84.9 million pet-owning US households in 2018, dogs #1

In the American Pet Products Association’s (APPA) annual survey, 67% of respondents’ households in the United States owned some type of pet, ranging from guppies to horses, during 2018.

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(SSilver | BigStock.com)
(SSilver | BigStock.com)

In the American Pet Products Association’s (APPA) annual survey, 67% of respondents’ households in the United States owned some type of pet, ranging from guppies to horses, during 2018. APPA analysts extrapolated from this statistic that the U.S. holds approximately 84.9 million pet owning households. Last year, those U.S. pet owners spent US$72.56 billion compared to US$69.51 billion in 2017, an increase of more than 4 percent. 

Popularity of types of pets among U.S. demographics

Half of all U.S. households owned dogs in 2018, according to APPA’s 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey. Cats resided in 34% of U.S. homes.

Pet ownership levels:

  • Freshwater fish: 9%
  • Birds: 5%
  • Small animals: 4%
  • Reptiles: 4%
  • Saltwater fish: 1%
  • Horses: 1%

Approximately 63.4 million U.S. households own dogs, according to APPA analysts’ estimates. They approximated that 42.7 homes have cats and 11.5 million have freshwater fish.

Pet ownership populations:

  • Birds: 5.7 million
  • Small animals: 5.4 million
  • Reptiles: 4.5 million
  • Saltwater fish: 1.6 million
  • Horses: 1.6 million

Freshwater fish owners kept the largest number of individual pets per household with 6.59 animals per home. Dog owners had the least number of pets per home with 1.53 animals per household.

Average number of pets per household:

  • Cat: 1.78
  • Bird: 2.58
  • Small animal: 1.67
  • Reptile: 1.66
  • Saltwater fish: 5.73
  • Horse: 3.08

APPA National Pet Owner Survey methodology

APPA’s survey included 10,090 current pet owners of whom 3,425 completed the questionnaire. Participants answered one of eight sets of questions related to their specific pets, such as dogs, reptiles or saltwater fish. The survey also asked for demographic data. Respondents were balanced using U.S. Census targets for gender, age, race/ethnicity, income and household size.

APPA started collecting data on pet ownership, pet food purchases and other information in 1988.

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