Dogs are America’s favorite pet, not just in pet ownership, but in the health care they receive; the gap between dogs and other pets is growing
(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) April 10, 2013—It’s good to be a dog. Not only are dogs America’s favorite pet, but dogs receive better veterinary care than their four-legged peers, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook.
The Sourcebook, a survey of Americans about their pets conducted every five years, indicates that between 2006 and 2011, veterinary visits for dogs increased by 9.2 percent, while the number of veterinary visits for cats decreased by 4.4 percent. Birds and horses also saw declines in veterinary care; the number of bird and horse owners who made at least one visit to the veterinarian in 2011 declined 10.8 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
“While it’s great that we’re seeing increases in veterinary care for dogs, it’s very concerning that veterinary care for virtually every other type of pet is seeing substantial declines,” says Dr. Douglas Aspros, president of the AVMA. “This trend is worrisome, not only in terms of the pet’s health but in terms of public health, because some diseases, such as intestinal parasites, can be transmitted from pets to family members. Our pets—no matter if they have fur, feathers, shells or scales—earn our love, respect
and appropriate veterinary care to keep them healthy and as comfortable as possible. A good guideline for all pet owners is to allow their pets to enjoy the very best life by taking them in for a veterinary visit at least once a year to help maintain optimal health.”
Cats second best?
There are more cats in America than dogs—74.1 million cats compared to 70 million dogs—but more people own dogs (43.3 million households) than own cats (36.1 million). The reason for this disparity is that cat owners are more likely to own more than one cat than dog owners are to own more than one dog.
Unfortunately, cats are suffering from an increasing lack of veterinary care. The number of cat-owning households that made no trips at all to the veterinarian in 2011 increased by a staggering 24 percent from 2006. Only 55.1 percent of cat owners made at least one visit to the veterinarian in 2011, which is down 13.5 percent from 2006.
“We see in the latest Sourcebook that there are 1.4 million fewer cat-owning households in America in 2011 compared to 2006, but even more concerning is the declining numbers for veterinary care that our cats receive,” explains Dr. Jane Brunt, executive director of the CATalyst Council, a national initiative comprised of animal health and welfare organizations working to improve the health and welfare of cats. “The AVMA survey shows us that, while we love our cats, we’re much less likely to take them into the veterinarian for regular care. Cats are wonderful, loving pets, but they are also masters at disguising any symptoms of illness. You need your veterinarian’s knowledge and skill to make sure your kitty is healthy.”
Furry Family Matters
The downturn in veterinary care for cats flies in the face of the fact that more cat owners (and pet owners in general) consider their pets to be family members. In 2006, 49.2 percent of cat owners said that they consider their pet to be a family member, which rose to 56.1 percent in 2011. The Sourcebook shows that the strength of the bond between pets and their owners impacts how much veterinary care the pet will receive. Cat owners who consider their cats members of the family went to the veterinarian 1.9 times on average in 2011, 1.2 times if they considered the cat a pet/companion, and just 0.5 times if they consider the animal to be property.
Dog owners were more likely to take their pets into the veterinarian than cat owners. Dog owners who said they consider the animal to be a family member went to the veterinarian, on average, 2.9 times in 2011, compared to 2 times for those who consider their dog a pet/companion and 1.2 times for those who consider their dog property.
AVMA’s U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook offers a wealth of information on pet ownership, pet owner profiles, trends, veterinary medical use and expenditures and is for sale on the AVMA website. For more information about the AVMA or to obtain a copy of the U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, visit www.avma.org.
The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 84,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities.
34 Texas dog bite fatalities were recorded during this period; more than any other state. Pit bulls were responsible for 76% of the total recorded deaths. Impediments to reduce these deaths include the One Bite rule and the 1991 statewide measure that prohibits breed-specific laws.
Austin, TX, March 20, 2013 --(PR.com)-- DogsBite.org, a national dog bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks, releases a report of Texas dog bite fatalities from January 1, 2005 to February 17, 2013. During this period, 34 Texans suffered death due to a dog mauling, making Texas the leading state in the nation for dog bite-related fatalities. Pit bulls inflicted 76% (26) of these deaths, followed by the next most lethal dog breed, rottweilers, inflicting 15% (5).
