimates of keeping a dog or a cat shared by various sources of information, many of which seem to be quoting from each other. They costs they use for veterinary care, food and supplies might have been low even when Lassie was on the air in black and white.

I don’t track prices for pet supplies — dishes, collars, leashes and the like — all that closely. But as the Chief Veterinary Officer for Nationwide/VPI, I have seen a lot of claims cross my desk in my career at the nation’s first and still largest provider of pet health insurance. These claims suggest that many of these estimates for veterinary care are awfully low, even when you consider that they are averages that include reports from people whose pets never see veterinarians at all.

That’s why I was very interested to see these infographics produced by two veterinary students at PennVet (class of 2016),  Kelly Giffear and Brittany Scott. They took a look at the information they could find  and came up with estimates on the total lifetime cost of dogs that seem higher than most I could find, and struck me as much more realistic. Click on the thumbnails to take a look at both infographics, and let me know what you think!