Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
New York is famed for its high-rise buildings and the city has a high proportion of renters and a high proportion of apartment-dwellers when compared to residents in other states. These living conditions help explain why New York has one of the lowest pet ownership rates in the country.
Approximately half of New York households own a pet, compared to 66% of households across the country. The pet population of New York includes 600,000 dogs and half a million cats. But, while New York has comparatively low ownership figures, its pet owners are ranked as the most likely to pamper and spoil their pets, spending more than other states and treating their dogs and cats to meals out and pampering trips.
Below are 15 pet ownership statistics for New York residents and their pets, including figures on the types of pets owned, owners’ attitudes toward their pets, and more.
Top 15 Pet Ownership Statistics In New York
- 87 million U.S. households own pets.
- The U.S. pet industry is worth nearly $150 billion a year.
- Dogs are the most popular pets in the U.S. followed by cats.
- Only 50% of households in New York own pets.
- There are 600,000 dogs and 500,000 cats in New York City.
- More than half of pet owners believe their pets to be as much a part of the family as their human relatives.
- New York pet owners spoil their animals more than pet owners in any other state.
- 55% of New Yorkers spend more on their pet’s grooming than their own.
- Approximately 6 in 10 New Yorkers have bought outfits for their pets.
- 27% of households own at least one dog.
- Dog owners in New York own an average of 1.4 dogs.
- The French Bulldog, Poodle, and Golden Retriever are the most popular dog breeds.
- 21% of households own at least one cat.
- Households with cats own an average of 1.7 cats.
- The most popular cat breed in New York is the Russian Blue.
Pet Ownership Statistics
1. 87 million U.S. households own pets.
There are nearly 125 million households in the U.S. with a household being defined as one or more people living in a single property. Of those 125 million households, 87 million own at least one pet. This means that more than two-thirds of U.S. households own pets. This includes cats and dogs, the two most popular pet species, but also includes small pets as well as exotic pets like lizards and snakes.
2. The U.S. pet industry is worth nearly $150 billion a year.
Those 87 million pet-owning households spend around $150 billion a year, which equates to more than $1,700 each year. The pet industry includes the purchase of food and treats, toys, and other items, as well as vet visits, pet insurance, and other associated costs. Pet industry expenditure is expected to continue rising in the years to come.
3. Dogs are the most popular pets in the U.S. followed by cats.
It’s not surprising, but dogs are more popular than cats. More households own dogs—65 million compared to 46 million. The population of dogs is also larger with 85 million dogs and 61 million cats. Other popular pets include fish, including indoor and outdoor fish, as well as rabbits and a host of caged small animals.
New York Pets
4. Only 50% of households in New York own pets.
(World Population Review)
While more than two-thirds of households across the country own pets, the figure is much lower in New York, where only around half of households keep companion animals. This is likely because of the high number of renters compared to homeowners, and the large portion of the population that live in apartments. While it is possible to keep some dogs and cats in apartments, and many landlords accept pets, renters and apartment dwellers are less likely to own pets overall.
5. There are 600,000 dogs and 500,000 cats in New York City.
20 million people live in the state of New York with slightly less than half of that population living in New York City itself. Along with the 9 million human residents, New York City is home to 600,000 dogs and 500,000 cats. That’s equivalent to one cat or dog for every 8 or so people.
6. More than half of pet owners believe their pets to be as much a part of the family as their human relatives.
(New York Post)
Those that do own pets in New York consider them to be an important part of their families. In fact, 51% of New York respondents said that they consider their animal pets to be as important a part of their family as their human relatives are.
7. New York pet owners spoil their animals more than pet owners in any other state.
While New York may not be home to as many pets as the rest of the country, owners are more than willing to pamper the pets they do own in The City That Never Sleeps. One survey found that New Yorkers are the most likely of any state pet owners to pamper their pets. The study took into account factors such as the amount spent on pets, the preparation of homemade meals for pets, and even whether owners threw birthday parties for their pampered pooches and coddled cats.
8. 55% of New Yorkers spend more on their pet’s grooming than their own.
Such is New York’s obsession with pampering their pets that the same study found more than half of pet owners spend more money on grooming their pets than they do on grooming themselves.
