The Top Most Popular Pets: A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Perfect Companion

most popular pets

I’ve owned pets all my life, and it would be weird for me to live in a house without some form of pet present. Currently, as a dog owner, I share my home, my bed, and my food (not by choice) with my two dogs, and I couldn’t imagine life any other way.

Pets are an important part of households worldwide, and whether you prefer to keep cats and dogs or hamsters and tarantulas, introducing a pet into your life can change the game. Who wouldn’t want a loyal best friend by their side?

Top 5 Most Enlightening Stats

Most Popular Pets: Most Common Pets

There are some pets that just stand out above the rest. For centuries humans have kept pets for companionship, and although nowadays it’s more common to see a dog or a cat as part of the family, there once was a time when it wouldn’t have been too out there to see lions, cheetahs, and leopards as pets. Could you imagine?

dog ownership leads pet ownership

Does it come as a surprise that dogs are one of the most popular pets across the entire globe? According to Euromonitor, in 2018, there were roughly 471 million pet dogs worldwide; in addition to what WorldAtlas says, there are 900 million dogs all over the planet.

Sadly, looking at those figures, not even half are lucky enough to have a home, which rips your heart out.


types of pets

Are you a cat person or a dog person? I’ve always been and always will be, a dog person. I say as I’m being death stared at by my two dogs for their daily walk.

I do, however, have a deep appreciation for cats and all their feline capabilities, especially their talents that lie within pest control. A free cockroach killer? Sign me up! Maybe owing to this reason, the number of pet cats all over the world is 373 million.

Statistics list China as the leader in the number of cats, followed by America.


most common pets in pet stores

In 2020, it was estimated that Canadians owned over 8.5 million fish as pets. Across the pond, OATA claims that a further 4 million UK households play host to either freshwater or saltwater fish. As Bruce the shark would say, fish are friends, not food!

most popular animal

Reptiles aren’t my first choice of pet. I like looking at reptiles when they’re in their enclosures, but the thought of a snake potentially slivering its way through my home gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Of all the reptiles, the NCBI recognizes bearded dragons as the most popular. And if I had to have a reptile as a pet, it would likely be a bearded dragon, so I can completely understand why they take the top spot.

Following the bearded dragon come ball pythons and leopard geckos. A ball python would be a big fat no from me, but leopard geckos are kind of cute, so maybe they’d be a possibility.


what is the most popular pet

One of my closest friends had a bird growing up. It was a small blue budgie with really sharp claws. It wasn’t my biggest fan, and the feeling was certainly mutual, but it does fascinate me that birds can mimic words and sounds. Like seriously, how do they do that?

There are so many bird species that pet owners share their homes with. Notably, they include cockatiels, budgies (or parakeets, whatever you like to call them), and African grey parrots, according to PetMD.


list of pets

Rabbits are among the most popular pets, and it’s easy to understand why. Long floppy ears, fluffy tails, and the most adorable hop, you’d be crazy if you didn’t think they were cute.

Animal Facts Encyclopedia estimates that around the world, 14 million pet rabbits are hopping away in hutches.

Livestock Animals

Have you ever thought about owning livestock as a pet? I doubt it, as cuddling up with a pig doesn’t seem nearly as pleasant as cuddling up with a dog, does it?

Although livestock typically lives on farms, some people do keep pigs, cows, goats, sheep, and horses as pets.

most popular pet

Livestock outnumbers the human population three times over, according to the FAO; however, sadly, most of those animals don’t live their lives with loving owners and a warm, comfortable home, but it would be nice to think that they do.

Pet Poultry

The eighth most popular pet are those who fit under the poultry category, so we’re talking chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and guinea fowl. Poultry pet-owning households usually keep their birds for fresh eggs each morning; can you blame them?

top 10 pets

Throughout the pandemic, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) noted a 5% increase in backyard chickens. I guess some people were baking banana bread, and others were tending to their chickens. Each to their own!


animals commonly kept as pets

My two best friends growing up were horse girls, and at times, I envied them. Not when they got up at 6 a.m. before school to muck out and feed their horses, of course, more so during the summer evenings.

In total, it is estimated that there are 1.6 million households owning pet horses, some with up to six!

Most Popular Pets in America

Understandably, dogs and cats will likely remain at the top spot for centuries, but in saying that, there are some other pets who could give them a run for their money.


popular pets

According to the 2023-2024 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 65.1 million American households own at least one dog. Almost half even had more than one. Because there is only one thing better than one dog, and that’s two dogs!

