Probably everyone in the world knows about Americans’ love for dogs. Can we assuredly claim (if they could) that these dogs would prefer to live in the United States instead of any other country? We’ll find out. Not by conducting interviews with dogs (which proved to be an ineffective and a rather time-wasting activity), but through available data.
How many dogs are there in the US?
You can take a wild guess and double it. Even at that time, you probably will not be much closer to the real number. It is estimated, that there are over 75 million pet dogs in the US! Add several million homeless, wild dogs on top of that, and you’ll get a population that is much higher than most countries’ human population! And it is still growing! Although not as rapidly, as in countries like Brazil or India (where a 58% increase in dogs’ population was reported since 2007).
This might be an indicator of ‘saturation’ and a generally good sign. Dogs reproduction is not out of control, like in the case of India, and no drastic measures have to take place. In some places in the world stray dogs can become a real menace, spreading diseases like rabies and causing problems for local population and authorities. In terms of raw numbers of dogs – US holds its desired 1st place.
Spendings on pets
It’s not just the quantity, it’s also the quality that matters, right? Here’s where the picture gets clearer and we can actually understand if the dogs that Americans have are taken care of. Americans spend something close to $60USD billion each year on their pets. This number is actually comparable to GDP of a small European country. I think we can positively say, that Americans do not go cheap when it comes to the pets. All sorts of foods, clothes, medical treatments, resorts and God knows what else is available for you and your pet. The US is definitely the Las-Vegas of dog’s leisure.
There are special hotels, parks, swimming pools and playgrounds for dogs in the US.
On the other side of the coin – there are shelters and organizations with thousands of volunteers who take care of homeless dogs. Americans spend on average $13.89USD per month on dog’s food. This number is similar for the majority of the developed countries, however, is a bit short of what Europeans spend on their dogs. Norwegians, for comparison, pay up to $50USD per month for their pets. German Shepherds are relatively expensive to look after. The US is definitely among the countries where citizens will have an opportunity to provide everything needed for the GSD.
The US is often leading the fight for animal rights and animal protection. The US has a partial formal recognition of animal sentience and supports in parts the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare. This means, that formal education, governmental policies, and regulations are keeping in mind the rights of animals and prioritize them, as sentient beings. This is a major step forward that people have to take, and, happily, the US is glad to do so.
Becoming the best country for pets is a difficult task
This accolade will be composed of several different elements, such as animal protection, the amount of funding spent on animals and so on. The US, while not being the unequivocal champion for dogs, is definitely on the right path.