93% of US Pet Owners Agree – Pets Are Part of the Family!

93% of US Pet Owners Agree – Pets Are Part of the Family! – It’s Time to Drop the Term “Pet Owner”

By Don Hanson, PCBC-A, BFRAP

< Updated 2024-07-02 >

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This morning, I read a summary of a 2024 survey conducted by the market research company Packaged Facts. The summary reports that 76% of people in the US with pets strongly agree that pets are part of the family and that 17% agree that pets are family members. That is a total of 93%, which is something to be excited about as it suggests that most of us who share our lives with pets believe they should be treated as family.

Since I brought home my first puppy in 1975, I’ve never considered my pet to be property or something I owned. I have always felt that a pet is a living, breathing being, and when I brought them into my life, I accepted the responsibility for their care and meeting their needs. I’ve learned so much since 1975 and know that my duties towards my pets are even more significant today than in 1975.

As science continues to make discoveries, we learn that other species have emotions and greater cognitive abilities than we previously believed. I hope this new data means that 93% of people with pets in the US will treat their pets with the same level of kindness and compassion they would give to any human family member. It’s time to drop the term “pet owner” from our vocabulary and replace it with something else.

Don Hanson lives in Bangor, Maine, where he is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop (greenacreskennel.com) and the founder of ForceFreePets.com, an online educational resource for people with dogs and cats. He is a Professional Canine Behavior Consultant (PCBC-A) accredited by the Pet Professional Accreditation Board (PPAB) and a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), serving on the Board of Directors and Steering Committee and chairing the Advocacy Division. He is also a founding director of Pet Advocacy International (PIAI). In addition, Don produces and co-hosts The Woof Meow Show podcast, available at http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts/, the Apple Podcast app, and this blog. The opinions in this article are those of Don Hanson.

© Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved

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