Pet Statistics

Pet Statistics

Pet Insurance

The pet insurance industry got its start almost a century ago in Sweden where about half that country’s pets are now insured. In North America, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., a subsidiary of Nationwide, sold its first pet insurance policy in 1982 to cover a dog playing Lassie on television.

North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) reports North America’s pet health insurance sector posted record growth in 2015, with combined gross written premiums hitting $774 million. This represents a 17.2 percent increase in gross written premiums over 2014. The total number of pets insured reached 1.6 million at year-end 2015 and grew at an average annual rate of 12.0 percent from 2014 to the end of 2015. According to NAPHIA, there are 12 major pet insurance companies in North America.

Pet Ownership in the United States

Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). This is up from 56 percent of U.S. households in 1988, the first year the survey was conducted.

 

NUMBER OF U.S. HOUSEHOLDS THAT OWN A PET, BY TYPE OF ANIMAL

(millions)

Pet Number
Dog 60.2
Cat 47.1
Freshwater fish 12.5
Bird 7.9
Small animal 6.7
Reptile 4.7
Horse 2.6
Saltwater fish 2.5

Source: American Pet Products Association's 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey.

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TOTAL NUMBER OF PETS OWNED IN THE UNITED STATES, BY TYPE OF ANIMAL

(millions)

Pet Number
Freshwater fish 139.3
Cat 94.2
Dog 89.7
Bird 20.3
Saltwater fish 18.8
Small animal 14.0
Reptile 9.4
Horse 7.6

Source: American Pet Products Association's 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey.

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TOTAL U.S. PET INDUSTRY EXPENDITURES, 2007-2017 (1)

($ billions)

Year Expenditure
2007 $41.2
2008 43.2
2009 45.5
2010 48.4
2011 51.0
2012 53.3
2013 55.7
2014 58.0
2015 60.3
2016 66.8
2017 69.4 (2)

(1) Includes food, supplies and over-the-counter medicine, veterinarian care, live animal purchases and grooming and boarding.
(2) Estimate.

Source: American Pet Products Association's 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey.

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BASIC ANNUAL EXPENSES FOR DOGS AND CATS (1)

 

Expense Dog Cat
Surgical vet $474 $245
Routine vet 257 182
Food 235 235
Food treats 72 56
Kennel boarding 322 164
Vitamins 58 46
Groomer/grooming aids 84 30
Toys 47 30

(1) APPA does not ask survey participants how much in total they spend on their dog or cats annually. The expenses listed above are not all inclusive and each category was asked separately of the survey participant.

Source: American Pet Products Association's 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey.

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