Almost everyone owns a pet today, as reported by the latest pet ownership statistics.
These animals have come a long way from the strange, wild creatures they once were to the friendly family members we now consider them.
People adore their pets. It’s clear from the many animal videos found across the internet, the boutique grooming salons, and the many parks dedicated to them.
Everyone knows that dog is a man’s best friend, but do you know how other pets rank? Don’t worry. We have the answers to all your burning questions.
But first, take a look at the most interesting facts and statistics about owning a pet:
The Top 10 Most Important Pet Ownership Stats and Facts
- About 60% of dog and cat owners are concerned about the quality of their pet’s nutrition.
- The first year of owning a pet can cost more than $1,000.
- The average yearly cost of pet food and treats is about $300.
- Up to 85% of pet owners see their pets as a source of unconditional love.
- 38% of pet owners believe they managed Covid-19 related anxiety and stress due to their pets.
- Some 84.9 million families in the United States own at least one pet.
- When it comes to the benefits of owning a pet, statistics show that having a cat lowers the chances of heart disease or stroke by 31%.
- Pet owners in the U.S. spent $95.7 million on their pets in 2019.
- With a whopping 71.8%, Wyoming is the state with the most pet owners.
- Every year, 6% of pets in the U.S. board a plane.
So if you’re eager to know more about the benefits of having a pet, the latest statistics on dogs and cats, and how many people in the United States are pet “parents,” keep reading.
Elementary Statistics on Pet Ownership
Let’s get to the essential facts and statistics with the basics. Who are pet owners? What kind of pets do they have? How do they take care of them? Continue reading and find out.
1. About 60% of dog and cat owners are concerned about the quality of their pet’s nutrition.
Natural pet food is free from preservatives, artificial flavors, and colors. Similarly, organic pet food is free from toxic pesticides and preservatives. It also has no antibiotics or synthetic hormones. There’s also partially organic pet food, which still has some of the ingredients above.
2. Over 90% of pet owners consider their pets a part of the family.
(Daily Dog Stuff)
As the pet ownership statistics for 2021 show, almost all pet owners consider their pets to be family members. This isn’t only limited to cats, dogs, and traditional pets.
Birds, fish, reptiles, and insects like tarantulas and cockroaches are included in this family category.
3. The first year of owning a pet can cost more than $1,000.
(Money Under 30, ASPCA)
The cost of pet ownership is the greatest in the first year. There are many one-time expenses like neutering, an initial medical exam, collars, leashes, training, and so on.
The ASPCA stats show that the annual cost of owning a pet is $500 on average for every following year.
4. The average yearly cost of pet food and treats is about $300.
The average yearly cost of cat and dog food is $228 and $259, respectively. APPA’s 2019–2020 survey also estimates that treats’ cost is about $58 for cats and $76 for dogs.
On the brighter side, pet industry statistics show that there are more food options nowadays. Many of them even imitate human food trends, so pets can enjoy the same foods as their human “parents.”
5. Up to 85% of pet owners see their pets as a source of unconditional love.
(Daily Dog Stuff)
Besides unconditional love, pets give us unlimited affection. They also help us relieve stress and improve our health.
Research has shown that pets in the workplace can do wonders for reducing stress and anxiety. They can also boost morale and productivity in general.
6. It’s estimated that the global pet toy market will exceed $17.9 billion by 2025.
(FMI, Markets Insider)
According to pet ownership statistics for 2020, the pet toy industry represents a significant chunk of the pet accessories market.
The research also reports that the industry has grown due to the high demand for sports and fetch toys. Chew toys have also contributed to the market’s growth.
7. Dogs have been kept as pets since 30,000 BCE, making them the most historically popular pet.
Archeologists have found proof that dogs have always been significant to man. According to pet ownership statistics by country, even back in ancient times, the Romans kept dogs as pets.
In fact, researchers have found elaborate burial places with dog bones. Archeologists also note that the dogs we know and love today come from two wolf strains dating back around 15,000 years.
8. Close to 80% of dog owners plan to buy their pets gifts for the 2020 holiday season.
According to stats from October 2020, 57% of them will shop for gifts online. Moreover, 51% of those dog owners will also buy a holiday present for their family’s and friend’s dogs, as pet owners demographics report.
9. 38% of pet owners believe they managed Covid-19 related anxiety and stress due to their pets.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone. Luckily, 45% of pet owners were more than happy because of the lockdown. It meant that they could spend more time with their pets.
Moreover, 38% managed stress and anxiety easier because of their pet’s affection. Pet owners demographics that believe their pets provide incredible emotional support include:
- 47% Millennials
- 43% Gen Zers, and
- 43% Gen Xers.
Pet Owner Demographics
Americans are well known for their unconditional love for their pets. Still, you’ll be surprised what the numbers below will reveal.
