Over the years, pets have evolved from being a strange and wonderful distraction to an integral part of families all over the world. As human populations have grown, so too have pet populations, and with so many pets on the planet it’s fascinating to see just how this population is dispersed.

It’s no surprise that man’s best friend, the dog, is the most loved household pet, but did you know fish and birds were a close second? What drives certain countries to be so pet obsessed, while others are seemingly uninterested? Did you know that Brazilians love small dogs while Saudis prefer the bigger breeds?

Read on to learn which nations have the world’s largest populations of dogs, cats, birds, and fish, and some other interesting pet facts from around the world.

TOP 20
DOG POPULATIONS
dog
USA 69,929,000
Brazil 35,800,000
China 27,400,000
Russia 12,520,000
Japan 12,000,000
Philippines 11,600,000
India 10,200,000
Argentina 9,200,000
UK 9,000,000
France 7,570,000
South Africa 7,400,000
Poland 7,311,000
Italy 7,000,000
Germany 5,300,000
Ethiopia 5,000,000
Spain 4,720,000
Romania 4,166,000
Australia 3,700,000
Czech Republic 3,152,000
Hungary 2,856,000
TOP 20
CAT POPULATIONS
cat
USA 74,059,000
China 53,100,000
Russia 17,800,000
Brazil 12,466,000
France 11,480,000
Germany 8,200,000
UK 8,000,000
Italy 7,400,000
Ukraine 7,350,000
Japan 7,300,000
Poland 5,550,000
Romania 3,891,000
Spain 3,385,000
Argentina 3,000,000
Netherlands 2,877,000
Hungary 2,240,000
Australia 2,200,000
South Africa 2,000,000
Belgium 1,884,100
Czech Republic 1,750,000
TOP 20
BIRD POPULATIONS
bird
Brazil 191,001,000
Italy 13,000,000
USA 8,300,000
Australia 7,800,000
France 6,200,000
Netherlands 4,490,000
Spain 3,718,000
Germany 3,500,000
Russia 2,800,000
Belgium 2,700,000
Poland 1,300,000
UK 1,000,000
Greece 980,000
Portugal 640,000
New Zealand 527,000
Hungary 445,000
Switzerland 383,000
Sweden 322,000
Austria 281,000
Romania 264,000
TOP 20
FISH POPULATIONS
fish
USA 57,750,000
France 37,300,000
Brazil 26,500,000
Australia 20,500,000
UK 20,000,000
Germany 2,000,000
New Zealand 1,678,000
Italy 1,540,000
Russia 770,000
Netherlands 708,000
Sweden 262,000
Poland 231,000
Spain 170,000
Switzerland 169,000
Belgium 146,000
Romania 96,000
Portugal 74,000
Austria 71,000
Hungary 58,000
Greece 38,000

pet-facts

  • Americans spend
    over $50 billion
    per annum on
    their pets.
  • 27% of American
    pet owners admit
    to having had professional
    photographs
    taken of their pets.2
  • 36% of Americans
    give their dog
    birthday presents.
  • 9 in 10 Americans say
    they consider
    their pet to
    be a part
    of their
    family.
  • More than half of all Americans
    have a dog or a cat in their home.
  • 555,000
    households in
    the United States
    have a pet snake.
  • Pet ownership in the US
    has more
    than tripled

    since the
    1970s.
  • Half of all pet owners in the USA
    admit to
    talking to
    their pets.
  • Romania has the world’s most
    balanced pet population, with 45%
    of households owning dogs and
    45%
    of households owning cats.
  • While Switzerland’s dog
    population is shrinking, India
    has the fastest growing dog
    population in the world.
  • Norwegians spend the most
    money feeding their dogs, totalling
    roughly $629 a year, while
    Vietnamese spend the least.
  • Fish are the most
    popular
    pet
    in the UK.
  • Brazil has the highest
    number of small dogs per
    capita in the world.
  • 68% of New Zealand households
    own a pet, higher than
    any other country on
    the planet.
  • Saudi Arabia has the world’s
    highest proportion of big
    dogs, with 70% of their
    dog population
    belonging
    to a large breed.
  • 92% of Aussie cats
    and 76% of
    Aussie dogs
    are kept
    indoors.
  • 83% of Australians
    have had a pet at
    some point in
    their lives.
  • 53% of Aussies
    without
    a pet would
    like
    to own one.
  • Australian pet owners visit their doctors
    less
    than non pet owners, and they also
    recover from illness faster.
  • In Australia, 20% of Gen Y pet owners
    have pet insurance, compared
    to 12% of their baby boomer
    counterparts.

Sources

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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals