Webvet

Webvet

Social Media Icons

Follow Us:

Main Content

U.S. Pet Ownership Is Dropping

Twitter Stumbleupon Mixx it! Print Email icon
Pin It
If you enjoy this article,
Go here to sign up for the mailing list to receive more articles like this.
2120080928032110iStock_000006237832XSmall
The pet supply industry is thriving as we spend more and more money on our pets -- but apparently there are less of them to spoil. A new study from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) found that Americans have nearly ten million less pets than they did in 2006.

Cat ownership has seen the biggest drop-off, with 7.6 million less cats owned at the end of 2011 compared to the end of 2006. Dogs aren't suffering as badly, with only two million less owned over the same time period.

There is a greater number of cats than dogs in U.S. households, but cat owners are more likely to have multiples. A great percentage of U.S. pet owners actually have dogs: there are about 70 million of them in 36.5% of homes, compared to cats -- at 74 million -- who are in 30.4% of homes.

These figures mark the first decline since 1991.

Why is this happening?

According to Karen Felsted of Felsted Veterinary Consultants, in Richardson, Texas, "It's clearly the economy. The percentage of households that owned at least one pet was down 2.4%. It's a significant number."

Stephen Zawistowski, science adviser to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York, offered another explanation to USA Today. He noted that pet ownership is more common in nuclear family models -- while singles, childless couples and the elderly are less likely to own pets. Americans have notably been moving away from the traditional family structure, which likely has had an impact on pet ownership.

To stress the point about the older population, he noted, "There's an old saying. Retirement starts when the last kid leaves home and the last dog dies."

The following statistics are from AVMA's 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook:

Dogs

The dog population was 70 million, down from 72 million.
36.5% of households had a dog, down 1.9%.

Cats

The cat population was 74.1 million, down from 81.7 million.
30.4% of all households had a cat, down 6.2%.

Birds

The pet bird population was 8.3 million, down from 11.2 million.
3.1% of households owned birds, down 20.5%.

Horses
 
The pet horse population was 4.9 million, down 32.9%, from 7.3 million.
1.5% of households had horses they considered pets, down 16.7%.

Specialty and exotic pets

6.5% of households owned fish.
10.6% had exotic or specialty pets, which includes fish, ferrets, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, rodents, turtles, snakes, lizards, reptiles and livestock kept as pets.
Exotic and specialty pet ownership was down 16.5%.

-----------------------------

WebVet is pleased to introduce Pet-Pods, which are FREE downloadable PDF files offering a comprehensive review of timely, health-related topics including audio introductions, detailed descriptions, images, and videos.  Go here to read more and DOWNLOAD.

Did you like this article?
Go here to sign up for the mailing list to receive more articles like this.

Related content

All medical-related content on WebVet has been veterinarian approved to ensure its timeliness and accuracy.
Schmoozies
Introducing Pet-Pods...

Veterinarian with small dog FREE downloadable PDF files providing a comprehensive review of some of the most timely pet health topics: Allergies, Fleas, Summer Safety Hazards, and Vomiting and Diarrhea.

Newsletter Signup

  
Get FREE Pet Insurance Quotes Now!

Search For A Vet

Crosby