Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Which Country Has the Highest Percentage of Pet Ownership in 2023? What Numbers Say

Elizabeth Gray

By Elizabeth Gray

australian sheperd dog kissing female on nose while being carried by owner

You can find pet owners in every country on earth, but some nations are especially packed with animal lovers. Global pet ownership has reached new heights during the past few years of the Covid-19 pandemic. If you’re curious about which country has the highest percentage of pet ownership, the answer is Argentina. In this article, we’ll list the top 10 countries with the highest percentage of pet owners across their populations.

The Top 10 Countries for Pet Ownership

1. Argentina

Percentage of pet owners: 80%
Population: 46,208,164

Argentina has the highest percentage of pet ownership in the world. In this country, dogs are the most popular pet, with 78% of households owning at least one. Pet ownership has increased as the middle class expands and individual wealth improves. People with disposable income spend it on their pets, splurging on accessories and gourmet pet food. Argentina also has a lot of pet-friendly housing, making it easy for people to keep pets.

pet owner petted the dog.
Image Credit: Markus Trier, Pixabay

2. Philippines

Percentage of pet owners: 79%
Population: 113,142,167

Asian countries typically rank low in the percentage of pet ownership, but the Philippines is one of the exceptions. It is just behind Argentina in the total percentage of pet owners. Filipino pet owners prefer dogs over any other pet. 81% of pet owners reported owning at least one dog. Cats, birds, and fish are also popular in the country. Although the country’s pet industry is growing, Filipinos don’t spend as much on their pets as other countries on our list.

3. Thailand

Percentage of pet owners: 71%
Population: 70,227,333

In Thailand, 70% of pet owners consider their pets part of the family. Pet ownership in this country has increased partly to cope with the stress of pandemic lockdowns and partly because of the popularity of a royal dog. Thailand’s previous king, who died in 2016, was frequently spotted with his dog, an adopted stray. The visibility of this royal dog led to improved standing and interest in keeping pets in Thailand. Pet spending is up in Thailand as well.

small dog with his owner's shoe
Image Credit: rad fx, Shutterstock

4. United States

Percentage of pet owners: 70%
Population: 332,403,650

The United States has reached a new high in the percentage of pet owners, with 70% of households possessing at least one pet. This is a 3% increase from 2019, reflecting global trends of higher pet ownership during the pandemic. Dogs are the most popular pet, with 69% of households reporting that they own at least one.

Cats and freshwater fish round out the top three. In addition to the pandemic, U.S. pet ownership and spending are primarily driven by younger generations delaying having kids and instead giving their time and money to pets.

5. Mexico

Percentage of pet owners: 70%
Population: 132,239,760

Mexico matches the United States in the percentage of pet owners, but dogs are much more prevalent in the country. Eighty percent of Mexican pet owners have a dog, while only 20% have a cat. Mexican pet owners are increasingly willing to spend more to obtain quality vet care. However, their pet food spending is not as high as in other countries because many “pet” dogs and cats live on the streets.

dog walkig with the owner
Image Credit: Piqsels

6. Australia

Percentage of pet owners: 69%
Population: 26,243,634

Australia is another country that recently set a record for the highest percentage of pet owners in its known history. This increase can be directly attributed to the pandemic, with 1 in 5 owners admitting to acquiring their pets in the past 2 years. Half of these pet owners own dogs, making them the most popular pet in the country.

The percentage of dog ownership has increased twice as fast as cat ownership. The country may soon rank higher on this list, as 73% of residents want to add a new pet to their family, even if they already have one!

7. Brazil

Percentage of pet owners: 69%
Population: 216, 247,367

Like Argentina, Brazilian pet ownership trends are tied to an increase in disposable income thanks to the growth of the middle class. Half of the pet owners consider their animals to be children, and they spend the money to prove it. Dogs are the most popular pet in this country, with birds coming in second. Improved veterinary care and more premium pet food options are spurring increased pet spending in Brazil.

dog and owner in the grass
Image: Jan Steiner from Pixabay

8. Indonesia

Percentage of pet owners: 67%
Population: 280,592,539

Cats reign supreme in Indonesia, with 47% of pet owners owning a kitty. Birds are next at 18%, while dogs are found in only 10% of Indonesian pet households. Religious and cultural beliefs are responsible for Indonesia’s unusually low rates of dog ownership. An improved quality of life and access to disposable income contributes to the rise in pet ownership in Indonesia. Attitudes towards keeping pets are also changing, mainly among the younger generations.

9. New Zealand

Percentage of pet owners: 64%
Population: 5,124,100

New Zealand has the lowest population on our list, which makes its percentage of pet ownership that much more impressive. Cats are the most popular pet in New Zealand, with 41% of households owning at least one. New Zealand pet owners are also considered the happiest in the world overall. Pet spending in New Zealand has increased along with the population of these animals. Declining birth rates have led to more people treating their pets like children.

Dog on paddleboard with owner
Image Credit: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock

10. Chile

Percentage of pet owners: 64%
Population: 19,517,200

Dogs are the preferred pets in Chile, with 79% of pet owners reporting that at least one canine lived in their home. Cats are second, with 42% of households owning at least one. However, cat ownership is increasing at a faster pace. Chile has one of the largest stray and free-roaming dog populations in the world. Chile recently passed national laws governing pet ownership and responsibilities, including setting stern penalties for animal abuse.

Final Thoughts

We can identify some common themes among all the countries with a high percentage of pet owners. As people gain access to more disposable income, many choose to use it on pets. These emerging markets are a major driving factor in the explosion of the global pet care industry. Globally, dogs remain the most popular pet, followed by cats.

See also:

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database