CDS Community Development Strategies
According to recent data, the number of households with at least one dog is on the rise. As a result, communities around the country are making room for dog parks. In some cases, playgrounds are even being replaced to accommodate for the growing canine demand. This should come as no surprise, given the fact that around 2010, the number of households with a dog surpassed the number of households with children.
My best guess is that the number of U.S. households that own a dog will continue to increase, but the percentage overall may not increase by much--if any. The last 10-20 years have seen a rise in the percentage of dog owning households due in no small part to the increase in single member and childless households, particularly among the white non-Hispanic population. A national survey conducted in 2011 showed that white non-Hispanic households had the highest percentage of pet ownership at just over 60%. Hispanic households had the next highest pet ownership rate at roughly 40%. Asian and black / African American households were even lower (the results of that survey are shown in the chart below). Dog ownership is closely correlated, although at a lower percentage. The Pew Research Center conducted a separate survey showing dog ownership in 2010 at 45% for white non-Hispanics, 26% for Hispanics, and 20% for black/African Americans.
About the author: Not only is Kirby Snideman a certified Urban Planner, but he is also a dog owner, part time dog trainer, and has been to dozens of dog parks in several states. He has also participated in the design of dog parks in the past. Below is a video of his dog Parley catching a frisbee at the Millie Bush Dog Park in Houston, Texas.