Americans share a remarkable affection for pets, including cats, dogs, and exotic animals. These creatures provide companionship, entertainment, and comfort during lonely times. Dogs and cats, cherished companions throughout history, served as hunting partners and household pets even in Paleolithic times. Their significance remains strong, with 57% of American households having at least one pet.
In the United States, dogs are the most popular pets. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 76 million pet dogs cared for by 48 million households. On average, each home has about 1.5 dogs. This isn't surprising because dogs are known as our best friends. They're easy to take care of, fun to talk to, and make great companions for both kids and grown-ups.
Cats come in a close second to dogs. Originally brought to North America by the English to tackle rodent issues, they are now widely loved for their natural curiosity, cuteness, and playful nature. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) states that around 31 million households in America have cats, totaling over 58 million feline friends.
Fish take the third spot as popular pets in the United States, with nearly 12% of households having at least one or more. Their aquariums not only add beauty to homes but are also relatively easy to care for and keep up.
Birds claim the fourth spot in popularity. While not as common as fish or cats, they are equally enjoyable and rewarding as pets, with 2.8% of American households having birds. Species like cockatiels, parrots, and other birds capable of mimicking human speech are especially favored among bird enthusiasts.
Reptiles, such as snakes, salamanders, iguanas, and various lizards, are becoming more popular among American animal lovers. Millennials, in particular, are drawn to them for their somewhat exotic and appealing appearance. Reptiles make interesting and exciting companions for those who choose to care for them.
Rabbits rank as a highly popular specialty pet among animal lovers, coming right after fish and birds. They might even be more popular if they weren't a bit challenging to care for. Similar to hamsters and gerbils, rabbits are incredibly cute, enjoyable to pet, and moderately active as pets. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), they stand as the second most popular specialty pet.
It's interesting to note that poultry, including chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese, are popular pet choices in many US households. For some owners, they offer practical benefits, such as egg-laying that can be sold. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), poultry is more popular than smaller mammals and other common pet choices.
Hamsters are right up there with other popular household pets, following poultry. Their popularity stems from being easy to care for, small in size, and relatively resistant to illness. Hamsters are known for their resilience, with old age being a more common cause of passing than sudden death from infections or diseases. According to statistics from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 887 out of 1000 households in America own hamsters.
9 Guinea pigs
Guinea pigs are equally adorable but slightly less popular than hamsters. Many young pet owners often find it challenging to choose between the two because of their similarities. Both are small, easy to care for, very active, and enjoy a relatively long lifespan.
Ferrets are a popular choice for exotic animal enthusiasts, known for their lively and adorable nature. Moreover, finding food for them is usually easy, as many pet stores stock and carry supplies for ferrets, making it convenient to sustain them over the long term.
Mammals, pet livestock, and even amphibians are also popular pet choices that animal lovers care for in the United States.