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Pet Population and Ownership Trends in the U.S.: Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets, 2nd Edition

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Pet Population and Ownership Trends in the U.S.: Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets, 2nd Edition

Around 67 million households, or 55% of all households, own pets. This second edition of Packaged Facts’ Pet Population and Ownership Trends in the U.S.: Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets analyzes trends in pet ownership and provides a demographic profile of the population of pet owners as well as highlights of the consumer behavior and attitudes of pet owners.


  • Executive Summary
    • Introduction
      • Scope and Methodology
    • Topline Trends and Opportunities
      • 5% of American Households Have Pets
      • Dogs Rule
      • Growth in Pet Ownership Outpaced Total Household Growth Over Past Decade
      • Profile of Pet Owners Shifted Over Past 10 Years
      • Dog Owners Drive Growth in Pet Ownership and Pet Population
      • Multi-Pet Households Key Growth Factor
      • Merchandising Key Factor in Success of New Products
      • Urban-Rural Divide Provides Challenges for Pet Product Marketers
      • Aging Boomers More Likely Than Previous Generation to Own Pets
    • Dog Population and Ownership Trends
      • Dog Ownership Up 29% in Past Decade
      • Multiple-Dog Households Grow at Faster Rate
      • Growth in Number of Dog Owners Far Exceeds Population Growth
      • Millennials and Boomers Drive Growth in Dog Ownership
      • Multicultural Segments Boost Dog Ownership
      • High-Income Segments Propel Increase in Dog Ownership
      • Number of Unmarried or Childless Dog Owners Jumps
      • Boomers Are More Attached to Large Dogs
      • Large Dogs Foster Feeling of Extra Security, Small Dogs Seen as Offering Other Benefits
      • Millennials or City Dwellers Most Likely to Have Dogs with Stress Issues
      • Aging Boomers Maintain Interest in Owning Dogs
      • Non-Hispanic Whites Overrepresented in Population of Dog Owners
      • Half of Dog Owners Live in 25 Largest Metro Markets
      • Owners of Multiple Dogs More Likely to Splurge on Their Pets
    • Cat Population and Ownership Trends
      • 59 Million Americans Own Cats
      • Most Cats Live with Others of Their Kind
      • Little Growth in Cat Population Ownership Over Past Decade
      • Increase in Multi-Cat Households Helps Stem Decline in Cat Population
      • Cat Owners Get Additional Cats for Their Cats and Themselves
      • Women Responsible for Most of the Growth in Cat Owner Population
      • Cat Ownership Among Seniors Up 43% in Last Decade
      • Cat Ownership Way Up Among Hispanics
      • Affluent Consumers Help Stem Decline in Cat Ownership
      • 24% of Owners Have Overweight Cats
      • Cats Most Likely to Be Fed in Kitchen
      • Urban Cat Owners Like to Pamper Their Cats, Rural Cat Owners Not So Much
      • Owners of Multiple Cats More Likely to Turn to Discount Stores for Pet Products
      • Cat Owners Look for Cat Foods with the Right Protein and a Taste Their Cats Like
      • Owners of One Cat More Prone to Use of Pet Services
    • Pet Population and Ownership Trends: Other Pets
      • Birds, Fish and Other Non-Canine or Non-Feline Pets Live in 15 Million Households
      • 23% of Pet Owners Have a Non-Canine or Non-Feline Pet
      • Population of Other Pets Reaches 86 Million
      • Some Categories of Other Pets Have Declined in Popularity
      • Boomers Less Interested in Pets Other Than Cats or Dogs
      • Latinos Most Likely to Own Pet Birds
      • Regional Differences in Other Pet Ownership Patterns
      • High Income Closely Associated with Ownership of Other Pets
      • Children Major Factor in Ownership of Other Pets
  • Insights and Opportunities
    • The Pet Population and Pet Ownership Today
      • 55% of American Households Have Pets
        • Table Number of Households with Pets by Type of Pet, 2016 (in thousands)
        • Table Number of Adults with Pets by Type of Pet, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Dogs Rule
        • Table Pet Population by Type of Pet, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Dog Owners Least Likely to Have Other Pets
        • Table Cross-Ownership of Pets by Type of Pet Owned, 2016
      • Demographic Profile of Pet Owners Varies Widely Across Different Types of Pets
        • Table Demographic Profile of Pet Owners by Type of Pet Owned, 2016
      • Growth in Pet Ownership Outpaced Total Household Growth Over Past Decade
      • Profile of Pet Owners Shifted Over Past 10 Years
      • Growth in Pet Ownership Slowed in Past Five Years
      • Ownership Trends Vary by Type of Pet
      • Dog Owners Drive Growth in Pet Ownership and Pet Population
        • Table Change in Number of Households and Adults with Pets and Number of Pets by Type of Pet, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
