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How We Love Our Pets

Updated on August 29, 2012

People and Pets Around the World on Valentine's Day

According to a survey done by Reuters, twenty four thousand people across 23 different countries would rather kiss their pet than their partner on Valentine’s Day. The French were the least likely to pick choose a pet over a person. The older people in the survey were more likely to choose a person, not a pet. In this worldwide poll, Reuters found that over 20% of people would prefer to spend Valentine’s Day with their pet (Only 10% of the French would choose their pet). Those who were surveyed and were younger than 35 years old, and not as wealthy, more often chose to be with their pet on Feb. 14. 18% of people in the 35-54 age bracket chose their pet over their partner. With people over 55, 14% would chose their pet as their Valentine’s Day companion. It was evenly divided between males and females. Income played a role in people’s preferences also. 24% of the people in the survey, who chose pets over people had a lower income. 20% who chose their pets were in the middle to r higher income range.
Reuters found "While there are country differences, it's more of a personal choice made by younger and less affluent individuals."
People in Turkey had a preference of choosing their pet over their mate by 49%.
People who were polled in India chose their pets by 41% over a person. Japan came in at 30%. China 29%, U.S. 27%, Australia 25%.
Those countries who were more likely to choose a person over a pet: France chose their pets 10%, Mexico 11%, Netherlands 12%, Hungary 12%.
A little over 1,000 people were surveyed in each country via (

Americans Have a Love Affair With Their Pets
Americans Have a Love Affair With Their Pets

Our Pets Have a Special Place in Our Families and In Our Hearts

Americans have a love affair with their dogs. And why not, they are loyal, trustworthy, sincere, and they never have a bad thing to say about us. They are forgiving and welcome us home with a fervor that is unmatched by any human. They love us for who we are, not for our money, our looks, or our prestige. They don’t care if we are wearing designer clothes, or driving a beat up car, they are just glad we are home. They are never mad at us, and they live in the moment. Their unconditional love never fails us. As members of our family, they are treated to the best we can afford to give them in grooming, even doggie spas, pet food, toys, treats and clothing.
The U.S. pet business is nearly a $48 billion industry.Our pocketbook expresses our emotional attachment to our furry friends. We give our pets human names and treat them to the same medical care and conscientiousness towards food we do for ourselves. Cats, also are treated similarly. Prior to the late 1960’s veternarians didn’t learn too much about felines in vet school. Now they they do echocardiagrams and kidney transplants and other treatments specializing in feline care.. Pets are an important part of our lives and have a definite place in our families, and in our hearts.

Pet Statistics in the U.S.

According to the National Pet Owners Survey the chart shows themillions of  pets living in American households in 2009-2010.  

Number of U.S. Households that Own a Pet  

Bird                              6 million

Cat                            38.2 million

Dog                           45.6 million

Equine                       3.9 million

Freshwater Fish             13.3 million

Saltwater Fish            0.7 million

Reptile                          4.7 million

Small Animal              5.3 million

Total Number of Pets Owned in the U.S. (millions)

Bird                              15 million

Cat                            93.6 million

Dog                              77.5 million

Equine                         13.3 million

Freshwater Fish            171.7 million

Saltwater Fish            11.2 million

Reptile                          13.6 million

Small Animal              15.9 million

How We Treat Our Pets is Influenced by Our Culture

Much of our bond with animals deepened after we moved into a more urban life within a city. We used to use animals to help on the farms, when we moved away from farming, these animals became our companions. Anthropomorphizing is what we do to our pets (giving them human qualities). We can’t help it, and I, personally wouldn’t have it any other way. Psychology researcher Adam Waytz of Harvard University believes that it is a natural for us to do this. He said it helps us make sense of the world. We anthropomorphize because we like our pets so much. Sometimes this can cause confusion in the pet and cause behavior problems. Dogs need rules, according to animal behavior consultant, Chris Hamer. She believes if we treat pets like people, the pets incur a form of miscommunication and they can get confused, causing them to misbehave. She encourages pet owners to be affectionate and loving, but in a way that the dog can understand.
How we treat our animals is very much influenced by the culture of the time. In ancient Greece and Rome, people held funerals for their pets. During the 1730’s, hating cats was a popular thing to do in Paris. In the 1890’s the French popularly put underwear on their dogs and bought them raincoats and bathing suits. In Sri Lanka, the deciding factor for having a dog depended on their religion. Due to tradition, ninety percent of Buddhists have a dog as a companion. Less than five percent of Muslims have a pet.

We love our pets
We love our pets

There is an Upward Trend Towards Pampering Our Pets

The current statistics in the U.S. shows a continual upward trend toward pampering our pets suprising them with presents, celebrating holidays with them, and buying high end grooming products, toys, and clothing and even bottled water for their pets.  We take them with us often and buy them much more than the necessitities. Many companies who manufacture products for human have transcended into the market for pets. Companies like Paul Mitchell for example, make hair care products for people  and also make shampoo for dogs. Harley Davison has lent their name for dog shirts and pet toys. More and more hotels around the country have become pet friendly and include things like over sized pillows and even robes for dogs. Some hotels give the ultimate... a licensed on staff dog masseuse. After the massage, dogs can drink from a fountain of fresh flowing water. Cats can relieve their tension in a spa for felines.  We love our pets so much that we won’t leave them in a hurricane, earthquake, fire, or other emergency situations. This has made many shelters now open to accepting pets. And anyone who loves their  pet can completely relate to this.  Whatever the holiday you are celebrating, enjoy the day with the people you love and remember to give special love and attention to your devoted pet. Your pet doesn’t need you to spend any money on them.  A little extra attention and a lot of lovin’ is all they really want.


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    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      So much well written truth in this Valentine's piece, toknowinfo. I can't think of anyone more happy or grateful for a treat, new toy or just me than my Scottish Terrer, MacGregor...or more handsome for that matter. I am so lucky to share my life and abode with my little man. Since so many Americans share life with a pet, thank you for this most appropriate, but often forgotten Valentine!

    • jackpoint profile image

      jackpoint 6 years ago from California

      My babies don't need a Hallmark Holiday.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A great hub for all us animal lovers out here.

      Thanks for sharing and take care.


    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      Pets are such a BIG money maker today, they have clothes, jewelry, of course why not Valentines Day...Good fun enjoyable read.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi toknowinfo, enjoyed reading your wonderful hub. pets are always faithful, always excited to see you,never mad if you come home late and always there for you !

      Awesome hub !!!

    • Rhonda Waits profile image

      Rhonda Musch 6 years ago from The Emerald Coast

      I love my cat Abbie but I also love my mate. A great read.

      Sweet wishes Rhonda

    • lindatymensky profile image

      lindatymensky 6 years ago

      Thank you for this piece from one pet lover to another! I'm following you! Keep 'em coming!