9. Approximately 6 in 10 New Yorkers have bought outfits for their pets.
Another factor considered in the study of how pampered New York pets are was whether those pets have had outfits purchased for them. 60% of pet owners said that they have bought at least one outfit for their pets. Although outfits are more commonly seen on dogs, some cat owners do also purchase outfits for their four-legged friends.
New York Dogs
10. 27% of households own at least one dog.
Just over a quarter of households in New York own at least one dog. Like much of the rest of the country, the number of dog owners rose sharply during the Covid pandemic, although the rise has leveled off since. The figure is low, and this is likely because of the high number of apartments, as well as the large number of professionals that live in New York City that may not have the time to offer proper care for their pets.
11. Dog owners in New York own an average of 1.4 dogs.
(World Population Review)
When it comes to the number of dogs that owners keep, New York features quite low on this list too. While Mississippi and Montana dog owners keep an average of 2.1 dogs, New Yorkers only have an average of 1.4 dogs per owner. This is still higher than in Vermont, New Jersey, and South Dakota where owners have an average of 1.3 dogs each.
12. The French Bulldog, Poodle, and Golden Retriever are the most popular dog breeds.
The French Bulldog took over from the Golden Retriever as the country’s most popular dog in 2022, after the Golden Retriever had held the title for 31 consecutive years. In New York, it is the French Bulldog that reigns supreme. The French Bulldog’s small size makes it suitable for apartment living, while its friendly, loyal, and playful nature makes it a popular choice of pet with owners of all ages and statuses.
New York Cats
13. 21% of households own at least one cat.
Even fewer households in New York own a cat, with just over 1 in 5 households owning at least one cat. The city’s busy roads may put people off owning cats and letting them outdoors, while many landlords prohibit keeping cats because of the potential damage they can cause.
14. Households with cats own an average of 1.7 cats.
(World Population Review)
In those households that do own cats, you can expect to find an average of 1.7 cats per family. This is also a relatively low number. North Dakota is an outlier with an average of 2.8 cats per cat-owning household, but Nebraska and Tennessee have an average of 2.3 and 2.2 cats per cat-owner respectively. The lowest rates are in Vermont where cat owners keep an average of 1.3 cats while South Dakota owners keep 1.4 cats.
15. The most popular cat breed in New York is the Russian Blue.
The Russian Blue is the most popular breed of cat in New York. The Russian Blue is a silver or blue cat with a short, dense coat. The breed is considered very playful, and owners will need to find a variety of ways to keep their Russian Blue entertained, especially if they are kept as indoor cats. The breed is also known for being a low-shedding breed, which makes it a good choice for allergy sufferers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Ownership In New York
Do you need a dog license in New York State?
All dogs living in New York City, including service dogs and support dogs, must have a license. Costs are subject to change but a license for an unspayed or unneutered dog costs more than for one that has been de-sexed, and all licenses need to be renewed annually. (NYC)
How many dogs and cats can you keep in New York?
New York does not have statewide laws that govern the maximum number of cats or dogs you can keep. However, different municipalities, neighborhoods, resident groups, and landlords may have their own rules. You should check before getting a pet to ensure that you won’t have to surrender the animal or lose your property.
Do I have to have pet insurance for my cat or dog?
Owners do not need to have pet insurance for their dogs or cats, but it can be a good idea to get a policy. Pet insurance can be used to cover the cost of vet bills and other costs associated with illness and accidents. Discounts are also available for multi-pet policies and can be available if combining pet insurance with other insurance products.
How much do pet owners spend on their pets?
According to one survey, the average pet owner spends $740 per year on their pet, but 4 in 10 said they spend between $500 and $1,999 a year, showing that some pet parents spend a considerable amount more on their companions. (Thrillist)
Pets are an important part of our lives, offering companionship, emotional support, and even, in some cases, physical support and assistance. Cats and dogs are the two most popular types of pets, but other popular pets also include fish, birds, and small caged pets. In New York, as in the rest of the U.S., it is cats and dogs that are the most commonly kept, although New York has low ownership rates, likely due to the prevalence of apartments and the fact that more people rent in New York than is typical across the rest of the country.
Featured Image Credit: Katho Menden, Shutterstock