Dog is said to be man's best friend and Arkansan's take that saying to heart as do many others living in the southeastern part of the United States.
The American Veterinary Medical Association recently released its U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, which revealed that Arkansas ranks No.1 for dog ownership with 47.9% of households owning a dog.
In 2006, which was the last time the AVMA put together the sourcebook, Arkansas again made the top 10 list of dog owners, ranking No. 7 with 48.8% of households owning a dog.
The survey is conducted by the AVMA every five years and always includes a breakdown of pet ownership by state. The most recent survey, conducted in 2012 but is based on Dec. 31, 2011 numbers.
TOP STATES FOR DOG OWNERSHIP (% of households)
New Mexico 46%
Kentucky with 45.9%
Missouri with 45.9%
West Virginia 45.8%
“This report reveals a tremendous amount of information about pets and their owners across the country; what’s constant and what has changed. One of the most important parameters that we look at is how well pet owners are doing at keeping their pets healthy,” says Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, president of the AVMA.
Unfortunately, the report reveals that fewer dogs and cats are seeing the veterinarian regularly in the weaker economy and that’s something that the AVMA and every companion animal veterinarian are concerned about.
“Pet owners across the country need to remember to bring their pets into the veterinarian – at least once a year – to maintain optimal health,” Aspros said.
The report indicates that, between 2006 and 2011, the percentage of households that made no trips at all to the veterinarian increased by 8% for dog owners and a staggering 24% for cat owners. Overall, about 81% of dog owning households made at least one visit to the veterinarian in 2011, down 1.7%from 2006.
The decrease for cat owners was, once again, much higher, as only 55.1% of cat owners made at least one visit to the veterinarian in 2011, down 13.5% from 2006.
Arkansas also ranked in the top 10 for pet ownership in 2011.
PET OWNERSHIP (% of households)
New Mexico 67.6%
South Dakota 65.6 %
Oregon with 63.6%
Maine with 62.9%
West Virginia 62.1%