How Many Pets Are In The World & The US? 

Plus Over 71 Pet Statistics (2021)

While we love our pets, there are still millions of them that don’t have a home, end up in a shelter, or worst, killed or euthanized.  Discover pet statistics from America and around the world, ranging from things like pet population, pet ownership, pet shelters, most popular pets, and even pet adoption.

Top Pet Statistics: 

  • In 2021 alone, more than 110 pets have died from being poisoned from pet food that has since been recalled. 
  • There are more than 900 million dogs around the world, and their population continues to grow.
  • Around 600 million cats are living on the planet.
  • 68% of American households own at least one pet. This is up 12% since 1988.
  • About 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters nationwide every year in the U.S.
  • America has around 70 Million stray animals living in the country.
  • There are about 4 million cats and dogs adopted from shelters each year in the U.S.
  • About 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized each year, around 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats.
  • On Average, to own a dog or cat will cost you between $500 and $600 annually.
  • Just 2% of pet parents have purchased pet insurance in the U.S.
  • Only 20% of pet owners can afford to pay a $5,000 vet bill.

Cat & Dog Population In The World

How Many Dogs & Cats Are In The World?


The current global dog population is estimated to be around 900 million and rising, with the global cat population coming in at about 600 million. Approximately 470 Million dogs are actually kept as pets, and around 370 million pet cats are in the world.

Key Statistics:


  • There are more than 900 million dogs around the world and their numbers are growing. 
  • Around 600 million cats are living on the planet. 
  • More than 740 Million Dogs Live as unrestrained or free-ranging
  • Only 17–24% of dogs live as pets in developed countries
  • Over 470 million dogs are kept as pets around the world.
  • There are about 370 million pet cats living on this planet.
  • The world's most balanced pet population is in Romania, 45% of their households own dogs and 45% owns cats.
  • The fastest growing dog population in the world can be found in India.
  • The highest number of small dogs per capita goes to Brazil
  • Saudi Arabia is the winner in regards to big dogs with 70% of their dog population belonging to larger breeds.

Cat & Dog Ownership By Country


The U.S. has the highest dog & cat population per capita. For every four people, there is one dog! There are more dogs or cats in some families than children, making them an integral part of the household. Below is a list of the top 10 cat and dog populations by country.

Top 10 Dog Populations By Country

COUNTRY

POPULATION

USA

69,929,000

China

27,400,000

Russia

12,520,000

Japan

12,000,000

Philippines

11,600,000

India

10,200,000

Argentina

9,200,000

United Kingdom

9,000,000

France

7,570,000

South Africa

7,400,000

Top 10 Cat Populations By Country

COUNTRY

POPULATION

USA

74,059,000

China

53,100,000

Russia

17,800,000

Brazil

12,466,000

France

11,480,000

Germany

8,200,000

United Kingdom

8,000,000

Italy

7,400,000

Ukraine

7,350,000

Japan

7,300,000

Sources:


Pet Ownership Stats In America

How Many U.S. Households Own A Dog Or Cat?


68% of U.S. households or over 85 Million families own at least one pet according to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by APPA (the American Pet Products Association).

Key Statistics:


  • 68% of U.S. households own at least one pet. Up 12% since 1988.
  • American households own around 42.7 Million pet cats.
  • Dogs are owned at an average number of 1.6% per household.
  • Cats are owned at an average number of 1.8% per household
  • There are more than 77 million dogs in the U.S. 
  • More than 59 million cats live in America.

How Many Pets Die From Food Poisoning In America?


According to the FDA more than 70 pets that have died and more than 80 pets that are sick after eating Sportmix pet food. This comes at the beginning of 2021, hopefully this number won't increase but we will keep it updated.

Key Statistics:


  • In 2021 alone, more than 70 pets have died from being poisoned by eating pet food.  

What Are The Most Popular Pets In America?


Dogs are the most popular pet in the U.S. with over 48 Million of them being owned in over 63 Million households. 

How Many U.S. Households Own a Pet? 

PET TYPE

NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS OWNED

Dogs

63 Million

Cats

42 Million

Freshwater Fish

12 Million

Birds

6 Million

Small Animals

5 Million

Reptiles

5 Million

Saltwater Fish

2 Million

Horses

2 Million

Are Cats Or Dogs The Most Popular Pet In America? (By State)


Dogs turn out to be much more popular than pet cats with 45 out of the 50 states having more dog ownership than cat ownership. Montana, Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Indiana have the highest dog ownership in the U.S..

