Some scholars think that you can judge a country’s welfare by how it treats its children and its animals. I wouldn’t advise using this single scale, but it is certainly important, if not crucial. Would you rather live in a country with the biggest GDP or one that exercises empathy towards dogs and animals, in general? Or maybe you’re looking for that perfect spot in between? Are there really any countries where you have to pick one or the other?
These are the top dog-friendly countries
Europe is generally a dog-friendly place. The correlation between wealth and how you treat your pets is obvious. Being strongly socially oriented, Norwegians pay much attention to the environment and animal rights protection. Norwegians also are the highest spenders when it comes to dog food. These Scandinavians spend over $50 USD per month per one dog, which is 4 times more than what US citizens spend on their dogs. Whether they feed their dogs some fancy food or are heading into a severe dog obesity problem, we can certainly say that they take care of their pets.
This is a peculiar pick for our list. The main reason is that there are only a specific type of dogs that have a special place in the hearts of the Brazilians. With a major trend of growing middle-class, Brazilians are the champions of small-sized dogs per capita. Out of 1000 Brazilians, 101 will have a small dog. Portugal and Mexico are a bit behind and countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt are well behind. Why? Because…
Because Saudis are crazy about big dogs. 70% of Saudi dog owners have a dog that’s at least 50 pounds. And it kind of makes sense. Can you really imagine a French person fitting a huge Saint-Bernard in a Fiat or a Citroen? Neither can we. So, the best places for big dogs are somewhere in the Middle East, as well as in Indonesia and, of course, the US.
The US may not be the biggest country geographically, but it certainly has the biggest dog population in the world. It is estimated, that Americans have somewhere around 75 million pet dogs. This is quite an astonishing number and it clearly shows the affection Americans have for dogs. Moreover, Americans spend some $60 billion on their pets! This includes food, vet visits, accessories, toys, clothes, even parties!
While raw numbers can’t really show the whole picture, there is another argument to prove just how Americans care about pets. There is an endless amount of dog-tracking apps, websites, companies, NGOs and volunteers that care about stray dogs. It is one thing to have millions of pet dogs, but it is almost negated if you have an equal amount of dogs that no one cares about. Well, this is not the case with the US.
Probably the highest level of citizen involvement with helping stray dogs be cured, vaccinated, groomed and treated is in the US.