30 Pet Statistics for 2024: By the Numbers

If you’re American and an animal lover, it’s very likely you’ve owned a pup or a kitty your entire life. Pet statistics show that US households are the most likely to have a pet compared to the rest of the world.

Whether you have a cat, dog, bird, guinea pig, bunny, or reptile, this article will provide you with the most relevant facts and figure you want to know.

Top Ten Pet Statistics for 2024

  • 6.3 million pets enter animal shelters annually across the US.
  • It’s estimated that around 920,000 animals are euthanized in shelters every year.
  • Around 90% of lost pets are found within 12 hours if the owner searches for them.
  • 70% of households in the US own at least one pet.
  • Americans spent around $123.6 billion on their pets in 2021.
  • 81% of dog owners in the UK give their pets birthday or holiday presents.
  • Around 1 in 10 people are allergic to pets.
  • The exotic pet trade is hosted on over 1,000 websites.
  • 79% of pet owners state that their pets have helped them reduce stress.
  • Owning a dog may decrease the risk of heart disease-related death by 36%.

Pets in Shelters: Overpopulation and Abandonment

Even though we, as animal lovers, may think that there can never be too many animals, the high number of pets in the US is creating some serious issues—let’s view the disturbing numbers.

1. 6.3 million pets enter animal shelters across the US every year.


Luckily, the digits are in decline—it’s estimated that the number of animals entering shelters has dropped by 12.5% since 2011 when it was 7.2 million.

Interestingly, more cats than dogs get in shelters yearly:

  • 3.2 million cats, and
  • 3.1 million dogs.

The number of dogs in shelters is significantly lower today than a decade ago—it went from 3.9 to 3.1 million.

2. There are around 73 million stray cats in the United States.

(National Today)

Cat overpopulation is real, numbers indicate. The shocking number is based on different surveys, the total number of cats brought to shelters, and telemetry studies.

However, considering these purring companions’ overpopulation rate, the number may change daily.

3. Female dogs usually have one or two litters yearly and an average of 4–6 puppies per litter.

(K9 of Mine)

It’s pretty difficult to estimate the number of puppies per litter. The number typically varies depending on a dog’s age, size, and breed.

However, it’s thought that miniature breeds usually give birth to around three puppies. In contrast, larger breeds produce seven puppies per litter.

The numbers are based on a study published in 2011 that examined over 10,000 litters of 224 different breeds.

4. It’s estimated that only 10% of the animals brought into shelters have been neutered or spayed.

(PEDIGREE Foundation)

Spaying or neutering is essential. Not only does it fight the rising overpopulation of strays, but it also prevents uterine infections and tumors.

Strays received by shelters have a mere 10% chance of already being spayed or neutered.

5. There are more than 200 million stray dogs in the world.

(WorldAtlas) (ASPCA)

According to the World Health Organization, there are around 200 million stray canines worldwide, making dog overpopulation a severe issue globally. North America has over 70 million stray dogs, while Europe has 43 million. Apart from being very popular companions, dogs are some of the most abandoned pets.

Sadly, pet abandonment happens more often than we’d like to. Some people have to leave their pets because of illness or financial problems. Some just don’t want to deal with them anymore.

6. It’s estimated that around 920,000 animals are euthanized in shelters every year.


According to pet abandonment statistics, more than 6 million animals enter shelters in the United States every year.

Unfortunately, if shelter animals aren’t adopted after some time, they’re killed to make room for other animals. The stats have also found that around 390,000 dogs and 530,000 cats die in shelters.

7. Only 49% of surrendered animals find their forever home.

(Spots) (A.D.O.P.T.)

There’s an increasing number of dogs and cats born daily in the US—close to 70,000. According to statistics, only one out of ten dogs will be successfully adopted. Also, only one out of 12 cats finds a permanent, caring home.

If you’ve encountered stray animals and would like to hand them over to a shelter, make sure to contact a no-kill shelter or a rescue organization near your area.

