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10 Most Common Pets in the US

With several pets of his own at home, Dakota has plenty of experience under his belt when it comes to caring for animals.


Our Favorite Domesticated Friends

Americans have an uncanny love for cats, dogs, and other exotic and interesting types of animals. They make for great companions, are interesting to be around, and offer comfort on lonely days.

Popular pets like dogs and cats have been human companions for as long as we can remember. Even in paleolithic times, they served as hunting companions and household pets. Their importance can not be overstated, and that is why 57% of most American households have at least one pet.

In this post, we’ll be looking at the top 10 most popular pets in American homes.

1. Dogs

Dogs are the most popular household pet in America. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), it is estimated that there are over 76 million pet dogs in the country that are cared for by 48 million households. This means each household has an average of 1.5 dogs between them.

Looking at the statistics, their popularity makes sense, after all, they’re man's best friends. They are easy to care for, talk to, and make for great companions for both children and adults alike.

2. Cats

Cats are a close second to dogs. They were originally brought to North America by the English to help control the rodent problems that persisted on the east coast. A few hundred years later, they are widely domesticated and favored by most animal lovers because of their innate curiosity, cuteness, and playfulness.

According to the AVMA, there are about 31 million households in America with cats, with over 58 million total felines between them all.

3. Fish

Fish are the third most popular pets in the United States, and nearly 12% of all American households have at least one fish or more. Their aquariums are lovely home decors and are fairly easy to care for and maintain.

4. Birds

Birds come in fourth place. They are not quite as popular as fish, or cats, but they are just as fun and rewarding to nurture, and 2.8% of American households have birds as pets. Cockatiels, parrots, and other birds with some capacity to mimic human speech are particularly popular among bird owners.

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5. Reptiles

Reptiles in general, which include snakes, salamanders, iguanas, and all types of lizards, are growing increasingly popular among animal lovers in America. They are particularly loved by millennials and favored because they have a somewhat exotic flair and aesthetic to them. Reptiles, of course, make for popular companions and can be somewhat exciting to care for.

According to a survey carried out by Reptiles Cove, there are 9.4 million reptile pets across the United States, with each pet household housing a reptile or two. They are the No. 1 "specialty" pet.

6. Rabbits

Rabbits are an enormously popular specialty pet among animal lovers. It comes just after fish and birds and could be more popular if they were not so difficult to care for.

However, like hamsters, gerbils, and other furriers, they are incredibly cute, lovely to pet, and are moderately active as far as pets go. According to the AVMA, they are the second most popular specialty pet.

7. Poultry

As unlikely as it might seem, poultry—chicken, turkey, ducks, and geese—are popular pet choices in a lot of households in the US. They are a more pragmatic choice for some pet owners, seeing as some of them lay eggs, which could be sold. AVMA estimates that they are more popular than smaller mammals and other popular pet choices.

8. Hamsters

Hamsters are right on track with other popular household pets, next after poultry. They’re beloved because they are easy to care for, small in size, and they rarely get sick. They are very resilient, and your hamster is more likely to die from old age than suffer random death via a viral infection or disease. Statistics from the AVMA show that 887 out of 1000 households in America own hamsters.

9. Guinea pigs

Guinea pigs are just as cute but a bit less popular than hamsters. Most young pet owners often struggle to choose between the two pets because of how similar they can sometimes be. They are small, easy to care for, very active, and fairly long-lived.

10. Ferrets

Ferrets are a natural choice for most exotic animal lovers. They are spritely, fun, and cute. In addition to that, most pet stores keep and carry food for them, so sustaining a few ferrets long-term should not be an issue.

Mammals, pet livestock, and even amphibians are also popular pet choices that animal lovers care for in the United States.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Dakota Newman

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