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Pet Owners Let Love Rule

April 8th, 2002, 11:10 AM
Pet Owners Let Love Rule; National Survey Finds Love Is Strong Among Pet Owners

DENVER, Nov. 27 -- It's the ultimate expression: saying
"I love you." For many, it's tough to drum up the courage to share this
sentiment with a loved one. But when it comes to pet owners, they certainly
are not bashful about this term of endearment. According to a recent national
survey, 63 percent of pet owners say "I love you" at least once daily to their
A survey of 1,225 pet owners in the United States and Canada conducted by
the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) reveals that pets have become
a large source for unconditional love in the household. In an effort to learn
more about relationships between humans and their pets, AAHA asked pet owners
about day-to-day interaction with their companion animals in its eleventh
annual national pet owner survey.
The results indicate that the large majority of 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 that their pet listens to them best.
-- 59 percent celebrate their pet's birthday.
-- 90 percent would not consider dating someone who wasn't fond of
their pet.
-- More than two-thirds (68 percent) travel with their pet.
-- 36 percent have named someone as the future guardian of their pet.
-- 21 percent would travel 1,000 miles or more in order to obtain
specialty veterinary care.
-- In a life-threatening situation, 44 percent would spend $3,000 or more
to save their pet's life.
-- Love and attention was rated as the most important element to ensure a
pet's quality of life.

"There has never been a greater time for our companion animals," says
Dr. Kathleen Neuhoff, AAHA president-elect. "Thanks to advances in veterinary
care, as well as a stronger bond between pets and their owners, pets are
living longer and healthier than ever before."
The survey was conducted by AAHA through its membership from across the
United States and Canada. Respondents were pet owners who take their pets to
AAHA veterinarians. Pet owners from 44 states and five Canadian provinces