Like people taking pet ownership of chickens, the Petfood Industry noted that 15% of Americans got a pet dog during the pandemic, ultimately increasing the number of dogs in the US.


what is the most common pet

According to the 2023-2024 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 46.5 million US families own cats. Despite the favoritism toward canines, many families prefer cats as, unlike pet dogs, they don’t need daily walks and are more than happy to entertain themselves.

One state in America takes cat-loving to a new level; any guess which?

You see, of all the states throughout America, Vermont has the highest percentage of cat owners. In fact, nearly half the households in Vermont own a pet cat. I wonder if there is any particular reason why cats are so loved in the Green Mountain State.


most common pet

I had two pet hamsters when I was little. The first was Hammy. And I know what you’re going to say, it’s not the most creative name, but I was seven, and that was the best he was going to get. My second hamster was Story, who was grey all over, so again, his name sprung to my mind in less than one second.

According to the APPA, there are 1.5 million homes in the US with a pet hamster. Taking care of hamsters is a fairly easy task because, let’s be honest, they sleep throughout the day. Many parents see hamsters as a step up from a goldfish, preparing their kids for more challenging pets like cats and dogs.

Guinea Pigs

what is the most popular animal

In some countries, people eat guinea pigs for lunch. Ew. I can’t say I’d find a guinea pig even remotely appetizing, would you? And for the most part, many Americans agree because over a million have opened their home to the furry little creatures, making them one of the most popular pets in America.


common house pets and other animals

The APPA states that 11,100,000 million homes in America today have low-maintenance saltwater or freshwater fish. When you think about it, you don’t normally just get one fish; you get at least a couple, as they don’t take up a lot of space. So, the amount of fish in total must be staggering!


new pet in more households

Are you a fan of a four-legged friend or a two-legged companion? No matter which one you pick, over 6.1 million households in the US share their home with a bird.

It surprises me that so many people would want to keep birds as pets because although they’re beautiful to look at, they really are kind of pointless.


most popular pets in america

I will admit that I have a fear of mice, which has likely come from the fear my mother has. Jeez, thanks, Mom!

Regardless of my views on mice, many people in America see these tiny rodents as cute, fuzzy pets, with the APPA factoring them into the 6,700,000 million small animals living their best lives in family homes.


name a household pet

Some states, like California, ban residents from keeping ferrets as pets, but that hasn’t stopped the little guys from winning over the hearts of those living in other states. Go, Ferrets!

The NCBI concludes that around 8 million ferrets live as pets despite many states not even recognizing them as domestic animals.


most popular pets in the world

As far as pets go, iguanas are a pretty cool choice. And what I mean by that is that although they’re a popular pet in America, I’ve never known anyone in my home country of the UK to own a pet iguana.

From the Los Angeles Times in 1995, Iguanas were seen as the most trendy Christmas pet. But remember, pets are for life, not just for Christmas.


different types of pets

I live in a tropical country, and I see snakes fairly regularly in my yard. But in saying that, however, it doesn’t mean I’d want one as a pet. To me, it’s absolutely mind-blowing that in America, you can keep exotic snakes as big as boa constrictors in your home. Imagine that escaping in the middle of the night; yikes!

Reptiles, snakes, and lizards make up roughly two percent of America’s total pet population, and Approximately 5.7 million households in the United States have at least one pet reptile. And although quite a lot of Americans are brave enough to own a snake, I know for sure that I certainly wouldn’t be.

Types of Pets

What pet is at the top of your list? The animals you can keep as pets really do vary from country to country, but there are reasons why certain pets are far more common.


diffrent kinds of pets

Easy to look after, nice to look at, and on the lower end of the pet cost scale, what’s not to love about fish? Okay, granted, they may not be the most interactive pets of all time. But you can’t deny that they aren’t mesmerizing in their own way!

Homes all over the world have either an aquarium or ponds full of fish. My partner, for example, has a huge obsession with koi fish and has a pond dedicated to them in his family home. As a matter of fact, I already know that when we move into our future house, the koi will follow us there.


different kinds of pets

Pet owners in the UK look after 4 million birds, which is even more staggering in countries like America.

Birds are popular pets for a number of reasons. First, they’re fun to talk to. Second, they come in beautiful colorings and markings. And third, most species don’t require much attention. Simple enough, right?


most common favorite animal

If you want a low-maintenance pet that isn’t a fish or a hamster, reptiles are an ideal option.

