Fido’s place in the family

Most people would overextend their finances for the well being of themselves, a spouse, or child. But what about the family pet? Apparently, there is no price too high for Fido or Fluffy, according to a recent survey.

Almost 74 per cent of pet owners recently surveyed in Canada and the U.S. said that they would go into debt in order to provide for their pet’s well being.

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) did a North American survey of about 1200 pet owners. It’s the tenth annual pet owner survey, looking at the relationships between humans and their pets.

The survey asked pet owners about day-to-day interaction with their companion animals and results indicate that pets are definitely an integral part of the family. The human-animal bond is stronger than ever, with most pet owners doing a lot more than feeding and grooming their pets.

Survey findings
Of the survey respondents:

  • 93 per cent buy presents for their pet. More than half of pet owners purchase at least four presents annually.
  • 83 per cent acquire their pet mainly for companionship.
  • 44 per cent have acquired a pet simply toeep another pet company.
  • 66 per cent specially prepare their pet’s food.
  • Of those pet owners who have a will, 27 per cent have included provisions in their will for their pets.
  • Nearly a third of pet owners rely on their pet the most for companionship and affection.
  • 37 per cent talk to their pet on the telephone or through an answering machine.
  • 44 per cent have purchased souvenirs for their pet while on vacation.
  • 78 per cent of dog owners and 68 per cent of cat owners allow their pet to lick their face.
  • 39 per cent have furniture that is reserved mainly for their pet’s use.

“Believe it or not, these results are not surprising to us,” says Dr. Michael Thomas, AAHA president. “For years we have known about the growing importance that people place on their pets. For most people, a pet is much more than just a pet. They are full-fledged members of the
family who play a critical role in today’s society.”

Most pet owners would agree.