Popular Pets Statistics in The United States 2023

Over the past thirty years, pet ownership has increased significantly in the United States. According to World Animal Foundation, 86.9 million US households own a pet, which accounts for 66%. This shows the uncanny love Americans have for animals. That said, I have researched the latest pet statistics to determine which pets are the most popular and which states have the most pet lovers. Read on to find out!

Top 7 Most Popular Pets in The United States in 2023

The following animals are the most common pets in the United States:
  1. Dogs
  2. Cats
  3. Freshwater Fish
  4. Birds
  5. Hamsters
  6. Rabbits
  7. Ferrets

1. Dogs

A French Bulldog

As of 2023, sixty-five million American households own a pet dog, with dog owners spending more than $700 on their dogs a year. Top US states with the highest dog ownership rates include Arkansas, Montana, Tennessee, West Virginia, Indiana, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Alabama, and Kentucky. One pet owner has one to seven dogs on average in the US.

The top ten most popular dog breeds as of 2023 in the United States include French Bulldogs, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, Poodles, Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Beagles, Dachshunds, and German Shorthaired Pointers, according to the American Kennel Club.

According to ASPCA, about 3.1 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide each year. About 390,000 dogs are euthanized in U.S. shelters annually. Approximately 2 million dogs are adopted from U.S. shelters each year. About 710,000 stray dogs who end up in shelters are reunited with their owners.

The top ten states with the most devoted dog owners include Colorado, Virginia, Georgia, Alaska, Nevada, Texas, Arkansas, Washington, Delaware, and Oregon.

According to the American Kennel Club, the following breeds are commonly used as service dogs in the United States: Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Poodles, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Great Danes, Collies, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Pomeranians.

Over 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year. Up to fifty people are killed by dogs each year in the United States. In 2022, 41 people died from fatal dog attacks in the United States.

2. Cats

An Exotic Shorthair Cat

As of 2023, 46.5 million US households own a pet cat. Top US states with the highest cat ownership rates include Vermont, Maine, West Virginia, Indiana, New Hampshire, Iowa, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and Kansas. The top most popular cat breeds in the US include Exotic Shorthairs, Ragdolls, British Shorthairs, Persian Cats, Maine Coons, American Shorthairs, Sphynx Cats, and Abyssinian. On average, US cat owners spend $653 on their feline friends each year.

Each year in the US, about 3.2 million cats enter shelters nationwide. Approximately 530,000 cats are put down in US shelters every year. About 2.1 million cats are adopted from shelters each year. And about 100,000 stray cats who end up in shelters are reunited with their owners.

According to a pet rehoming survey, 42% of cats are rehomed each year in the US due to problematic behaviors.

3. Freshwater Fish

As of 2023, 11.8 million households own pet fish in the United States. The top ten most popular Freshwater fish in the US include Neon Tetra, Guppies, Mollies, Betta Fish, Goldfish, Angelfish, Golden Dwarf Barbs, Rainbowfish, Zebra Daniosn, and Platies.

4. Birds

Almost 10 million US households own a pet bird as of 2023. The top most popular birds kept as pets in the United States include Parakeets, Cockatiels, Finch, Lovebirds, Monk parakeets, Doves, parrotlets, African Gray parrots, Caiques, Conures, and Canaries.

Pet birds are popular in the following states: Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Dakota, and Ohio.

5. Hamsters

A man holding a pet Hamster

About 1.5 million American homes own a pet Hamster. The furry creatures are popular as pets in Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Utah. Hamsters are not legal in Hawaii.

6. Rabbits

A Rabbit

Rabbits are one of the popular small animals owned as pets in the United States. In fact, rabbits are the most popular exotic pet in the United States. They are more popular in Arizona, California, New Mexico, South Carolina, and South Dakota. It is estimated to be three million pet rabbits in the United States.

7. Ferrets

3 baby Ferrets

The top US states with the most pet ferrets include Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. It is completely illegal to own a pet ferret in Hawaii and California.


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