2014

Pets Really Are Members of the Family Three in five Americans are pet owners

NEW YORK, June 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans have always had interesting relationships with their pets – whether that pet is a cat, dog, parakeet or something else. The pet industry is thriving and for good reason. More than three in five Americans (62%) have a pet. Among pet owners, seven in ten have a dog (69%), half have a cat (51%), one in ten have a fish (11%), and less than one in ten pet owners have a bird (7%) or some other type of pet (8%).

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO )

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,184 adults surveyed online between May 9 and 16, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

Pets are family members

Over nine in ten pet owners (91%) say they consider their pet to be a member of their family —a sentiment that remains constant among dog-owners (92%) and cat-owners (91%).  And pet owners do things to show their Cocker Spaniel, Calico or Cock-a-too that they care.  Over half of pet owners (57%) say they frequently let their pet sleep in the bed with them while less than one-quarter (23%) say they never do this.

Pets also get presents. One-third of pet owners (33%) frequently purchase holiday presents for their pet, while one-quarter (27%) occasionally do so. And these gifts are not just at holiday time as one in five pet owners (20%) frequently buy their pets birthday presents and while 17% do so occasionally. Pets are probably happy that their owners don't do two things: two-thirds of pet owners (66%) say they have never dressed their pet in some type of clothing and four in five (83%) say they have never taken their pet to work with them. If the dog or cat goes to work, how will they spend the day lying around on the couch!

Pets are more than just members of the family

There have been a lot of discussions recently about how spending time with pets, particularly dogs, can have various health benefits including helping to relieve stress and anger.  Some institutions actually keep dogs for people to play with and care for to help reduce stress and/or anger. Majorities of Americans believe it's a good idea to have dogs at long-term care facilities (89%), hospitals (72%) and prisons (60%). However not all places may be appropriate pet places as majorities of U.S. adults believe it is a bad idea to have dogs at professional offices (52%) and university libraries (55%).

So What?

There is nothing like the unconditional love of a pet, whether it is a cat that snuggles up to you while watching TV or a dog who greets you so enthusiastically when you walk in the door, even if you just left to take out the garbage. It's no wonder that these animals are treated like family members. The pet industry understands this and capitalizes on it, creating a vast market of holiday gifts, gourmet dog and cat food and designer clothing and accessories all for our furry friends.

TABLE 1
HAVING A PET
"Do you currently have a pet?"
Respondents answering "yes"


Base:  All Adults


Total 2007

Total 2011


%

%

All Adults

63

62

Gender



    Men

57

55

    Women

68

69

Region



    East

58

61

    Midwest

67

54

    South

63

66

    West

63

65

Age



    Echo Boomers (18-34)

59

63

    Gen X (35-46)

71

70

    Baby Boomers (47-65)

67

63

    Matures (66+)

50

46

Race/Ethnicity



    White

67

66

    African-American

35

32

    Hispanic

68

65

Education



    High School or less

66

64

    Some college

64

64

    College graduate

57

59

    Post graduate

54

56

Income/Household



    $34,999 or less

60

57

    $35,000 – $49,999

56

62

    $50,000 – $74,999

67

63

    $75,000 – $99,999

NA

64

    $100,000+

NA

66




Party ID



    Republican

66

64

    Democrat

60

61

    Independent

62

61


Note: In 2007, the data for respondents with an income of over $74,999 was broken out differently.



TABLE 2
TYPE OF PET
"What type of pet do you have?"


Base:  Has a pet


Total

2007

Total 2011

Generation

Echo Boomers (18-34)

Gen X (35-46)

Baby Boomers (47-65)

Matures (66+)

%

%

%

%

%

%

Dog

70

69

73

65

69

66

Cat

52

51

52

56

51

42

Fish

15

11

15

12

6

11

Bird

7

7

8

7

4

16

Other

12

8

9

12

4

5


Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding and because multiple responses were allowed




TABLE 3
NUMBER OF PETS
"How many of each type of pet do you have?"


Base:  Has a pet


Dog(s)

Cat(s)

Bird(s)

Fish

Other

%

%

%

%

%

1

63

47

61

23

62

2

25

30

18

19

18

3

8

11

8

10

11

4

2

6

2

9

2

5

*

2

-

7

1

6 or more

2

5

10

32

6


Note: Respondents were asked the number of each pet they have only if they have that type of pet;

Percentages  may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding

* Signifies less than 1%; - Signifies no response




TABLE 4
PET AS MEMBER OF FAMILY
"Do you consider your pet to be a member of your family?"


