Miami has the lowest rate of pet ownership in the country, data shows


MIAMI – While Miami-Dade County Animal Services has been dealing with capacity issues, data shows Miami had the lowest rate of pet ownership among the 15 major metro areas in the country.

Even though pet ownership in Miami was the lowest, at nearly 29% of residents, the area ranked third for the most dog owners, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data by Stacker, a data-centered media company.

Riverside in California topped the list of dog owners with about 85% of pet owners, Dallas followed with nearly 83% and Miami with about 81%, according to the analysis, which did not account for service animals.

On pet ownership, Miami followed New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago for the U.S. metro areas with the least pet owners.

Although Boston didn’t have that many pet owners, the area had the highest rate of cat ownership in the country at nearly 49% of pet owners followed by Philadelphia with nearly 48% and Seattle with about 45%.

Phoenix topped the list on pet ownership, with over 55% of households. Riverside, Dallas, Seattle, Philadelphia, Houston, Detroit, and Atlanta followed.


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pet ownership comes with both health benefits and risks. The benefits come from the opportunities to exercise and spend time outdoors. People with weakened immune systems face risks since animals can carry germs that are able to cause some diseases in humans.

To reduce the risk, the CDC suggests that pet owners always wash their hands after touching or playing with their pets, after feeding their pets or handling pet food, and after handling pet habitats or equipment such as cages, tanks, toys, food, or water dishes.

For more information about pet adoption in Miami-Dade County, visit this page.

The CDC suggests answers to these questions before adopting a pet:

  • How long will this animal live?
  • What does the pet eat?
  • How much exercise does the pet need?
  • How large will it become?
  • How much will veterinary care cost?
  • Do I have enough time to properly care for and clean up after the pet?
  • What type of habitat does this pet need to be healthy?
  • What type of exercise does this pet need?
  • Are pets allowed in my house, apartment, or condominium?
  • Are there young children, older people, or people with weak immune systems who will care for or be around the pet?

About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.