DogsBite.org began reviewing Texas dog bite fatality data after a second Texas toddler was killed by a chained pit bull in under a 1-month period this year. Last year in the U.S., chained dogs killed two individuals. In the first 47 days of 2013, Texas matched this national statistic. Of the 6 total chaining deaths in Texas, pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for 100%. Each chaining fatality involved a child 4-years old or younger and occurred in a rural or semi-rural area of Texas.
Victim data from the Texas report showed that 68% (23) of the victims were children ages 11-years and younger. Of this group, 52% (12) were ages 2 and younger. Dog ownership data from the Texas report showed that family dogs comprised 53% (18) of all attacks that ended in human death and 88% (30) of the attacks occurred on the dog owner's property. The combined years of 2006 and 2007 accounted for 38% (13) of all Texas dog bite fatalities during the period.
Texas counties with the most fatal dog attack occurrences include: Harris County (5) followed by Bexar County (4) and Montgomery County (3).
The Texas report also highlights the need to reform Texas laws and the two main impediments to achieving this reform: The One Bite rule, which omits civil liability for the dog's first bite (or first mauling, maiming or death) and the 1991 statewide anti-BSL measure, which prohibits breed-specific laws. The Texas report emphasizes the 1988 and 2011 medical injury studies from Texas doctors; both medical studies explicitly focus on injuries and deaths inflicted by pit bulls.
The report names several progressive Texas cities -- Fort Worth, Garland and San Antonio -- that have implemented proactive animal control policies despite state imposed limitations that deny municipalities from directly targeting the two most lethal dog breeds in Texas. The report briefly outlines each policy and offers links to related FAQs and municipal code. All three policies share two key provisions: preventing new attacks and holding dog owners more responsible.
Please click the below link to see the full Texas report:
Report: Texas Dog Bite Fatalities, January 1, 2005 to February 17, 2013
- American Pet Products Association (APPA) releases the 2013-2014 National Pet Owners Survey, the most comprehensive consumer research providing insight on demographics, buying habits, and other traits of U.S. owners of dogs, cats, fish, birds, equine, reptiles, and small animals.-
(GREENWICH, Conn.) – Bob Vetere, president & CEO of the American Pet Products Association (APPA) is pleased to announce the release of the 2013-2014 National Pet Owners Survey. Pet ownership in the United States is at a record high thanks in part to pet owners’ willingness to promote owning a pet to others. Nearly one-half of pet owners report they heard of their pet’s availability by word-of-mouth. The Survey indicates that pet ownership among all U.S. households is 68 percent. This equates to an increase to 82.5 million pet owning households in 2012.
“As an industry, we have been working very hard to promote the joys and benefits of responsible pet ownership and we are thrilled to see that more people are opening their homes and sharing their families with pets than ever before,” said APPA President and CEO Bob Vetere. “We believe that key initiatives have contributed to the growth and increasing word-of-mouth including the formation of the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative two years ago, a large national social media campaign called Pets Add Life, school program, Pets in the Classroom and public service ad campaign, The Shelter Pet Project.”
Coincident with the increase in overall pet ownership is a comparable gain in the total number of households owning a dog or cat. Dog ownership swelled to 56.7 million households, while cat ownership grew to 45.3 million. These gains in dog and cat owning households mean that the total number of these pets has also increased. The current Survey reports a total of 83.3 million dogs and 95.6 million cats in the U.S.
Ownership Level by Species
While the number of households owning a pet has increased in all categories from the last survey, the proportion of ownership by species has remained fairly stable. Dogs and cats are still the most popular species, owned by 46.7 percent and 37.3 percent of U.S. households, respectively. After a decline in 2010, freshwater fish returned to ownership levels previously reported from 2000 to 2008 (12 percent). The same can be said for bird ownership, which dipped in 2008 and 2010 to five percent, but is now back up to 5.7 percent. Horse ownership rebounded in 2012, returning to 2.3 percent after a slight drop in 2010. Small animal and reptile ownership levels have increased to 5.7 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively. Saltwater fish ownership saw an increase as well, at 1.5 percent of the total (online) U.S. population. More households than ever before own small animals, reptiles or saltwater fish.
