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It's Official – Mountain West States Are Among The Biggest Pet Lovers

Two Pekingese pups go for a stroll in Lewiston, Idaho during summer 2016.
Cristi Dawson
Two Pekingese pups go for a stroll in Lewiston, Idaho during summer 2016.

According to a new survey pet ownership is on the rise across the country with around 60 percent of households having some sort of animal at home. And our region is especially pet-friendly.

Wyoming, I’m looking at you. 72 percent of households there own a pet. That’s the most in the country and includes dogs, cats, chicken, horses and reptiles.

In Idaho, people there own dogs at a higher rate than any other state.  Nearly 60 percent of households have at least one.

The American Veterinary Medical Association put out the survey. President John de Jong says the Mountain West is a great spot for animal lovers.

“Pet ownership tends to be highest among people who live in the least urban areas,” de Jong said.

You can also blame millennials for the surge in pet ownership. De Jong says most of the growth is coming from young people.

“The human-animal bond today is stronger than it’s ever been and that people are finding more and more interest in having pets – especially dogs – because people are having less children,” he said.

Colorado and Montana are especially pet-friendly too. Utah lags behind but still more than half of Utahns own a pet.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio

Copyright 2021 Boise State Public Radio News. To see more, visit Boise State Public Radio News.

James Dawson joined Boise State Public Radio as the organization's News Director in 2017. He oversees the station's award-winning news department. Most recently, he covered state politics and government for Delaware Public Media since the station first began broadcasting in 2012 as the country's newest NPR affiliate. Those reports spanned two governors, three sessions of the Delaware General Assembly, and three consequential elections. His work has been featured on All Things Considered and NPR's newscast division. An Idaho native from north of the time zone bridge, James previously served as the public affairs reporter and interim news director for the commercial radio network Inland Northwest Broadcasting. His reporting experience included state and local government, arts and culture, crime, and agriculture. He's a proud University of Idaho graduate with a bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. When he's not in the office, you can find James fly fishing, buffing up on his photography or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season.
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