According to a new paper by the American Pet Products Association, pet ownership has again increased.
Based on their report, 72.9 million US Households own a pet (roughly 65% of the US Population).
These homes own 78 million dogs. and 86.4 million cats -- as well as 151 million freshwater fish, 8.6 million saltwater fish, 16.2 million birds, 16 million small animals, 13 million reptiles and 7.9 million equines.
Roughly 40% of pet owning households own multple pets (this is a really low number compared to early studies that showed about 2/3 of all pet owning households owning more than 1 pet).
Pet owners are expected to spend $12.2 billion this year for Veterinary care -- up from $8.2 billion five years ago. It is estimated that the average pet owner will spend $11,000 on the care of their pet during the pet's lifetime.
25% of pet owners say they routinely take their pet on vacations with them. 18% of dog owners say they would buy and urn after the death of a dog (compared to 12% for cats). 39% of dog owners said they would get another pet of the same type (up from 34% in 2008).
It is also noted that 18% of non-pet owners said they did not get a pet in the past year because of the economy.
Pet owners are more likely to be younger and married than non-pet owners -- showing a growing trend of ownership among younger people which is good for the future of pet ownership.
The 2007 AVMA Pet Owner study put the number of US Households that owned a pet at 68.7 million (roughly 60% of US HHs) in 2006 and 61.1 million in 2001. Thus, there are 19% more pet owning HHs than their was a decade ago and 6% more than just 5 years ago.
At that time, there was an estimated 72 million owned dogs and 81.7 million owned cats. So there are roughly 6% more cats now than in 2006, and 8% more owned dogs.
It is great that so many more people are finding the joy that comes with the companionship of owning pets - -and making them a growing part of their lives. Marketers have noticed too -- as the picture on this is of a high-end furniture ad in this month's issue of Traditional Home Magazine. The idea that a high-end furniture ad would show dogs lounging on the furniture would have seemed absurd not too many years ago.
You can read the press release about the new APPA study here. The whole study is for sale -- but the $1700 price tag will price most casual pet owners away from buying it. Heck, even the $800 ticket for students is very high.
Also, H/T to Tom Dock at PetDocsOnCall for pointing me to the survey.