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NextGen Magazine


Value of a Dog's Life, According to a Study? $10,000

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Nov 25, 2019

While most people, when asked how much their dog's life is worth, would answer "priceless,!" a recent economic study posits that the actual number is closer to $10,000, according to the Washington Post.

The study, recently published in the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, uses a survey of about 5,000 dog owners nationwide. The researchers asked them how much they would pay to give their dog a vaccine that reduces their chance of contracting and dying from canine influenza from 12 percent to 2 percent. The prices offered ranged between $5 to $3,000. Since this question apparently gauges the price people would put on a 10 percent mortality increase for their dog, the scientists then extrapolated that figure for the dog's entire life, then controlled for factors such as the age of the dog and number of dogs in the household, and ultimately came up with the $10,000 figure. The Post said this figure was derived very similarly to how actuaries calculate the value of individual human lives. 

This $10,000 figure is close to what another study found regarding how we value our animal companions. Researchers asked participants to imagine their pet is dying, and asked how much they would be willing to pay to save the pet's life; Those with dogs said they were willing to pay $10,689. By contrast, cat owners gave a figure less than half of that.