The three most widely owned pets are dogs (51%), cats (38%), and fish (9%), according to a recent Researchscape survey of 1,000 U.S. adults. Only a third of Americans do not currently own any pets (32%). The majority of dog owners own 1 dog (63%), but another quarter own 2 dogs (25%), and 12% own 3 or more dogs.

Nearly three out of four dog owners believe they walk their dogs “just the right amount” (72%), with a quarter saying “too little” (26%), and almost no one saying “too much” (2%). How often are dogs walked? Multiple times a day (18%), every day (28%), every few days (16%), with 14% never walking their dogs.

Nine out of ten owners walk their dogs in their neighborhood (88%), much more often than in dog parks (24%) and other parks (12%). Dog walking first involves going for a drive rarely for the majority of dog owners. Almost a fifth of respondents (17%) drive often or always; those aged 25 to 44 years old drive the most: 27% drive often or always before walking their dog. A majority everywhere but the West never or rarely drive first.

Sample comments about dog walking:

  • “Good exercise and frequently interact with other dog walkers or just local friendly people.”
  • “My husband, oldest son and myself enjoy walking our dog together often and sometimes apart.”
  • “I walk the same trail at least twice a day.”
  • “He runs until he is too tired to walk anymore.”
  • “Since I have 4 dogs and a large back yard. Each one is walked once a week. We have a dog park just 2 blocks from my home. They all walk very well on a leash.”
  • “At least 3 times a day in the neighborhood. We live in a highly wooded area so my dog is walked on the sidewalk along the woods, and he will walk into the woods when he is ready. He loves his walks.”

The survey was fielded online from February 15 to 16, 2019. For more on this survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, please check out the slides and general methodology.

Author Notes:

Jeffrey Henning

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Jeffrey Henning, IPC is a professionally certified researcher and has personally conducted over 1,400 survey research projects. Jeffrey is a member of the Insights Association and the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. In 2012, he was the inaugural winner of the MRA’s Impact award, which “recognizes an industry professional, team or organization that has demonstrated tremendous vision, leadership, and innovation, within the past year, that has led to advances in the marketing research profession.” In 2022, the Insights Association named him an IPC Laureate. Before founding Researchscape in 2012, Jeffrey co-founded Perseus Development Corporation in 1993, which introduced the first web-survey software, and Vovici in 2006, which pioneered the enterprise-feedback management category. A 35-year veteran of the research industry, he began his career as an industry analyst for an Inc. 500 research firm.