Pet Facts & Stats You Didn’t Know
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.
Since time immemorial have humans and animals walked side by side, sometimes for mutual benefit, sometimes for the simple and most basic of reasons—companionship. It is the latter that seems to be the prevalent attitude nowadays. Yet, there is more behind simply sharing one’s life with, as is mostly the case, four-legged fluffs of furry joy, cats and dogs.
There are many things to consider before deciding to get a pet. Do you want to adopt an animal or buy one? Are you a dog person, or do you prefer feline company a bit more? There is also the dreaded and (still) controversial subject of spaying/neutering—are you all for it, or do you harbor doubts about this practice? Also, are you familiar with pet insurance?
Questions are numerous, and the aim of this article is to provide answers to some of them to make the sailing a bit smoother, at least to some degree. Consider the stats and facts below with care and then proceed with getting a faithful furry companion by your side.
The Oliver Twists of the Animal World: Shelters and Adoption Figures in the US
While it is certainly better to adopt an animal and move it from the streets, thus providing it at least some shelter, the fact is that animals need care, which often requires funds. According to Animalsheltering, 19 million pets in the US live in underserved communities today.
While these pet owners love their pets dearly, the sad fact remains that 88% of the animals have not been spayed or neutered, which serves to further exacerbate the problem of uncontrolled breeding and consequent abandoning.
The state of affairs is even glummer due to the fact that between 6 and 8 million cats and dogs end up sheltered in the US each year and that only 10% of sheltered animals become neutered. On the other hand, some 4 million cats and dogs are taken from shelters each year and given homes.
Pet Owners Around the Globe
Unsurprisingly, the US is the leading country in the world when it comes to pet ownership, with Wyoming and West Virginia being the states with most pets per household, as opposed to Rhode Island and South Dakota.
Dogs and cats are the most popular pets in the US. There are 63.4 million and 42.7 million of them, respectively. The US is the leading country when it comes to the pet fish population too.
Another interesting tidbit states that more married people in the US keep pets (57%) than single people (42.9%), while nine out of ten people in America consider their dogs family members.
Running with the Dogs or Whispering to the Cats?
This is always an interesting question. It is an age-long discussion of favoring one over the other, which makes it much more interesting to look at the actual numbers. As it turns out, cats are winning this race, but not by much.
There are some 73 million cats kept as pets in the US as opposed to 68 million dogs. Small dog breeds are the most popular ones. Seven out of ten dogs are either spayed or neutered. There doesn’t seem to be any favoritism when it comes to choosing a canine gender as both males and females seem to be equally kept as pets.
Around 51% of US households own two or more cats. A staggering 80% of kittens are born by community cats, and eight out of ten cats are either spayed or neutered.
Pet Ownership Costs and Pet Industry Figures
As any owner knows, pets are a joy, but this joy has a price tag. Food, medical exams, vaccines, spaying/neutering, and even pet insurance all cost a pretty penny.
The annual food bill comes at about $120 for a dog and $145 for a cat. Spaying and neutering are not cheap ($200 for a dog and $145 for a cat) but comprise responsible behavior on the part of the owner. And these expenses are often just the tip of the iceberg.
It is not surprising then to learn that pet-related industries are worth billions of dollars. In fact, $19 billion is the expected revenue for the pet industry in the US for 2019. The pet insurance industry is on the rise in the US, and it reached $1 billion in 2019. This number is expected to double by 2022.
Owning a pet can enrich a person’s life in a multitude of ways—they make us laugh, offer companionship, security, and are sometimes a buffer zone between the owner and the rest of the world.
For millions of people around the world, they are family, sometimes the only family they have.
They are also a responsibility, which is a fact that sometimes goes unnoticed and unaccounted for. Get informed about all expenses and responsibilities and enjoy life with your pets.