A revealing new study shows just how much pet owners value their furry friends.
A report by Rover.com, the largest network of five-star pet sitters and dog walkers, revealed that cats and dogs play a familial role in humans’ lives, affecting financial decisions like buying a home (42 per cent), buying a car (40 per cent), or choosing furniture (37 per cent).
“I have noticed a trend towards more of an understanding that a pet is not an item, not a toy,” veterinarian Dr. Rebecca Greenstein said.
“To think that pets are now elevated to the status where we’re factoring them in, almost as if they are a spouse, a sibling or a child, is pretty amazing.”
The Calgary Humane Society agrees.
Manager of Community Outreach, Phil Fulton, also said financial considerations should be one of the top contributing factors when deciding when to get a pet.
“You can do all the planning that you want but you can’t anticipate a medical emergency and quite often that’s when people get in trouble,” Fulton said.
Fulton added unexpected vet bills are the number two reason pet owners surrender their animal. He suggested pet owners get vet insurance and have a rainy day fund.
“The cost of care for a dog is going to be about $1,700 a year and about $1,000 for a cat. And that does not include medical emergencies… Make a plan — a contingency plan — and expect the unexpected.”
Fulton said the study is encouraging and shows people are doing more research and getting more prepared before buying an animal.
“I think we’re dealing with a society now that recognizes that once they have an animal, that they’re going to do whatever they can to care for that animal in the long term.”
Rover’s report, The Secret Lives of Cat People and Dog People, also found people love their pets dearly, sometimes even more than family and friends.
Other findings included Millennials are adopting pets as starter families and Baby Boomers are welcoming pets as extended family.