Having a pet is one the greatest joys we can have as humans as our “fur babies” provide endless amounts of love, affection, and devotion.  I was curious as of recently though and wanted to better understand which states have the highest rate of pet parents?  Having a pet comes with a lot of responsibility both for the daily care of said pet, but also vet visits, supplies, every day needs as your pet ages.  Which States show the most love to our four legged (and not four legged) companions?

Surely, it has to be the West Coast right?  Maybe down South they are more pet friendly?  I got to doing some research and found an article from 2020 that highlighted exactly what I was looking for.

Here is what I found:

Top Ten and Bottom Ten States Pet Ownership Rates:

Top 10 pet-owning states (percentage of households that owned a pet):The 10 states with the fewest pet-owning households (percentage of households that owned a pet):
1. Wyoming: 71.8%1. District of Columbia: 38.2%
2. West Virginia: 70.7%2. Rhode Island: 45.4%
3. Vermont: 70%3. South Dakota: 46.4%
4. Idaho: 69.9%4. New Jersey: 47.4%
5. Indiana: 69.2%5. Maryland: 48.6%
6. Arkansas: 69%6. Illinois: 48.6%
7. Mississippi: 65.5%7. Massachusetts: 49.1%
8. Oklahoma: 65%8. New York: 49.7%
9. Kentucky: 64.1%9. Connecticut: 49.9%
10. North Dakota: 63.7%10. Georgia: 51.1%


Now that top and bottom ten includes all pets.  What about a list strictly for Dogs and Cats?


Top and Bottom 10 States for Dog Ownership:


States with the most dog owners (percentage of households that owned a dog):States with the fewest dog owners (percentage of households that owned a dog):
1. Montana: 51.9%1. New Hampshire: 23.7%
2. Arkansas: 51.6%2. Connecticut: 24%
3. Mississippi: 51%3. Rhode Island: 25.8%
4. West Virginia: 49.6%4. New York: 27%
5. Indiana: 49.4%5. Colorado: 27.1%
6. Oklahoma: 47.7%6. Vermont: 28.3%
7. Nebraska: 47.1%7. Massachusetts: 28.9%
8. Tennessee: 47%8. New Jersey: 29.1%
9. Alabama: 46.9%9. Maryland: 30.2%
10. Kentucky: 46.5%10. South Dakota: 32.1%


As you can see, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Arkansas are states that LOVE their pets.  They all rank in the top ten for overall for Pet ownership and Dog ownership.  Meanwhile states more on the East Coast and South Dakota rank on the lower end when it comes to overall pet ownership and dog ownership.


What about Cats?


Top and Bottom Ten States for Cat Ownership:


States with the most cat owners (percentage of households that owned a cat):States with the fewest cat owners (percentage of households that owned a cat):
1. Vermont: 44.6%1. Rhode Island: 16.7%
2. Maine: 43.6%2. Maryland: 18.6%
3. West Virginia: 37.7%3. New Jersey: 18.%
4. Indiana: 37.5%4. Louisiana: 19%
5. New Hampshire: 36.4%5. Georgia: 20.4%
6. Iowa: 35.6%6. Texas: 20.5%
7. Arkansas: 34.8%7. Illinois: 21%
8. Idaho: 34.4%8. New York: 21.1%
9. Kansas: 32.4%9. Montana: 22.8%
10. Wisconsin: 32.4%10. California: 22.9%


Interesting to see the states kind of flip flop when it comes to Cat Ownership.  While Indiana, West Virginia, and Arkansas remain on the list from Top Ten Dog ownership and now Cat Ownership, States like Vermont and New Hampshire rank in the Top Ten for Cat Ownership, but Bottom Ten for Dog Ownership.


A fun fact to note here is the District of Columbia ranks at the bottom overall for Cat, Dog and Pet Ownership, but was excluded from this list.  Also fun to note that Wyoming has the highest overall Pet ownership rates, but not in the Top Ten in either Dog or Cats.  Curious to know what other pets are taken into account in this study?  Exotic pets, such as fish, ferrets, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, turtles, snakes, lizards, poultry, livestock and amphibians help contribute to these overall numbers and a growing percentage of American households have something from this list that isn’t a Dog or a Cat, but still a part of their family.


Also as an Ohio based company, I want to note that Ohio ranked 25th in Dog ownership, 15th in Cat ownership and 16th overall in Pet ownership.  We have to step up our game in Ohio.  There isn’t much else here going on, so why not get some fun pets to keep you company!


What are your thoughts on the list?  Do you live in a state that ranked in the bottom ten, but are a Pet Parent?  Let us know in the comments!