      • Multi-Pet Households Key Growth Factor
        • Table Number of Households by Number and Type of Pets, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
    • Consumer Highlights
      • Urban Pet Owners Spend More Even As They Feel More Stressed by Economy
      • Older or Rural Pet Owners Least Likely to Buy Pet Products Online
      • Owners of Multiple Dogs or Cats More Likely to Choose Online Pet Product Vendors
      • Walmart Top Choice for Pet Owners Buying Pet Foods and Other Pet Supplies
        • Table Top 10 Bricks-and-Mortar Channels Used by Pet Owners to Purchase Pet Products in Last Three Months by Product Type, 2017
      • Calming Products Gain in Popularity
      • In-Store Merchandising Can Help New Products Succeed
      • Younger Pet Owners Look to Internet and Social Media for Information about Pet Foods
      • Urban-Rural Divide Provides Challenges for Pet Product Marketers
        • Table Key Psychographic Indicators by Place of Residence of Pet Owners, 2016-2017
    • Factors Affecting Growth in Pet Ownership
      • Pet Ownership Retains Hold on American Psyche
      • Aging Boomers More Likely Than Previous Generation to Own Pets
      • Millennials Buying In to Pet Ownership
      • Hispanics Will Help Drive Growth
        • Table Number of Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Adults Owning Pets, 2007 vs. 2016 (in thousands)
  • Dog Population and Ownership Trends
    • Dog Ownership Trends
      • Dog Ownership Up 29% in Past Decade
        • Table Number of Households with Dogs by Number of Dogs in Household, 2016 (in thousands)
      • 105 Million Americans Own Dogs
        • Table Number and Percent of Dog Owners by Number of Dogs in Household, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Most Dogs Have Canine Companions of Their Own
        • Table Number and Percent of Dogs by Number of Dogs in Household, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Multiple-Dog Households Grow at Faster Rate
        • Table Growth in Number of Households with Dogs by Number of Dogs in Household, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
        • Table Number and Percent of Households with Dogs and Dog Population by Number of Dogs in Household, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Additional Cost Seen as Barrier to Owning More Than One Dog
      • Growth in Number of Dog Owners Far Exceeds Population Growth
        • Table Growth in Number of Households with Dogs vs. Households Without Dogs, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
        • Table Growth in Number of Dog Owners, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
      • Millennials and Boomers Drive Growth in Dog Ownership
        • Table Growth in Population of Dog Owners by Age Group, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
      • Multicultural Segments Boost Dog Ownership
        • Table Growth in Population of Dog Owners by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
      • Smaller Cities and Rural Areas Post Major Gains in Number of Dog Owners
        • Table Growth in Population of Dog Owners by Place of Residence, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
      • High-Income Segments Propel Increase in Dog Ownership
        • Table Growth in Population of Dog Owners by Household Income, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
      • Number of Unmarried or Childless Dog Owners Jumps
        • Table Growth in Population of Dog Owners by Marital Status and Household Structure, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
    • Key Characteristics of the Dog Population
      • Nearly Half of Dogs Are Under Four Years Old
      • Smaller Dogs Favored by Most Pet Owners but Boomers Remain Attached to Large Dogs
        • Table Size of Dogs Owned by Presence of Children in Household, 2016-2017
      • Small Dogs More Likely to Be Overweight
      • Large Dogs Foster Feeling of Extra Security
      • Small Dogs Seen as Offering Other Benefits
      • Millennials or City Dwellers Most Likely to Have Dogs with Stress Issues
        • Table Percent of Dog Owners Reporting Owning Dogs with Behavioral Problems or Anxiety/Stress Issues by Demographic Characteristic of Dog Owner, 2017
    • Demographic Profile of Dog Owners
      • Wide Demographic Gap Between Those Owning and Not Owning Dogs
        • Table Key Demographic Differences between Dog Owners and Non-Dog Owners, 2016
      • Dog Ownership Highly Correlated with Age
        • Table Ownership of Dogs by Age Group, 2016
      • Non-Hispanic Whites Overrepresented in Population of Dog Owners
        • Table Ownership of Dogs by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2016
      • Dog Ownership Less Prevalent in Largest Metro Areas
        • Table Ownership of Dogs by Region and Place of Residence, 2016
      • Dog Ownership Tied to Affluence