In addition to not having to take them for a walk, many reptiles, once they reach adulthood, only need to eat once every two to three days. So, even if you don’t have the best memory, your pet isn’t going to starve to death. Unless you really forget about it, that is.


most common favorite animals

One pet that I could just never get on board with is an amphibian. I wouldn’t say I like frogs, especially, but salamanders and newts don’t appeal to me, either.

Just because I have a phobia (again, passed down from my mom), it doesn’t mean that amphibians make bad pets because, like reptiles, they’re incredibly low maintenance. I guess they do have their perks!


It goes without saying that mammals are a common type of pet, more so cats and dogs as opposed to hyenas and cougars, but shockingly enough, some countries and states do allow those too.

Common Household Pets

You may know someone with a weird, entirely out-there pet. I’m sure there is someone who springs to mind. But for the most part, year after year, there are the same front runners for the most common household pets.


household pet

Mammals will always remain at the top spot. They just can’t be beaten! Here are six popular pet mammal choices.


what is the most common pet

An interesting fact about cats is that only for the past 100 years or so have they been living indoors in the US. While you may enjoy having your feline friend living indoors with you, cats are naturally and instinctively suited to the outdoors, which is why they may go wandering for an hour or two.


house pet

Although dogs are one of the more expensive pets (if your dog has been to the vet, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about), the price of dog food, toys, and grooming hasn’t put many people off as Fido for decades has remained at the top spot for the most common pets.


most popular pet in the world

If you thought hamsters were cute, just wait until you see a gerbil. In all fairness, gerbils do look fairly similar to mice, but their big back feet and innocent little faces make them some of the cutest pets out there.

White Mice

what is the most popular pet in the world

When you walk into a pet store looking for a mouse, you’ll most likely come across a white mouse with piercing red eyes. Their eyes, at first, can seem somewhat scary, but once you get used to them and hear their little squeaks, white mice may just become one of your favorite pets.


what is the most popular pet

Who needs a lawn mower when you’ve got a rabbit? A pet rabbit will happily munch its way across your yard, gobbling up those pesky weeds that you’re too busy to take care of, so it really is a win-win for both parties. You get a free landscaper, and your rabbit gets a loving home!

Guinea Pigs

most popular pets in the world

Guinea pigs are like the next step up from hamsters. A little bit more responsibility, but nowhere near the amount of a dog. After all, they do just look like enlarged versions of a hamster.


In addition to mammals, birds are popular household pets, with four species standing out above the rest.


most popular pets

How cool would it be to have a parrot? Yes, parrots are a lot more work than a guinea pig or a hamster, but the fact they can talk to you and act affectionately is pretty awesome to me! Beautiful entertainment to keep you occupied!


pet around the world

Not ready to take on the high demands of a parrot? I don’t blame you, but don’t worry; you have options! Finches are a popular type of pet bird as their need for attention is minimal, and they don’t require much maintenance.


common pets

When I think of canaries, my mind just instantly brings up a beautiful shade of yellow. Fairly solitary birds, canaries love nothing more than living out their lives alone.


most common pets

Parakeets are dazzling, low-maintenance birds with the ability to mimic human sounds. Their intelligent little minds are partly the reason why so many people from all communities love them.


What is the Most Popular Pet?

Compared to any other pet, dogs are the most popular American pet, as well as in the United Kingdom and worldwide.

What is the Most Common Pet?

Throughout the world, dogs are the most common pets.

What is the Most Popular Animal in the World?

The most popular animal in the world is a dog, followed by a cat.

What is the Best Pet in the World?

Everyone will have their own opinions, but dogs and cats, I guess, are by far the best pets in the world.


You can find pets in every single country, minus Antarctica, of course, and over the years, they have evolved into our best friends.

Do you ever sit back and think how weird it is that you share your home with an animal? I often do, but then I remember all the love and joy my pups give me, and that weird feeling goes directly out the window.

Megan Bryant
Megan owns two very needy but adorable Dachshund pups named Oakley and Cooper, who are the light of her life and the reason she’s awake at 6:30 am - not by choice, but because, according to her dogs, 6:30 is breakfast time, and they’ll stop at nothing until there is food in their bowls. Growing up with pets all her life, Megan has become extremely passionate about animals and found a love for researching and writing about ways to care for and appreciate all species that call this Earth home. During the times she’s not busy working, you’ll typically find her cuddled up between dogs watching various TV series.

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