15 Pet Industry Statistics to Crow About
Updated · Aug 19, 2022
Pets have been around for a while—research suggests dogs and humans have been friends for 33,000 years.
Back then, though, they weren’t exactly pets in the modern sense of the word. They were companions that’d aid their masters when hunting and protect them from intruders while sleeping.
Nowadays, the vast majority of dogs wouldn’t know how to procure food for themselves if the need arose. For the most part, we don’t keep them around for their utility anymore; we love them like family.
Do you want to know how much we’ve been mollycoddling them?
Take a look at the pet industry statistics below.
Amazing Pet Spending Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- In 2021, the global pet market was worth $261 billion.
- It’s expected to reach $350 billion by 2027.
- 70% of US households own a pet.
- Only 2% of pet owners in the US have pet insurance.
- In 2021, people in the US spent $123.6 billion on pet care.
- There are 844 million cats and dogs living as pets worldwide.
- 69 million US households own dogs.
- Europeans own at least 80.8 million cats.
Pet Ownership Statistics
The animal kingdom is vast—it encompasses about 1.5 million animal species. Be that as it may, we commonly keep less than ten of them as pets.
On the bright side, at least the animals we do own come in many varieties—dogs, for instance, comprise over 360 breeds. We bet you couldn’t name even a tenth of them.
1. There are 844 million pet dogs and cats worldwide.
These two are the most well-appreciated animal companions. They’re the default option when considering buying (or adopting) a pet, as shown by the 373 million cats and 471 million dogs living as pets around the globe.
What other types of animals do people commonly keep as pets?
Birds, fish, reptiles, and small mammals like bunnies or hamsters.
Fun fact: In the EU, birds are a very common household pet; in the US, not so much. Europeans care for 37.2 million feathered creatures, whereas only 9.9 million US households own a bird.
2. There are 80.8 million pet cats in the EU.
While Americans tend to live in single-family houses with a backyard, apartment blocks are noticeably more common in Europe. That means less space. Do you know what popular animal needs less space than dogs?
Cats. (Hence why our meowlicious friends are the most common pets in the EU.)
Still, Europeans love dogs, too. There are 70.5 million puppers on the Old Continent.
Fun fact: Germans are the most pet-loving people in Europe—they have 15.7 million cats and 10.7 million dogs. The French, for comparison, are also notorious cat-lovers (15.1 million) but don’t seem to care as much for dogs (7.5 million).
3. 70% of US households own a pet.
According to the latest pet owner statistics, animals inhabit 90.5 million homes across the US.
A few decades ago, in 1988, only 56% of people in the country had pets. In 2019, the year before the pandemic, pet ownership stood at 67%. Now, it’s more than 70%.
The thing is that the younger generations love animals. Millennials own 32% of all pets in the US, whereas Gen Xers claim only 24%.
What about Gen Z?
Well, most of them are still too young to take on the financial responsibility of pet ownership but give them a few years, and pet owner demographics are sure to show them at the top of the list.
4. In the US, White people are twice as likely as Black people to be pet owners.
Nope, we couldn’t keep race out of this.
In short, 64.7% of White households and 61.4% of Hispanic households keep pets, but only 36.9% of Black households do.
Fun fact: Hispanics seem to love dogs the most, as they are the ethnicity with the highest ownership rate (44%). White people own the most cats.
5. 1.1% of Americans keep poultry as pets.
Chickens and turkeys aren’t the most common pets in most places around the world, and the US is no exception. That said, 1.1% of the US population—which is about 3.6 million people—do keep poultry as pets.
(We at Web Tribunal have certain objections as to the use of the word “pets” here since people don’t typically eat their pets, but we’ll look past this for now.)
People in the US own a combined 15.4 million pet chicks. It’s a substantial figure, but it’s also a fraction of the 750 million fowl that make up the American poultry industry.
6. In the US, 69 million households own dogs.
One reason why someone might get a dog over a cat is protection. Watchdogs are a thing; watchcats, not so much.
The most recent pet ownership statistics from 2022 make it abundantly clear in which camp Americans are—69 million households own dogs, whereas only 45.3 million own a cat.
Specifically, people in the US love labradors. It’s been the most popular dog breed in the country for 31 consecutive years!
Other well-liked dogs are french bulldogs, golden retrievers, german shepherds, and poodles.
Fun fact: All dogs dream, 21% of them snore, and 45% of the US dog population sleep in human beds.
7. A man in Michigan was sentenced to 90 days in jail for owning too many dogs.
(Source: Dog Law)
It seems like one cannot simply own a bunch of dogs.
For instance, a guy from Holland, Michigan, got sentenced to 90 days in jail after refusing to part with any of his dogs. He had three, but city regulations stated that residents couldn’t own more than two. Keep in mind that the dog limit per household varies by state, though, so it’s probably best to read up on your city’s pet regulations.
It’s not only that you can’t have too many puppies, it’s that your dog can’t be smelly in Galesburg (IL), can’t bark after 6 PM in Little Rock (AR), and can’t hang out with two or more of its friends unless it has a permit in Oklahoma.
Fun fact: In Iran, it’s illegal to walk a dog. They’re “unclean” animals, you see (and caring for them is just way too Western), which is why walking dogs in a park or driving them around the city may earn you a hefty fine—or 74 lashes, if you’re more of a corporal punishment type of person.
