The Most Popular Pets in the US

Freshwater fish are the most numerous pet found across the US due to most fish owners keeping more than one.

A pet is a type of domestic animal that is house-trained. Unlike domestic animals which are usually kept to help perform tasks and for their products, pets are tamed to provide security, entertainment, and as companions. Pets are usually defined by their relatable characters, cleverness, and beautiful looks. Although cats and dogs are some of the most popular pets, freshwater fish are the most common pet in the United States. Other kinds of pets include rabbits, cats, parrots, and fish. This article focuses on the types of pets in the US in the order of their popularity.

Most Popular Pets in the United States

Freshwater Fish

Freshwater fish are the most common pet in the US. There are about 171.7 million of them. Freshwater fish owners in the US say that they prefer to domesticate them because their maintenance is simple and fun. Fish are also considered as home décor for owners. Freshwater fish are common in the US because they help in reducing stress and pressure since watching them is comforting. Some of the common freshwater fish types in the US include neon tetra, the cherry barb, guppies, angelfish, and rainbow fish.


In the United States, cats are ranked as the second most popular pets; there are about 93.6 million cats. Cats outnumber dogs in the region because they are compact; this means a household can manage more than one cat. Cats are tamed mostly in the northeast and upper Midwest of US. Some of the popular species of cats in the US include the Devon rex which is tiny but has large ears, the Scottish fold whose ears are folded, the ragdoll known for its blue eyes, and the exotic cat which is the most common.


Dogs are the third most common pet in the United States. The number of dogs in the US adds up to 79.5 million. Dogs are important in the US and are counted as members of a family. There are different dog breeds but the most common ones in the US comprise the Dachshund which has a friendly and enthusiastic character, the poodle which is intelligent and obedient, the bulldog, the German shepherd which is known for its boldness, and the Labrador retriever which offers great company and is very intelligent. The Labrador retriever is the most popular dog breed in the world.


There are many bird species in this world but only a few can be tamed. In the United States, birds are popular pets, and there are about 15 million in total. Some of the bird species tamed in the US include doves, cockatiels, finches, lovebirds, and budgerigars.

Other Pets

Other popular pets tamed in the U.S include small pets which comprise of guinea pigs, chinchillas, and fancy rats. Small pets are the fourth most popular in the US and are 15.9 million in number. Reptiles, equine, and saltwater fish are also famous pets in the US even though they are not as popular as cat and dogs.

Importance of Pets

Pets have positive emotional and physical impacts towards their owners. For instance, people who are less social usually find comfort interacting with their pets. Pets are also beneficial to older adults who are lonely as they provide company.

The Most Popular Pets in the US

Rank Pet Total Number in the US
1 Freshwater fish 171,700,000
2 Cat 93,600,000
3 Dog 79,500,000
4 Small pets 15,900,000
5 Bird 15,000,000
6 Reptile 13,600,000
7 Equine 13,300,000
8 Saltwater fish 11,200,000