Dog Activities, Dog Lifestyle, Pet Health

Important Dog Statistics and Facts Updated 2023 (Some May Surprise You!)

Dog statistics are the truth.  The statistics and facts you find below are about the dog industry and our relationships and the growth of dogs in our lives.  These dog statistics updated are not only interesting but can add to a news story or article.

Dog looking at a computer sitting on a desk that have a bunch of statistics on the screen about dogs.

Dog Population Statistics Percentage of Households with Dogs

54% of American households in the U.S. have dogs as family members. See source

Seattle is the U.S. city with the highest dog ownership and most dogs per capita (246.67 per 1,000 inhabitants), while Miami, Florida., placed second (187.66 per 1,000) and San Francisco landed seventh (139.87 per 1,000). See source

The dog population around the world is over 900 million in 2022 (500 million in 2012). See source

82% of millennial pet owners have a dog. See source

32% of pets are owned by millennials, 27% by Baby boomers, 24% by Gen X, 14% by Generation Z, and 3% by unknown. See source

According to a 2021 survey, 90.5 million US households own a pet, and 69 million of these number of households own dogs. See source

Baby boomers and millennials are the largest percent increase in dog ownership.

Dogs have not always topped the list of the most popular pet in America. U.S. pet ownership has propelled in the last 20 years to the staggering number of households owning a dog which almost ⅔ of all households in the U.S. As a result there has also been a 298% increase in household spending on their dogs. See source

Dogs and Mental Health Statistics

Dogs are supporting our mental health and have propelled themselves to be the most popular and favorite pet in America for a number of reasons including:

What we all know is their lovable personality,

A higher divorce rate,

Larger disposable income,

We know that dogs make us happy for many reasons in addition to their ability to provide unconditional love

Dogs can also increase our mood and reduce stress and depression

The growth of the internet has allowed us to find a dog we fall in love with more easily

The growth of technology and reduced social interactions

Petting a dog increases oxytocin.  It is the same hormone that bonds mothers to their babies. So, pets are capable of making their owners feel better and feel happier.

Dogs can bring down blood pressure. Stress is associated with increased blood pressure and heart rate. The lowering of cortisol hormone by petting and cuddling with your pet also help keep your blood pressure at bay. Pets promote relaxation and may help relieve these stress symptoms. 

Dog Health Care and Insurance Statistics

82% of insured pets are dogs. See source.

Vet in a white jacket looking into a brown dogs mouth to look for teeth issues.
The average dog visits the vet more than once per year.

The average dog visits the veterinarian 2.7 times per year, which is the highest rate of any pet except birds, which visit 3.1 times per year. American Veterinary Medical Association

With mammary cancer, there is a 50/50/50 rule out of 100 dogs with a bump 50% will be malignant. 25% will prove fatal.

Research at Tufts has shown that cats in a home of smokers are 2.5 times more likely to develop cancer and vets believe that the same prevalence would be for dogs. See source

In 2021, the APCC call volume increased more than 22%, and the team assisted 401,550 animals of all sizes and species across all 50 states, with cases ranging from gardening product toxicity to essential oil ingestion. See source

Human over-the-counter (OTC) medications lead the top toxin list for the fourth year in a row and make up more than 17 percent of APCC’s call volume. While pet owners tend to be more careful with food items they know are toxic such as chocolate, human medications are more dangerous given pets’ smaller size and their accessibility to pets around the home.

  • Human prescription medications came in at number two with antidepressants, cardiac, and ADHD medications being the main concern.
  • Food products remain near the top of the list at number three, making up 14 percent of APCC cases last year. The most common food product cases include ingestion of protein bars and shakes, xylitol, garlic and onions, and grapes and raisins.
  • Remaining in the fourth spot for several years is chocolate. APCC averages over 103 cases of chocolate ingestion per day, which results in more than one case every 15 minutes.
  • As pandemic hobbies such as gardening continued to be popular in 2021, indoor and outdoor plants remained in the top five. APCC received over 7,500 more calls related to plant ingestion when compared to 2020.
  • The last five items on the top toxin list include household items such as cleaning products and paint; veterinary products including calming chews and joint medications; rodenticides and insecticides; and gardening products such as fertilizers.

