ROCKVILLE, MD.­ — Pet ownership in the United States is up roughly 2.4% to 56.4% of all US households, according to market research firm Packaged Facts. The firm shared generational pet ownership insights, including subcategories of the pet-owning population driving notable growth.

Roughly 44% of all pet-owning households in the United States own dogs, while 25% own cats and 12% own other pets including fish, small mammals, birds and reptiles. Packaged Facts believes these numbers brought the total US dog population to 96 million in 2020, up more than 10 million, and the US cat population to 32 million in 2020, up by almost 2 million.

David Sprinkle, research director at Packaged Facts, reported pet adoption and acquisition remain on a positive trend, although “not as supercharged as in the near-term wake of COVID-19.”

Millennials and Gen Z pet owners are leading new pet acquisitions, with 25% of pet owners in these cohorts adding at least one other pet to their household during COVID-19, compared to just 9% of Baby Boomer pet owners.

The number of households with senior dogs or cats is rising steadily, the firm reported. More than half of dog-owning households currently have a dog that is 7 years or older, and the same can be said for cat-owning households.

As the US population ages, they do so with canine companions. Dog ownership among households with adults age 65 to 74 grew by 78% from 2010 to 2020. Overall, this demographic of households grew by 60% over that same period.

Additionally, the number of retiree households in the United States increased by 35% between 2010 and 2020, and the number of dog-owning retiree households grew by 67% over the same period, according to Packaged Facts.

Households with adults who are not married increased by 22% over the 10-year period; dog-ownership among these households grew by 32%.

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