10. Some 84.9 million families in the United States own at least one pet.
This makes up around 67% of all households in America, according to the APPA’s survey.
The number of pet owners in the U.S. is on a constant rise. APPA has been conducting this research since 1988, when only 56% of American households had a pet.
The research also shows that over 60 million households have at least one dog. Additionally, statistics say more than 47 million households own at least one cat. The numbers show these two species are the most common household pets.
11. More than 11.5 million U.S. households keep freshwater fish as pets, making them the most common pet in the States.
Freshwater fish maintenance is simple, and as the pet ownership statistics report, most fish owners keep more than one. People find it comforting to watch fish, so they’re instrumental in fighting everyday stress.
The most common fish kept as pets in the United States include beta, goldfish, angelfish, guppies, mollies, neon tetras, platies, and swordtails.
Some pet owners also consider fish great home decor since they’re so entertaining to look at.
12. Pet owners in the U.S. spent $95.7 million on their pets in 2019.
(Daily Dog Stuff, APPA)
According to the U.S. pet ownership statistics, Americans spend millions on their pets based on the APPA’s national pet owners survey.
When you think it’s no surprise. Take into account non-routine or surgical veterinary visits. They can cost anywhere from $250 to $475 per year on average, depending on the animal.
Then, there are routine vet check-ups ($182–$357), vitamins, food, treats, and so on.
13. The majority of pet owners in the U.S. are Millennials, at 31%, making them the largest part of pet owners.
(Pet Food Processing)
Approximately 85% of them are dog owners. Also, 50% have cats as pets, too, according to Millennial pet ownership statistics.
Baby Boomers are right behind, with 29% owning a pet. Some 67% of Boomers own a dog, while half of them have a cat. Moreover, 26% of Gen Xers also take care of an animal. Statistics reveal that 74% of them have a dog, and 53% a cat.
14. With a whopping 71.8%, Wyoming is the state with the most pet owners.
(World Population Review, SmartAsset)
Pet ownership statistics by state reveal that West Virginia, Vermont, Idaho, Indiana, and Arkansas follow.
However, the most dog-friendly cities in the U.S. are Tucson, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Portland, Tampa, and San Diego — based on the pet ownership statistics by city.
And 6 out of the 11 friendliest cities for dogs are in the West.
15. More than 6.5 million animals every year go into animal shelters.
Most of the animals that end up in shelters are dogs and cats. This number is worrying. However, the ASPCA pet statistics show that it’s much lower than it was in 2011 when on average, over 7 million animals would go into shelters every year.
16. Montana has the highest number of dog owners, while Vermont is a cat-loving state.
According to the latest pets per household by state statistics, dog ownership seems to be in the lead compared to cat ownership.
Top 10 States with Highest Percentage of Households with a Cat, Dog, or a Pet
Dog owners vs. cat owners statistics also show that the District of Columbia still has the lowest pet ownership rates. The state has 38.2% pet-owning households. 22.5% accounts for dogs and 16.4% for cats.
U.S. Dog Population
So, who takes the cake, cats or dogs, as the favorite pet? Allow us to break down the numbers for you.
17. As many as 90 million dogs were kept as pets in the U.S. in 2019.
(The Washington Post)
One survey also found that the dog population in the States is increasing as the number of households rises.
The popularity of pet ownership is on a steady rise, and it has grown by 9% in a very short period.
18. Every year, 6% of pets in the U.S. board a plane.
According to pet ownership statistics from a U.K. survey, 6% of U.S. pets board a plane every year. More than 50% of pet owners plan on traveling with their pets.
Moreover, 52% of them say they only stay at pet-friendly properties when traveling. Additionally, 27% would also like to see more dog-friendly hotels and holiday parks.
19. Dog owners spend on average 300 minutes a week walking with their pet.
There are many benefits of owning a dog, as statistics show. Dog owners spend 300 minutes per week walking their dogs. That’s 200 minutes more than people who don’t have a pup.
20. 51% of adult pet dogs suffer from obesity.
Sadly, pet obesity is a very real thing. It has reached epidemic levels. What’s even more worrying is that less than 10% of those dogs lose weight. Even if they lose the extra pounds, about 40% of dogs go back to their old weight within a year.
21. The average monthly pet insurance for dogs is $48.78.
This is for a plan covering accidents and illnesses. However, the monthly dog insurance premium can vary from $25 to more than $70.
Pet ownership stats claim that the insurance rate depends on where you live. Your pet’s age, breed and species, and the insurance package you choose also affects the rates.
22. Less than 23% of lost pets get reunited with their owners.
Every year, one in three pets in the U.S. gets lost or stolen. That’s about 10 million dogs and cats. Pet owners who lose their dogs are very proactive in the search for their missing fur friend. Unfortunately, less than a third of lost dogs are reunited with their human families.
U.S. Cat Population
The kings of the castle, or our beloved cats, won’t give in that easy. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the full cat statistics and pet owner demographics.
