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New research from a survey done by OnePoll and commissioned by AskVet, found that one in three people think their pet will make them a better parent. 2,000 dog and cat owners were surveyed about habits, expenses, and their pets.

The typical pet owner spends $176 on initial pet supplies and adoption fees. This leads to monthly expenses of about $111 per month. Since the average life span for dogs is 10 years, this means owners spend $13,320 in that time.

The survey also discussed pet care needs, with 33% worry their pet is unhappy and 45% actively worry about pet health. However, 24% of respondents say they don’t take their pet to the vet unless they know something is wrong.

“Pet parents often wait too long to manage their pet’s wellness,” says Cait Pluto, senior VP of marketing at AskVet. “The right pet lifestyle choices lead to better health outcomes, lower veterinary costs, longer lifespans, and more joy for pets and their parents. Pet parents can use virtual wellness care to manage that healthy pet lifestyle.

We’re just going to be upfront: vet bills are expensive. And necessary. If you can’t afford to take your pet to the vet, you can’t afford to have a pet. You need to factor in vet visits, heartworm pills, and any other necessary medications, as well as the potential for emergency vet visits and surgeries.

More Ways to Help Your Pet’s Health

The dogs and cats who share our homes rely on us for their health. Being a good pet parent includes making sure their chompers are clean and healthy! If you have any other tips on how to help maintain your pet’s teeth, leave a comment below to share with other pet guardians.

For other ways to ensure your pet’s well-being, check out these One Green Planet articles:

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