Multiple Pet Ownership
An increase in multiple pet owning households also contributed to the overall growth in pet ownership. The Survey reveals that multiple pet ownership is at an all-time high, of 53.4 million in 2012. Similar to years past, the most popular combination of pets owned is a dog and cat, as noted by 29 percent of pet owners in 2012. Approximately 40 percent of pet owning households own multiple types of pets. Industry initiatives such as Pets Add Life and Maddie’s Fund have specifically targeted multiple pet owning households based on the idea that people with an affinity to pets already are more likely to add another to their household.
How Owners Learn of Pet’s Availability
A new question in the Survey asked owners to indicate how they learned of the availability of their pet. Between 40 and 50 percent of pet owners learned their pet was available through word of mouth, making it the most popular method. Signs and billboards are the least popular, with between two and 15 percent of respondents citing them as an awareness source.
Amount Spent on Pets in the Past 12 Months
As might be expected, food is one of the highest annual expenses for owners of all species, except freshwater fish, with $239 spent on food for dogs, and $203 spent on food for cats. Veterinarian visits, whether emergency, sick, surgical or routine, are also named as top expenses, particularly among dog, cat, and bird owners. Boarding is another item of significant expense for owners, with an average of $327 spent on dog boarding, $337 on cat boarding and $3,584 spent on boarding horses. It is also worth noting that for many common expenses, dog owners spend more, on average, than cat owners. For example, amounts spent on beds, treats, grooming, heartworm medication, leashes, surgical vet visits and toys for dogs are close to double amounts spent on those same items for cats.
Caring for a Pet’s Health
Increases in both dollar amount spent and services provided indicate pet owners’ priority in caring for their pets’ health. With pet insurance expected to increase in 2013, it is another sign of pet owners treating their pets like a true member of the family. The use of pet meds and supplements to ensure longer, healthier lives for pets is increasing as well.
The complete 2013-2014 APPA National Pet Owners Survey includes more than 500 pages of detailed information on pets. The Survey will be available for purchase online at www.americanpetproducts.org.
The American Pet Products Association (APPA) is the leading not-for-profit trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958. APPA membership includes more than 1,000 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers, representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises. APPA's mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper. Visit www.americanpetproducts.org for more information.
New York, NY – Results from a recent American Kennel Club (AKC®) survey reveal that when asked if they could have anyone as their Valentine, the majority of people (65%) would pick their dog!
There’s nothing better than coming home to your loving four-legged friend wagging his tail in excitement to see you, so it comes as no surprise that the number one canine quality respondents wished their human Valentines had is that they’re always happy to see them (40%). Following not far behind is “willing to go anywhere with you” at 25%, “loves snuggling” at 15%, and “doesn’t talk back” at 12%.
“Some think it’s a myth, but puppy love really does exist! When your dog looks at you with those big eyes and you think he just wants some treats, think again,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “Dogs locking eyes with their owners can genuinely be a look of love and not just a form of begging. Dogs can develop this behavior with human companions they are very close with.”
Additional survey findings include:
- 63% of respondents will spend Valentine’s day with their dogs.
- Nearly 67% of people have bought their dogs a gift for the holiday. Among the most popular gifts were toys and treats.
- 66% of respondents answered that they will be making Valentine’s Day special for their dog.
- When asked what their dog would pick as the perfect way to spend the holiday together, 32% responded that their dog would choose to cuddle on the couch, followed closely by a stroll on the beach with 27%, and a trip to the dog park (16%).
To learn about responsible dog ownership, visit the AKC website at www.akc.org.
The survey was conducted during a one week period in February 2013. Self-selecting methods were used in recruitment for this study. AKC does not guarantee that these statistics are scalable to the overall population. This data is for anecdotal purposes only.
The American Kennel Club, founded in 1884, is a not-for-profit organization which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Along with its nearly 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 20,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Companion Animal Recovery and the AKC Museum of the Dog. For more information, visit www.akc.org.
(ANNAPOLIS, Maryland) December 5, 2012—Across the country, many leaders in the animal care and control community rated the strong relationship they have with their local veterinarians as unique, but a recent study shows that it might not be as unique as they think.
CATalyst Council, a national initiative comprised of animal health and welfare organizations working on behalf of cats, recently conducted a nationwide survey of shelters, animal rescue groups, veterinarians and technicians to evaluate the nature of the relationship that exists between those groups.
