Cultural awareness for veterinary clinicians

This guide is designed to help veterinary clinicians to consider cultural differences in clients

Hispanic or Latino

According to an analysis of 2021 American Community Survey data, there are now 10.7 million Mexican immigrants living in the U.S.. In 2020, 6.1% of Minnesota residents identified as Hispanic or Latino.

A recent 2021 Population and Housing Census conducted by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography indicates that in Mexico there are 35K households, 70.98% of which have at least one pet. Of these 80 million pets, 44 million are dogs, 16 million are cats.

Pet ownership of dogs in Mexico has increased in recent years, and has become a status symbol among city dwellers who favor purebred dog breeds. Stray dogs are part of the Mexican street landscape. While the number of street dogs has diminished substantially over the years, strays can still be seen hanging around the markets and street stalls. Precise data is difficult to find, but Mexico is estimated to have 18 million to 20 million dogs. A robust vaccination effort has reduced the incidence of rabies to a very rare occurrence.

The attitudes demonstrated by Mexican Americans concerning pet dogs are similar to American pet owners. There is a current trend seen with Mexican and Mexican Americans starting to allow their dogs to live inside their homes. This illustrates the juxtaposition of the traditional Mexican idea of dogs being strictly outdoor dogs. The similar bond suggests the fluidity in dog attitudes and their enculturation into American society. Most Mexicans and Mexican Americans surveyed consider their dogs as ‘family’. A generational shift in the attitudes is occurring and most 2nd generation Mexican Americans have a more positive attitude towards dogs then their 1st generation or native Mexican parents. A 2010 study did find that Hispanics were more likely to own sexually intact dogs and cats as pets than were individuals of other race-ethnicity groups, while noting no significant difference between how non-Hispanic White and Hispanic owners viewed their pets.


Last Updated: Apr 24, 2023 11:27 AM