Pet Spending Statistics
Pets aren’t cheap—no, not even if you adopt (which we wholeheartedly recommend!).
The initial price of the animal itself normally constitutes a minuscule portion of the money you’ll need to spend taking care of it.
Let’s look at the details.
8. People in the US spend $123.6 billion on pet care annually.
Compared to 2017, expenditures have almost doubled, going from $69.51 billion to $123.6 billion in 2021. Moreover, the market experienced a distinct surge in 2021 compared to 2020—in just a year, the pet market has expanded by $20 billion.
Fun fact: Bill Gates’s wealth is exactly $123 billion at the time of writing. We admit we’re jealous of the sheer number of pets he could keep.
9. Food represents 40% of total pet expenditures.
Unsurprisingly, the most expensive part of keeping a pet is feeding it. In 2021, Americans spent $123.6 billion on their pets, and $50 billion of that went towards food.
The pet vet market is rather lucrative, too—it generated $34.3 billion that same year. The bulk of the remaining pet-related expenses is related to various supplies and services (like spas, hotels, toys, clothing, etc.).
The amount that people pay when buying their pets constitutes just about 5% of total industry revenues.
Fun fact: The global industry—which includes pet food, grooming services, and all pet-related products—is worth $261 billion. By 2027, it’s projected to reach $350 billion.
10. 30% of pet market activity happens online.
(Source: Pet Food Processing)
The pet industry fared quite well during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Some people decided to bring pets home for the first time to ward off the feeling of loneliness during isolation, but many others already had furry friends living with them.
And animals—like humans—have needs: food, treats, medicine, etc. And that’s how pet-related ecommerce became a thing.
Online pet product sales saw remarkable growth: Back in 2015, they only made up 8% of the market. Now, they account for nearly a third. By 2025, they’ll likely represent 53%.
Fun fact: 60% of US pet owners ordered food from Amazon during the pandemic.
11. Chewy Inc. quadrupled its sales in four years.
Chewy, one of the largest online pet retailers in the US, went from $2.1 billion in net sales in 2017 to $8.9 billion in 2021—that’s a 400% increase in just four years.
The website also saw substantial growth in its customer base. Back in 2017, only 6.79 million people bought pet products from Chewy. In 2021, the company had three times as many customers.
Pet Industry Trends
This is where we look at zany new trends—i.e., what’s in vogue in the pet world.
If our choice of words in the last sentence made you think of fashion, you’re on the right track.
12. Only 2% of Americans (who own pets) have pet insurance.
(Source: Equal Ocean)
It seems like people nowadays are more attached to their pets than ever before and, therefore, are willing to pay for more expensive veterinary procedures (like MRI scans).
This, in turn, means that health-related expenses are a serious consideration for pet owners—serious enough for them to consider getting insurance for the animals in their households.
An emerging trend pushing the pet industry’s worth up is pet insurance. It’s not that widespread yet—just 3.1 million pets are insured so far—but the market is growing rapidly. Specifically, at a CAGR of 24.2%
13. There are 18,500 pet stores in the US.
It’s an excellent time to be a pet owner, but we’d say being a pet store owner is not looking so bad either.
Pet industry statistics show that back in 2012, there were 16,810 stores. Just before COVID-19, the number rose to 18,087. Today, there are over 18,500 pet shops across the US.
Moreover, the number of pet establishments will likely reach 20,000 by 2026—meaning that about 300 shops crop up every year.
Fun fact: About a fifth of the global population shops online nowadays, so if you’re thinking about starting your own pet business, make sure to create a site that accommodates online sales, too.
14. 40% of dog owners buy clothes for their dogs.
The dog market includes more than just food and chew toys; dogs wear clothes, too. Or, well, at least some of them do—40%, to be exact.
If you’re observant enough, you’ll probably also see the occasional costumed cat here or there, but it’s a rarer sight. Only 25% of cats wear clothes.
Fun fact: The most expensive dog collar (so far) is valued at $3.2 million. The Amour Amour collar comprises 1,600 diamonds, white gold, platinum, and crocodile leather.
15. 60% of Gen Zers spend an average $50 on holiday presents for their pets.
Do pets know when it’s their birthday?
We can’t say for sure, but looking at the latest pet trends, you’d think they do!
It turns out that 60% of Gen Zers and 49% of millennials are willing to spend an average $50 to celebrate holidays with their pets.
At the other end of the spectrum sit baby boomers—according to pet owners' statistics, only 42% of them buy their pets holiday gifts (Christmas, Valentine’s day, Halloween, etc.), and they’re only willing to fork out half as much as the younger pet parents.
Fun fact: Nearly all pet owners consider animals to be part of the family. So, it’s only natural that 70% of people include them in their greeting cards.
Alright, that’s enough pet industry statistics for one day. We don’t know about you, but we don’t much enjoy associating our furry friends with numbers—and we’d rather keep it that way.
We do associate them with cuddles, though, so we’ll go and see if they need any. We’d suggest you should do the same.
A wayfarer by heart, Jordan fancies journeying into foreign lands with a camera in hand almost as much as he enjoys roving the online world. He spends his time poking at letters and pixels, trying to transmogrify them into something cool.