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Top 10 States with Highest, Lowest Percentage of Pet Owners

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Among residents of the 50 states, Vermonters are more likely to have pets, according to a new survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The AVMA released its U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, revealing which states have the largest number of pet owners, which have the fewest, and spending trends among pet owners.

Thomas McPheron, spokesman for the AVMA, said the survey didn't collect information that might indicate why certain states had higher rates of pet ownership.  However, one of the factors may be related to the type of dwellings, such as rural or suburban.

"One clue might be that Washington D.C., which is completely urban, has the absolute lowest pet ownership numbers," McPheron said.

Total veterinary expenditures for all households with pets were estimated to be about $28 billion in 2011.  Dogs represented 68.1 percent of total veterinary expenditures; cats, 26.3 percent; birds, 0.5 percent; horses, 2.9 percent; and specialty and exotic pets, 2.1 percent.

The mean veterinary expenditure per household for all pets was $375 in 2011.

Households that considered their dogs or cats to be family members spent more on veterinary expenditures than those that considered their pets to be pets/companions or property.

The AVMA retained Irwin Broh Research to conduct the research for the study.  A questionnaire was distributed by email to 222,244 U.S. households.

Here is a list of the 10 states with the highest percentage of pet owners:

1. Vermont: 70.8 percent pet owners
2. New Mexico: 67.6 percent pet owners
3. South Dakota: 65.6 pet owners
4. Oregon: 63.6 percent pet owners
5. Maine: 62.9 percent pet owners
6. Washington: 62.7 percent pet owners
7. Arkansas: 62.4 percent pet owners
8. West Virginia: 62.1 percent pet owners
9. Idaho: 62 percent pet owners
10. Wyoming: 61.8 percent pet owners

And here are the 10 states with the lowest percentage of pet owners:

1. District of Columbia: 21.9 percent pet owners
2. Massachusetts: 50.4 percent pet owners
3. New York: 50.6 percent pet owners
4. New Jersey: 50.7 percent pet owners
5. Utah: 51.2 percent pet owners
6. Nebraska: 51.3 percent pet owners
7. Illinois: 51.8 percent pet owners
8. Maryland: 52.3 percent pet owners
9. California: 52.9 percent pet owners
10T. Minnesota: 53 percent pet owners
10T. Rhode Island: 53 percent pet owners

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