Pets Get Older, Smaller

More people own dogs and/or cats these days, but the average age of America’s pets has risen, a new study finds. Also, the average size of people’s dogs has been shrinking for years. Should we be alarmed?

Market research firm Packaged Facts finds that the percentage of households owning any pet has increased over the past few years. As of last year, around 45 million U.S. households own dogs, and 30 million households own cats.

Among dog owners, there has been a trend toward smaller breeds recently, with around 52% of U.S. dog-owning households having dogs under 25 lbs. Around 32% have medium dogs (25-40 lbs.), while 42% have large dogs (40+ lbs.).

According to Packaged Facts, the percentage of both small dog and large dog households has increased, while the number of medium-size-dog households has remained steady.

As a nation, our pets are getting older, as well as smaller: Around 45% of dog owners have a dog age seven or older, while 46% of cat owners have a cat in that oldest age bracket.

This is no doubt a good thing; it’s an indication that our pets are being better cared for these days. Now, will cats ever overtake dogs as the most popular pet?

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