Dogs are Americans’ favorite pets: Almost 50 million American households have one or more. Of course dog owners want to keep their best friends happy and healthy, and that sometimes means a visit to the vet. In fact, Americans spend more than $20 billion annually on veterinary dog care, which is more than the gross domestic product of many countries. (These are the states with the most dogs.)
Drawing on the American Veterinary Medicine Association’s 2017-2018 Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, which reports data from 2016, the most recent year for which complete information is available, 24/7 Tempo has created a list of the most common reasons Americans take their dogs to the vet.
Happily, the top reasons include routine preventive care, such as exams and vaccinations, which isn’t too stressful for owners and hopefully not too stressful for their doggies either. There are more benign reasons farther down the list too, including dental care and grooming, which keep dogs looking good as well as feeling good.
There are also reasons that range in seriousness from flea and tick care, which are important but usually not a matter of life and death, to heartworm and intestinal worm care, which is crucial. Below these are x-rays and emergency care, which are going to be stressful for owners and dogs alike.
Worst of all there’s euthanasia. Sadly many dog breeds have a lifespan of only 10 to 13 years. It’s awful to contemplate, but many people would rather their beloved pets have a painless end than suffer needlessly. (These are the longest living dog breeds in the U.S.)