For many across the United States, dogs are not just pets, they are family. The bond between humans and dogs is unparalleled and has deep roots in the country’s culture and lifestyle.
A recent study conducted by pet wellbeing experts at OurFitPets.com set out to examine which states are the most enamored with their canine companions.
Taking a holistic view, the study analyzed several factors to determine the overall love for dogs in each state. Key factors considered were the number of monthly Google searches for “dog grooming” and “dog toys” per 100,000 residents.
The researchers also considered the quantity of dog parks, the percentage of dog owners, and the number of dog-friendly long-term home rentals. Based on these metrics, each state was awarded a score out of 50 to determine the most dog-loving state.
Topping the list was Colorado, which proved to be the epitome of dog love in America. With a score of 39.3 points out of 50, the state demonstrated its affection towards dogs by registering the highest combined number of monthly searches for “dog grooming” and “dog toys” – approximately 186 searches per 100,000 residents, translating to roughly 10,800 total searches per month.
Furthermore, nearly half of Colorado’s residents (47.2 percent) were found to be dog owners. The state also ranked third in the category of dog-friendly home rentals, boasting 53 rentals per 100,000 citizens. With 110 dog parks statewide, it averages 1.87 parks per 100,000 residents, which is 16.8 percent higher than the national average of 1.6.
Coming in at a close second was Idaho, where the experts discovered that 58 percent of the population own a dog, greatly exceeding the national average of 39.4 percent.
In terms of online dog care queries, Idaho residents made 121 searches for “dog grooming” and “dog toys” monthly per 100,000 citizens. The state also has around 26 dog-friendly home rentals per 100,000 residents and 33 dog parks, equating to 1.67 parks per 100,000 residents.
The study extended to identify the top ten dog-loving states. Arizona came in third, primarily due to its high rates of dog-friendly home rentals, which stands at 50 per 100,000 residents, outpacing the national average of 20.6 by more than 142 percent.
Other states on the list included Florida, Nevada, Washington, Wyoming, Oregon, Tennessee, and Georgia, each displaying distinct dog-loving characteristics, from an extensive number of dog-friendly home rentals to a high percentage of dog owners, and an above-average number of dog care-related searches.
Wyoming, despite its seventh rank, held the highest ratio of dog parks to its population, with 5.4 parks per 100,000 citizens, a number that greatly surpasses the national average of 1.66.
A spokesperson for OurFitPets.com commented on the study’s intriguing findings, stating, “It’s fascinating to see which states lead the way in terms of dog-loving attributes. Colorado was found to spoil their dogs the most, with the highest rate of pet care related searches, while Idaho boasted the highest ownership rates, with one in two Idahoans found to own a dog.”
“The findings shed light on which states place the most emphasis on their dogs’ lifestyle and wellbeing, and which ones are less accommodating of our furry friends.”
According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), nearly 70 percent of American households – about 90.5 million families – owned a pet in 2021, with dogs being the most popular choice.
The U.S. is home to diverse breeds, from Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers, to Bulldogs, Beagles, and Poodles. Each breed carries its unique traits, temperament, and size, catering to a wide range of personal preferences and lifestyles.
The benefits of owning a dog in America are well recognized and stretch far beyond companionship. Studies have consistently shown that pet ownership, particularly dogs, can contribute to improved physical and mental health. Regular walks with dogs help keep owners active and can lead to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Furthermore, dogs are often used as therapy animals, providing emotional support to those suffering from various mental health conditions.
Various cities across the U.S. are known for their pet-friendly amenities, with parks, housing, and businesses that cater specifically to dog owners. As per the Trust for Public Land, the cities with the most dog parks per resident in 2020 included Boise, Idaho; Portland, Oregon; and Henderson, Nevada.
Moreover, America’s love for dogs also fuels a thriving pet industry. A forecast from APPA suggests that in 2021, pet owners in the U.S. spent $99 billion on pet-related products and services, including food, supplies, veterinary care, grooming, boarding, and more.
Notably, adoption is a popular and socially responsible way to acquire a dog, with numerous rescue organizations and shelters across the country offering dogs of all ages and breeds a second chance at finding a loving home.