Pet ownership is on the rise in the United States, with dogs leading the way and large increases in less traditional pets like poultry and lizards, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
The AVMA’s new Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook says nearly 57 percent of U.S. households owned a pet at end of year 2016. About 38 percent owned one or more dogs—the highest rate of dog ownership since the AVMA began measuring it in 1982. Cats were the next most popular, at 25 percent of households.
More than 13 percent of U.S. households owned a specialty or exotic pet, a 25 percent increase from 2011. The number of poultry owned as pets climbed 23 percent in five years, with 1.1 percent claiming poultry as pets.
Dog owners have a higher propensity to obtain veterinary care than do owners of other pets. On average, dog-owning veterinary clients made three visits to the veterinarian. Cat-owning veterinary clients made 2.4 visits.