Pet Care

Pet Ownership Statistics by State: 2021 Pet Population

Interesting fact: nearly third of the US households are cat or dog owners. Learn more fascinating facts about pet ownership in USA.

5
min read

Pet ownership has been on the rise in the U.S., with dogs being the pet of choice since 1987. For years, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has tracked pet ownership statistics by state to show how many households have dogs, cats, and other animals as pets such as: 

  • Birds
  • Fishes
  • Horses
  • Rabbits
  • Snakes and lizards
  • Other exotic animals

Depending on where you live, your city or state may have on average more cat ownership than dog owners, like Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Studies suggest that colder climates typically have more cats than warmer climates like Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, which have a higher rate of dog owners.

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How Many American Households Own a Pet

The number of households that own a pet continues to rise in the U.S. as more and more people realize the benefits of owning a pet. Pet owners report several mental and physical benefits by having a dog or cat as part of their family.

  • Stress and anxiety reduction: Many people consider dogs and cats great therapy support animals as they help reduce feelings of loneliness and depression. Pet owners typically have lower blood pressure and stress levels than non-pet owners.
  • Increased mental and physical activity: Interacting with your pet to play or take them for a walk benefits both you and your furry friend. Many pet owners will talk to their pets as they make great listeners.
  • Improved behavior in children: Children who grow up with pets show more compassion and responsibility when parents include them in part of the pet's care.

Pet Ownership Statistics by State: Pets per Household

Source – AVMA Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook

Pet Owner Demographics

Pet owner demographics show some interesting facts and bits of information you may not have known until now: 

  • Dogs continue to be the most popular pet, with 38% of the nation owning a dog over any type of pet.
  • White households make up the largest percentage of pet owners at 64.7%.
  • 61.4% of Hispanic households own pets.
  • 36.9% of African-American households own pets.

Age Groups and Pet Ownership

Depending on where you are in your life, career and family will play a big part in your ability to own and care for a pet. Millennials make up a significant percentage of pet owners, with 30% owning pets, but the dominant age range continues to be the 40 to 54 age range. This age group has the highest percentage of pet ownership, with 64%.

Little-Known Demographics for Pets

Here we present some interesting facts about pet owners:

  • 73.8% of mobile-home owners have pets
  • More people are likely to own a pet than have a child, except for those in their 40s
  • Homeowners and married couples are more likely to own a pet
  • In Vermont, the average cat-owning household has 1.3 cats
  • Dog owners spend over $1,000 per year
  • Cat owners spend around $650 per year
  • More than 50% of dog and cat owners gave their pets a Christmas gift
  • 25% of pet owners dressed their pets up for Halloween
  • 50% of dog owners will celebrate their dog's birthday vs. 30% of cat owners

The pet industry expects to continue its growth as an increased number of people sees the benefits of becoming pet owners. Some estimates predict that by 2028, the pet industry will be worth over $300 billion. To help with the rising cost of caring for your pet, you can obtain pet insurance to help offset high vet bills. Pet insurance is quickly gaining popularity among pet owners to help pay for routine checkups, dental cleaning, and emergency visits.

Dog Ownership vs. Cat Ownership

Dog and cat owners can be as different as cats and dogs. Some people will swear they are strictly a “dog person” or “cat person” and have various reasons why they prefer one over the other. For example, some people favor cats for their ease of care and independence, while dog owners love the companionship and playful nature of dogs.

Whether you prefer dogs or cats, all pet owners will tell you that their lives are much better with their pets in them.

This chart shows how many dogs in the U.S.:

Source – AVMA Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook

This chart shows the percentage of cat owners by state:

Source – AVMA Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook

Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners

Women and senior citizens form the group most likely to own a cat over a dog. Cats are easy to care for, very independent, and can make loyal companions. Cat owners consider nothing more soothing than petting a cat while it purrs or kneads on your lap. Many prefer quieter hobbies, like reading and writing, arts and crafts, gardening, and painting.

In contrast, dog owners tend to be more adventurous, male, and between 25 and 45. They love outside adventures like camping, rafting, or hiking. Dogs make for great companions that will always be by your side, ready to play or just hang out and relax while planning a new adventure.

Dogs require more care and attention than cats do, and it can get costly if you do not have a wellness plan or pet insurance.

Describing an Average Pet Owner

We all have that crazy cat/dog person that dotes and spoils their pet to an almost embarrassing level. As any cat or dog owner will tell you, they treat their pet as a beloved member of the family just as they would any child. Many first-time pet owners do not think they will bond with the animal, only to find that they cannot imagine life without a pet beside them.

Based on the demographics, the average pet owner is:

  • The average age is 47
  • They live in predominantly rural areas
  • They own their home or live in mobile homes
  • They earn an average of $50,000/year
  • Have lower stress levels and blood pressure
  • More compassionate and caring for others

Pet Ownership Continues to Rise in the U.S.

More and more people adopt cats, dogs, and other types of pets to help keep them company. Dogs and cats have always been beneficial in our lives, either as a support or service animal or just a furry companion to keep you company.

The pet industry continues to be a multi-billion dollar business as people in every state give dogs and cats their forever home. People will spend a lot of money blinging out their pet, and you can get designer clothing and accessories that cost several hundreds of dollars.

If you have never owned a pet but want to get a dog or a cat, now is the perfect time as a dog or cat eagerly awaits you to bring them home and shower them with love and affection for the rest of their lives.

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If you own a cat or dog, pet insurance can help save you thousands of dollars on expensive vet bills. That's where the help of Fursure, your pet insurance expert, comes in. They do all the research for you to find the best pet insurance based on your pet's breed, age, and gender. If you are one of the 85 million households that own a dog or cat and do not have pet insurance, click here to buy the best pet insurance for your furry companion.