Here I am, embarking on my first blog, with a question. And that question is…just how many U.S. pet families do you think there are? It seems to me quite logical to ask this given that everything on this site is about dogs, and cats, and their caregivers.
Well, the answer may surprise you, as it did me. It turns out that an estimated 85 million families in the United States “own” at least one pet. And to give it some perspective, that number is the equivalent of 68 percent of all households in this country.
How Many Pets?
The latest statistics show that as U.S. pet ownership grows, so does the number of canines and felines in their care. And, if we put all the dogs and cats together into one big group, we get a combined total of 183.9 million. Now compare this to the human population of roughly 324 million. That’s quite an impressive number of pets. Furthermore, that’s an increase of 56 percent since 1988, nearly 30 years ago. And, that happens to be the year the American Pet Products Association conducted its very first industry survey.
Pet-Owning Population Grows
As the power of social media surges, there is indisputable evidence that the relationship people have with companion animals is changing. It is closer, more intimate and it is definitely more mainstream. Pets are now considered an important part of the family unit. And, consequently, the bond between humans and their canine and feline friends is increasingly stronger.
Pet ownership is also getting a boost from stories about dogs and cats at shelters that are looking for a forever home. So many people have a desire to rescue and give these companion animals the better life they deserve. In addition, an important point to remember is how dogs are participating in our daily lives in a variety of other ways. They are therapy dogs and emotional support dogs, that work with veterans, the disabled, and traumatized children. You see them in hospitals and court rooms, schools and grief counseling session and, of course, in private homes.
Demand For Pet Products and Services
Now that we have a pretty good idea of how many pet families there are in the U.S.A., here comes the next question. Do we also know what products and services they want for their dogs and cats?
Actually, we do, and the next blog will go into this topic further. However, I can give you a couple of hints. Pet parents are choosing more quality items. And, they are spoiling their four-legged companions like they would their own child.
A Question for You
To all of you reading this blog, do you treat your pets any differently now than you did when you were growing up? Please let me know by leaving a brief message in the Comments box. Thank you.