The Most Common Dog Owner Statistics [Updated with 2019-2020 Reports]

Pet ownership continues to go up and up as the years go by. Only 58% of households had a pet in 1988. Now almost 67% do. Below we’ve summarized the best dog owner statistics we could find.

Top Statistics for Dog Owners

  • 85 million homes (67% of U.S. Households) own a pet according to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
  • Here’s a breakdown of what kinds of pets those households owned in 2019:
    • 63.4 million owned dogs
    • 42.7 million owned cats
    • 11.5 million owned freshwater fish
    • 5.7 million owned birds
    • 5.4 million owned small animals (e.g. hamsters, guinea pigs, chinchillas)
    • 4.5 million owned reptiles
      • [Editor’s note – heck ya! One of our favorites though we haven’t written about them yet]
    • 1.6 million owned saltwater fish
    • 1.6 million owned horses
  • Only 58 percent of households owned a pet in 1988 (APPA).
  • In 2019, pet owners spent $95.7 billion dollars on their pets (APPA).
  • The $95 billion broke down as follows (APPA):
    • $36.9 billion on pet food and treats (38.5%)
    • $29.3 billion on Vet expenses and supplies (30.6%)
    • $19.2 billion on new animals, supplies, and over the counter medicine (20%)
      • [Editor’s note – A bit of an unlikely group, ha!]
    • $10.3 billion on miscellaneous (10.7%)
  • The APPA further broke those expenses down into these average annual expenses for 2019 (APPA)
    • $426 were spent annually on dogs and $214 on cats for vet visits that involved surgery
    • $212 for dogs and $160 for cats were spent annually on regular vet visits
    • $259 was spent on dog food and $228 was spent on cat food
    • Owners spent $76 on dog treats and $58 on cat treats
    • Kennel boarding cost dog owners $229 in 2019 and $120 for cat owners over the course of the year
    • Vitamins cost a whopping $58 for dogs and $54 for cats in 2019
    • Dog owners spent about $73 in 2019 on dog grooming
    • Cat owners spent $43 on cat grooming in 2019
    • In 2019, toy expenditures came in last for dog owners with $48 spent on dogs and $31 spent on cats
  • The average U.S. Household owns 1.6 dogs, 1.8 cats, 2.1 birds, and 2.1 horses (Source – American Veterinary Medical Association).
  • The average dog owner visits a vet 2.4 times a year (AMVA).
  • The average cat owner visits a vet 1.3 times a year (AMVA).
  • The average bird owner visits a vet 0.3 times a year (AMVA).
  • The average horse owner visits a vet 1.6 times a year (AMVA).
  • U.S. Households own the following special or exotic animals (AMVA):
    • 76,323 fish
    • 501 ferrets
    • 2,244 rabbits
    • 6,032 reptiles
    • 1,786 pet livestock (e.g. pot belly pig, adopted goats)
    • 15,637 pet poultry (backyard chickens, ducks, etc.)
    • 3,521 other mammals (e.g. guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, etc.)
  • According to the ASPCA, pet owners give up 6.5 million pets to shelters (ASPCA).
    • 3.3 million are dogs
    • 3.2 million are cats
  • Pet owners gave up 7.2 million pets to shelters in 2011 so this number is on a downward trend with more dogs being kept (ASPCA).
  • Pet owners adopt 3.2 million animals each year (50% are dogs and 50% are cats) (ASPCA).
  • Shelters successfully return over 710,000 strays to their owners every year (ASPCA).
  • Almost half of pet owners find their dogs or cats through word of mouth (APPA).
  • 34% of dogs are bought from breeders (APPA/ASPCA).
  • 1/3 of cats are taken in as strays (APPA/ASPCA).
  • Pet owners rehome their pets most often because of aggressive pets, other problem behaviors, health problems that they can’t handle, or the animal grew too large (APPA/ASPCA).
  • The U.S. Census Bureau reported that almost half of U.S. Households own a pet (U.S. Census). See chart below for detailed breakdown by average household income.
  • Over 2.8 million pets were insured by their pet owners (NAPHIA).
  • Pet insurance coverage for pet owners has been increasing over 22% for the past 5 years through the end of 2019 (NAPHIA).
  • 45% of pet owners buy birthday presents for their pet (Harris Poll).
  • Almost a third of pet owners cook for their pets either occasionally or often (Harris Poll).
  • Republicans own dogs more than 10% more often than democrats (Harris Poll).
  • 71% of pet owners let their pet sleep in their beds (Harris Poll).
  • Millennial pet owners are the most likely to dress up their pets (31% vs 19% for Gen X and 14% for Baby Boomers) (Harris Poll).
  • 95% of pet owners consider their pet to be family (Harris Poll).

Charts, Charts, and More Dog Owner Statistics Charts!

2019 Pet Expenditures Chart

Average Annual Costs for Pet Owners in 2019

Type of Pet in Each Household

Percent of U.S. Households That Own Pets by Annual Household Income