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Home > Statistics > 10 Canada Pet Ownership Statistics in 2024: Facts & FAQ

10 Canada Pet Ownership Statistics in 2024: Facts & FAQ

Canada Pet ownership Facts and Statistics

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

There’s no denying that pets are an integral part of the family. Over the past few decades, the percentage of households that own a pet in Canada has grown, ranking Canada as one the countries with high pet ownership rates in the world. And yet, the number of pet owners is increasing.

Have you ever wondered how many pets live in your city or province? Or how many Canadians own cats or dogs? Generally, what’s the average number of pets per household in Canada? To answer these questions, we have to dig deep into pet ownership statistics in Canada.


The 10 Canada Pet Ownership Statistics

  1. 58% of Canadian cat owners and 51% of Canadian dog owners say their pet is in excellent health.
  2. Only 46% of cat owners take their pets to the veterinarian.
  3. Less than 3% of pet owners have pet insurance.
  4. Most pet owners in Canada spend more time browsing the web or watching television than playing with their pets.
  5. The average annual cost of owning a cat in Canada is approximately $3,700 and that of a dog is about $3,500.
  6. Pet owners in Canada are spending more money on their pets than ever before. 17% are willing to spend more than $500 every year.
  7. 54% of millennials view themselves as “pet parents.”
  8. An estimated 38% of Canadian households own a cat, while 35% own a dog.
  9. Canadian households with kids have more pets than those without kids.
  10. The percentage of dog owners that acquired their dog as a puppy has increased from 52% to 56%.
canada pet ownership statistsics
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Pet Care by Pet Owners

1. 58% of Canadian cat owners and 51% of Canadian dog owners say their pet is in excellent health

(Ipsos Reid)

Housing and pet ownership statistics show that Canadians love their pets. Besides, Canada is ranked first in the world for pet ownership! In a study conducted by Ipsos Reid, most Canadian pet owners report that their pets are doing well and in excellent health.

Results also reveal that most pet owners are willing to make sacrifices where necessary to ensure that their pets receive affordable and quality care.

Canadians also spend more on their pets compared to pet owners from other countries, with an average of $800 per year spent on pets.

hand feeding a cat
Image Credit: StockSnap, Pixabay

2. Only 46% of cat owners take their pets to the veterinarian.


Current statistics show that less than 50% of cat owners actually take their pets for regular pet visits.

However, it is expected that the percentage of cat owners taking their pets to the veterinarian is likely to rise in the next 5 years. It’s because pet owners are becoming more aware of the pet health benefits of annual vaccines and wellness visits.

3. Less than 3% of pet owners have pet insurance.


Although pet insurance is one of the most important purchases a new pet owner can make, only 3% of pet owners have insured their pets.

Over a third of pet owners use a credit card to pay for their pet’s emergency medical treatment. But recently, the number of pets covered by pet insurance is increasing steadily.

Owning a pet is a big responsibility. It comes with many costs, such as food and veterinary care. And while these costs can certainly add up, they can be even more of a challenge for pet owners who don’t have pet insurance.

Pet insurance form close up
Image Credit: Ekaterina Minaeva, Shutterstock

4. Most pet owners in Canada spend more time browsing the web or watching television than playing with their pets.


Pets such as dogs are loyal and loving companions. Unfortunately, not all pet owners actually spend much time with them. According to the CBR, 19% of Canadian pet owners are emotionally detached from their pets and fail to create a bond. A whopping 38% of Canadians will spend more time browsing the web or watching television than playing with their pets.

Contrary to how Americans treat pets just as they would treat their kids, 28% of pet owners in Canada don’t consider their pets as part of the family; they see them simply as pets. However, this is not to say that pets are mistreated, but the level of bonding toward pets cannot exceed that exhibited by Americans.


Cost of Pet Ownership and Reasons to Get One

5. The average annual cost of owning a cat in Canada is approximately $3,700 while that of a dog amounts up to $3,500.

(The Simple Dollar)

Owning a pet comes with a big financial commitment that many pet owners are not prepared to take on. That’s why it’s crucial to have a realistic understanding of what it will cost to own a pet before you commit to taking one home. This way, you can prepare for the costs and make sure your finances are in order.