23. 72% of cat owners bought a holiday gift for their pet in 2019.
24. On average, monthly insurance for cats costs $29.16.
Studies have compared pet ownership statistics. Not only are cats more independent than dogs, but their insurance costs can be half the price.
Of course, like with dogs, cats’ insurance premiums also depend on the age and breed of the cat and where you live.
25. Nala Cat is Instagram’s most famous cat, with over 4.3 million followers.
(Guinness World Records)
It’s not rare for animals to be Insta famous. Sometimes they even become “petfluencers” and turn it into a career.
Besides Nala (@nala_cat), the other top three include:
- Grumpy Cat (@realgrumpycat) – more than 2.5 million followers
- Lil Bub (@iamlilbub) – more than 2.4 million followers
- Venus the Two Face Cat (@venustwofacecat) – more than 2 million followers
26. The historical pet owners statistics report that the ancient Egyptians began including cats in their art as far back as 3,000 BCE.
Scientists have found that the ancient Egyptians were the first to domesticate cats. It occurred in the 16th century BCE.
Ancient Egyptians were particularly fond of dogs, too. But, they also kept hyenas, monkeys, and lions as pets.
But, they worshiped cats. Even in their earliest paintings, cats are represented catching mice.
27. When it comes to the benefits of owning a pet, statistics show that having a cat lowers the chances of heart disease or stroke by 31%.
Scientists have proven that cat owners enjoy many other health benefits. A cat’s purr resonates at a frequency that can, for example, heal muscles, bones, and tendons. Plus, they can improve your quality of sleep.
Cats can also reduce anxiety and stress levels and even lower the levels of pet allergies in children.
Even watching videos of cats on the internet can boost people’s energy levels and improve their mood.
Exotic Pet Ownership Statistics
Let’s not leave behind the fantastic exotic animals that so many are fans of. Their numbers are just as impressive as the pets themselves.
28. There are about 5,000 captive tigers in the U.S.
Most of them are being kept as pets. Studies show that more tigers are being kept as pets than there are tigers in their natural habitats. ASPCA pet statistics reveal there are approximately 3,200 tigers in the wilderness.
29. Approximately 1 in 10 households in the United States keep an exotic animal as a pet.
(Expert Insurance Reviews)
Every day, more and more Americans are getting exotic animals as pets. Various lizards, snakes, and turtles are bought daily. The list also includes lions, tigers, leopards, camels, kangaroos, etc. The average number of exotic pets per household is truly staggering.
30. There are more than 17 million exotic pets in the U.S.
(World Animal Protection)
The global trade of wild animals is worth billions of dollars. Thousands of species are traded every year, including:
- More than 500 species of birds — about half of them are parrots
- Just under 500 species of reptile — typically lizards, snakes, and turtles
- More than 100 species of mammals.
31. The capybara is the most popular exotic pet in the U.S.
(The Spruce Pets)
According to statistics on pet ownership, these giant rodents can live 8–10 years in captivity. However, they aren’t legal everywhere. They’re also very social animals, so they should be kept in pairs.
Capybara can grow up to 2 feet and 170 pounds, so they require a lot of space. Nevertheless, people adore them since they look like giant guinea pigs.
32. Are there more cat owners or dog owners?
Mintel’s data shows that dog owners win this category. Half of pet-owning Americans have a dog, while only a bit more than a third (35%) own a cat.
33. Has pet ownership increased?
The AVMA’s U.S. pet ownership & demographics sourcebook shows that pet ownership in the U.S. is on the constant rise.
They began collecting data in 1982 when only 38% of American households had a dog, and 25% had a cat.
We’re still waiting on the latest data for 2020/2021. However, their 2017/2018 data shows that the number of households with a pet has risen to 59%. Dogs and cats remain the most popular pets year after year.
34. What age group owns the most pets?
Millennials own the most pets by far. They make up 31% of all pet owners. However, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are right behind. They represent 29% and 26% of pet owners, respectively.
35. Which state has the most pet owners?
With 71.8% of pet owners, Wyoming takes the cake. Right behind are West Virginia, Vermont, Idaho, Indiana, and Arkansas, with 70.7%–69%.
The Bottom Line
Having a pet can be a blessing and an enjoyable experience. It’s a gratifying feeling when an animal joins the family. These pet ownership statistics are here to show everyone how much joy one furball can bring.
They’re living creatures that need attention, love, and financial commitment. You should consider this very carefully before you adopt one.
- CNN Health
- Condor Ferries
- Daily Dog Stuff
- Expert Insurance Reviews
- Fact Retriever
- Guinness World Records
- Markets Insider
- Money Under 30
- Packaged Facts
- Pet Food Processing
- Study Finds
- The Spruce Pets
- The Washington Post
- Vet Candy
- World Animal Protection
- World Population Review