Pet owners statistics help us explore the intricate relationship between us and our furry pals on a worldwide level. 

Have you ever wondered how many pet owners are there? What makes us tick? And most importantly, how do pets affect our lives? 

Our furry pals undoubtedly bring love into our lives, and help us reduce the stress after a busy work day. 

Let’s find out more about pet ownership statistics. 

Little Known Pet Owner Facts

  • Between 2017–2018, 48 million US households owned a pup.
  • On average, dogs visit the vet 2.4 times a year.
  • The annual vet bill for a cat can set you back around $98.
  • Approximately 10 million US pets go missing every year.
  • The labrador was the most popular breed between 1990–2020.
  • In 2019, Australia had over 29 million pets.
  • Around 66% of New Zealand households own a pet.
  • As of 2020, millennials take the biggest share of the US pet owners statistics — 31%.
  • In 2020, US pet owners spent $103 billion on their animal companions.
  • 98% of dog owners consider their pup as part of their family.

U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics

The US ranks as the biggest dog lover in the world. Let’s look into their pet ownership numbers.

1. Between 2017–2018, 48 Million US Households Owned a Pup

(Source: American Veterinary Medical Association) 

  • In the same time period, 31,896,077 households had cats.
  • Birds came in third, with 3,509,032 homes. 
  • As we can see dogs are the most popular, taking up 38.4% of all households with a pet.

Now, having an animal companion comes with a lot of responsibility. U.S. pet spending and ownership statistics give us a glimpse into the costs involved. 

2. On Average, Dogs Visit the Vet 2.4 Times a Year

(Source: American Veterinary Medical Association)

  • Cats go to the vet less frequently, only 1.3 times annually.
  • Still, birds might not even see a vet the whole year and average only 0.3 visits.
  • Out of these three, pup vet visits are the most expensive, costing around $410 a year.

But that’s not all. Pet owners might even spend more per animal.

3. The Average Yearly Vet Bill for a Cat Can Set You Back $98 

(Source: American Veterinary Medical Association)

  • For a single pup, it’s $253 a year.
  • Unsurprisingly, a bird’s yearly vet cost is only $18.
  • Considering the 48 million dogs in the US, that’s a lot of money spent only on vet visits.

Still, vet visits are one way to avoid adding to the irresponsible pet owners statistics. You don’t want to lose your furry pal to an unexpected health issue. 

Stil, it’s equally heartbreaking if they run away. Microchipping your animal, or using a dog GPS tracker are two great options to keep your furry pal safe. If you’re not convinced you need any of that, consider the following numbers. 

4. Approximately 10 Million US Pets Go Missing Every Year

(Source: American Humane)

  • So, we lose one out of every three animal companions annually.
  • 15% of dogs taken to the shelter without an ID tag are reunited with their owners.
  • Unfortunately, the chance for cats is only 2%

Do you see why it’s crucial to have a way to track your pet? 

US pet ownership US pet ownership statistics by breed suggest that purebred dogs make up 25% of all dogs that enter shelters. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular dog breeds in the US.

a white dog and a girl sitting on a car

5. The Labrador Was the Most Preferred Breed Between 1990–2020

(Source: American Kennel Club)

  • Their fame comes as no surprise since labradors are one of the best family dog breeds. For the first time the second most popular breed of 2020 was the French bulldog.
  • In 2020, the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever, took the third and fourth place, respectively.
  • One of the largest breeds with a decline in popularity was the Boerboel, which fell by nearly 60 positions between 2019–2020. 

Now that we know about breed preferences and statistics on pet owners in America, let’s take a look at the rest of the world.

Pet Ownership Statistics Worldwide

So, what country has the highest rate of pet ownership? The US, but what about the rest?

6. In 2019, Australia Had Over 29 Million Pets

(Source: RSPCA Australia)

  • Pet ownership statistics in Australia are some of the highest in the world — around 61% of Australian households own a pet.
  • Out of those, 40% are pups.
  • Kitties come in at around 27%.

Let’s see what the pet ownership in Singapore statistics look like.

7. Between 2014–2019, Singapore’s Pet Stats Grew by 19%

(Source: Business Times)

  • In 2019, the dog population in Singapore was around 92,000. In 2014, that number was  85,900.
  • During the same period, their cat population was 85,100. Up from 56,700 felines in 2014. 
  • Singapore classifies as one of the largest pet importers and could spend over $2,000 on that alone. Organizations that take care of imports say that between 2016–2019, the numbers grew by 10% year on year.

Singapore isn’t the only place where pet stats have grown recently. Let’s take a look at the pet ownership statistics in New Zealand.

8. Around 66% Of New Zealand Households Own a Pet

(Source: Companion Animals NZ)

  • Surprisingly, New Zealand’s cat ownership rate is higher than Australia and the US, with 41% kitty homes in 2020. 
  • It’s the first year in New Zealand where felines were more popular than pups. In 2020, 34% of households in the country owned a dog. 
  • Still, the pup numbers are up from the 28% in 2015. 