The cost of owning a cat in Canada is more than the cost of a dog. The initial cost of purchase can be high, not to mention the ongoing costs that can add up quite fast. But the health benefits of pet ownership are worth it.

family adopting dog
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

6. Pet owners in Canada are spending more money on their pets than ever before. 17% are willing to spend more than $500 on their pets every year


Pet lovers in Canada spend up to $500 on their dogs and cats. It’s according to recent statistics released by the Canadian Pet Food Association.

The association’s recent survey of 1,000 Canadians revealed that about one-in-five (17%) spent $500 or more on their pets this year alone. That’s compared to 14% who said they spent that amount last year and 13% who said they spent between $100 and $499.

And it doesn’t stop there. The average Canadian spends $213 a year on pet food and $80 on grooming services.

7. 54% of millennials view themselves as “pet parents.”


Pet ownership is on the rise in Canada. A survey conducted shows that more than 73% of households in Canada now have a pet. Millennials are driving much of this trend and love their pets as much as any other generation.

With this kind of devotion and love for animals, it’s no wonder that there’s an increase in pet ownership across Canada.

Over half of millennial pet owners surveyed said they chose their new pet after seeing pictures or videos on social media. It’s crucial to note that many people who adopt pets from shelters do not do so out of necessity. They’re looking for companionship or want another furry friend in the household.

Cockatiels Eat Rice
Image Credit: Nipa Noymol, Shutterstock


Number of Pets in Canadian Households

8. An estimated 38% of Canadian households own a cat, while 35% own a dog.

(Canadian Veterinarians)

Canada is home to the highest percentage of pet owners in the developed world. But how many cats are in Canada? There are approximately 7.9 million.

According to statistics from the Canadian Veterinarians, the most common pet in Canadian households is a cat.

The second most owned pet is the dog. There are 5.9 million dogs in the country.

9. Canadian households with kids have more pets than households without kids.


Canadian households with kids will most likely have a pet. Besides, they have almost twice as many pets as households without kids. The reason why pet ownership is higher amongst families with kids could be because children are more likely to be interested in animals.

It’s normal since kids love pets, and being surrounded by pets can also teach them about responsibility at an early age. For the same reasons, pets could help lower stress levels in parents who have stressful jobs and busy lives.

preschool kids with their classroom pet guinea pig
Image Credit: JenJ Payless2, Shutterstock

10. The percentage of dog owners that acquired their dog as a puppy has increased from 52% to 56%.


Most pet owners in Canada are opting for puppies rather than fully grown dogs. This is backed up by research that shows that most dog owners actually acquired their pets while still puppies.

Also, the number of dog owners choosing to adopt their dogs from shelters and rescue centers has increased from 19% to 26% over the last 10 years.


Frequently Asked Questions

How many dogs are in Canada?

According to a survey done by Canadian Veterinarians, nearly one-in-three households are home to at least one furry friend. It translates to more than 5.9 million dogs.

Owning a dog is a rewarding experience for many people. But it also means taking on several responsibilities. A dog owner must ensure the pet has an adequate supply of water and shelter, is provided with regular exercise, and receives proper veterinary care.

In addition to making sure the dog is well cared for, the owner must also be aware of local laws that regulate dog ownership. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies maintains a database of pet ownership laws in each province and territory

 (Canadian Veterinarians)

golden retriever dogs lying on the floor
Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

What age group leads in pet ownership in Canada?

The largest number of pet owners in Canada in terms of age group are people between 45 and 54 years. This number is expected to rise over the next few years as millennials continue to enter their prime pet-owning years.

The percentage of people with pets increases with age. But the number of dogs and cats per household is highest among households with children.


What dog requirement takes the bigger portion of the budget?

While the costs of dog ownership vary across the country, there are some things that dog owners in Canada spend more money on.

From the average yearly expenditure, vet bills account for the largest expense. But people also spend a considerable amount of money on dog food, grooming, toys, and accessories.

pitbull dog check by vet
Image Credit: Andy Gin, Shutterstock

How many pet birds are there in Canada?

It’s estimated that there are more than a million pet birds in Canada. The most common pet birds are parakeets, cockatiels, lovebirds, finches, macaws, and cockatoos.

Parakeets are the most popular birds, with over half a million in total, followed by cockatiels at about 300,000. There are about 200,000 lovebirds and 150,000 finches. Macaws come in at 100,000 and cockatoos at 80,000.

