It probably comes as no surprise to most readers that a recent survey revealed that approximately three quarters of cat owners and nearly four out of five dog owners consider their furry companions to be members of the family. About the same ratio of people find pets to be vital to their own health. The longer these fur-babies are with us, the more this is true, especially when they grow up with our kids.
More than four out of five pet guardians surveyed believe that dogs and cats are beneficial to their emotional health and overall well-being. Sometimes pets take the place of a child and satisfy the human urge to nurture, either for childless couples or those whose kids have grown up and moved on.
For the past two decades or more, industries which focus on pet food and products have been capitalizing on these close bonds and the desire to pamper loved ones.
Some animal lovers even prepare elaborate birthday parties for their pets, complete with invitations, guests and lavish gifts. They also give their pets holiday gifts.
Another trend is the display of pet pictures intermingled with the family photos on walls and in wallets. Many pet owners will even provide for their beloved cats and dogs while depriving themselves of luxuries or even things they really need.
Whether the pet is a dog, cat, fish, bird or something else entirely, the line between children and pets has become increasingly blurred. Pet parents have been known to give their animals nicknames and talk to their fur-babies as if they were human.
They also purchase insurance policies for their pets’ healthcare, dress them up like little people, cook meals for them, and either allow them to share the bed or get them one of their own. Not sure if your pet is a family member? Click here for five ways to show how your pet acts as though they are.
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