AVMA’s Sourcebook: Top Pet Owning States


The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) released its U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Source book, revealing which states have the largest number of pet owners and which have the fewest.

The information comes from a survey that the AVMA conducts every 5 years and includes breakdowns of pet ownership by state with the last survey data collected from 2011.

So are you wondering what the top 10 pet-owning states are?

  1. Vermont – 70.8%
  2. New Mexico – 67.7%
  3. South Dakota – 65.6%
  4. Oregon – 63.6%
  5. Maine – 62.9%
  6. Washington – 62.7%
  7. Arkansas – 62.4%
  8. West Virginia – 62.1%
  9. Idaho – 62%
  10. Wyoming – 61.8%

The source book also reveals what percentage of owners have cats and dogs and what state they live in. Arkansas wins first place with 47.9% of pet owners having dogs. Vermont is the top state with 49.5% of pet owners being more towards the feline persuasion. The District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) came in last in all categories. Aside from which state loves fur more, the data also brought to light how often owners brought their pets to the vet. AVMA noted a decline in regular vet visits between 2006 and 2011. The percentage of households that made no trips to a vet increased by 8% for dogs and 24% for cats. Overall, 81% of dog households made at least one trip to the vet in 2011 and for cats, well, only 55.1% of them saw a vet.

If it’s time for your pet to see a vet, February is a great month to do so. Many vet offices offer discounts for teeth cleaning during February because it is Pet Dental Month and if you are having some financial difficulty, talk to them about a payment plan. Some may offer them. My vet helped me out last year and allowed me to pay monthly installments when one of my cats became very ill and needed extensive medical treatment. They may not always advertise it so ask.

The U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Source book 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.

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