Many people consider their dogs part of their family, which may lead them to spend on their fur babies more than the average person may find appropriate.  Many of these fur parents see their dogs as fur children meaning they are part of the family and want to provide the best for them as they do for their other family members.

I will layout the general arguments both sides have regarding pet parents spending too little or too much on their dogs. I interviewed a few pet parents and non-pet parents to lay out some of the arguments they have for or against.

How Families See Their Dogs As Family Members

The bond between a family and their dog has continued to grow and keeps growing stronger throughout the years.  This may be the cause as to why so many pet parents are spending on their fur children as if they were a member of their family. Many people have asked why this bond has continued to grow causing the pet parent to spend more and more on their dogs throughout the years.  Below are some of the dominant points:

  1. Children coming later in life – Families are having children later in life but many still want to have someone to nurture and love.  Many have opted in adopting a fur baby while they wait until they are ready to have a child. This leads them to take care of the dog as their little furry child, a part of their family.  Since they are considered part of the family many want to make sure they receive the best care, with this comes expenses.
  2. Emotional support animals – There are many pet parents who have registered their dog as an Emotional Support Animal.  I believe this registration has increased in numbers as mental health awareness and acceptance has been quite dominant in the United States.  I will discuss this in my next blog in more detail, but this may be why there is less shame in stating and accepting an Emotional Support Dog.
  3. Animal awareness – The awareness for animal rescuing and organizations that support anti-animal cruelty processes have increased dramatically in the past years.  These causes heighten and educate the public of methods that were not known before. This has lead to a large percentage of people to be more sensitive and cautious when purchasing or supporting a certain product or business. This is return, I personally believe, encourages pet parents to treat their dogs in a more humane manner which in return means spending a little more so the dog has a great quality of life.
  4. Thriving dog businesses – The amount of dog business out there are so dominant. I feel there is a dog business for every dog need from grooming to pet nannies to pet chefs.  With so many options out there, it makes it difficult for a consumer American pet parent to turn down all of these options.


How Others May See This As Excessive Spending

There are people who may see the amount of money and attention that is spent on their dogs as excessive and unnecessary.  I’ve asked a few people who feel this way about their reasonings as to why they consider this behavior excessive.

    1. Dogs are not children – The people I asked stated they do not understand why pet owners consider their dogs as children.  They find it preposterous and do not think a human child and dog should even be compared. I think it is interesting to address the other sides defense; many stated they do not see their dogs as important as their human children, far from, but they do see them as a member of the family.
    2. People overusing Emotional Support Animal– The use and registration of Emotional Support Dogs is seen as overused and abused to the people I have asked.  They state they know people who registered their beloved dog as an ESA just to let them fly with them in order to save on a dog sitter while they were away even though the parent did not have an emotional disorder.
    3. Other organizations are more important – A few people brought up the topic as to why dog organizations are given more attention and donations than charities looking to cure diseases.  They stated the United States has a backwards thought process as to what is deemed more important.
    4. Dog businesses and pet insurance  – This was a very interesting topic to discuss with this group.  It brought a lot of laughter when stating terms like pet spa, dog chef, dog boutique hotel.  Many stated they did not understand why a dog even needs these services.


Thanks for taking the time to read. I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether the pet parents are spending too much on their dogs or if you find it justified. If you’d like to have a discussion, leave a comment below or

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