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A study released by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is reporting that pet ownership in the United States is down 2.4 percent between 2006 and 2011.

A 1.9 percent decrease in dog ownership and a 6.2 percent decrease in cat ownership has been reported. Dogs continue to be the most popular pet in America, with a canine in 36.5 percent of all United States household.

“Our U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook is one of the most anticipated sources of information about trends in pet ownership and veterinary care,” said AVMA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ron DeHaven. “There is really no other source of information in the industry that is as respected and complete. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau cites the U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook in their publications.”

Interestingly, although pet ownership is down, veterinary visits and the total spent on vet care are up, the study reports. The AVMA conducted the research for the sourcebook in the spring of 2012, surveying over 50,000 households to collect data on pet ownership, veterinary visits and spending.

For all veterinary expenditures of $28 billion, there has been a 14.3 percent increase since 2006. The amount that dog owners spent for veterinary care increased 18.6 percent to $19.1 billion. Cat expenditures rose 4.1 percent, of $7.4 billion.

In terms of pet owners who have pet insurance, the study reported 6 percent of dog owners and 3 percent of cat owners have it.

The study is conducted every five years and provides the basis for the 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook.

Complete results will be published in the 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, due for release this fall.

For more information about the AVMA, visit http://www.avma.org.

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