Across America, dog ownership appears to be leveling off, with cats replacing dogs as the number-one domestic pet. Nevertheless, there are still 50 million households in the country where dogs remain supreme.
For sure there are a lot of people for whom dogs are still their first choice among pets. For many, a dog is just like having another child. Looking on the bright side it’s easy to say that dogs are fun companions and they can always be counted on to give you eager attention. Dog popularity remains high among a significant segment of the United States population,
For others in the country, the willingness to own and provide decent care for a dog may be slackening. In part, this may be a result of urbanization. While there are 50 million canines in homes and barns across the country, the number of cats has passed 56 million.
Authorities on the subject say that the absolute number of households with dogs in this country continues to grow, but the percentage with cats in them is greater. So you’re more likely to find a feline than a canine in any given home.
A leading dog food maker says that research is showing the canine population to be just about static, but that cats are gaining by leaps and bounds. There seems to be a lifestyle related edge to this. People who are employed appear to be looking for more low maintenance pets. This could be a reason why the growth curve of the number of dog owners is flattening out.
Herm David, writing in Dog World Magazine, noted that the reason for the shift may be changing demographics. The trends that favor increased rates of cat ownership over that of dogs include: the aging of the population; the increase in childless households; more families living in condominiums or other living arrangements where dog ownership is inconvenient; more families where all adults are working; and the maturing of the Baby Boom generation, with its being less stable socially and economically.
Merchandisers of dog care related products are probably going to be pressed into finding more creative ways to continue to bolster sales.
Some authorities on dog ownership and registrations have not noted any significant decrease in the dog populations going back to the 1970’s. They say that the trend toward fewer dog owning households is not as big as some have stated, and the variation is pretty much in line with what’s been seen over the years. With the current figures down a little, there is still no certainty that young people living in cities are going to shun dog ownership for the long term.
In more rural areas, there are increasing numbers of dog breeders. Demand for popular dog breeds like terriers and retrievers provides the motivation for farmers and other people with plenty of room to earn some extra income while enjoying dog ownership. Perhaps it will be the high prices paid for purebred dogs that is going to be a factor in decreasing rates of dog ownership compared with that of cats.