According to the 2023-2024 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey, 66% of households in the United States include an animal companion, with 65.1 million having a dog, 46.5 million having a cat, 11.1 million having freshwater fish, 6.7 million having another small animal, 6.1 million having a bird and 6 million a reptile.
However, and perhaps more importantly, 51% of pet owners in the United States consider pets to be members of the family on an equal basis with humans and 46% say they are members of the family but not on the same footing as humans, the Pew Research Center determined. In total, 97% of the U.S. population considers pets family, with 57% of women pet owners saying their non-human residents are just as much a part of their family as human members compared with 43% of men. At 64%, lower-income pet owners are most likely to consider their pets to be as much a part of their family as a human member, Pew pointed out, compared to 46% of those with middle incomes and 43% of those with higher incomes.
APPA noted that pet ownership is something that can generate loyalty across generations as people who grow up with pets during childhood are most likely to acquire them as adults. The market for related gifts should remain strong considering that 66% of U.S. households include a pet.