STATE

DOG OWNERSHIP % 

CAT OWNERSHIP % 

Alabama

46.9%

26.1%

Arizona

43%

26.4%

Arkansas

51.6%

34.8%

California

0%

22.9%

Colorado

27.1%

0%

Connecticut

24%

26.7%

Delaware

42.2%

24.1%

Florida

39.8%

24.2%

Georgia

36.7%

20.4%

Idaho

33.3%

34.4%

Illinois

32.4%

21%

Indiana

49.4%

37.5%

Iowa

36.3%

35.6%

Kansas

43.1%

32.4%

Kentucky

46.5%

32.2%

Louisiana

38.3%

19%

Maine

35.9%

43.6%

Maryland

30.2%

18.6%

Massachusetts

28.9%

23.5%

Michigan

41.9%

31.2%

Minnesota

35.5%

26.5%

Mississippi

51%

29.1%

Missouri

45.1%

0%

Montana

51.9%

22.8%

Nebraska

47.1%

30.9%

Nevada

36.8%

23.1%

New Hampshire

23.7%

36.4%

New Jersey

29.1%

18.9%

New Mexico

39.4%

25.2%

New York

27%

21.1%

North Carolina

41.3%

26.5%

North Dakota

44.3%

24.8%

Ohio

37.9%

30.7%

Oklahoma

47.7%

28.4%

Oregon

37.8%

30%

Pennsylvania

38.9%

28.9%

Rhode Island

25.8%

16.7%

South Carolina

45.3%

25.2%

South Dakota

32.1%

26.6%

Tennessee

47%

30.9%

Texas

43.4%

20.5%

Utah

36.2%

24.7%

Vermont

28.3%

44.6%

Virginia

35.6%

23.9%

Washington

42.8%

30.5%

West Virginia

49.6%

37.7%

Wisconsin

33.6%

32.4%

Wyoming

36%

30%

Sources:


Animal Shelter Statistics In America

How Many Cats & Dogs Are In Shelters In The U.S.


About 6.5 Million cats and dogs enter U.S. shelters every year; about 3.3 million are dogs, and 3.2 million are cats. While this is a considerable number, it is a decline from 7.2 million pets that entered shelters in 2011.

Key Statistics:


  • About 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters nationwide every year in the U.S.
  • Around 3.3 million dogs will enter a shelter in the U.S. every year. 
  • Some 3.2 million cats will find themselves in a shelter in America every year. 
  • The number of cats and dogs going into shelters in the U.S. has declined from 7.2 million over the last 9 years.
  • The largest decrease in sheltered animals came from dogs, from 3.9 million to 3.3 million since 2011. 
  • There are about 3,500 animal shelters in the U.S.
  • It’s estimated that there are over 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in the U.S. & Canada.
  • 25% of all the dogs in an animal shelter are Purebred. 
  • Humane organizations are spending about $2.5 Billion per year to help pets.
  • About 30 million people get a new pet every year. 

Common Reasons Dogs Are Returned to the Shelter:


  • They become more expensive than the owner expected
  • The pet owner is allergic to the animal or has health issues
  • Destructive behaviors like destroying furniture
  • Being disobedient
  • Uncontrolled barking
  • Super hyper or too active
  • Being too aggressive with kids, other pets or family members. 

How Many Dogs & Cats Get Euthanized In Shelters Each Year


About 1.5 million cats and dogs get euthanized in a shelter every year. Around 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats. This is a huge number, but it’s still down from 2.6 million pets being euthanized annually just 9 years ago.

Key Statistics:


  • About 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized each year, around 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats. 
  • The number of pets being euthanized in American animal shelters has declined from 2.6 million since 2011.
  • About 20% of dogs entering a shelter are euthanized
  • 81% of people would prefer to have a “community cat” than to have it be euthanized. 
  • In 2019 there were 733,000 pets euthanized.
  • More Cats Are Put Down Than Dogs
  • Owners leave some 30% of their pets at a shelter. 
  • Americans are spending about $2 Billion a year on animal shelters.

How Many Pets Get Adopted From Shelters Each Year


Each Year close to 4 million pets are adopted from animal shelters (2 million dogs and 2 million for cats). About 620,000 dogs and 90,000 cats that enter shelters as strays are returned to their pet parents. 

Key Statistics:


  • There are about 4 million cats and dogs adopted from shelters each year in the U.S.
  • About 48% of the dogs entering an animal shelter will be adopted.
  • About 50% of cats entering a shelter will be adopted. 
  • Around 23% of dogs that are adopted in America come from a shelter.
  • 1 in 10 pets adopted from an animal shelter won’t be in their adoptive homes after six months. 

What Are The Most Popular Dog Breeds In Shelters?


  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Labrador Retriever
  • German Shepherd
  • Dachshund
  • Jack Russell
  • Chihuahua 
  • Boxer 
  • Beagle 
  • American Bulldog
  • American Staffordshire Terrier

Sources:


Stray Dog & Cat Statistics In The U.S.

How Many Stray Cats & Dogs Are There In America?


