Where Are Americans Getting Their Pets?



It’s no secret that pet ownership is on the rise. In fact, just this year 7 million households are expected to gain a new dog and 5 million are expected to add a new cat.


But where are all these pets coming from? According to a new report by market research firm Packaged Facts, a growing number are from rescues.


The report, “U.S. Pet Market Focus: New Dog and Cat Owners," found that pet shelters and rescue sources are the leading method of acquisition for new animals. One-third (34 percent) of new dogs and 30 percent of new cats are reportedly adopted from these sources.


The Package Facts research also explored the motivations behind these adoptions. The top reasons for getting a new cat or dog included:


• love of cats or dogs


• companionship for themselves or other household members


• for personal mental health or stress reduction benefits


• companionship for children in the household (notably this is most true for households adopting canines)


For families looking to adopt a new pup, size appeared to be the biggest determining factor. According to the report, a majority of newly adopted dogs are medium-sized or smaller. The report also found that few new dog owners researched dog breeds for suitability (i.e. disposition, exercise needs, barking, tendency to get along with children) prior to adoption.


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