Paws and Stats: Unleashing the Furry Facts of Pet Ownership in the U.S.

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Paws and Stats

Photo Credit: Naumov

If you look up the word “pet” in your dictionary, you will get the meanings “a special loved one” and “a domesticated animal kept for companionship or amusement.” Yes, pets are that precious. They are more like blessings. 66% of the U.S. households own a pet, and the 66% amounts to 86.9 million homes in the country.

Many people are smitten with animals, especially dogs and cats. Dogs and cats are among the well-regarded pets. 65.1 million households own dogs, and 46.5 million households own cats.

The Reasoning

They outnumber other animals. There are various reasons why people choose dogs and cats as their pets. Some of them are:

cat vs dogs

Why People Choose Dogs?

  • • Dogs are socially acceptable. In other words, they are friendly. It is because of their friendliness that people believe dogs lend emotional support, and they do!
  • • Dogs are obedient, and most of us cannot even argue that. Owing to their obedience, they can learn new skills and tricks.
  • • Dogs are protectors. There is no denying that dogs are better at alerting their owners of potential danger. Apart from alerting their owners, they are unafraid to neutralize intruders themselves.
  • • Dogs are good for your health. Since they are excited about going outside, you can set a regime for actively walking your dog. As a result, your health improves.

Why People Choose Cats?

  • Cats are self-sufficient. Unlike dogs, they do not require strict supervision, putting the owner at ease.
  • • Cats are cleaner and less untidy. All animals infest parasites, but cats mostly stay devoid of excessive parasites thanks to their grooming habits.
  • • Cats are flexible. Why does that matter? Well, due to their flexibility, they can live in smaller spaces.
  • • Cats are playful. This feline is a curious creature that constantly wants to perform entertainment with toys.

Pet Ownership As a Whole

Pet owners are generally happy. According to a study, people who spent more time with dogs experienced a 300% increase in oxytocin levels. The study further revealed that humans innately love their pets. In the U.S., pet ownership works under the dynamic framework of animal laws and pet rules. These include:

Immediate Vaccination

After getting a pet, the first you must take is to get it vaccinated. Through vaccination, you can promote your pet’s health. You can also render your pet unsusceptible to diseases, helping you license your companion without difficulties.

Proper Licensing

The U.S. is uncompromising on animal licenses. You can buy your animal license by completing a license application form. Then, mail it with proof of rabies vaccination and sterilization to the given address. For senior citizens (age 60 or above) and disabled military veterans, the license amount is discounted.

Exercising Containment

“Containment” derives from “contain.” It means to keep and shelter your pet. This law mandates owners to provide sufficient fencing and space for their pets. The containment policy ensures the safety of your pet and the public.

Use of Leash

A leash is a restraint consisting of a rope or light chain. People use it to restrain their pets and keep them under control. The U.S. has successfully enforced the leash policy over the years. It is only applicable when your pet is outside the property.

Deviation from Animal Cruelty

Unfortunately, inhumane treatment of animals is prevalent. However, fortunately, the Animal Welfare Act was signed in 1966. This animal protection law makes sure that all animals are safe and sound.

How do People in America Get their Pets?

How do People in America Get their Pets?

There are many ways that Americans can get a pet, such as buying from a store, adopting from a shelter or rescue, or receiving from a friend or family member. A survey showed that 42% of dog owners and 43% of cat owners visited a store to get their pets. Furthermore, the survey exhibited that 38% of dog owners and 40% of cat owners got their pets from an animal shelter or rescue. Additional sources of pets include breeders, online, and others.

The Spending Spree

Americans love their pets, and they spend a great deal on them. In 2022, Americans spent $136.8 billion on their pets, a 10.68% increase from 2021 ($123.6 billion). The largest category of spending was pet food and treats. It accounted for $49.4 billion, followed by veterinary care and product sales, which totaled $38.4 billion. More categories of spending encompassed supplies, live animals, over-the-counter medicine ($23.7 billion), services like grooming, boarding, and training ($12.8 billion), and pet insurance ($12.5 billion).

Closing Remarks

No matter what pet you own, it is your friend. Numbers speak for themselves, and seeing such huge numbers indicates that Americans wholeheartedly adore their pets. Animals are living beings that require care, affection, and training. If you do that, your pet will become a faithful family member.

61% of the urban American population considers pets their families. 50% of the rural population feels the same way. 47% of Americans in the suburbs consider pets their family members too.

Pets are nearest and dearest, so treat them like one.

About The Author

Kelvin Stiles is a tech enthusiast and works as a marketing consultant at SurveyCrest – FREE online survey software and publishing tools for academic and business use. He is also an avid blogger and a comic book fanatic.