Whether your pet is your best friend or just a member of the family (or both!), chances are you would do anything for your furry companion.

Pet statistics show us that, unlike human beings, pets never ask too many annoying questions. And they’re always available for cuddles. Also, they’re excellent listeners and are super excited to see you every single day.

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

Top 10 Pet Statistics for 2021

  • Around 1 in 10 people are allergic to pets.
  • There are around 5,000 tigers kept as pets in the United States.
  • Elderly pet owners make 30% fewer visits to their medical practitioners than those who do not have pets.
  • Around 44% of people would rather cuddle up with their pet than with their life partner.
  • According to pet statistics, owning a dog may decrease the risk of heart disease-related death by 36%.
  • There are more than 200 million stray dogs in the world.
  •  It’s estimated that around 1.5 million animals are euthanized in shelters every year.
  • In 2019, around 2% of healthy or adoptable dogs and cats were euthanized in Canadian shelters.
  • Americans spent around $99 billion on their pets in 2020.
  • Online pet food sales rose by 77% during the March, 2020 Coronavirus lockdown.

There are even more fun stats and facts you should know about your little friends, so keep reading!

Pet Overpopulation Statistics

Pets are the best thing that has happened to the human race. It’s a fact. Even though you may think that there can never be too many animals, the high number of pets in the US is creating some serious issues.

1. There are around 58 million stray cats in the United States.

(Wildlife Removal)

According to estimates in the US, as of 2018, there are around 58 million stray cats in the country. The shocking number is based on different surveys, the total number of cats brought to shelters, and telemetry studies.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that the number isn’t exact. Some of the more interesting facts about pets show that there may be up to 75 million stray cats in total.

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

(K9 of Mine)

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

However, it’s thought that miniature breeds usually produce around three puppies. In contrast, according to the pet facts, 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.

3. 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.

According to pet facts and statistics associated with it, strays received by shelters have a mere 10% chance of already being spayed or neutered.

4. 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 dogs, possibly more, all across the globe. North America alone has over 70 million stray dogs, while Europe has 43 million.

Furthermore, the ASPCA claims that around 3.3 million dogs are received by US animal shelters every year.

Human and Pet Facts and Statistics

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

5. It’s estimated that around 1.5 million animals are euthanized in shelters every year.

(ASPCA)

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

Unfortunately, if shelter animals don’t manage to get adopted after some time, they’re killed to make room for other animals. The stats have also found that around 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats die in shelters.

6. What percentage of pets are adopted? Only 49% of shelter animals find their forever home.

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

There’s an increasing number of dogs and cats born every day in the US—close to 70,000.

According to the disturbing statistics, only 1 out of every 10 dogs will be successfully adopted. Also, only 1 out of every 12 cats manage to find a permanent, caring home.

If you’ve come across a stray animal and you’d like to hand it over to a shelter, make sure to contact a no-kill shelter or a rescue organization near your area.

7. In 2019, around 2% of healthy or adoptable dogs and cats were euthanized in Canadian shelters.

(Humane Canada)

Pet statistics from 2020 show that euthanasia rates started going down in the previous year. These are the lowest rates Humane Canada has recorded in years.

8. According to lost pet statistics, around 90% of lost pets are found within 12 hours if the owner is searching 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 very first 12 hours after they disappear. About 710,000 animals are returned to their owners every year.

The leading reason pets aren’t returned to their proper owners is that they lack identification tags or proper tracking chips.

For this reason, experts recommend putting a collar on the pet, as it’s a worldwide recognized symbol for a pet that has an owner.

9. Some interesting pet facts claim that the main reason people abandon their pets is 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 litter mates
  • No time to take care of the pet
  • Pet illness
  • Biting.

Pet Statistics on Cat and Dog Ownership

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

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

10. Americans spent around $99 billion on their pets in 2020.

(APPA)

Pet ownership is extremely expensive. From overpriced pet care products to budget-breaking therapies for ill pets, it seems like Americans would do anything for their little furry companions.

In fact, the APPA recently announced that Americans spent $4.3 billion more on pet products in 2020 compared to 2019.

These fun facts about pets show that spending money on pet care reached an impressive $99 billion in 2020 compared to $95.7 billion in 2019.

Clearly, people are more than willing to pay for top-rated products and quality services to improve their beloved pets‘ well-being.

11. Online pet food sales rose by 77% during the March, 2020 Coronavirus lockdown.

(CNBC, APPA)

Pet statistics for 2021 reveal that pet owners were spending significantly more money on their pets during the pandemic.

But pet food isn’t the only thing Americans splurged on. They also bought toys and treats for their pets, and paid for services like grooming, walking, and pet sitting.

12. 81% of dog owners in the UK give their pets birthday or holiday presents.

(Battersea)

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 pets.

According to pet facts, 81% of the surveyed dog owners revealed that they will be getting their pets a gift for the festive seasons. And 40% claimed that they’re planning to spend around £10 ($13) or more on their dogs.

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

(Battersea)

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.

Furthermore, facts about pets also show that 31% of these individuals claim they won’t be spending anything on their feline friends.

14. Around 44% of people would rather cuddle up with their pet than with 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, facts about having pets show that three in ten pet owners claim that their pet is a better listener than their life partner. Around 29% of the participants think that their pets are better at snuggling!

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

(NCBI, AAFA)

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

In fact, pet allergy statistics reveal that around 10%–20% of these individuals develop an allergy to household pets. The allergy numbers are twice as common with cats than with 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 more interested in these exotic pets that are as equally amazing as the traditional pets we’re used to.

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.

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

(WWF)

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

17. The exotic pet trade statistics claim that more than 1,000 online sites sell exotic animals as pets.

(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.

