50,000 homes were surveyed during the five year period. Results offer interesting insights into several facets of pet ownership. Although 36.5% of homes had dogs, making them the most popular pet, the 2.4% decline persisted regardless of the type of pet (e.g., dog, cat, horse, bird, or other type of animal). The research also shows that dogs visited the veterinarian more than other types of pets. Dog owners spent more than 19 million at the vet, an increase of 18.6% since 2006.
One could speculate the decline in pet ownership goes hand in hand with the economic troubles in the USA over the past few years. With so many animals looking for homes at local shelters, we can only hope that as the economy gets better, more people will open their homes to our furry friends.