Pet-to-People Ratios?
November 16, 2006 8:23 AM   Subscribe

How many dogs per person do people have in various cities? Also, how many cats?

This question is inspired by the news stories in the last week about the new restrictions in Beijing regarding the number of dogs households can have. I want to understand this better. The news stories (wire services, CNN, etc) cite figures of 13 million people and 1 million dogs in that city, giving us a ratio of 13-to-1. How does this compare with New York, London, Los Angeles, elsewhere?

Please do not use your responses to editorialize about the subject. I do not want this question to devolve into chatfilter. All I am looking for is numbers, not opinions.
posted by Robert Angelo to Society & Culture (3 answers total)
At a recent Parks and Rec meeting here in Santa Cruz CA, it was stated that surveys found about 40% of people in the city live in households which have dogs - two surveys were quoted, giving 38% and 45%. One survey was by the Animal Rescue society, the other by a pressure group set up to keep Lighthouse Field as an off-leash area for recreation.

From discussions at the meeting, it seems that Santa Cruz has fewer dog facilitis than other communities in the region.

I don't know how many people live in the average household here, and I don't know if these numbers took account of households having more than one dog, or if it's just a ratio of the total number of dogs vs the total number of households.

Santa Cruz has a population of about 50,000 so doesn't compare with a big city, of course. When I lived in San Francisco there seemed fewer dogs than here.
posted by anadem at 9:45 AM on November 16, 2006

According to the Infoplease almanac 63% of american households have dogs, and 34% have cats. The dog number is in the ballpark with my vague memory of dog ownership rates in both Seattle and Portland.

As a SWAG, let's guess that the average American household size is 2 and that the average pet owner only has one of each species. That gives a ballpark of ~3:1 people to dogs, and ~6:1 people to cats.
posted by Good Brain at 9:47 AM on November 16, 2006

From this PDF: More than one-half of Canadian households (53%) own a cat or a dog, with one third of all households owning cats and one third owning dogs. One in ten households (13%) own both cats and dogs. The results suggest that there are over 7 million cats and over 5 million dogs living in Canadian homes.

It doesn't break it down to per person as far as I can tell. This is the best I could find with my weak Google-fu.

The mister and I have one dog and two cats in Abbotsford, BC.
posted by deborah at 9:22 PM on November 16, 2006

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