One in Ten Pet Owners Says Their Pet is More Important Than Their Kids

Pet owners can get pretty attached to our dogs and cats, often calling ourselves “pet parents”. How does our affection for our pets compare to our affection for our actual children, though? A new survey finds that in many families, they may be on the same footing.

A survey recently conducted by Australian price comparison company Compare the Market asked pet owners in Australia, Canada, and the United States about how they viewed their pets’ role in the family. The survey involved just over 1,000 people in each country.

Toddler hugging his dog

The team found that roughly half of respondents in all three countries felt their pet was just as important as their human children. Americans were most apt to say this, with 55.5% of respondents feeling this way, compared with 49.6% of Canadians and 48.2% of Australians.

Meanwhile, just shy of 10% of Australians, Canadians, and Americans said their pet was more important than their children. Those responses ranged from 9.1% to 9.9%.

Little girl with her cat

With findings like these, it may not be surprising that more than half of female respondents from each country also admitted to calling their pets “fur-babies”. For men, however, the range was a bit broader, with only 27.1% of Australian men saying they called their furry friends that, while 37.5% of Canadian men and 41.6% of American men did.

The term was also more likely to be used the younger a pet owner was, with those in the 18-24 and 25-34 age groups being most apt to do so and the 65+ crowd being least apt to.

As Compare the Market offers comparisons on insurance, they also investigated whether calling pets fur-babies was linked with a greater likelihood of purchasing pet insurance. While the rates among all the respondents in Australia, Canada, and the United States were 19%, 20%, and 24%, respectively, those who used the fur-baby term were at 27%, 29%, and 32%.

Baby sitting with puppy in the sunshine

If you and your “fur-baby” would like to learn more about this survey, click here.

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