        • Table Ownership of Dogs by Household Income, 2016
      • Most Dog Owners Live in Households Without Children
        • Table Ownership of Dogs by Presence and Age of Children, 2016
      • Apartments Unfriendly to Dog Owners
        • Table Ownership of Dogs by Kind of Residence, 2016
      • Owners of Multiple Dogs Differ
        • Table Demographic Profile of Dog Owners by Number of Dogs Owned, 2016
    • Consumer Highlights
      • Owners of Multiple Dogs More Likely to Splurge on Their Pets
        • Table Pet Products Bought in Last 12 Months by Dog Owners by Number of Dogs Owned, 2016
      • Grooming Tops List of Services Sought by Dog Owners
        • Table Use of Pet Services in Last 12 Months by Dog Owners by Number of Dogs Owned, 2017
      • High-Quality Protein Top Factor in Choice of Dog Food
        • Table Product Attributes Most Important to Dog Owners When Buying Pet Foods, 2017
  • Cat Population and Ownership Trends
    • Cat Population and Ownership Trends
      • 59 Million Americans Own Cats
        • Table Number and Percent of Households with Cats by Number of Cats in Household, 2016 (in thousands)
        • Table Number and Percent of Cat Owners by Number of Cats in Household, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Most Cats Live with Others of Their Kind
        • Table Number and Percent of Cats by Number of Cats in Household, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Little Growth in Cat Population Ownership Over Past Decade
        • Table Growth in Number of Households with Cats vs. Households without Cats, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
        • Table Growth in Number of Cat Owners, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
      • Increase in Multi-Cat Households Helps Stem Decline in Cat Population
        • Table Growth in Number of Households with Cats by Number of Cats in Household, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
        • Table Cat Population by Number of Cats in Household, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
      • Cat Owners Get Additional Cats for Their Cats and Themselves
      • Lack of Time, Energy or Funds Keep Many Cat Owners From Owning More Cats
        • Table Barriers to Owning More Than One Cat by Demographic Characteristic of Owners, 2017
    • Growth Drivers
      • Women Responsible for Most of the Growth in Cat Owner Population
        • Table Growth in Population of Cat Owners by Age and Gender, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
      • Cat Ownership Among Seniors Up 43% in Last Decade
        • Table Growth in Population of Cat Owners by Age Group, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
      • Cat Ownership Way Up Among Hispanics
        • Table Growth in Population of Cat Owners by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
      • Rural Residents Boost Cat Ownership
        • Table Growth in Population of Cat Owners by Region and Place of Residence, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
      • Affluent, Educated Consumers Help Stem Decline in Cat Ownership
        • Table Growth in Population of Cat Owners by Educational Attainment, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
        • Table Growth in Population of Cat Owners by Household Income, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
    • Key Characteristics of the Cat Population
      • Cat Population Split Between Those Under and Over Four Years of Age
        • Table Age of Cats Owned by Number of Cats Owned, 2017
      • Younger Owners Have Younger Cats
      • 24% of Owners Have Overweight Cats
      • Cats Most Likely to Be Fed in Kitchen
        • Table Where Cat Owners Feed Their Cats, 2017
      • Dental Hygiene or Breath Odor of Cats a Common Complaint
      • Behavioral or Anxiety/Stress Issues Concern Majority of Cat Owners
        • Table Percent of Cat Owners Reporting Owning Cats with Behavioral Problems or Anxiety/Stress Issues by Demographic Characteristic of Cat Owner, 2017
    • Demographic Profile of Cat Owners
      • Many Differences Between Cat Owners and Others
        • Table Key Demographic Differences between Cat Owners and Non-Cat Owners, 2016
      • Cat Ownership More Prevalent Among Women
        • Table Ownership of Cats by Age Group and Gender, 2016
      • Cat Owners Remain Disproportionately Non-Hispanic White
        • Table Ownership of Cats by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2016
      • Cat Ownership Flourishes Outside Major Metro Areas
        • Table Ownership of Cats by Place of Residence, 2016
        • Table Ownership of Cats by Region, 2016
      • Affluent Adults Most Likely to Own Cats
        • Table Ownership of Cats by Household Income, 2016
      • Cats More Common in Households with Teens
        • Table Ownership of Cats by Presence and Number of Children, 2016
        • Table Ownership of Cats by Age of Children in Household, 2016
      • Apartment Dwellers Spurn Cats
