You wouldn't know it by driving or walking down the street in some neighborhoods in New Jersey, but we rank at number 46 out of all 50 states when it comes to the percentage of households with pets.

If you live anywhere near a dog park that would surprise you as well.

They're usually packed. Maybe it's the lack of space compared to other states or that we're busier than people in most other parts of the country.

Pets are a big responsibility, so maybe we're just more responsible.

47.4 percent of New Jersey households have a pet with dog ownership much higher at 29 percent, than households that have a cat, at roughly 19 percent, which is the third lowest in the nation.

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Adobe Stock

The benefits of owning a pet are numerous and, in some cases, immeasurable, but it also comes with great responsibility.

But people in New Jersey who do have pets treat them as family members and in some cases like real human beings if not better.

People who grow up in a household without a pet are less likely to take the plunge into pet ownership when they grow up or raise their own family.

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Adobe Stock

You see a lot of young couples who've just started living together get a dog almost as a way to practice nurturing something together in practice for when they have their own offspring.

Typically, when they do have kids the dog in most cases takes a back seat.

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Adobe Stock

Many empty nesters tend to gravitate toward overindulging their pets as a reaction to not having the kids around anymore to dote on.

If you look around your neighborhood or amongst your friends and family you might think everyone in New Jersey has a cat or dog, but we are near the bottom of the list, surprisingly.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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