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Going in Debt for the Pet; National Survey Finds There's No Price Too Great for Pets

December 9th, 2002, 02:36 PM
Going in Debt for the Pet; National Survey Finds There's No Price Too Great for Pets

DENVER, Dec. 5 /CNW/ -- Most people would overextend their finances
for the well-being of themselves, a spouse, or child. But what about the
family pet? Is there a price tag that's too high? Not so according to a
recent national survey -- approximately 74% of pet owners surveyed indicated
that they would go into debt in order to provide for their pet's well-being.
A survey of 1,189 pet owners in the United States and Canada conducted by
the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) reveals that pets are an
integral part of the family. 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 tenth annual national pet
owner survey.
The results indicate the human-animal bond is stronger than ever, with pet
owners going the extra mile for their pets. Of the survey respondents:

93 percent buy presents for their pet. More than half of pet owners
purchase at least four presents annually.
83 percent acquire their pet mainly for companionship.
44 percent have acquired a pet simply to keep another pet company.
66 percent specially prepare their pet's food.
Of those pet owners who have a will, 27 percent have included
provisions in their will for their pets.
Nearly one-third (29 percent) of pet owners rely on their pet the most
for companionship and affection.
37 percent talk to their pet on the telephone or through an answering
44 percent have purchased souvenirs for their pet while on vacation.
78 percent of dog owners and 68 percent of cat owners allow their pet
to lick their face.
39 percent 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-elect. "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."

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 35 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces responded.

The American Animal Hospital Association is an international organization of more than 22,000 veterinary care providers who treat companion animals.

source: Canada NewsWire