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Kiwis highly value their furry friends - survey

Monday 23 Aug 2010 9:36 a.m.

A recent Purina survey shows Kiwi pet owners highly value the role their furry friends play in the home

A recent Purina survey shows Kiwi pet owners highly value the role their furry friends play in the home

By Jerram Watts

We are a nation of pet lovers – a recent Purina survey shows Kiwi pet owners highly value the role their furry friends play in the home.

Both male and female cat and dog owners admitted to ‘cherishing’ their pets; 85 percent of dog owners admitted they treat their canine comrade like a member of the family, compared to 81 percent of cat owners.

Pet-care expert Shivaun Statham says pets the bond between a human and their pets is deepening as more Kiwis include their pets in all aspects of their everyday lives.

“Families have changed over the years and pets now play a more emotional role in them and subsequently this is reflected in owners’ feelings towards them,” she says.

The survey revealed men to be more partial to doting on their pet compared to women.

Nine out of ten male dog owners admitted a warm welcome from their pet helps them recover from a stressful day and 32 percent admitted to sending their dog off to get pampered because ‘they felt that it deserved a treat’.

The survey asked respondents about the day-to-day interactions with their pets and the results show animals are becoming evermore inclusive in the family.

  • 49 percent of female cat owners admitted to talking to their cat about their problems
  • 31 percent of female dog owners say their dog is a better listener than their partner
  • 14 percent of male dog owners believe their dogs show them more affection than their partner – all the time
  • 57 percent of cat owner say there is nothing better than cuddling their cat
  • 72 percent of male cat owners agree their cats are affectionate
  • 47 percent of female cat owners always allow their cat to sleep in their bed – compared to one third of male cat owners
  • 51 percent of cat owners and 59 percent of dog owners consider themselves parents to their pets

Ms Statham says this shows there is a strong emotional bond between many pet owners and their pets.

“Pets can become as endearing as a child or a close friend to many pet owners. When people find strong companionship and affection in their pets, it is quite normal for them to begin treating their animals as important family members,” she says.

The survey comprised results from 250 cat owners and 250 dog owners.

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