What Type of Pets Do Households Contain the Most Of?


SPCA of Northern Virginia

Dogs and cats are the two most popular pet choices in the United States.

Blake Kingsbury, Photojournalist

Pets are such a huge part of so many different families’ lives. They cheer us up after bad days at school or work, and (usually) give us something to be happy about. It’s why your family pet feels just as important as a family member; they’re always there for you, and you spend so much time around them, watching them grow from young to old. 

The two most popular choices for a pet are, as you may expect, the dog and the cat. According to a report from the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2017, the dog defeats the cat in popularity rather easily, as 38.4% of households contain the pet, while 25.4% of households contain a cat. The third most owned pet in houses around the country is the bird, with 2.8% of homes containing them, and the fourth most is the horse with 0.8% ownership percentage. This may not be true in the city of Yorba Linda however! Horses are known to be popular in our town (as shown by our school mascot, the Mustang). 

Around the United States, all four of the most popular pet choices tend to be owned in two’s. This is actually a surprising statistic, as many would expect households to have multiple dogs or cats inside them, but not so much birds and horses in numerals of two or more! 

Dogs tend to need the most check ups by the veterinarian, with a rate of 2.4 visits a year per household. Horses need the second most trips to the vet with a tendency of 1.6 visits a year. Birds very rarely need to be seen by a veterinarian with a rate of 0.3 outings a year. 

People spend the most money at the vet on dogs and horses as well, since they visit so often. Per household, around $600 is spent on veterinary expenses per year for horses. This is because of the size of their bodies, and the cost it takes just to keep your horse in good condition and shape. 

Pets can bring so many good feelings in us and give us memories to remember for the rest of our lives. Marcus Tran (11) said about his dog, “She always gives me a reason to look forward to the next day with her humor.” Always cherish your pets and take good care of them, whether it is a dog, cat, bird, horse, snake, fish, or any other animal you desire to own!