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Three in Five Americans Own Pets, Harris Poll Finds

Posted: June 10, 2011, 7:30 p.m., EDT

More than three in five Americans (62 percent) own at least one pet, according to The Harris Poll,  an online survey of 2,184 adults conducted by Harris Interactive between May 9 and May 16, 2011. The 62 percent figure matches the overall pet ownership statistic from the American Pet Products Association’s APPA National Pet Owners Survey 2011-2012.

Of the pet-owning respondents, 69 percent owned dogs, 51 percent owned cats, 11 percent reported owning fish, 7 percent reported owning one of more birds and 8 percent reported owning some other type of pet, Harris reported.

Of dog owners, 62 percent reported owning one dog, 25 percent reported owning two, 8 percent reported owning three, and 4 percent reported owning more than 4.

Of cat owners, 47 percent reported owning one cat, 30 percent owned two, 11 percent owned three, and 11 percent owned more than four.

Click to enlarge.Of bird owners, 61 percent reported owning one bird, 18 percent reported owing two, 8 percent reported owning three, 2 percent reported owning four and 10 percent reported owning more than six.

Not surprisingly, 32 percent of fish owners reported owning six or more fish, with 23 percent reporting owning one fish, 19 percent owning two fish and 26 percent owning between 3 and 5 fish.

The poll also asked about respondents about dogs in public places. The majority of respondents felt it was a good idea to have dogs in long-term care facilities (89 percent), hospitals (72 percent), and prisons (60 percent), but a bad idea to have dogs in professional offices (52 percent) and university libraries (55 percent). See table.

Among other findings, 91 percent of pet owners said they considered their pet to be a member of their family and 57 percent reported they frequently let their pet sleep in bed with them, compared to 23 percent who reported never allowing their pet to sleep with them.

Also, 60 percent of pet owners frequently or occasionally bought their pet a holiday present compared to 36 percent who frequently or occasionally bought their pet a birthday present.

Twelve percent reported frequently cooking especially for their pet and 13 percent occasionally cooked especially for their pet, Harris reported. Sixteen percent reported either frequently or occasionally dressing their pet in some sort of clothing.

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