See source

Dogs and Relationships Statistics

54% of Dog Owners Would Consider Ending a Relationship if Their Dog Didn’t Like Their Partner. See source

Blonde Shephard like dog on hard surface with a woman in jeans and white shirt.

In a 2022, study, performed by The Popular Pets, 52% of males and 48% of American females between the ages of 25 and 45, would rather spend Valentine’s Day with their dog, and 84% of males surveyed would buy a Valentine’s Day Gift for their dog. See source

Women are more likely to own a pet (58%) compared to men (49%) See source

The Term man’s best friend In fact, the phrase “man’s best friend” originated in the American Supreme Court in 1870 when a talented lawyer named George Graham Vest defended a man who deeply loved his coon hound named Old Drum. Vest argued that when a neighbor killed Old Drum for trespassing, the neighbor took the life of more than just a pet—he killed an important family member.

Vest famously stated, “The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world—the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous—is his dog.” See source

Dog Owner Purchasing Habits

The average lifetime cost of raising a dog is $23,410 See source

The average dog owner in the US spends $1,201 per year on their pet. In contrast, the average cat owner in the US spends $687 per year on their pet. See source

Small fawn bulldog in a black bat costume.
Many dog owners buy outfits and costumes for their pets

40% of dog owners and 25% of cat owners buy clothing or costumes for their pet. See source

Animals in Crisis Statistics

More statistics from the 2021 dataset from Best Friends Animal Society:

  • Animal Shelters are working hard to save lives. Though there was a large increase in intake that went up by 8.1 percent, the number of dogs and cats killed increased by just 2.3 percent.
  • The national save rate for dogs and cats in pet shelters is at 83 percent, representing a 77 percent reduction in dogs and cats killed in shelters since 2017 when Best Friends first start tracking this data.
  • Five states make up fifty percent of the overall number of dogs and cats killed in 2021 (Texas, California, North Carolina, Florida, and Alabama).
  • More than half of all U.S. shelters are now no-kill compared to 22.5 percent in 2017, and the number of no-kill counties in the U.S. went up 33 percent over the last five years.
  • New Hampshire and Delaware sustained their no-kill status, while Rhode Island, North Dakota, and Vermont needed to save less than 100 animals each to reach no-kill.

About 4.1 million animals are adopted from shelters each year in the United States. Approximately 2 million of these shelter animals are man’s best friend. See Source

An estimated Twenty percent of dogs are brought to shelters because they are too old and by that seemingly too demented. See source

Pet Industry Statistics

8 million dogs go to work with their owners See source

Global Pet Care Market Is Expected to Reach USD 358.62 billion by 2027 due to increasing pet populations See source

75-85% of all the dogs in the world are free-range See source For instance, we once were on a trip to Istanbul, Turkey and dogs roamed the streets with tags. They were provided food and water by the local government.

25% of dog owners say that they obtained their pet from an animal farm or a breeder, and 25% got their dog from either a friend or relative. See source

Breeds of Dogs Statistics

There are over 150 different dog breeds. See source

The Labrador Retriever is amongst the most popular breeds in the United States and the most registered breed in the American Kennel Club yet it has never won “Best in Show” at the Westminster Dog Show or the National Dog Show.

The Golden Retriever topped the list as the third most popular dog breed in the United States in 2021. However, this was based on the AKC registration statistics. Many dogs not purebred like the Doodles would not be registered and therefore not appear in these statistics. See source

Beige Mini Goldendoodle peeking out of a wooden bucket.
Doodles are increasing in popularity!

There are 61 different types of Doodle crosses. See source Check out 20 of them in our article What is with the Doodle: 20 Doodles and pictures

French Bulldogs are the second most registered dog in the United States and German Shepherd is number four. See source

The Cane Corso is the strongest dog breed in the world not American Pit Bull Terriers that comes instead in number five, even after a Great Dane and Siberian Husky. They are both majestic and strong and often used a protector. The Cane Corso was first bred for its loyalty and protective instincts in ancient Roman times. The breed is heavily muscled at often more than 100 pounds and 28 inches at the shoulder. It has an intimidating stance and clear intelligence behind its eyes. Because they are so imposing and able to so effectively scare away intruders, the Romans’ chosen name of Cane Corso for the breed translates from Latin as “bodyguard-dog. See source

Dog Name Statistics

We love dog names and the trends associated with a popular dog name but what we are always surprised with is how consistent popular pet naming is. I guess we are creatures of habit and trends in the pet naming world and move slowly, especially with our furry friends, despite so many creative dog name options.

