AVMA Survey Shows A Decline in Pet Ownership

The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) released a sneak preview of their demographic sourcebook of pets at their 2012 convention. The sourcebook isn’t expected to be released until the fall in its entirety. However, the information collected about pet trends and ownership revealed that there has been a slight decline in pet ownership over the past five years, down 2.4 % from 2006 to 2011.

Americans have owned about 2 million fewer dogs and 7.6 million cats at the end of 2011 than in 2006. This could be related to the state of the economy and as pets live out their natural lives, some owners are not adopting a new pet due to economic concerns that come along with pets.

The sourcebook also shows that dogs are still the most popular pet in America but cats are still the most common pet. Cat owners are likely to also own more than one cat compared to dog owners.

However, regardless of less pets being in forever homes, the study revealed that the dedication owners have towards their pets has increased. The amount of money spent on veterinary care increased to 19.1 billion in 2011, up 18.6% from 2006 for dogs and cats rose 4.2% to 7.4 billion.

It seems that many owners are very aware that preventative care is cheaper in the long run compared to treating a sick or injured animal.

These statistics and more were discussed at the AVMA Convention back on August 5th. The research and surveys were conducted over the spring of 2012. The U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook is one of the best sources of information regarding pet ownership and trends. The U.S. Census Bureau cites the sourcebook in their publications.

As rough as the last several years have been for us all, how many of us have adopted a new pet after losing a loving old friend? Was economic concerns a factor? Let us know!

Image from Little Shelter

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3 thoughts on “AVMA Survey Shows A Decline in Pet Ownership

  1. I know why. Those of us who love our pets dearly and would do anything to keep them healthy and safe can no longer afford veterinarian care. I have two dogs that are now in their senior years. It takes half a weeks paycheck to take one of them for a check-up and medication if needed. I shudder to think what will happen if they get cancer or something because I will not be able to afford the treatment. I am in my mid-sixties and plan on retiring soon. When something happens to the two dogs I have now, I will not get another one (and it breaks my heart) because I will not be able to afford the vet bills. Pet insurance is a joke for those of us who do not have high paying jobs. What is the answer? I never thought it would there would come to a time when I could not afford a best friend because I would not be able to afford vet care.

  2. This is a GENERAL RESPONSE to the above article (NOT to Rosemary Smith).
    If people would STOP going to pet stores and breeders to acquire a “perfect pet”, but rather go to rescue organizations and shelters, the overall cost would be CONSIDERABLY LOWER! The chances of getting a healthy animal with fewer of the genetic problems suffered by pure breds would be statistically lower. Ergo, lower vet bills. Added to the VAST DIFFERENCE in the purchase price of a pure bred vs. an adoptee, we can ALL have the joy of a BFF (best friend forever).

  3. I agree about the high cost of vet care. I love animals,esp dogs, but this one will probably be my last one, sad to say. more and more regulations! remember your poop bags and keep your dog on a leash. too many people ready to call the dog pound on you. or the dog catcher might be just driving around anyway to hand out tickets. I am glad I own my home with a fenced yard, but sympathize with people who rent, all the restrictions there.