“We had heard again and again that there are many communities where the relationship between veterinarians and shelter groups is adversarial, so we set out to find out if that is the case and how we can help strengthen those relationships. Surprisingly, only 17% of veterinarians and 2% of shelter respondents believe that, in general, shelter-veterinary relationships are adversarial. Further, when asked about their own communities, only 5% of veterinarians and 1% of shelters categorized their relationship in that manner,” says Dr. Jane Brunt, CATalyst Council’s executive director.
The survey, facilitated by Advanstar Veterinary Group and Petfinder.com, also revealed that many respondents would like to further strengthen their relationships. Even though the survey was designed to be anonymous, the overwhelming majority of participants chose to provide their contact information so they could receive tips on how to enhance their relationship and information regarding programs for partnering with veterinarians and shelter groups in their community.
Past chair of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators and current CATalyst Council chair, Jan McHugh-Smith agrees. “These results underscore the fact that there is a real interest in collaboration in those communities, which was a very pleasant surprise. When collaboration is the top priority everyone in the community benefits and at the top of the list are all the pets that now have a loving home where they can receive a lifetime of care.”
Additional findings from the survey as well as a tool that communities can use to score the relationships that exist in their area will be released at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Florida at 5:30 PM Saturday, January 19, 2013 in the Sun Ballroom 1-3 at the Gaylord hotel and highlighted in upcoming DVM Magazine and Veterinary Economics publications.
The CATalyst Council is a national organization which includes a wide variety of animal health and welfare organizations as well as corporate members of the animal health industry working together to improve the health and welfare of America’s favorite pet. It was founded in response to troubling statistics released by the American Veterinary Medical Association that indicate an increase in our nation’s pet cat population coupled with a decline in veterinary care for those cats. More information about the CATalyst Council is available at .
(Aug. 10, 2012)—Katie Lisnik, director of cat protection and policy for The Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement in response to the cat predation study recently released by University of Georgia researcher Kerrie Anne Loyd: “A recent study on cat predation, while well intentioned, does not greatly expand our overall understanding of the dynamics of the issue. Some outdoor cats do prey on wildlife, but their contribution to reductions in wildlife populations is hotly debated and not fully understood. The study tracks only 55 pet cats – of whom only 17 pursued prey, with birds constituting only 12 percent of the prey. We urge caution in the extrapolation of this study’s results to policy responses based on the limited findings, which have not been peer reviewed. This is a problem that requires cat and wildlife advocates to come together to find a solution." The HSUS advocates for cats and wildlife, and urges pet owners to keep cats indoors. Community cats living outdoors must be managed in a way that effectively and humanely reduces their numbers through trap-neuter-return (TNR), the proven approach of safely removing the cats, spaying or neutering them and returning them to a managed colony. By using TNR responsibly and finding homes for kittens and adoptable cats, this strategy can help reduce reproduction while improving the lives of existing ferals. Facts: Follow The HSUS on Twitter. The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.
(Aug. 10, 2012)—Katie Lisnik, director of cat protection and policy for The Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement in response to the cat predation study recently released by University of Georgia researcher Kerrie Anne Loyd:
“A recent study on cat predation, while well intentioned, does not greatly expand our overall understanding of the dynamics of the issue. Some outdoor cats do prey on wildlife, but their contribution to reductions in wildlife populations is hotly debated and not fully understood. The study tracks only 55 pet cats – of whom only 17 pursued prey, with birds constituting only 12 percent of the prey. We urge caution in the extrapolation of this study’s results to policy responses based on the limited findings, which have not been peer reviewed. This is a problem that requires cat and wildlife advocates to come together to find a solution."
The HSUS advocates for cats and wildlife, and urges pet owners to keep cats indoors. Community cats living outdoors must be managed in a way that effectively and humanely reduces their numbers through trap-neuter-return (TNR), the proven approach of safely removing the cats, spaying or neutering them and returning them to a managed colony. By using TNR responsibly and finding homes for kittens and adoptable cats, this strategy can help reduce reproduction while improving the lives of existing ferals.
Follow The HSUS on Twitter.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.
Olympia, WA: Animal protection (and workers’ rights) ranked highest among a list of eight social causes, according to the latest Animal Tracker survey from the Humane Research Council (HRC).
HRC conducted a representative survey of U.S. adults regarding attitudes toward various social justice causes and animal protection issues. The Animal Tracker survey found a high level of support for the animal protection movement. In fact, animal protection and workers’ rights enjoyed more support from U.S. adults than other social justice causes.
