Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets.

Half of Americans consider pets family members

200460080-001The Associated Press and published the results of an interesting poll about pets and their owners recently.  The poll focused on how pet owners viewed their pets and asked such questions as whether a pet owner considered a pet as a member of the family, whether they gave their pet a human name, where the pet sleeps, and so on.  All of these questions seemed geared toward determining the nature of the human-pet relationship.

Here are some of the answers:

Which comes closest to the way you feel about how your pet fits into your family?

My Pet is part of my household but not part of my family 13

My pet is part of the family, but not as much as the

people in the household 36

My pet is just as much a part of the family as any other

person in the household 50

What is/are your pet’s name? CODED INTO HUMAN NAMES AND NON-HUMAN


Human name(s) 49

(Human names only 25)

(Multiple pets, human & non-human names 24)

Non-human name(s) only 46

Where does your pet sleep?  Does your pet sleep…

In your bed 30

In its own bed or cage 33

Outdoors 13

Have you ever bought an outfit for your pet, or not?

Yes 19

No 81

Please say whether you have ever done any of the following.  How about…

Included your pet in a family portrait 35

Included your pet in your holiday card 33

Taken a pet on vacation with you 42

Taken a pet to work 17

Taken a pet somewhere it isn’t allowed, like a hotel or

store 16

Other questions included whether people thought their pet had their own sense of style (43 percent said yes).  Only 27 percent of people celebrate their pet’s birthday or Gotcha day (surprisingly low, I thought).

I know some people who are very ecstatic about these answers.  They seem to believe that they offer some kind of proof of what wonderful people we are because we do all of these nice, cute things with our pets and, in some cases, treat them more like people than animals.  I’m not so sure.  So, our dogs live in the house and sleep on our beds.  They go on vacation with us.  Half the population can still distinguish between a pet and a human family member.  Maybe I’m crazy or just an insensitive person, but I think that’s a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my dogs!  I really, really love my dogs.  I would do anything for them.  But I like to think that if I were married or had kids that I would have my priorities straight enough to know that I should put human family members first.  I think you can see that with other people in the poll results:

The survey reveals that single people of both genders, but especially single women (66%), were likely to say that their pet is a full member of the family. Only 46 percent of married women shared the same viewpoint. In comparison, 52 percent of single men said so, compared to 43 percent of married men.

I think that when you have a family it often gives you a different perspective on pets, and that’s the way it should be.  Of course, every person I know is crazy about dogs but I think they’re a special group because they’re dog people.  They go to shows, they do agility and obedience training.  They do field work.  They’ve made dogs the center of their lives.  I don’t think they’re typical of most people whether single or married.

So, where would you fall in this poll?  How would you answer these questions?  Is your dog a full-fledged member of the family?

June 29, 2009 Posted by | dogs, Pets | , , | 1 Comment