Check out our dog naming quiz to test your trivia and discover the dog naming trends or non-trends in our Dog Name Quiz Here

Dog book Motherpuppin Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else's.
I love dog names so much that have an entire chapter in Motherpuppin’ Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s dedicated to dog naming!

The most popular puppy names for 2022

  1. Luna
  2. Bella
  3. Charlie
  4. Cooper
  5. Lucy
  6. Max
  7. Daisy
  8. Bailey
  9. Milo
  10. Sadie


Dog Sports Statistics

Dock diving, a dog water sport, is gaining in popularity and before the current North America Dock Diving Championships the record was 31 feet. Several dogs have jumped over 31 feet at the North American Dock Diving Championships. See source

Dog sports like Treiball, Frisbee and other water sports are increasing in popularity.

Dog World Records

Guinness World Records dictate many of the world’s statistics. For instance, the tallest dog ever in Guinness World Record History is Zeus. Putting the “Great” into his breed’s name, this mega Great Dane extra large mutt lived with the Doorlag family (all USA) until his death in 2014. He stood an unparalleled 111.8 cm (3 ft 8 in) from the ground to the withers (the ridge between the shoulders). To put that in context, it’s about the same as two golden retrievers standing on top of each another – or a stack of four pugs says the Guinness Book of World Records

The tallest living dog, meanwhile, is Freddy, yet another Great Dane, who hails from Essex, UK. When measured by a vet and GWR’s Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday, on 13 September 2016, he was a towering 103.5 cm (3 ft 4 in).

The shortest dog to ever live is according to the Guinness Book of World Records by height is Chihuahua Miracle Milly. Owned by Vanesa Semier (PRI) from Puerto Rico, Milly was a mere 9.65 cm (3.8 in) to the shoulder, as confirmed in 2013 – that means she is dwarfed by an average can of soda!

Senior Dog Statistics

Woman lying in the grass with an older dog hugging him.

We love Senior dogs at The Popular Pets and are inspired by our own senior dog Zooey. Companion animals like dogs age at various different stages but upon reaching the last third of their life they are referred to as Seniors. With this age group comes many health problems that result in surprising statistics.

There is no legal requirement for the content of senior dog food. Although the nation spends millions yearly on this food there is no mandated content unlike puppy food with very specific requirements of vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Holistic” “Premium” “Organic” and “food grade” have no legal meaning in dog food unlike at least for “organic” in the human food context.

One in five female dogs and an even larger proportion of large female adult dogs develop incontinence usually passing the urine while sleeping say the authors of the Good Old Dog.

Doberman Pinscher and Giant Schnauzers appear to be the dogs most affected by urinary incontinence say the authors of the Good Old Dog.

Cancer befalls 50% of dogs over 10 and 25% to 30% of dogs over the age of thirteen.

Canine heart disease is rarely about clogging arteries it is about a degradation of the valves called chronic valvular disease which accounts for 75-80% of all heart disease in dogs say the authors of the Good Old Dog.

An estimated 19 percent of dogs eleven to twelve years old (roughly seventy-seven to eighty-four in human years) have canine cognitive dysfunction; for dogs fifteen to seventeen years this increases to 47%.

An estimated Twenty percent of dogs are brought to shelters because they are too old and by that seemingly too demented as reported in The Good Old Dog Book on Amazon.

Dogs that Serve In the Military Statistics

As we discuss in our article on K9 Veterans, the United States military employs several thousand dogs in various roles. According to the US Department of Defense, there are approximately 2,300 active-duty military working dogs in the US Armed Forces. These dogs serve in various branches of the military, including the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.

These dogs undergo rigorous training and are highly skilled in a range of tasks, including explosives detection, patrol and security, search and rescue, and specialized tasks such as detecting drugs or medical conditions like low blood sugar in their handlers. Military working dogs play a vital role in supporting military operations, and they are often considered to be valuable members of the military team.

Find more dog advice and fun stories in our popular book called Motherpuppin’ Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s the perfect companion for navigating the best life with your dog. Learn more about this loved book.