Do you love your pet and treat him or her like a member of the family?

A new study finds many New Jersey residents and people across the nation thoroughly enjoy being “pawrents.”

In fact, more than 20% of pet owners consider themselves a “crazy pet parent.”

Spoiling your pet

The study found 19% of people had purchased merchandise with their pet’s photo on it, while 12% reported buying a luxury pet product, 10% got a special pet portrait, 8% had clothing with a pet’s photo on it, 7% splurged on a self-cleaning robot litter box and 6% got a DNA test for their pet.

According to Statista, the most common pet parent habits include sleeping in bed with a pet (80%), buying a Christmas gift for a pet (65%), sharing food or beverages (60%), celebrating a pet’s birthday (56%), and taking a road trip with a pet (54%).

Puppy and kitten and guinea pig and horse and rat
gurinaleksandr ThinkStock

Closer to home 54% reported taking a pet to a public park or beach, 20% admitted canceling plans with human friends to hang out with their pet, and 16% said they have designated a pet room in their home.

49% of respondents said they spent more on their pet in 2022 than in previous years.

Types of pets

The survey found New Jerseyans enjoy a wide range of pets:

• 31% of pet owners only have a dog
• 26% only have a cat
• 21% of people have cats and dogs
• 9% own a fish
• 6% have birds
• 5% reptiles
• 4% rodents
• 2% bunnies
• 1% have a horse

The survey also found pet owners on average spend $109.12 every month on necessities for their pet.

About 17% of pet owners have pet insurance, and the majority of those with insurance agree that it’s worth it. Almost half (45%) say pet insurance has helped cover a procedure or medication they wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.

The average amount a year spent taking a pet to the vet is $525.12.

Close-up of a girl holding her dog
Purestock ThinkStock

The report notes there’s nothing wrong with spoiling your dog, cat, mouse or turtle, but pet owners are reminded extravagant treats for pets that are not recommended, can and do make them sick.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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