Pet Information > A Dozen Fun Facts about Pet Ownership in America
A Dozen Fun Facts about Pet Ownership in America

Sep 5, 2010

57% of households include either a dog or a cat

90% of pet owners say they consider their pet a member of the family

27% have taken Fluffy or Fido to a professional photographer

33% of pet owners have a picture of their dog or cat displayed in their home

15% bought a car or home with their pet in mind

50% of dog and cat owners give their pets Christmas presents

36% buy birthday presents for their pets

48% of cat owners swear Fluffy watches TV

50% of pet owners talk to their dog or cat

80% think their pets can sense their moods

70% of cat owners let their pets lounge on the furniture

58% of pet owners bury their furry friends on their property when they die

Here are two dozen more uncommon facts about:

* Your dog has about 100 different facial expressions, most involving the ears
* Dogs can make about 10 different sounds
* Dogs don’t have an appendix
* Dalmatians are born all white and only develop spots as they get older
* Most domestic dogs can run at about 19 mph, but Greyhounds, the fastest dogs on earth, can run at speeds up to 45 mph
* A dog’s memory is only five minutes long – a cat’s is up to 16 hours
* A newborn puppy can’t see or hear, has no teeth, and won’t be able to control his bladder until he’s about four months old
* The roots of your dog’s teeth are longer than the teeth themselves
* Per the Guinness World Book of Records, the longest living dog was an Australian Cattle Dog that lived to be 29
* Touch is the first sense your dog develops – her entire body, including the paws, contains nerve endings sensitive to touch
* Dogs have the intelligence of toddlers – they can understand up to 200 words and hand signals with the same meaning as words
* Your dog’s sense of smell is over 100,000 times more acute than yours


* Cats have five toes on their front paws, but only four toes on back paws
* Cats hear better than dogs
* Cats do not have sweat glands
* The ridges on a cat’s nose pad are as individual as a human’s finger prints
* Papillae, tiny elevated backwards hooks that help hold prey, are what make a cat’s tongue scratchy-feeling
* Humans should not pick up a kitten or cat by the scruff of the neck – only mother cats can do this safely, and only with kittens
* Cats can squeeze through any opening that is not smaller than their heads – their bone structure is narrow at the shoulders and they can easily rotate their bodies through tight spaces
* Cats have over 100 vocal sounds, as compared to a dog’s 10
* Fossil records have shown that cats have been around for thousands of years, without much change in their shape or behaviors
* A cat’s jaws are designed to move up and down, but not sideways – they cannot grind their food, they can only bite down on it
* The pelvis and shoulders are only loosely attached to a cat’s spine, which is part of what makes kitties so flexible and able to squeeze into tight spaces
* The domesticated kitty is the only feline species that walks with its tail held vertically – wild cats position their tails horizontally or tuck them between their legs while walking