Biennial pet population survey shines a light on how pet population statistics changed over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and pet owner habits.

Toronto, ON (September 22 2022)

The Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI) is pleased to share the results of its 2022 Pet Population Survey. These figures are the result of a nation-wide survey of 4,000 pet-owning households, conducted by Kynetec (formerly Ipsos), and continue historical tracking of pet population numbers on behalf of the CAHI since 2004. Not surprisingly, the survey results confirm that pet ownership in Canada increased throughout the pandemic, with 60% of households reporting ownership of at least one cat or dog. This year’s pet population results incorporate both improvements made by Kynetec to the survey’s methodology and additional market intelligence to best reflect the status of pet ownership in Canada. From 2020-2022, the Canadian dog and cat populations continued to grow, increasing from 7.7 million to 7.9 million for dogs, and from 8.1 million to 8.5 million for cats. Within the populations of dogs and cats, the annual medicalization rate remained stable for dogs at 86%, while the multi-year trend for an increase in the medicalization rate of cats continued. As a result, the historical gap between medicalization rates for dogs and cats appears to be incrementally decreasing , with results showing a 3% increase in the number of cats reported to have visited a veterinary clinic in the previous 12 months from 58% in 2020, to 61% in 2022.

“We know that dogs, cats, and other animals can provide many benefits for mental health including companionship and coping with stressful situations. It comes as no surprise that the trends show an increase in both the Canadian dog and cat populations, with the largest increases happening from 2020- 2022” said Dr. Emily Bond, Programs Director for CAHI. “It will be interesting to see if this trend continues, now that life is returning to the new normal.”

Research lead, Colin Siren, Senior Vice President of Kynetec Canada, stated that “The growth rate of the Canadian dog and cat populations and the rate of Canadian pets visiting the veterinarian continues to surpass pre-COVID crisis levels. Nearly 1 in 5 pet owners wanted or needed preventative care in the past 12 months but were not able to access it due to affordability or the inability to get an appointment, among other reasons. Despite these challenges, veterinary services remain highly valued”

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the special relationship we have with our pets; they are our loyal companions who keep us active and improve our quality of life and our mental health. Healthy pets mean healthy Canadians. Keeping pets up to date on vaccinations, feeding them a nutritious diet, and regularly seeing a veterinarian are key elements of pet ownership. Given the current context in Canada with the issues surrounding veterinary capacity, the shortage of veterinarians and animal health technicians, by investing in preventative care with regular visits, animal owners can safeguard their pet and reduce the strain on emergency veterinary services.

About the CAHI

Established in 1968, CAHI is the trusted, science-based voice of the Canadian animal health industry. Our members provide Canada’s veterinarians and animal owners with the animal medications and tools necessary to maintain the health of our pets and food animal population. Healthier animals for a healthier Canada.

About Kynetec

As global leaders in market research for animal health and agriculture, Kynetec helps companies around the world understand the dynamics of their marketplace, turning research into business opportunities and enabling clients to create winning strategies. For more information, please visit