Showing posts with label buying dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label buying dogs. Show all posts

Saturday 29 April 2023

Gen Z pet owners (ages 18 to 25) are far more likely than other age groups to have a variety of pets

Forbes Advisor has produced some interesting statistics about pet ownership in the United States of America. Perhaps the leading statistic from this research is in the headline. Generation Z as they are called are far more likely than other generations to have a pet with, for example, 86% having a dog and 81% having a cat. 

It doesn't stop there because 46% have a bird and 30% keep a hamster or guinea pig. By contrast, baby boomers, those born after the Second World War, are the least likely to have a pet; 50% have a dog and 42% have a cat. Only 6% have a hamster or guinea pig by comparison.

Image: MikeB - Gen Z pet owners (ages 18 to 25) are far more likely than other age groups to have a variety of pets.

Big increase in pet owners

So, there's been a massive increase in the number of pet owners in America and the same applies to the UK by the way. And this increase is mainly coming from Generation Z, the country's young people. 


They are turning to pets and I wonder whether Covid-19 had a major role to play in this. You know those two years when people were stuck at home getting bored and feeling isolated? Well, that's certainly brought about a surge in adoptions simply for companionship.

And they felt that because they were at home working, they had the time to give to a newly adopted companion animal. Perhaps, though, the problem was that they weren't fully prepared. Sometimes they adopted in a self-indulgent way.

These thoughts are, I notice, supported by the Forbes survey when they state that "78% of pet owners surveyed by Forbes Advisor acquired pets during the pandemic".


Forbes say that you would find a pet in the USA in 1988 in 56% of homes. In 2023 the percentage has climbed to 66%.

More dogs than cats

I have read many articles in which the general tenor is that there is an equal number of cats and dogs in the US but these statistics undermine that statement. As at 2023, dogs are the most popular pets in the US with 65.1 million US households owning a dog followed by cats at 46.5 million and freshwater fish at 11.1 million. 

That means the number of dog owning households is 1.4 times the number of cat owning households in America. That's a big difference. Although by itself it doesn't say that there are more dogs than cats in the US.

Although, I just noticed that in this case it does mean just that. They estimated that there are 65.1 million dogs in the US as at 2023 in comparison to 46.5 million domestic cats. In comparison, there are 2.2 million horses kept I presume as pets or companion animals in the US as at this date. 

Lower than I am used to seeing

Note: these figures seem lower than what I read in the past. I've seen figures as high as 80 million domestic cats in the US but clearly these were estimates. And also, on a separate topic, there are many estimates about the number of feral cats in the US and the numbers vary wildly indicating that the experts simply don't know.


On the issue of costs, typically dog owners spend $339 on food for their dog and $367 on veterinary care, $79 on toys, $99 on grooming and $28 on "other" making a grand total of $912 per year on a dog in the US.

As for cats, a cat owner spends $310 on food annually, $253 on veterinary care, $50 on toys, $18 on grooming, and $22 on other making a grand total of $653 annually on a cat. Note, I have used the singular "cat" or "dog" in those statements. I have made a presumption because Forbes does not tell me whether those are the costs for cats, plural, or dogs, plural. I will presume it must be for one cat or one dog.

Overall, in 2022, Americans spent $136.8 billion on their pets which is up 10.68% from the previous year.

Adoption - buying

Perhaps rather sadly, 42% of dog owners acquired their pet from a store which is considered not the ideal route to acquire a pet because when you buy one from a store sometimes you don't know how good the dog is in terms of health and their pedigree. The same of course applies to any animal bought at a pet shop. 

In contrast, 43% of cat owners got their pets from a store. 40% of cat owners acquired their cat from a shelter while 30% of dog owners did the same thing.

Home owners

As expected, people who own their homes are more likely to have a companion animal compared to those who rent.

Better off

Also, the better-off households are more likely to own a companion animal. 63% of households with an annual income of a hundred thousand dollars lived with a dog while 40% lived with a cat. You can see the bias towards dogs here and I would suspect that households with higher incomes are more likely to adopt or purchase a dog than a cat. 

My argument is that higher income families are more alpha in their behaviour and more alpha males, for example, are more likely to prefer dogs to cats. That may be a crude argument but I think it is plausible.


7% of cat owners bought their cat from a breeder. In comparison, 23% of dog owners bought their dog from a breeder. This probably reflects the fact that there are far more purebred dogs than purebred cats for the simple reason that domestic dogs have been around far longer than domestic cats. There are more dog breeds than there are cat breeds. Far more in fact as I recall. So, it is far more normal to buy a purebred dog than a purebred cat.

One cat or dog

65% of dog owning households owned just one dog in 2020 compared to 60% in 2016 and 56% of cat owning households owned just one cat in 2020 compared to 53% in 2016.

The best cities for pet owners in the USA

In the following order, the best cities for pet owners in the USA, led by Tucson, Arizona with a score of 100 are: Raleigh, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Wichita, Kansas; Cincinnati, Ohio; Plano, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Kansas City, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky; Glendale, Arizona.

Tucson had a dog vet cost score of 90, a cat vet score of 89.89, a vet access score of 92.67, a pet friendly spaces score at 78.02. Glendale had a dog vet cost score of 72.22, a cat vet cost score of 71.91, a vet access score of 96.00, a pet friendly spaces score of 80.70 and an overall score of 88.99. Glendale was in 10th place but still of course in the top 10 best cities for pet owners in the USA.

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