But what more can we find out about pet owners demographics?

a young man with glasses holding a small kitty

Pet Owners Statistics US — Demographics

So, what age group owns the most pets?

9. Millennials Take the Biggest Share of US Pet Owners Statistics in 2020 — 31%

(Source: Statista) 

  • Baby boomers came in second with 29%.
  • Finally, Generation X made up a total of 26%.
  • Also, millennials tend to spend more on their pets. In 2018, they paid an average of $173 for their pets per month. Meanwhile, baby boomers spent around $80.

The growing numbers of millennials and their pets have led to the increase in pet industry market size & ownership statistics.

10. In 2020, US Pet Owners Spent $103 Billion on Their Animals

(Source: American Pet Products Association)

  • The highest expense was pup food and treats, which made up $42 billion.
  • Vet care and product sales weren’t far behind with a cost of $31.4 billion. That’s a prime example of why having pet insurance should be a priority for more owners. 
  • As pet owners, we know the struggle of finding good toys for dogs. Besides, they can cost a pretty penny. In 2020, the pet toy market in the US was worth $668.2 million.

Surprisingly, when it comes to pet owners, men vs women statistics show quite a massive difference in terms of spending.

11. In 2017, 71% Of Male Millennials Owned a Dog

(Source: Statista)

  • A further 48% owned a cat.
  • In contrast, during the same period 35% of female millennials owned a cat, and 62% had a dog.
  • According to a 2018 study, men spend $136.99 a month on their pets, whereas women spend $116.61

But it’s not only vet bills taking up a large portion of expenses. Statistics on pet owners seeking alternative therapies are also growing by the day.

Pet Ownership Statistics — Health and Wellbeing

It might sound a bit out-there but hear us out. As alternative treatments and therapies for humans grow in popularity, similar solutions for pets are also on the rise.

12. Physical Therapy Was First Tried on Animals in the 1960s

(Source: Animal PT Center)

  • So, we have many reasons to thank our furry friends. Physical therapy for pets can also help for ailments like injuries, degenerative disease, and pain. You might even avoid putting them through surgery that can cost over $5,000.
  • According to pet owners statistics, A PT session for your pup will set you back between $40–$75, roughly the same as an average vet visit. Still, depending on the injury and treatment, emergency vet costs can easily go up to $1,500.
  • It’s not just PT for pets that’s gaining popularity. Products containing CBD are fast becoming the go-to remedy for many ailments. As a result,  from $8 million back in 2017, the pet CBD market is set to reach $1.7 billion by 2025.

With growing concerns over animal health, statistics on pet owners seeking complementary therapies for their pets are on the rise. 

13. 55% Of Adults Between the Ages of 50–80 Have a Pet

(Source: Science Daily)

  • Senior pet owners statistics show that three-quarters of them believe their furry pal helps with reducing stress and gives their life a purpose.
  • 70% said pets aid physical and emotional symptoms that came as they grew older.
  • A further 46% claimed their pet took their minds off some of the physical pain.

But that’s not all. Here are more statistics regarding better health in elderly pet owners.

young kid an his dog sitting together

14. 98% of Dog Owners Consider Their Pup Part of the Family 

(Source: Business Wire) 

  • Older individuals are more likely to have had a stroke or heart attack. That’s why pets are so beneficial — they can lower the risk of recurrence by 31%.
  • Generally, owning a pet can reduce your risk of dying early by 24%.
  • One theory behind these results is that owning a dog makes you more active. Besides, 78% of dog owners confirm their pup helps them stay in shape.

But let’s not make everything about pups and kitties. Some pet owners prefer a more exotic animal companion.

Exotic Pet Ownership Statistics

We often read about exotic pets and imagine having one. It turns out there are more common than you think.

15. One in 10 Americans Owns One or More Exotic Pets

(Source: Expert Insurance Reviews)

  • Exotic pet ownership statistics show that currently only four states don’t have laws on keeping exotic or dangerous animals — Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.
  • The price of an exotic animal is astronomically greater than the one for an average pet in the US. A lion will cost you between $2,000–$3,500, and an elephant will set you back over $10,000.
  • There are between 5,000–7,000 tigers living on private property within the US. In contrast, zoos only have 400.

As you can see, exotic pet owners statistics show a lot of these pets are privately owned. The good news? Most owners reside in areas with a lot of space, not in a city. 

Wrap Up

Let’s recap what we’ve learned about statistics on pet owners. 

We know the US boasts the most animal companions worldwide. But other countries also share this love of pets, with Australia having 29 million of them in 2019.

Millennials are the generation with the highest pet owners statistics. As a result, they spread many trends across the industry.

Also, those that are 55 and older receive excellent health benefits from keeping a pet. In the end, we all love our fur babies, and it’s no surprise that 98% of us consider them part of the family.

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