8. In 2019, around 2% of healthy or adoptable cats and dogs died of euthanasia in Canadian shelters.

(Humane Canada)

Pet statistics show that euthanasia rates started going down in the previous year. These are the lowest rates Humane Canada has recorded in years.

9. According to lost pet statistics, around 90% of lost pets are found within 12 hours if the owner searches for them.

(If It Barks)

When a furry member of the family goes missing, it’s estimated that the best window to find them is within the first 12 hours after they disappear.

The leading reason pets aren’t returned to their proper owners is that they lack identification tags or tracking chips. For this reason, experts recommend putting a collar on the pet, as it’s a globally recognized symbol for a pet with an owner.

10. The US sees a 30–40% increase in missing pets from the 4th–6th of July.


Unfortunately, fireworks aren’t everyone’s cup of tea—if you ever had pets, you’ll know this.

Statistics on the 4th of July indicate it’s the most stressful period of the year for pets, and it’s when most of them run away from homes out of fear. Sadly, only 14% are safely returned home.

Keep your pets safe and inside, and try to play music or television as loudly as possible to cover the sounds of the fireworks.

11. People abandon their pets mainly because they’re moving.

(Michelson Found Animals)

There are many reasons why pet owners decide to abandon their pets or give them away to others. Based on data from the MFA, some of the most common reasons people choose to give up their pets are:

  • Moving,
  • Landlords banning pets,
  • Too many animals in the household,
  • Pet ownership cost,
  • Personal problems (illness, death, etc.),
  • Inadequate facilities,
  • No homes for littermates,
  • No time to take care of the pet,
  • Pet illness, and
  • Biting.

Pet Ownership and Spending Habits

Having a pet doesn’t come cheap. You must buy them food, take them to the vet regularly, and cover the monthly pet health insurance premiums.

Still, some pet owners like to spoil their animal friends with subscription boxes and holiday and birthday presents. So, how much are they spending?

12. 70% of households in the US own at least one pet.


Of those 90.5 million households, 69 million picked a dog for their companion. This means that dogs are by far the most popular pets in the US.

Here’s how the rest of the pets figure:

  • 45.3 million cats,
  • 11.8 million freshwater fish,
  • 9.9 million birds,
  • 6.2 million small animals,
  • 5.7 million reptiles,
  • 3.5 million horses,
  • 2.9 million saltwater fish.

13. 31% of feline pets are adopted from shelters.


At the same time, only 3% of cat owners will go to a breeder to get their feline companion. The numbers are slightly different regarding dogs—23% are acquired through adoption vs. 34% through breeders.

Here are pet adoption rates through various channels:




Animal Shelter

23% 31%


20% 28%




Stray 6%


Private Party 12%


14. Americans spent around $123.6 billion on their pets in 2021.


In fact, the pet industry market size in the US increased by $20 billion in 2021 compared to 2020.

Here are the most bought products and services over the previous year:

  • Pet Food & Treats: $50 billion
  • Supplies, Live Animals & OTC Medicine: $29.8 billion
  • Vet Care & Product Sales: $34.3 billion
  • Other Services: $9.5 billion

15. Basic dog expenses in 2021 equated to $1,480.


Most of this amount was spent on surgical procedures at the vet ($458), while $287 is the overall price for food a year and $81 for treats. Here’s what else dog owners break the bank on:

  • Routine Vet Visits: $242
  • Kennel Boarding: $228
  • Vitamins: $81
  • Grooming: $47
  • Toys: $56

16. Basic cat expenses were $902 on average in the US.


Unlike dog owners, feline lovers spent most of this money on food in 2021—$254, with an additional $72 for treats. Around $201 was spent on surgeries on average. The rest of the money was spread among:

  • Routine Vet Visits: $201
  • Kennel Boarding: $78
  • Vitamins: $47
  • Grooming: $31
  • Toys: $41

17. 81% of dog owners in the UK give their pets birthday or holiday presents.


What else are pet owners willing to do to express their great love for the furriest members of their family?

Mars Petcare and Battersea Dogs & Cats examined this topic. They found that eight out of ten canine owners in the United Kingdom plan to get Christmas gifts for their dogs.