More respondents rated their opinion of these movements as “favorable” than any other social movement listed on the survey, including tax reform, homeless advocacy, immigration reform, gay/lesbian rights, environmentalism, and the pro-life (anti-abortion) cause. Further, the animal protection movement is the only cause for which support has not decreased significantly since 2008, the first year the Animal Tracker was conducted.
“The survey results clearly show that people understand the importance of animal protection and support the good work being done by animal advocates,” said the Humane Research Council’s Executive Director, Che Green. “After decades of struggling for recognition, the animal protection cause is now considered one of the paramount social justice issues of modern times.”
The survey also revealed that people are most likely to find veterinarians credible on issues of animal welfare and animal protection, and least likely to find attorneys, businesses or corporations credible sources of information. Though animal protection is important to many U.S. adults, there is still a lack of knowledge about some issues facing animals. At least one-quarter of U.S. adults do not know or have an opinion about the adequacy of laws protecting animals in various situations, including animals in pounds and shelters, endangered species, and animals raised for food.
The 2012 Animal Tracker survey was administered to 1,072 U.S. adults. The survey was fielded between March 23rd and April 2nd using the Knowledge Networks panel, which combines online and offline survey methods. All results were adjusted statistically to accurately represent the U.S. adult population.
The Humane Research Council is a nonprofit research organization that helps animal advocates inform and improve their efforts. HRC conducts independent research and provides resources and services to animal advocates. More online at www.HumaneResearch.org.
Findings also indicate strong opposition to “ag-gag” legislation
NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that a newly released poll conducted by Lake Research Partners reveals that 71 percent of Americans support undercover investigative efforts by animal welfare organizations to expose animal abuse on industrial farms, including 54 percent who strongly support the efforts. Accordingly, almost two-thirds (64 percent) of Americans oppose making undercover investigations of animal abuse on industrial farms illegal, with half of all Americans strongly opposing legislative efforts to criminalize industrial farm investigations, commonly referred to as “ag-gag” legislation.
The nationwide survey also reveals that 94 percent of Americans feel that it is important (81 percent “extremely important”) to have measures in place to ensure that food coming from farm animals is safe for people to eat, and 94 percent agree that animals raised for food on farms deserve to be free from abuse and cruelty.
“We are very encouraged that the public recognizes the importance of these investigations and the threats that ag-gag bills pose to American values,” said Suzanne McMillan, director of the ASPCA’s farm animal welfare campaign. “Americans deserve to know where their food comes from and how it is produced, and the industry should welcome that transparency.”
Ag-gag bills seek to criminalize investigations on farms, often declaring it illegal to take photos or videos on industrial farms. Some of these bills would even go so far as to criminalize the possession and/or distribution of such videos and photographs, a serious First Amendment threat that effectively bans whistleblowers—including employees—from exposing illegal and unethical practices at industrial farms such as sexual harassment, worker and environmental violations. In addition, these bills have the potential to shield slaughter plants and puppy mills from legitimate investigations.
According to the survey, opposition to the criminalization of undercover industrial farm investigations is strong across every key demographic and geographic group, including political affiliation:
- Men: 65 percent
- Women: 63 percent
- Under the age of 55: 65 percent
- Fifty-five and older: 63 percent
- Northeast: 75 percent
- Midwest: 63 percent
- South: 58 percent
- West: 65 percent
- Political Affiliation:
- Democrats: 69 percent (55 percent oppose the ban strongly)
- Republicans: 59 percent (50 percent strongly)
- Independents: 62 percent
The ASPCA and its members lobbied strongly to prohibit these provisions from passing in Florida, Iowa, Minnesota and New York in 2011. This year, ag-gag legislation is being considered in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Utah. Ag-gag proposals were also being considered as part of two bills in Florida, but lawmakers in January decided to remove the controversial language after pressure from constituents and animal protection groups.
For more information on the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org.
Lake Research Partners designed and administered this nationwide survey with 798 American adults. The survey was conducted over the telephone (n=605; 20% via cell phone), using professional interviewers, and over the Internet from a national sample of Internet users (n=193). The survey was conducted January 12-19, 2012. The margin of error for the total sample is +/-3.47 percentage points, and larger for sub-groups. The data were slightly weighted by gender, race, age, and region to ensure a comprehensive representation of the adult U.S. population.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org.
To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/aspca. To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/aspca.