Base:  Has a pet


Total

2007

Total 2011

Gender

Has a pet

Male

Female

Dog

Cat

%

%

%

%

%

%

Yes

88

91

85

95

92

91

No

7

7

12

3

6

6

Not sure

4

2

3

2

2

3


Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding



TABLE 5
THINGS PET OWNERS DO FOR THEIR PETS
"How often have you done any of the following?"


Base:  Has a pet


Frequently/ Occasionally

(NET)

Frequently

Occasionally

Rarely/

Never

(NET)

Rarely

Never

Not

sure

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Allowed my pet to

sleep in the bed

with me

70

57

13

30

7

23

*

Bought my pet a

holiday present

60

33

27

40

13

27

*

Bought my pet a

birthday present

36

20

17

63

14

49

1

Cooked especially

for my pet

24

12

13

75

17

59

*

Dressed my pet in

some type of clothing

16

6

10

84

17

66

*

Took my pet to work with me

11

5

5

89

6

83

*


Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding

* signifies less than 1%




TABLE 6
THINGS PET OWNERS DO FOR THEIR PETS – BY GENDER AND GENERATION
"How often have you done any of the following?"
Those saying "Frequently/Occasionally"


Base:  Has a pet


Total

2007

Total 2011

Gender

Generation

Has a pet

Male

Female

Echo Boomers (18-34)

Gen X (35-46)

Baby Boomers (47-65)

Matures (66+)

Dog

Cat

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Allowed my pet to sleep in the bed with me

69

70

67

72

76

67

68

67

70

82

Bought my pet a holiday present

65

60

56

63

66

62

57

47

65

56

Bought my pet a birthday present

37

36

41

33

50

34

29

27

41

32

Cooked especially for my pet

23

24

27

22

29

13

28

29

30

19

Dressed my pet in some type of clothing

18

16

17

15

28

9

13

9

21

11

Took my pet to work with me

10

11

17

6

21

7

7

3

14

9


Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding



TABLE 7
SUPPORT FOR DOGS IN PUBLIC PLACES
"Some people say spending time with pets, particularly dogs, can have various health benefits including helping to relieve stress and anger. As such, some institutions keep dogs for people to play with and care for.  Do you think that it's a good idea or a bad idea to have dogs for these reasons in the following places?"


Base:  All Adults


Good Idea

(NET)

Very good idea

Somewhat good idea

Bad Idea

(NET)

Somewhat bad idea

Very bad idea

Not at all

sure

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Long-term care facilities

89

71

18

8

4

3

4

Hospitals

72

43

29

23

12

11

5

Prisons

60

32

29

31

13

19

8

Professional offices

41

16

25

52

25

27

7

University libraries

36

15

21

55

27

27

9


Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding



TABLE 8
SUPPORT FOR DOGS IN PUBLIC PLACES – BY GENDER AND GENERATION
"Some people say spending time with pets, particularly dogs, can have various health benefits including helping to relieve stress and anger. As such, some institutions keep dogs for people to play with and care for.  Do you think that it's a good idea or a bad idea to have dogs for these reasons in the following places?"
Those saying "Very good idea/somewhat good idea"


Base:  All Adults


Total

Gender

Generation

Male

Female

Echo Boomers (18-34)

Gen X (35-46)

Baby Boomers (47-65)

Matures (66+)

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Long-term care facilities

89

86

91

90

88

89

89

Hospitals

72

70

74

76

72

71

68

Prisons

60

55

65

64

52

62

62

Professional offices

41

38

43

53

44

35

26

University libraries

36

32

40

41

42

34

25


Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding



Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between May 9 to 16, 2011 among 2,184 adults (aged 18 and over), of whom 1,328 have a pet. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

J40013

Q805, 810, 815, 820, 825, 828

The Harris Poll® #70, June 10, 2011

By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth Research, Harris Interactive

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

Press Contact:
Corporate Communications
Harris Interactive
212-539-9600
press@harrisinteractive.net

SOURCE Harris Interactive



RELATED LINKS
http://www.harrisinteractive.com
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheHarrisInteractive
http://twitter.com/harrispoll
http://twitter.com/harrisint
http://www.facebook.com/HarrisPoll
http://www.facebook.com/harrisinteractive?ref=share

More by this Source


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

 

PR Newswire Membership

Fill out a PR Newswire membership form or contact us at (888) 776-0942.

Learn about PR Newswire services

Request more information about PR Newswire products and services or call us at (888) 776-0942.