Americans show a growing affection for dogs

Nearly 4 in 10 U.S. households had a dog in 2018, a 10-year rise of 18%.

Americans show a growing affection for dogs

The U.S. dog population grew by 14% from 2008 to 2018 while the number of cats fell by nearly 5%, according to a new report from Packaged Facts.

The market research firm found that 54% of U.S. households, or 67 million, own a pet of some kind, either a dog, cat, fish, bird or other animal. The number of pet-owning households grew by 2.6% from 2013 to 2018.

Some of the popularity of dogs can be traced to the increasingly diverse U.S. population. Packaged Facts reported that Latino pet owners jumped from 15 million in 2008 to 22 million in 2018.

“Between 2008 and 2018, the increase in the number of Hispanic, African-American, Asian and other multicultural pet owners was five times higher than the increase in the number of non-Hispanic white pet owners,” research director David Sprinkle said.

Among other findings in the report “Pet Population and Ownership Trends”:

  • The U.S. dog population stood at 82.2 million in 2018. By household, the count was 48 million, or 39%, an increase of 18% from 2008.
  • 61.6 million cats were in 29.5 million households in 2018. The number of feline households fell by 4.7% over a 10-year period.
  • The number of Latino dog owners rose from 10.6 million to 16.8 million and made up 39% of the increase in all dog owners.
  • Americans ages 55 and over comprised a growing segment of the pet-owning population and are “much more likely than their predecessors to hang on to the companionship of pets as they age.”
  • Pet supply purchasers favored Walmart over any other brick-and-mortar retailer. In the pet store channel, PetSmart and Petco were the top two.
  • Amazon and its affiliated sellers captured about 35% of online pet product buyers.
  • Pets other than dogs, cats and reptiles fell in popularity. Households with a hamster dropped by 33% and those with fish declined by 27%.
  • 1 million households cared for a reptile, an increase of 77%. About 54% of reptile owners are under age 40, Packaged Facts reported.

The full report is available for purchase at Protection Status