When you look at the popularity among bird lovers across the country, Ontario has the highest number of pet birds. It has around 300,000, followed by British Columbia with over a quarter of a million. Alberta is a distant third with fewer than 120,000 pet birds.

Canadians spend an estimated $50 million on their feathered friends every year. That includes food. Toys and accessories such as perches and swings, can cost hundreds of dollars each.

(PIJAC Canada)

What are the Canadian pet ownership laws?

In Canada, there are many laws that you must follow when owning a pet. You can easily overlook some of them if you’re not familiar with them but understanding these laws is crucial.

To better understand the Canadian pet ownership laws, you must first understand what animal rights are and what they mean. One of these laws is that pets have the right to protection from abuse and neglect.

Also, your pet has the right to humane treatment. That means that owners must provide proper care for their pets to prevent diseases or injury. You should also provide enough food and water to your pet, and give proper shelter.

As a pet owner, ensure that your pet doesn’t cause a nuisance or disturbance to others. Don’t let your pet bark excessively, run around, and chase vehicles or people. Also, if your pet defecates on private property, clean it afterward. Ensure that your pet doesn’t attack people or other animals unprovoked, dig holes in private property, and so on.

Pet owners must ensure that their pets are free. Provide veterinary care for your pets whenever needed. Besides, spay or neuter them so as not to produce unwanted offspring.

(Animal Law)

grey cat getting pet by owner
Image By: 99mimimi, Pixabay

What should you know before you own a pet in Canada?

You’ll be responsible for your pet’s well-being and care for its entire lifetime. That could be from 12 to 15 years, depending on the type of pet you choose. If you want to adopt or buy a new puppy, kittens, or older dog, remember that it’s a lifelong decision.

Additionally, if you decide to get a new pet, it’s recommended that you leave the pet with your veterinarian for at least 2 weeks before taking it home. This way, your pet can socialize with other pets and people in the environment. It’ll reduce stress on the animal as it adjusts to a new home.

Is there a limit on the number of pets you can own?

There are no limits on how many pets you can own in Canada. If you have the space in your home and a heart for more than one pet, go for it.

Trouble arises when some pets cross paths. An example is dogs and cats. Ontario has laws stating that a dog or cat must be spayed or neutered.

Animal cruelty laws also state that you can keep as many pets as you want if you’ll take care of them well.

group of pets
Image By: Dora Zett, Shutterstock


Pet Ownership Rules in Canada

Although you are allowed to own a pet if you can take care of it, certain issues such as place of residence must be considered. If you are living in your own home, you may not have a problem. But if you are renting an apartment, you may have to seek permission first.

Contact the management company of your building and inquire about the pet policy. The landlord has the final say on whether you can have a pet in your home. You may be able to get around this by finding a pet-friendly landlord.

Public housing also has rules governing pets and sometimes may not allow any animals in apartments.

Also, you can call the registry in your area and find out about the licensing fees for your pet and the cost associated with micro chipping. In Ontario, you must pay an annual fee of $15 per animal over 6 months of age.

That’s why the pet ownership statistics by state/region indicate that Ontario has the highest number of pet owners. It’s because of the affordable annual fee.

In Nova Scotia, it’s $15 per animal over 6 months of age plus a one-time charge of $10 per animal.

Microchipping costs between $50 and $100, depending on your area. So, keep this in mind when budgeting for pet ownership.

The last step is finding a vet to care for your pet. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has an online listing of all veterinary services in Canada. Alternatively, you can call your city or town hall.

(Canadian Veterinarians)

microchipping pet II__Ivonne Wierink_Shutterstock
Image By: Ivonne Wierink, Shutterstock



The pet ownership trend continues to grow, and it’s expected to surpass a million Canadians this year that own pets. Most of these pet owners will own dogs or cats. But small animals, such as hamsters and guinea pigs are also popular. Canadians are becoming more educated about the size of their homes and how pets fit into their lifestyle before adopting them.

The Canadian pet industry is a massive market. Most pet owners consider their pets as family members. The industry is set to continue its revenue growth over the next few years. It’s expected to reach $7.1 billion in sales this year. From pet food to veterinarian care, everything about owning a pet has become more accessible for Canadians.

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