The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently released its U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, which revealed that Wyoming ranks 10th for pet ownership with 61.8 percent of households owning a pet.
In 2006, which was the last time the AVMA put together the sourcebook, Wyoming again made the top 10 list of pet owners, ranking 4th with 70.3 percent of households owning a pet.
The survey is conducted by the AVMA every five years and always includes a breakdown of pet ownership by state. The most recent survey, conducted in 2012 but based on December 31, 2011 numbers, reveals that the top 10 pet-owning states are:
Vermont where 70.8 percent of households owned a pet
New Mexico - 67.6 percent
South Dakota - 65.6 percent
Washington - 62.7 percent
West Virginia - 62.1 percent
The 10 states in 2011 with the lowest percentage of pet-owning households are:
Rhode Island where 53 percent of households owned a pet
California - 52.9 percent
New Jersey - 50.7 percent
Massachusetts - 50.4 percent.
The District of Columbia had a far lower rate of pet ownership at 21.9 percent.
Top/Bottom Dog-Owning States
The Sourcebook reveals that the states with the most dog owners in 2011 are:
Arkansas where 47.9 percent of households owned a dog
West Virginia - 45.8 percent
Mississippi - 45.2 percent
Tennessee - 44.1 percent,
The bottom 10 states in 2011 for dog ownership are:
Illinois where 32.4 percent of households owned a dog
New Jersey - 32.4 percent
New Hampshire - 30.3 percent
Rhode Island - 29.3 percent
Connecticut - 28.3 percent
Massachusetts - 23.6 percent.
The District of Columbia had far lower dog ownership than any state with 13.1 percent.
Top/Bottom Cat-Owning States
The 2011 top 10 states with the most cat-owning households are:
Vermont where 49.5 percent owned a cat
South Dakota - 39.1 percent
West Virginia - 38.1 percent
New Hampshire - 34.2 percent.
Conversely, the bottom 10 states with the lowest rate of cat-owning households in 2011 are:
California where 28.3 percent of households owned a cat
South Carolina - 27.8 percent
Rhode Island - 27.6 percent
New Jersey - 25.3 percent
The District of Columbia, once again, had by far the lowest rate of cat ownership with 11.6 percent.
“This report reveals a tremendous amount of information about pets and their owners across the country; what’s constant and what has changed. One of the most important parameters that we look at is how well pet owners are doing at keeping their pets healthy,” says Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, president of the AVMA. “Unfortunately, the report reveals that fewer dogs and cats are seeing the veterinarian regularly, and that’s something that the AVMA and every companion animal veterinarian are concerned about. Pet owners across the country need to remember to bring their pets into the veterinarian – at least once a year – to maintain optimal health.”
The report indicates that, between 2006 and 2011, the percentage of households that made no trips at all to the veterinarian increased by 8 percent for dog owners and a staggering 24 percent for cat owners. Overall, about 81 percent of dog owning households made at least one visit to the veterinarian in 2011, down 1.7 percent from 2006. The decrease for cat owners was, once again, much higher, as only 55.1 percent of cat owners made at least one visit to the veterinarian in 2011, down 13.5 percent from 2006.
The U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook offers a great deal of information on pet ownership, trends and veterinary care. It’s available free to journalists and is for sale on the AVMA website. For more information about the AVMA or to obtain a copy of the U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, visit www.avma.org.