Pets are not just companions, but they are part of our family. They are our furbabies, our kids, our four-legged family members.
According to a Harris Poll, more and more families are considering pets as part of the family.
Almost nine in ten (88%) pet owners say their pet is a member of their family with just seven percent saying no. Women are more likely than men to believe this (93% versus 84%). Dog owners are slightly more likely (93%) than cat owners (89%) to consider their pets members of their family.
Just under two-thirds (63%) of Americans currently have a pet. Certain groups are more likely to have pets than others. Women are more likely then men (68% versus 57%) and Gen Xers (those aged 31-42) and Baby Boomers (those aged 43-61) are more likely (71% and 67% respectively) to have pets then the younger and older generations. Regionally, those in the Midwest are most likely (67%) to have one while those in the East are least likely (58%) to have a pet.
Dog people outnumber cat people among U.S. pet owners. Seven in ten pet owners have a dog compared to just over half (52%) who have a cat. One in six (15%) have fish while seven percent have a bird and 12 percent have some other type of pet. Baby Boomers are more likely to have a dog (74%) while Gen Xers are more likely to have fish (21%).
Just over one-third (35%) of pet owners have one pet while one-quarter (25%) have two. Lesser numbers have three (13%), four (7%) and five (6%) while 13 percent of pet owners have six or more pets. Mature pet owners (those aged 62 and older) are more likely to just have one pet (42%) while Gen Xers are more likely to have three or more pets.
If pets are members of the family, then they are entitled to certain things and pet owners make sure their pets get these things. Over two-thirds (69%) of pet owners let their pets sleep in the bed with them, with women more likely then men to share their bed with their pet (72% versus 64%). Gen Xers are also more likely to share their bed as almost three-quarters (74%) let their pet sleep with them. Also, cats are more likely to get on the bed then dogs (78% versus 70%).
Pet owners are also present buyers. Almost two-thirds (65%) have bought their pet a holiday present and over one-third (37%) have bought their pet a birthday present. Dogs get presents more than cats do. Seven in ten (71%) of dog owners have bought their pet a holiday present compared to 63 percent of cat owners. The same is true for birthday presents as 42 percent of dog owners have gotten a present for their pet compared to one-third (33%) of cat owners.
Further down on the list of what people do for their pets is cooking especially for them (23% of pet owners have done so), dressing them in some type of clothing (18%) and being taken to work (10%). Cooking for your pet is something one does as they get older as three in ten (31%) of mature pet owners have cooked especially for their pet compared to just 14 percent of Echo Boomers (those aged 18-30) who have pets. While dogs may get more presents, cats may get the last laugh. Only 14 percent of cat owners have dressed their pet in some type of clothing compared to almost one-quarter (23%) of dog owners.