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14 Pet Ownership Statistics in North Carolina: 2024 Update

Written by: Adam Mann

Last Updated on June 3, 2024 by Dogster Team

North Carolina Pet Ownership Facts and Statistics

14 Pet Ownership Statistics in North Carolina: 2024 Update

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Whether you live in North Carolina and want to know more about the state’s pets, are thinking about moving there with your own pets, or just want to learn about pet ownership in the Tar Heel State, you’ve come to the right place.

We highlighted 13 pet ownership statistics for North Carolina and answered the most frequently asked questions along the way!

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Top 13 Pet Ownership Statistics in North Carolina

  1. 41.3% of homes in North Carolina have a dog.
  2. The average home in North Carolina has 1.6 dogs.
  3. 34% of dog owners would spend $4,000 to save their dogs.
  4. 6.5% of dog owners stayed at a job they didn’t like for their dog.
  5. 58.6% of homes in North Carolina have a pet.
  6. 26.5% of homes in North Carolina have a cat.
  7. The average home in North Carolina has 1.8 cats.
  8. Raleigh, North Carolina, ranks fourth in having the most pet-friendly spaces of any city in the United States.
  9. Raleigh is the second most pet-friendly city in the United States.
  10. 38,093 dogs and cats were killed in shelters in North Carolina in 2023.
  11. North Carolina animal shelters took in 220,161 animals in 2023.
  12. There were 49,456 stray animals in North Carolina in 2023.
  13. North Carolinians surrendered more than 26,000 pets in 2023.
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Dog Statistics

1. 41.3% of homes in North Carolina have a dog.

(World Population Review)

North Carolina is quite the dog state, with over 40% of homes owning a dog. It’s basically a 50/50 chance that when you go into a North Carolina home, there will be a canine there. Dog ownership numbers continue to go up year after year in the state, so don’t expect these pups to get anywhere any time soon!

Pet shop owner, mom and kid putting bone in Pet Subscription Box for Dogs
Image Credit: Iryna Imago, Shutterstock

2. The average home in North Carolina has 1.6 dogs.

(World Population Review)

Since the average number of dogs in a North Carolina home is 1.6, it’s more likely that you’ll find multiple dogs in a home than just one.


3. 34% of dog owners would spend $4,000 to save their dogs.

(World Population Review)

One way that North Carolina dog owners show their love is by putting their money where their mouths are. In fact, if their pet incurred a medical expense of about $4,000, 34% of dog owners in North Carolina would cover the bill.

boston terrier dog at clinic with owner
Image Credit: Ground Picture, Shutterstock

4. 6.5% of dog owners stayed at a job they didn’t like for their dog.

(World Population Review)

If you want to keep your employees happy in North Carolina, you need to ensure that they can keep their dogs happy. In fact, 6.5% of people reported being unhappy with their jobs (one or multiple) but stayed because of their pup.

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Pet & Cat Statistics

5. 58.6% of homes in North Carolina have a pet.

(World Population Review)

North Carolinians love their pets, and it’s why close to 60% of homes have at least one pet. When you go into a home in North Carolina, you better be ready to greet a furry friend of some sort!

Little dog maltese and black and white cat sitting with owner on the sofa in home
Image Credit: Monika Wisniewska, Shutterstock

6. 26.5% of homes in North Carolina have a cat.

(World Population Review)

Cats aren’t quite as popular in North Carolina as dogs, but they’re still quite popular. Just over one in four homes have at least one kitty, leading to plenty of felines throughout the state.


7. The average home in North Carolina has 1.8 cats.

(World Population Review)

The average number of cats in North Carolina homes is 1.8, making it far more likely that someone with a cat has multiple kitties. Felines are quite addictive, so it makes sense to have multiple!

Cat laying on owner's chest
Image Credit: Maliflower73, Shutterstock

8. Raleigh, North Carolina, ranks fourth in having the most pet-friendly spaces of any city in the United States.

(Forbes)

Raleigh is famous for how friendly it is for pets and their owners. In fact, there aren’t many places where you can’t bring your furry friend!


9. Raleigh is the second most pet-friendly city in the United States.

(Forbes)

If you’re looking for a pet-friendly area for you and your pet to hang out, it’s tough to find a better place than Raleigh, North Carolina. There are many pet-friendly spaces and affordable pet care. In fact, it’s the second most pet-friendly city in the entire country.

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Animal Shelter Statistics

10. 38,093 dogs and cats were killed in shelters in North Carolina in 2023.

(Best Friends)

North Carolina has one of the highest kill rates in the country. When you factor in the sheer number of pets that enter shelters, that equals numerous animals also having to get put down. The numbers are starting to improve, but it’s slow-going, and there’s plenty of work to do still.


11. North Carolina animal shelters took in 220,161 animals in 2023.

(Best Friends)

Between strays, surrendered pets, and those born in captivity, shelters in North Carolina take in a large number of animals. That means many animals throughout the state need homes.

woman volunteer in animal shelter
Image Credit: David Tadevosian, Shutterstock

12. There were 49,456 stray animals in North Carolina in 2023.

(SAC)

Stray animals are those that don’t have homes and are living on the streets. In 2023, North Carolina had more than 49,000 stray animals. There are many cats, but a fair number of dogs and other, more exotic species are on the list too.


13. North Carolinians surrendered more than 26,000 pets in 2023.

(SAC)

While most North Carolinians love their pets, some turn them over to shelters for various reasons. Over 26,000 family pets get surrendered each year, and with such a high kill rate in the state, not all get rehomed.

cat at an animal shelter
Image Credit: JW Design, Shutterstock

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which State Has the Most Pet Shelters per 100,000 People?

You might think that a state with a large number of people would have the most animal shelters, but that’s not the case. Wyoming actually has the most animal shelters per 100,000 people, though it’s likely because it also has one of the smallest populations in the country. North Carolina ranks ninth in the list, one of the few larger states in the top 10. (Joy Organics)

Which State Euthanizes the Most Animals?

California has the most people, and it’s also the state that puts down the most animals. In fact, it euthanizes more than 100,000 animals each year. (Spectrum News)

What Is the Most Euthanized Animal?

Most people may think that dogs are the most euthanized animals, but cats are actually euthanized the most. Only 2% of cats that enter animal shelters make it back to their families, and many never get adopted out. Therefore, it’s common for shelters to euthanize cats. (American Humane)

What Is the Most Common Exotic Pet in the United States?

While some people think that the most owned exotic animal is a reptile, amphibian, or bird, it is actually fish. There are about 13.3 million fish (11.1 million freshwater and 2.2 million saltwater) kept as pets by people in the country. These range from the common goldfish to the exotic neon tetra. (American Pet Products Association)

school of neon tetra fish in aquarium with plants
Image credit: Lapsi2380, Shutterstock

Is North Carolina a Dog-Friendly State?

Yes! Whether you want a dog, cat, or another exotic animal, North Carolina is an extremely pet-friendly state. Bring your pet to the Tar Heel State!

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Conclusion

Now that you know more about pet ownership statistics in North Carolina, it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with these details. You can try to help change the negative stats, share the positive ones, or just appreciate the data in general. No matter what you do, it’s valuable information to have!


Featured Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

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