Which city in North Carolina is the cheapest in the United States to own a pet and which is among the most pet-friendly?

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – You may not agree, but Greensboro is considered the most economical of America’s 100 largest cities to own a pet.

This is what WalletHub, the financial advice site, found ranked cities nationwide as the best places to own pets. Greensboro was No. 57 on that list – a few spots above Winston-Salem (No. 62) – but in measuring “Pet Budget,” one of three categories used to analyze cities, GSO was number one.


Oscar was recently Greensboro’s Pet of the Week. (WGHP)

Greensboro and Winston-Salem were second and third among North Carolina cities. Raleigh came in at No. 8 overall – and third on this cost list – and Charlotte came in at No. 67 overall. All four were among the top 35 in cost. Durham was near the bottom (No. 97).

The top 10 cities for pet ownership are (in order) Scottsdale, Arizona; Tampa, Florida; St. Petersburg, Florida; Las Vegas; Colorado Springs; Birmingham, Ala.; Atlanta, Raleigh; St. Louis and Portland, Oregon.

Below Durham were Santa Ana, California, Dallas and Baltimore.

WalletHub says that nearly 90.5 million households in the United States own pets and in 2022 Americans spent $136.8 billion for these pets, as calculated by the American Pet Products Association. Some reports indicate that those homeownership rates could decline.

Cost factors are not limited to typical veterinary services and supplies/food, but also include a range of expenses, such as licenses, grooming fees and even pet insurance. Tenants often pay pet deposits and additional rent.

How they calculated this

WalletHub assessed three major topics – pet health and wellness and outdoor pet friendliness were the others – and used 23 metrics. The data has been weighted and some limited data has been population adjusted to allow comparison on a broader scale. A total of points was awarded, which led to a ranking.

For the Pet Budget category, which accounted for 25% of the overall score, factors included veterinary care costs, pet care provider rates and dog insurance premiums.

Top-ranked cities in terms of budget (after Greensboro): Nashville; Raleigh; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Memphis; North Las Vegas, Nevada; Omaha, Nebraska; Wichita, Kansas; and Lexington, Kentucky.

Greensboro’s overall score was affected because it ranked No. 84 for pet welfare (for which Scottsdale was No. 1), which includes availability of veterinarians, pet caretakers, trainers, groups, boarding schools and shelters. It also ranked 75th for outdoor pet friendliness – including weather, dog parks per capita, trails and dog shows – for which San Francisco ranked first .

Some cost factors

Jeanette O’Quin from Ohio State University (WALLETHUB)

Jeanette O’Quin, a veterinary professor at Ohio State University, said sometimes consumers don’t realize the variety of expenses that come with owning a pet.

“Knowing what these expenses will be in advance and planning for them can be very helpful,” she told WalletHub. “Homeowners can save money each month to cover unexpected or larger expenses by spreading costs over time. Rabbits, small rodents and birds can also be more affordable pets, with lower daily care and veterinary expenses.

She also cautioned those who adopt dogs and cats to understand the cost differentials associated with these processes. “Also think about the breed you will get; some are more likely than others to have or develop serious health problems,” she said.

Jessica Rubin (left) and Jane Shaw of Colorado State University. (WALLETHUB)

Jessica Rubin and Jane Shaw, professors of veterinary medicine at Colorado State University, said the best cities for pets include “walking trails, off-leash walking options, sidewalks, pet parks dogs, access to swimming, hotels, shops and pets. restaurants, pet-friendly housing with affordable pet fees, access to good veterinary care, good policing, and a conscientious, well-funded humane society.

“Conversely, indicators of a city that is not good for pets and their owners are: heavy traffic, lack of sidewalks, lack of parks, inadequate quality veterinary care or difficult to find, poor animal policies and/or enforcement, and an inaccessible environment. Human society.”


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