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National dog day 2023: How many dogs are there in the US? And how many breeds?

Almost ten percent of the world’s dog population lives in the United States and nearly half of the population has at least one dog in their household.

Millions of dogs in all shapes and sizes

August 26 is National Dog Day, an unofficial holiday begun in 2004 by animal rescue advocate and author Colleen Paige. She started the initiative with the mission “to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year.” As well to draw attention to and acknowledge “family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort.”

Humankinds’ friendship with dogs dates back over 15,000 years. All dogs are descended from wolves who preferred us as their companions instead of as their next meal and vice versa.

The fellowship has been mutually beneficial with the worldwide population of dogs one of the largest for any one mammal. The domesticated once-wolves, who still share 99.9% of the same DNA with their wild cousins, have evolved over the millennia so much that it is hard to fathom that for example a chihuahua was once the fearsome creature from Little Red Riding Hood.

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How many dogs are there in the US?

The number of dogs around the world is estimated to be around 900 million but an exact count is difficult as there are many places where they go uncounted. In the United States there were 89.7 million dogs in 2017 according to a American Pet Products Association survey.

They resided in nearly 63.4 million American households with millennials the age group that are the most likely to have a furry friend. On average, Americans spend just over $1,200 per year pampering their pooch according to a 2020 Harris Poll, nearly twice as much as cat owners.

How many dog breeds are there?

Dogs are as unique as their owners with more breeds than any other mammal. Breeding programs during the Victorian era brought about the modern ones we know today. In the United States alone there are 200 recognized by the American Kennel Club. Fédération Cynologique Internationale, consisting of 98 member nations, recognized 356 breeds as of 2022.