Americans love apple pie, baseball, and their pets. Apple pie is yummy, baseball is fun, but lots of us love our pets more than the other two American traditions.
Data from a recent pet food manufacturer’s survey states that 81% of dog owners consider their canine friends to be part of the family and 77% talk to them as if they were human. These two little bits of information created lots of buzz on MyPetED’s Facebook page so I thought we should look more closely at how Americans value their four-footed family members.
I did a little research into America’s relationship with family pets and thought about how our family viewed our furry members. It made me realize just how much I love Scout. See how you and your pet(s) stack up.
Fun Family Pet Facts:
1. 83% of American pet owners refer to themselves as “Mom” or “Dad” when talking to or about their pets. This first statistic applies to our family. Scout definitely knows who to approach when I tell him, “Go find your Daddy.” Maybe not as impressive as Lassie finding a child stuck in a well, but I’m proud of him!
2. Look around as you drive along American roads and you’ll see that 68% of pet owners travel with their pet. Got this one in the bag, too. Scout knows his riding position in each of our vehicles and heeds the command, “Let’s go to the camp”, by jumping in the SUV instead of my car. Since he’s not a beagle fan, Scout prefers not to visit my father’s house, so we often keep this destination a secret until we get close.
3. Americans are creative and 39% of pet owners give their pets human names. This statistic doesn’t apply to us. Scout’s name came from a classic novel; however, he has a niece (his brother’s Yorkie child) who is named after my mother. OK, it’s only a middle name, but I still count it. Besides, southern Grandmothers often call their grandchildren by both names, so I call my grand-dog Reesie MARIE.
4. Since pets are part of the family, 82% of pet owners think of their pets more than once during the day. Guilty…need no explanation or excuse….just guilty.
5. Americans love to celebrate special occasions and 67% of pet owners include their pets in holiday traditions. Scout is present at all events, big and small, sometimes to the dismay of our “not-so-dog-friendly” guests. If they dare comment on his presence at a holiday function, we smile sweetly as we remind them that this is HIS house and they are HIS guests. Of course, he never gets holiday food since his parents are both veterinarians.
6. Speaking of holidays, 52% of pet owners include news of their pet or a photo with their Christmas cards. We don’t send Christmas cards so Scout is thankful to be spared the embarrassment of donning a Santa hat. Reesie Marie is not so lucky.
7. 64% of pet owners expect that their pets would come to their rescue if they were in danger. You’re darn right! Scout is a Labrador and swims much better than I do, so he’d better rescue me!
8. Americans are brave people so 93% of pet owners say they would risk their own lives for their pets. Why the discrepancy here? (See Fact #7) Scout has some explaining to do.
9. When asked “Who listens to you best?”, 45% of pet owners said their four legged friends did. Only 30% chose their spouse or significant other. Need I say more??
10. 32% of dog owners admit to kissing their dogs on the mouth even though 34% of dogs drink out of the toilet. Now, I love my dog and I am known as an affectionate person, but I make really sure that Scout’s water bowl is full and the toilet lids are down.
11. And last, but not least, if stranded on a desert island and limited to only one companion, 50% of people would choose their dog. Sorry, Scout….your dad can build a hut and carry water so I pick him. I’ll leave you safely at home with another loving member of our family.
Count the ways you love your pet and share a few with us!