Approximately 81% of the surveyed dog owners revealed they would be getting their pets a gift for the festive season. And 40% claimed they plan to spend around £10 ($13) or more on their dogs.

18. However, only 17% of cat owners would spend over £10 (about $13.65) on their feline pet.


Unfortunately, cat owners are not as generous with holiday gifts as dog owners. According to the same findings, cats don’t receive the same treatment, as only 17% of those surveyed would spend more than £10 on their cat.

Numbers also show that 31% of these individuals claim they won’t be spending anything on their feline friends.

19. Around 44% of people would cuddle up with their pet rather than their life partner.

(The Independent)

If we were put in the position to choose, which would we pick, our significant other or our pet?

According to a study of 2,000 pet owners who are nuts about their cats and dogs, more than half of the participants would rather spend time with their furry companion than their significant other.

Furthermore, three in ten pet owners claim their pet is a better listener than their life partner. Around 29% of the participants think their pets are better at snuggling!

20. Around 1 in 10 people are allergic to pets.


A frequent reason owners abandon their pets or put them down is allergies.

In fact, around 10%–20% of these individuals develop an allergy to household pets. Twice as many people are allergic to cats than to dogs.

Many may falsely believe that the animal’s fur is the source of their allergies. In reality, most people with allergies react to Fel d 1, a protein found on the animal’s skin.

Exotic Pet Statistics

Cats and dogs aren’t the only pet options. Some people are intrigued by what exotic animals to get as pets.

AVMA’s US Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook reveals that the number of exotic pets is on a steady rise. Here are the most important details.

21. There are around 5,000 tigers kept as pets in the United States.


Shockingly, Smithsonian’s statistics found that more tigers live in private captivity or are kept as exotic pets in America alone than in existence across the globe.

The numbers are incredibly high compared to the numbers derived by the WWF, which estimates that there are around 3,900 wild tigers worldwide.

According to experts, the increasing number of tigers as pets is due to the US’s lack of laws preventing people from owning such exotic pets.

22. The exotic pet trade is hosted on over 1,000 websites.

(Born Free USA)

The exotic animal pet trade has become extremely popular in today’s age. Many animals are captured from their natural habitats and transported to different areas of the world to be sold as exotic pets. In other cases, these animals are a surplus at zoos.

The Animal Finders’ Guide carries different advertisements from dealers, breeders, and zoos that offer monkeys, large cats, and exotic birds.

23. 52 exotic pet owners were bitten by macaque monkeys between 1990 and 1997.

(Born Free USA)

The most common exotic pets held by private owners are monkeys. They’ve been shown to exhibit dangerous and frequently unpredictable behavior starting at the mere age of two.

Many owners fear reporting incidents concerning their exotic pets’ behavior because the animal may be confiscated or killed. But the CDC found that 52 people reported being bitten by their pet monkey between 1990 and 1997.

24. The average pet chameleon may live up to 10 years.


Chameleons, originally from tropical rainforests, are among the most adorable exotic pets in households worldwide.

Even though they may only live in the wild for up to three years, these exotic pets may live for up to 10 years if the owner takes good care of them. Of course, before getting one for yourself, consider all the pros and cons of owning such a fascinating, rare creature.

25. Between 80% and 90% of macaque monkeys are infected with Herpes B-virus or Simian B virus.

(Born Free USA)

Exotic animal owners could be at serious health risk—possibly getting infected with a life-threatening disease.

For example, many exotic animals carry zoonotic diseases that can spread to humans, such as Monkey Pox, Salmonellosis, and the Herpes B virus.

Most macaque monkeys are infected with Herpes B or Simian B. This virus doesn’t harm the monkey but is fatal in human beings. An individual who is scratched by, sneezed on, or bitten by the animal may easily contract the illness.

Benefits of Owning a Pet

Besides providing us with endless cuddles and love and lifting our moods, pets can improve our health, too. It sounds unbelievable, so here are the stats.

26. 79% of pet owners state that their pets have helped them reduce stress.


