The number of pets in the US has doubled since 2000, and is expected to grow by a third this year, according to a new study.
The number of dogs and cats in the United States rose by more than 2.3 million in the last five years, while the number of cats in America also increased by more then 2.1 million, according a report from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The number for dogs has risen by a whopping 20 million in that time, and the number for cats has risen another 1.6 million.
The rise in pets, however, is not being driven by rising demand from the pet food industry, but rather by the increased use of vaccines and medicines.
As a result, the US is seeing an increase in pet deaths, the report said.
“It is important to remember that pet owners have not just been sacrificing their pets in an effort to prevent illness and death, but they are also sacrificing their health and the welfare of their pets,” the FDA report said, according the New York Times.
“While we cannot predict the effect of any given vaccine or medicine on a pet’s life, we can predict the impact on its health, and that impact can be substantial.”
The report also noted that the increase in the number and number of animals used for veterinary care has been “unprecedented”.
The number and frequency of dogs used for research in the past decade has also been on a “tipping point” in terms of the number, the FDA said.
The report noted that many pet owners were looking for alternatives to the drugs used in pet food.
“This includes the use of more natural or alternative veterinary products,” it said.
“Many veterinarians also recommend alternative veterinary medicines to reduce side effects and to reduce the risk of developing new illnesses.”