Wyoming Tops Nation in Pet Ownership

Good News December 13, 2018

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Wyoming Tops Nation in Pet Ownership

NATIONWIDE  –  The American Veterinary Medical Association recently released it’s most recent list of the most pet-friendly states, from it’s AVMA Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook. The data measures the top and bottom states for dog, cat, and overall pet ownership in the U.S.

Wyoming tops the nation in percentage of pet-owning homes, claiming the title of pet capital of the county according to the data. Idaho, meanwhile, has gone to the dogs.

The 2017-2018 data found that nearly 57 percent of all U.S. households owned a pet at end of year 2016. But some states prove to be much more pet friendly than others, with Wyoming, holding the lead with 72 percent of households own a pet, and Rhode Island, with the lowest percentage of pet ownership, at 45 percent.

Pet ownership tends to be highest in more rural states. The 10 states that had the highest percentage of pet-owning households in 2016 were:

Wyoming (72%)
West Virginia (71%)
Nebraska (70%)
Vermont (70%)
Idaho (70%)
Indiana (69%)
Arkansas (69%)
Mississippi (65%)
Oklahoma (65%)
Colorado (65%)

Pet ownership is generally lower in urban states. The 10 states with the lowest percentage of pet-owning households were:

Rhode Island (45%)
South Dakota (46%)
New York (50%)
New Jersey (47%)
Maryland (49%)
Illinois (49%)
Massachusetts (49%)
Connecticut (50%)
Georgia (51%)
New Hampshire (52%)

 

Dog Ownership

Overall, 38.4 percent of U.S. households had a dog as a pet. The 10 states with the highest percentage of dog owners at year-end 2016 were:

Idaho (58%)
Montana (52%)
Arkansas (52%)
Mississippi (51%)
West Virginia (50%)
Indiana (49%)
Oklahoma (48%)
Colorado (47%)
Nebraska (47%)
Tennessee (47%)

The 10 states with the lowest percentage of dog owners were:

New Hampshire (24%)
Connecticut (24%)
Rhode Island (26%)
New York (27%)
Vermont (28%)
Massachusetts (29%)
New Jersey (29%)
Maryland (30%)
Illinois (31%)
South Dakota (32%)

 

Cat Ownership

Overall, 25.4 percent of U.S. households had a cat as a pet. The 10 states with the highest percentage of cat owners at year-end 2016 were:

Vermont (45%)
Maine (44%)
West Virginia (38%)
Indiana (38%)
New Hampshire (36%)
Iowa (36%)
Arkansas (35%)
Idaho (33%)
Wisconsin (32%)
Kansas (32%)

The 10 states with the lowest percentage of cat owners were:

Rhode Island (17%)
Maryland (19%)
New Jersey (19%)
Louisiana (19%)
Georgia (20%)
Texas (21%)
Illinois (21%)
New York (21%)
Montana (23%)
California (23%)

 

Other Pets

While state-by-state data isn’t available, more people than ever across the United States own specialty or exotic pets, such as fish, ferrets, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, turtles, snakes, lizards, poultry, livestock and amphibians. More than 13 percent of U.S. households owned a specialty or exotic pet at year-end 2016, a 25 percent increase from 2011. The incidence of poultry owned as pets climbed 23 percent in five years, with 1.1 percent of all U.S. households now claiming poultry as pets.

“This is a fascinating look into the world of pets as well as the people and veterinarians who love and care for them,” said Dr. John de Jong, president of the AVMA. “Examining current trends in pet ownership and care provides our members with information they can use to better serve their clients and protect the health and welfare of their pets.”

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