Pet Ownership Across America: How Many Animals Is Really Average?

Dog and cat on a chair
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When it comes to pet ownership, what do you consider "normal"?

If you grew up in an area of the country where all of your neighbors owned a plethora of cats and dogs, you probably can't imagine having just one canine companion.

But if your childhood was spent lavishing attention on a single cat, the idea of being outnumbered by four-legged family members probably sounds nothing short of sheer chaos.

We were curious to see how much the average number of pets per household varied by state, so we combed Vetstreet's data to determine just how many cats and dogs inhabit homes across the nation.

Double the Fun: Homes With Dogs and Cats

One of the clearest trends we noticed: Homes that had both canines and felines often had more of each kind of animal. In some cases, the difference was particularly notable — in Oklahoma, the average home with just cats or dogs had 1.41 dogs and 1.34 cats. But homes that housed canines and kitties jumped to an average of 1.83 dogs and 1.57 cats per family.

Plenty of Heart in the Heartland

States in the Midwest — which benefit from more wide-open spaces — also tended to have more pets per household. By comparison, the Northeast corridor had the lowest number of pets per family.

It raises the question: Is it a matter of having ample acreage or a different mindset? There's no telling from our data, but we'd love to hear how many pets you have in your own home. And while we're on the subject, how many pets are just too many?


For more interesting pet trends culled from Vetstreet's stats, check out these stories.

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