Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More

Pet Industry Statistics 2021: Market Share, Pet Ownership, and Trends

Dean Eby

If you spend a short while browsing YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, or any other popular social media site, you’re guaranteed to see more than your fair share of pictures and videos involving a variety of pets. You’ll see cats and dogs the most, but birds, fish, and even exotic pets appear plenty. This certainly seems like proof that the pet industry is continuing to grow and expand, but we don’t need to rely on anecdotal evidence. Since it’s a multi-billion-dollar industry, many statistics are available showing current trends. We’ve gathered some of the most interesting statistics here so you can easily get a quick outline of the industry’s current standing and near-future potential.

divider-multipet

20 Top Pet Industry Statistics

1. The US Pet Industry Moved $99 Billion in 2020

In 2020, the pet industry in America was worth $99 billion, which is a notable increase from the $95.7 billion it was worth the year prior. In 2018, the entire US pet industry was worth just $90.5 billion, showing a strong continuing upward trend, and increasing by nearly $10 billion in just two years.


2. Since 2002, the Pet Industry’s Average Annual Growth is 5.4%

As we just mentioned, the pet industry as a whole seems to be growing at a rather fast rate, and it’s been this way since 2002. For nearly two decades now, the pet industry has maintained an average annual growth rate of 5.4%, which is expected to continue.


3. Food and Treats are the Biggest Sellers

Of the $99 billion brought in by the pet industry in 2020, $38.4 billion is attributed solely to food and treat sales, making it the single largest category in the industry. Veterinary services are the second-largest earner, with total earnings of $30.2 billion in 2020.

Related Read: Pet Food Industry Statistics 2021: Market Share & Trends


4. There Are Approximately 75,000 Veterinarians in the US

In May of 2019, there were about 74,450 certified and employed veterinarians offering their services in the US. The average annual earnings of these vets were $104,820.


5. Veterinary Assistants Outnumber Veterinarians

As it turns out, there are more veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers than there are veterinarians; 97,030 total, which is about 20,000 more assistants and caretakers than vets. They earn far less though, with average annual earnings of just $27,060.


6. Nearly 400 Million Pets Live in the US

Pets are more popular than ever, as shown by their gigantic population. Amazingly, there are more pets in America than people! There are approximately 393.3 million pets living in the US.


7. 67% of US Households Have a Pet

Slightly more than two-thirds of the US population keeps pets. That means that many of these households have more than just one! Interestingly, 95% of pet owners in America view their pets as family members.


8. Most Pet Owners are Gen X or Millennials

While two-thirds of all US households own pets, two-thirds of all pet owners belong to either Generation X or they’re Millennials.


9. More Households Keep Dogs, But Fish Are More Prevalent

If you look at the total number of households keeping pets in the US, dogs are by far the favorite, with 63.4 million households keeping a pet dog. But if you look at pets by the numbers, fish are the most common pet in the country, with nearly 140 million being kept as pets nationwide.


10. Almost 75% of Millenials Own Pets

If you’re a Millennial, there’s a three out of four chance that you’re also a pet owner, along with 73% of people born between 1981 and 1994. For those Millennials that are also homeowners, the chances are even greater, as 89% of Millennials that own their home also own pets.


11. Pet Ownership Has Increased by 20% Since 1988

In 1988, pets weren’t nearly as popular as they are today, demonstrated by the fact that just 56% of American households had pets. Since then, pet ownership has increased by an impressive 20%, including a 10% increase in just five years between 2008 and 2013.


12. Birds and Cats Are Becoming More Popular; Fish Are Not

Since the year 2000, cat ownership has seen the largest surge in popularity, growing by 29%. Dog ownership is also up, having risen by 21.9% in the same time frame. But fish seem to be declining in popularity, with pet fish seeing a 12.4% decrease in ownership.


13. Households in Wyoming Are Most Likely to Have Pets

Wyoming leads the US in pet ownership, with 71.8% of all households in the state keeping pets. Ironically, the state has rather low numbers of dog and cat owners. Rather, their pet ownership is comprised of a large number of horses.


14. Vermont Has the Most Cat-Owning Households

Looking at percentages, Vermont has the most cat-owning households in America. 44.6% of all households in Vermont own cats, while just 28.3% own dogs.


15. Arkansas Households Are Most Likely to Own Dogs

While Vermont households have the most cats, in Arkansas, they have the most dogs. 51.6% of all households in Arkansas have canines, compared to just 34.8% that own cats.


16. The Average Household Spends Over $1,000 on Pets Annually

If you’ve got pets, then you’re probably spending quite a bit of cash on them every year. On average, pet-owning households in the US spend $1,126 on their pets. Of that amount, 40% is spent on food and treats.


17. Most Pet Owners Don’t Have Insurance!

In America, only 1.6% of pet owners have insurance on their furry friends. 81% of these pet owners keep combined accident/illness policies, but for their dogs. Granted, insurance premiums tend to be cheaper for dogs by an average of $30-$50 annually.


18. $1 Billion Is Spent on Pet Insurance Annually

Even though only a tiny fraction of American pet owners have insurance on their pets, more than $1 billion is spent on pet insurance yearly in the US.


19. Birds Need the Most Veterinary Care

Hopefully, your pets will never need to see the vet. But if your pets are birds, you’re more likely to need veterinary services than dog owners. Birds require an average of 3.1 visits to the vet each year, while dogs require an average of 2.7 visits yearly.


20. Veterinary Care Is Costlier for Canines

Whether you need emergency or routine care, it’s going to be more expensive for a dog than for a cat. On average, an emergency visit to the vet costs about $349 for a dog owner but just $154 for a cat owner. Even routine veterinary visits cost $75 more for dogs on average.divider-multipet

US Pet Population Statistics

  • There are 393.3 million total domestic pets in America
  • Freshwater fish are the most numerous pets with 139.3 million actively kept as pets
  • Only 11.5 million US households have pet freshwater fish
  • 4 million US households have pet dogs
  • There are 89.7 million pet dogs in the US
  • Most dog owners in America have just one dog
  • A majority of households with cats have two
  • Pet cats outnumber pet dogs in America with 94.2 million total cats kept as pets
  • Only 42.7 million households keep cats as pets
  • 7 million US households keep pet birds
  • There are 20.3 million birds kept as pets
  • Reptiles are the fifth most common pet in America, with 4.5 million households keeping them as pets
  • 4 million reptiles are kept as pets in the US
  • Only 7.6 million pet horses are kept in America
  • Just 1.6 million households own horses
  • 6 million households own saltwater fish
  • There are a total of 18.8 million saltwater fish kept as pets

divider-multipetConclusion

The pet industry is massive, worth nearly $100 billion annually, and it’s expected to continue growing. As you can see from these statistics, pet ownership is on the rise, as is pet spending. If trends continue the way they’re going, then peak pet ownership is still in the future. Current generations seem to care about their pets more than previous ones, as evidenced by the growing number of millennials that keep pets, with 89% of millennial homeowners also owning pets. As a whole, the pet industry looks strong in 2021, and there’s no reason to think that will change anytime soon. After all, there are more pets in America than people!


Featured Image Credit: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock

Dean Eby

An avid outdoorsman, Dean spends much of his time adventuring through the diverse terrain of the southwest United States with his closest companion, his dog, Gohan.  He gains experience on a full-time journey of exploration. For Dean, few passions lie closer to his heart than learning.  An apt researcher and reader, he loves to investigate interesting topics such as history, economics, relationships, pets, politics, and more.