There are more than 70 million stray cats, dogs and animals living in the United States according to the Humane Society. Of those, only about 6 to 8 million of them will enter the 3,500 animal shelters a year.

Key Statistics:


  • America has around 70 Million stray animals living in the country.
  • There are about 5 homeless animals for every 1 homeless person in the U.S.
  • As of 2018 there were about 58 million stray cats in America.
  • About 27% of the cats owned by people were first strays, this is down from 35% in 2012.
  • Only around 6% of the dogs owned by people were first strays. 
  • Some strays are pets that have been lost and not properly able to be identified

How Many Stray Dogs & Cats Are There In The World?


There are about 200 Million stray dogs in the world and about 70 Million stray cats in the world according to the World Health Organization. Of course, this is a strong estimate because it’s hard to come by the exact numbers. 

Key Statistics:


  • More than 200 Million stray dogs exist in the world. 
  • Over 70 Million stray cats are in the world

Sources:


Pet Insurance Statistics In America

What Percentage Of Pet Owners Have Pet Insurance?


Believe it or not, only 2% of pet owners have pet insurance on their pets in the United States. This means that only about 1.4 Million Dogs are covered and about 1.1 million cats are covered. We probably need to do much better than this to protect our furbabies

Key Statistics:


  • Just 2% of pet parents have purchased pet insurance in the U.S. 
  • Only 20% of pet owners can afford to pay a $5,000 vet bill.
  • About 82% of dog owners are interested in pet health insurance.
  • Almost 10% of pet parents are shopping for pet insurance for a dog with a pre-existing condition
  • Almost 88% of the dogs who had pre-existing conditions were adults
  • Pet parents shopping for pet insurance who owned cats with pre-existing conditions was only around 12.27%
  • Around 92% of the cats that had pre-existing conditions were adults
  • In 2019 the number of pets insured was 2.2 million, down by around 1% from 2018.
  • In 2018 the number of pets insured were 2.43 million, up by over 17% from 2017
  • Dogs are the most covered with pet insurance with over 88% of in-force written premiums on them.
  • The first pet to be insured in the U.S. was the tv show dog Lassie.
  • Compared to the U.S. about 26% of dogs and cats in the U.K. are insured
  • Sweden takes the lead with over 90% of their cats and dogs being insured.
  • Pet insurance premiums in 2019 were $1.6 billion
  • The average policy cost was about $46.00 per month in 2019.

Sources:


Annual Cost Of Owning A Pet

How Much Does It Cost To Own A Dog Or Cat?


On average it’s going to initially cost you around $500 - $600 to adopt a cat or dog, get pet insurance, and handle any other initial medical costs. After that, you should look at around $500 - $600 per year for ongoing costs, which will vary based on the size of your pet and the brands they prefer.

Key Statistics:


  • Average annual cost to own a cat or dog is between $500 to $600.00

One Time Pet Expenses

TYPE OF EXPENSE

COST

Adoption cost:

Dog: $0 to $660 / Cat: $0 to $270

Food:

Dog: $30-$50 / Cat: $100-$200

Startup supplies

$50 to $300

Vet and vaccinations:

Dog: $50 to $300 / Cat: $100-$200

Preventative medical

$50-$100

Spay or neuter:

$20 to $300

Licensing:

Dog: $10 to $20 / Cat: $0 to $20

Microchip:

$50

Total One-time Costs for Dogs:

$260 to $1,780

Total One-time Costs for Cats:

$370 to $1,440

Annual Pet Expenses

TYPE OF EXPENSE

COST

Food:

Dog: $250-$750 / Cat: $100-$200

Annual medical exams:

$50-$100 *

Vaccinations:

$10 to $100 *

Preventative medical:

$50-$100 *

Litter:

Cat: $200-$250

Toys and Misc. supplies:

$20-$100

License:

$0 to $20

Pet Insurance

$26 - $46

Total Annual Cost for Dog:

$406 to $1,216

Total Annual Costs for Cats: 

$456 to $916

Sources:


Taking Action

Concluding Thoughts


While it’s hard to give an exact number of dogs or cats living in the world, our goal was to help you better understand the pet population in the world and America.

With so many pets going into shelters and so many uninsured pets, we have a lot of work to do. However, I think we have what it takes to lower the number of pets going into shelters and increase the number of adopted pets and insured pets.

The most shocking statistic that we found was that there are over 1.5 million animals euthanized each year. We would love to see that number go down soon.

Sources: 


Sa El

About the author

Sa El is the Co-Founder of Simply Insurance and a licensed Insurance Agent with over 12 years of experience in the industry.  He specializes in Life & Health Insurance and is certified in Long Term Care Insurance in the state of Georgia. He is also an Official Member of the Forbes Finance Council, a licensed real estate agent in the state of Georgia (License #382602), an entrepreneur, insurance educator, and freelance writer.