Whether it’s a cat, dog, or baby tiger, owning a pet can help alleviate depression, anxiety, and a wide array of physical or mental health issues.

The HABRI examined the relationship between pet owners. They found that 73% of the owners reported they’d found a new sense of purpose.


A study conducted on 3.4 million people in Sweden found that owning a dog may be directly linked to a lowered chance of dying from cardiovascular disease.

The study examined men and women who lived alone and found that the chances of suffering from a heart attack significantly decreased by 11% when they had a pet.

Furthermore, another 2019 review found that owning a dog lowers the risk of death from any cause by a whopping 24%.

28. Ten minutes of petting a cat or a dog helped lower college students’ cortisol levels.


College students are known for always being stressed. A study dealing with this topic found that 10 minutes a day with an animal is enough to lower cortisol levels and help reduce stress in college students.

Furthermore, researchers found that contact with a pet lowers anxiety and boosts feelings of calmness. So if you own a pet and haven’t yet cuddled it today, take a moment and do it because you may be doing something beneficial for your health.

After all, when it comes to pets and depression, numbers show that owning a pet can significantly improve the condition.

29. Elderly pet owners make 30% fewer visits to their medical practitioners than those who do not have pets.

(NCBI) (Help Guide)

A study published by NCBI found intriguing evidence related to elderly pet owners’ overall health. There’s a correlation between improved health levels and owning pets.

The study found that elderly individuals who own pets are less likely to visit their doctor, and they may also take less medication.

Hugging a furry companion may flood the human body with oxytocin, a hormone known for reducing stress and lowering blood pressure.

30. 94% of families with an autistic child reported that their child bonded with the pet and helped with the mental disorder.

(NCBI) (NCBI) (Mental Health Foundation

According to NCBI’s study, autistic children played or shared personal space with their pets. It helped the children learn about companionship and responsibility.

Pets are great for children with autism. They increase the desire to connect with others and help lessen sensory sensitivity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What percentage of the world has a pet?

Estimating the number of pets in the world is close to impossible. However, we found data that confirms the US is the leader among pet lovers around the world. As of 2018, America is number one in owning cats, dogs, and fish.

How many pets does the average person have?

Unfortunately, there’s currently no data on how many pets an average person has. But, statistics show that the average American households own 2.1 birds, 1.8 cats, or 1.6 dogs.

What is the most common pet?

With 63.4 million dog-owning households in the US, dogs are by far the most popular and most common pets in the US.

What is the least popular pet?

You probably haven’t even heard of these breeds, but they’re the least popular dog breeds in the US:

  • Cirnecho dell’Etna,
  • Finnish Spitz,
  • Cesky Terrier,
  • American Foxhound,
  • Bergamasco Sheepdog,
  • English Foxhound,
  • Harrier,
  • Chinook,
  • Norwegian Lundehund,
  • Sloughi.

Key Takeaways

As we can see, the pet statistics and facts in this article demonstrate how important pets are to their owners.

Even though pet care can be expensive and time-consuming, owning a dog, cat, bunny, or any other pet has many advantages. For example, owners can play with their pets and get fit with them. They also ward off depression, anxiety, and other illnesses.

So if you don’t own a pet, consider choosing one from rescue animals in a shelter. If you already have a companion, remember to shower it with unconditional love.


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  5. Thinking of getting a pet? Find the right pet at the right time and the benefits for you both will be endless. Discover more about the positive impact of pet ownership with these handy facts and figures.

  6. Thinking of getting a pet? Find the right pet at the right time and the benefits for you both will be endless. Discover more about the positive impact of pet ownership with these handy facts and figures.

  7. Is this site funded by the ASPCA? I ask as you are grossly under reporting these numbers which leads pet owners into a false sense of security over their pets. Shame on you.

    1. Hello,
      Absolutely not, we gather our information not only from the official ASPCA website, where they do give accurate statistics, but from many other websites as well. Obviously, it’s impossible for anyone to know the true numbers, but from our research from trusted sources, this is what we gathered. If you do have a trusted source that says otherwise we would gladly include it in our statistics.

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