February 01, 2002

 

 I love you...Fluffy - February 1, 2002

Posted on January 15, 2002

I love you...Fluffy

Courtesy of Dr. Ellen Dziedzicki
Sixty-three percent of pet owners say "I love you" at least once daily to their pets.

"I love you." It's the ultimate expression of affection. And most pet owners are not bashful about using this term of endearment. According to a national survey by the AAHA, 63 percent of pet owners say "I love you" at least once daily to their pets.

A survey of 1,225 pet owners in the United States and Canada indicates that pets are a primary source of unconditional love in the household. The AAHA asked pet owners about day-to-day interaction with their companion animals in its 11th annual national pet survey.

According to the AAHA, the results, released in late November, show that most pet owners identify their pets as members of the family, and will go to great measures to keep their pets happy and healthy.

Of the survey respondents, 84 percent acquired their pet mainly for companionship; 78 percent talk to their pet in a different voice; 83 percent refer to themselves as their pet's mom or dad; 52 percent believe their pet listens to them best; 59 percent celebrate their pet's birthday; and 90 percent would not consider dating someone who wasn't fond of their pet.

The survey shows that many owners are willing to go to great lengths to ensure that their pets receive quality veterinary care. For instance, 21 percent said they would travel 1,000 miles or more to obtain specialty veterinary care. Forty-four percent of respondents indicated they would spend $3,000 or more to save their pet's life.

Also notable are the findings that 36 percent have named someone as the future guardian of their pet, and more than a third have felt discrimination as a pet owner. The most frequently cited circumstances of discrimination include housing, transportation, and access to parks.

The survey was conducted by the AAHA through its membership in the United States and Canada. The 1,225 respondents were pet owners who take their pets to AAHA veterinarians. Pet owners from 44 states and five Canadian provinces responded.