In honor of National Love Your Pet Day, held annually on Feb. 20, check out these fascinating facts about owning a pet! % of households own pets — that’s over 84 million homes! cats owned in the U.S. dogs owned in the U.S. Health Benefits Studies show that pets provide a variety of health benefits, like reducing cortisol (the hormone linked to stress), providing opportunities to increase your activity level, and easing anxiety and depression. Here are a few more key benefits of pet ownership: Lowers blood pressure Reduces loneliness Boosts mood How Common Are Your Pet Habits? Have you done any (or all) of these things? Find out how you compare to other pet owners! claim their pet can sense their moods 80% 80% talk to their pet 50% 50% have blow-dried their pet’s fur 25% 25% take more photos of their dogs than friends and family 65% 65% allow their pet to sleep in their bed 45% 45% Popular Breeds According to American Kennel Club and Cat Fanciers’ Association, these are the most popular dog and cat breeds in recent years. LABRADOR RETRIEVER A pleasant temperament makes this a great dog for families with young children. GERMAN SHEPHERD Loyalty, intelligence, and adaptability make this dog breed a favorite. GOLDEN RETRIEVER This popular family dog is lovable, playful, and docile. RAG DOLL This blue-eyed breed is known for its sweet nature, love of human companionship, and dog-like personality. EXOTIC Also known as a short-haired Persian, this cat is easygoing, playful, and low maintenance. BRITISH SHORTHAIR Cat lovers turn to this breed for their laid-back nature and lovability.