      • Profile of Owners of Multiple Cats Differs
        • Table Demographic Profile of Cat Owners by Number of Cats Owned, 2016
    • Consumer Highlights
      • Owners of Multiple Cats Feel Financial Strain
      • Urban Cat Owners Like to Pamper Their Cats, Rural Cat Owners Not So Much
      • Owners of Multiple Cats More Likely to Turn to Discount Stores for Pet Products
        • Table Where Cat Owners Purchase Pet Products by Number of Cats Owned, 2016
        • Table Pet Products Bought in Last 12 Months by Cat Owners by Number of Cats Owned, 2016
      • Cat Owners Look for Cat Foods with the Right Protein and a Taste Their Cats Like
      • Owners of One Cat More Prone to Use of Pet Services
        • Table Use of Pet Services in Last 12 Months by Cat Owners by Number of Cats Owned, 2017
  • Pet Population and Ownership Trends: Other Pets
    • Population and Ownership Trends
      • Introduction
      • Birds, Fish and Other Non-Canine or Non-Feline Pets Live in 15 Million Households
        • Table Number and Percent of Households with Other Pets by Category, 2016 (in thousands)
      • 23% of Pet Owners Have a Non-Canine or Non-Feline Pet
        • Table Number and Percent of Adults with Other Pets by Category, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Population of Other Pets Reaches 86 Million
        • Table Number and Percent of Other Pets by Category, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Some Categories of Other Pets Have Declined in Popularity
        • Table Number of Households with Other Pets by Type of Pet, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
      • Population of Other Pets Shrinks
        • Table Change in Other Pet Population by Type of Pet, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
        • Table Change in Number of Households with Other Pets by Number and Type of Pets, 2006-2016 (in thousands)
    • Demographic Profile of Owners of Other Pets
      • Boomers Less Interested in Pets Other Than Cats or Dogs
        • Table Ownership of Fish, Birds, Reptiles and Rabbits or Hamsters by Age, 2016
      • Latinos Most Likely to Own Pet Birds
        • Table Ownership of Birds, Fish, Reptiles and Rabbits or Hamsters by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Regional Differences in Other Pet Ownership Patterns
        • Table Ownership of Birds, Fish, Reptiles and Rabbits or Hamsters by Region and Place of Residence, 2016 (in thousands)
      • High Income Closely Associated with Ownership of Other Pets
        • Table Ownership of Birds, Fish, Reptiles and Rabbits or Hamsters by Household Income, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Children Major Factor in Ownership of Other Pets
      • Apartment Dwellers Less Likely to Have Other Pets
        • Table Ownership of Birds, Fish, Reptiles and Rabbits or Hamsters by Type of Residence, 2016 (in thousands)
    • Demographic Profile of Owners of Pet Fish
      • 73% of Fish Owners Are Below the Age of 50
        • Table Ownership of Pet Fish by Age, Gender and Race and Hispanic Origin, 2016 (in thousands)
      • No Urban-Rural Split Among Owners of Pet Fish
        • Table Ownership of Pet Fish by Region and Place of Residence, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Fish More Likely to Swim in Affluent Households
        • Table Ownership of Pet Fish by Household Income, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Pet Fish More Likely To Be Found in Larger Households
        • Table Ownership of Pet Fish by Marital Status, Household Structure and Type of Residence, 2016 (in thousands)
    • Demographic Profile of Owners of Pet Birds
      • Hispanics Key Segment of Population of Bird Owners
        • Table Ownership of Pet Birds by Age, Gender and Race and Hispanic Origin, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Significant Regional Differences in Bird Ownership
        • Table Ownership of Pet Birds by Region and Place of Residence, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Bird Owners More Likely to Live in Middle-Income Households
        • Table Ownership of Pet Birds by Household Income, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Households with Teens Most Likely to Have Birds as Pets
        • Table Ownership of Pet Birds by Marital Status, Household Structure and Type of Residence, 2016 (in thousands)
    • Demographic Profile of Owners of Pet Reptiles
      • 47% of Pet Reptile Owners Are Millennials
        • Table Ownership of Pet Reptiles by Age, Gender and Race and Hispanic Origin, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Residents of Pacific Region Lead in Ownership of Pet Reptiles
        • Table Ownership of Pet Reptiles by Region and Place of Residence, 2016 (in thousands)
      • Affluent Adults More Likely to Keep Reptiles as Pets
      • Adults with Children in Household More Likely to Own Pet Reptiles

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