18. According to statistics on exotic pets, the facts count 52 exotic pet owners being 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.

19. According to the chameleon pet facts and stats, the average pet chameleon may live up to 10 years.

(PetComments)

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

Even though they may only live in the wild for up to three years, this exotic pet may live for up to 10 years if the owner takes good care of it.

Of course, before getting one for yourself, consider all the pros and cons of owning such a fascinating, rare creature.

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

(Born Free USA)

The pet statistics on the more exotic animals show that their owners could be at serious health risk, possibly becoming 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.

Indeed, veterinary statistics show that 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: Statistics and Facts

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

21. 79% of pet owners state that their pets have helped them reduce stress.

(HABRI)

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’ve found a new sense of purpose.

(Treehugger)

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

The study examined both 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%.

23. The pet facts claim that just 10 minutes of petting a cat or a dog helped lower college students’ cortisol levels.

(Treehugger)

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 keep stress levels down 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 you haven’t yet cuddled it today, take a moment and do it because you may be doing something very beneficial for your health.

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

24. 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 and 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.

25. According to pet facts, 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, the autistic children played or shared their personal space with the pet. It helped the children learn about companionship and responsibility.

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

Some of the Most Interesting Facts about Pets at Home

We’re sure the facts and statistics we mentioned so far were super interesting. But, here are some even more fun!

26. A Few Quick Facts on Cats

(Purina, MentalFloss)

  • Cats have 32 muscles in each ear, as opposed to humans, who only have 6 muscles.
  • Domestic cats spend around 15% of the day grooming and around 70% of the day sleeping.
  • Cats usually do not have eyelashes.
  • Purring may help cats maintain a healthy bone density, according to some fun facts about animals.
  • Blackie, the wealthiest cat in history, inherited $13 million when his owner died.

27. Some Interesting Facts on Dogs

(The Drake Center, PetFinder)

  • The Saluki is officially the world’s oldest dog breed, with references to it dating back to 2100 BCE.
  • Dogs curl up in a ball when they sleep to keep their vital organs protected.
  • The most popular breed in the United States for over 20 years has been the Labrador.
  • The Beatles may have recorded an ultrasonic whistle audible exclusively to dogs at the end of “A Day in the Life.”
  • Dalmatian puppies are born without spots.

28. Quick Pet Rabbit Facts

(PETA, PETAKids)

  • Rabbits are most active at dusk and dawn, making them crepuscular creatures.
  • Rabbits can get bored and need frequent socialization.
  • When they are happy, rabbits purr.
  • The teeth and nails of rabbits never stop growing.
  • Bunnies get grumpy when you invade their space.

29. Reptile and Pet Snake Facts

(ScienceKids, ThoughtCo, ReptileKnowledge)

  • Snakes have no eyelids.
  • They actually use their tongue to smell.
  • Anacondas can reach over 16 feet in length.
  • Reptiles are classified as cold-blooded animals.
  • Some types of snakes can go months without eating.

30. Some Fun Pet Pig Facts

(Four Paws US, Allergy & Air, TheSprucePets, PetMD)

  • Pigs are hypoallergenic pets.
  • Pigs are one of the smartest pets, and they need little encouragement to learn new tricks.
  • Pigs can remember and comprehend their names.
  • Teacup pigs usually live for about five years due to skeletal issues.
  • Potbelly pigs are sensitive to the sun.

31. A Few Pet Bird Facts

(KidsPetClub)

  • Large parrots and macaws are known to live for up to 100 years.
  • Chocolate is toxic to birds.
  • Birds can see ultraviolet light.
  • Birds use their songs to communicate with other birds.
  • Most birds can be trained to hunt and snuggle with their owner.

32. Fast Pet Fish Facts

(WideOpenPets)

  • Fish do not have eyelids, so they sleep with their eyes open.
  • Tapping on the fish bowl is terrible for your pet fish’s health.
  • In fact, fish don’t have a three-second memory, and some of them can be trained.
  • Overfeeding leads to a dirty tank, not fat fish.
  • Goldfish can live up to 43 years.

33. Pet Rats – Facts and Statistics

(Petco)

  • Rats are highly trainable and sociable.
  • Rats have scent glands located on the bottom of their tiny feet.
  • Rats can swim.
  • Rats were worshipped by both the Ancient Mayans and Egyptians.
  • Rats can’t throw up.

34. Some Pet Turtle Facts

(VetStreet)

  • Not all turtles live in the water, and not all can swim.
  • Every turtle carries salmonella.
  • Female and male turtles have different shells.
  • Turtles like to eat vegetables, such as squash.
  • Turtles recognize their owners.

35. Quick Bush Baby Pet Facts

(EcoHealthyPets)

  • The official name for bushbabies is galagos.
  • Bushbabies are incredibly agile creatures.
  • Bushbabies are omnivores and eat almost everything, from insects to fruits.
  • Bushbabies let out cries that remind people of human babies.
  • Bushbabies can live up to 15 years as pets.

FAQ

36. What is the number 1 pet in the world?

The most popular pet in the world is a dog. But, cats are right behind, followed by fish and birds. The same goes for the US. Dogs are the number one pet, with over 48 million households owning at least one dog. Cats, fish, and reptiles follow.

You probably haven’t even heard of these breeds, but these are 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

38. 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 at owning cats, dogs, and fish.

39. 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 an average household has 1.6 dogs, 1.8 cats, or 2.1 birds.

40. 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 pet in the US.

Conclusion

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, rescue one from your local animal shelter today. If you already have a companion, remember to shower it with unconditional love.

Pet Statistics - Infographic 1 Sources:

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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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