A rise in pet adoption occurred during covid. Millennials are the largest segment of our population and largest cohort of pet owners. Pet ownership comes with added costs for owners and condominium corporations. Communities with larger numbers of millennials are likely to have more challenges dealing with the implications and costs.
Prior to the pandemic there was an estimated three to five dogs per floor in condo buildings, accounting for more than 30 percent of a building’s population. As pet ownership increases there are more waste, noise, odour and resident complaints to address. The cost to dealing with these issues is borne by all building residents. One person’s pet becomes a community nuisance unless properly cared for and issues adequately addressed. Pet fees and rules may be implemented to help minimize problems and cover some ongoing costs.
In a good year, pet owners can spend $1,400 to $2,800 on their pet. When they get sick those costs escalate.
The cost of purchasing a pet can range from about $1,800 to $4,000 depending on if adopted or purchased. Initial costs include $400 to $600 for vaccinations, $400 to $1,150 for neutering or spaying, and $75 to $375 for crate, toys and other items. Food is the largest annual cost at $625 to $1,500 a year with fresh food costing up to $6,000. Overall, annual costs can range from $1,150 to $3,185.
Cats are cheaper to own than dogs with annual costs ranging from $800 to $2,500. They require fewer visits to the veterinarian and eat less. Dogs are more exposed to the environment and larger, both of which result in a greater need for care. Pets travelling on vacation or to a cottage will require more care and vaccinations than indoor pets spending most of their time in a condo.
Many pets receive a level of care once reserved only for people. Hip replacements, scopes, eye exams and cancer care are not uncommon.
People and pets live peacefully in high-rise and condo communities so long as pets are properly cared for. This requires a community pet infrastructure that, at a minimum, includes space for walking and pooping, waste disposal and controls to avoid noise, odour and other problems. The extent to which this occurs depends on rules established, their clarity, communication and enforcement. Most pet-related problems occur when no pet rules are established or when there is a failure to enforce existing rules. Security cameras play an important role in enforcement.
Cost estimates are based on a report published by Rover.com. More detailed costs of owning a dog can be found by reading The Cost of Dog Parenthood in 2022 .
Dollar amounts in this article have been converted from $US to $CDN using a conversion of about $400 per $1,000 which is partially intended to reflect higher sales tax in Canada.