You’re certainly not alone, according to the results from two recent pet-parent surveys.
The Milo’s Kitchen Pet Parent Survey, conducted by Kelton Research, found that 81 percent of Americans treat their pooches as family members. The majority of respondents – 77 percent – also talk about their dogs as if they were two-legged family members.
The 1,500 pet parents who participated in petMD’s first-ever Pet Owners Survey concur. In fact, almost all of them (90 percent) said they would fight more passionately for their pets than for money in a divorce.
“Pet owners are passionately loyal to their pets and they show it in every aspect of their lives,” said Nicolas Chereque, petMD co-founder, in a press release. “The petMD survey shows that, much like human relationships, pets are a mixture of love, worry, joy and frustration for their owners, who consistently look for ways to improve the quality of their pets’ lives.”
Rob Leibowitz, senior vice president of pet products for Del Monte Foods, the parent company of Milo’s Kitchen, stated, “Dogs are integral members of the family unit, and we want to shed light on this subtle, but important change from ‘owner’ to ‘parent.’ This survey showcases how pet parents today really treat their dogs like their own children.”
Milo’s Kitchen Pet Parent Survey Results:
- Who’s Your Daddy? – More than half of the respondents (54 percent) said they prefer to be called pet “parent” instead of “owner.” Even more (58 percent) call themselves mommy or daddy when talking about their dogs, and 35 percent refer to their pooch as their son or daughter. Ten percent celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with their dog.
- Spoilage – Nearly 72 percent of pet parents with children said they apply the same discipline standards to both their four-legged and two-legged kids. Most dogs are given special privileges, including their own chair, sofa or bed (62 percent), and some even have their very own room (13 percent).
- Conversation Pieces – Dogs give couples something to talk about: 79 percent said they discuss their dog more than politics; 55 percent talk about them more than their human friends; 48 percent talk about them more than their jobs; 45 discuss them more than their relationships; and 57 percent chat about them more than sex.
- Framing Fido – Is there a framed photo or three of your pooch on your mantel? The majority of dog parents surveyed have an average of seven photos of their fur kids displayed in their homes and workplaces, and 71 percent carry a picture of their pooch with them at all times. Nearly a quarter of respondents (23 percent) have a photo album dedicated to their dogs, and 16 percent have scrapbooks.
- Yappy Birthday – If you celebrate your pooch’s birthday, you have a lot of company – 81 percent of dog parents know and celebrate their furiend’s big day, and 77 percent have bought a present for their pooch.
- Old vs. New School – The survey shows that dogs now play a larger, more important role in family life than they did for previous generations. Nearly 60 percent of respondents said they appreciate their current dogs more than they did their childhood dogs. Two-thirds of dog parents also believe they are better parents to their dogs than their parents were to their childhood dogs.
petMD Pet Owners Survey Results:
- Furiendliness – If they could only have one friend, the majority of respondents (73 percent) would choose their dog over a human.
- Pooch Politics – Would you vote for a presidential candidate who is perceived to not like pets? Neither would 66 percent of pet parents.
- Relationship Canine Criteria – If their dates didn’t like pets, 60 percent of respondents said there would be no second date. However, some kind souls (15 percent) said they would give their dates a second chance, while 30 percent said they’d try to change their minds.
- Pup Products – The majority of pet parents (65 percent) would buy the products of a company that supports a pet charity over products from a company that doesn’t, as long as the quality and price were the same. Some pet parents (15 percent) would automatically buy products from a company that supports pet charities. (By the way, did you know that when you purchase i Love Dogs products, we make a donation to pet charities?)
PHOTO: Zack Sheppard