Let’s celebrate our canine and feline friends on National Pet Day!

Pets are an important part of many peoples' lives -- and our furry companions add a special presence to our lives, which was especially helpful during the isolating days of COVID. As George Eliot said, “Animals are such agreeable friends. They ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.” That's the kind of friend we all need. To celebrate National Pet Day on April 11, we decided to take a look at the households that own pets, based on the MRI-Simmons USA study.

According to the Winter 2022 study, 50% of US households own any kind of pet. Dogs are the most popular, in 38% of households, with cats coming in second at 24%. Some other stats include puppies (<1 year) in 3%, kittens (<1 year) also in 3%, with birds in about .6% and horses in .3%. Other pets (encompassing snakes, rodents, reptiles, and other species) are at 1.4% of US households.

Dog and cat ownership has remained relatively consistent over time, averaging about 41% of US households for dogs and 23% of US households for cats.

At a local level, the market most likely to have a dog is Sherman-Ada (Texas-Oklahoma) (54%; 139 index), while cats are popular in Clarksburg-Weston (West Virginia) (35%; 153 index). Puppies rule in Jonesboro (Arkansas) (6%; 174 index), and kittens are likely to be chilling out in Abilene-Sweetwater, Texas (6%; 216 index). Abilene-Sweetwater is also the market most likely to have any dog or cat at 64% (127 index). The markets least likely to have pets? For both dogs and cats, it is New York (25%; 63 index for dogs and 16%; 70 index). Chicago is the least likely place for puppies and kittens (2%; 59 index for puppies and 2%; 61 index for kittens).

Breaking this down to the state level, Wyoming leads the pack for dog/cat ownership in general, with 65% of household owning either a dog or a cat (index: 128), as well as any dog (53%; 135 index) and any puppy (6%; 157 index), while Vermont holds the top spot for cats (34%; 147 index), and households in Arkansas are more likely to have kittens – nearly twice as likely as the continental US in general (5%; 190 index). As far as where pets are least likely to live, Washington DC holds the leash on that across the board.

And our pets are spoiled. 76% of pet-owning households have purchased treats for their dog or cat in the last 6 months; these same households have spent a mean of $319 on food in the last year, and $1096 on veterinary care for their pets in the same time frame. Man’s best friend gets more pampered treatments too – 32% of dog-owning households have visited the groomer in the last year, 10% have used a boarding service, 5% have used doggy day care, and 3% have invested in training.

Dani Lonestar (above) and I hope you and your pets have a great National Pet Day! To learn more about pets and the households they live in, along with the 60,000 other data points measured in the MRI-Simmons USA study, contact us here.

Jennifer Olson
Jennifer Olson
Jennifer Olson is the Director of Marketing at MRI-Simmons. She has worked in the world of marketing and media research for over 30 years on both the supplier and vendor sides. Finding insights in data makes her happy, and she's perpetually searching for new data visualization ideas.