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American Pet Ownership Statistics

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Lianne McLeod
Numbers and statistics have always fascinated me. I found the following numbers particularly interesting, especially how many exotic pets are kept in the US and how much money is being spent on pets. Of course, the benefits of pet ownership make pets well worth the cost, and I think the numbers show that people increasingly treat their pets as a valued member of their families.

American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA)tracks consumer trends when it comes to pets. The 2007/2007 National Pet Owners Survey done by the APPMA found that pet ownership remains on the rise in the US. While dogs, cats, and fish remain the most popular, reptiles and other small pets are becoming more popular too. Here is the breakdown of the US pet population and a comparison to a couple of years ago:

  • Reptiles - 13.4 million
    (11.0 million in 2006/2006 and 9 million in 2003/2004)
  • Small animals - 24.3 million
    (18.2 million in 2006/2006 and 16.8 million in 2003/2004)
  • Birds - 16 million
    (16.6 million in 2006/2006 and 17.3 million in 2003/2004)
  • Cats - 88.3 million
    (90.5 million in 2006/2006 and 77.7 million in 2003/2004)
  • Dogs - 74.8 million (73.9 million in 2006/2006 and 65 million in 2003/2004)
  • Saltwater Fish - 9.6 million
    (9.6 million in 2006/2006 and 7 million in 2003/2004)
  • Freshwater Fish - 142 million
    (139.0 million in 2006/2006 and 185 million in 2003/2004)
Source: AAPMA

Spending

According to the APPMA statistics on spending, Americans spend more on their pets year after year. Total pet industry expenditures in the US over the last few years are as follows:

  • 2007: $41.2 billion
  • 2006: $38.5 billion
  • 2005: $36.3 billion
  • 2004: $34.4 billion
  • 2003: $32.4 billion
  • 2002: $29.5 billion
  • And for comparison, 1998: $17 billion

The APPMA reported the following breakdown for the areas in which money is spent on pets (2007 figures for the US):

  • $16.2 billion for food
  • $9.8 billion for supplies and OTC medications
  • $10.1 billion for veterinarian care
  • $2.1 billion for live animal purchases
  • $3.0 billion for other services such as grooming and boarding

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