How many Americans have pets? An investigation of fuzzy statistics
Google the U.S. pet population, and you’re quickly confronted with two oft-cited, and contradictory, sources. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) found that 68 percent of U.S. households owned some sort of pet in 2016 — “equal to the highest level ever reported,” it gushed in the executive summary. Among those pets were about 90 million dogs and 94 million cats, the group said.
The American Veterinary Medical Association, by contrast, recently reported that 57 percent of households had a pet at the end of 2016, a figure the group characterized as having only “inched up” from its previous survey in 2011. The overall pet population, AVMA said, included 77 million dogs and 58 million cats — significantly lower than what the pet trade group cited.