They’re one big happy — and furry — family
Nearly all pet owners, 97 percent to be exact, say their pets are part of their family, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.
And more than half — 51 percent — even consider their animals as much a part of the family as their human relatives.
The groups that were found are more likely to feel this way were women, people with lower family incomes and urban dwellers, according to research.
A pet owner’s marital status was also found to affect the results.
Those who are married and are parents (to children) tend to not regard their pets as human family members, while unmarried pet owners and those without kids living at home do.
Demographics such as age, race or ethnicity, on the other hand, did not have any consistent bearing on the results.
However, it was discovered that dog owners tend to be slightly more attached than those with cats — 53% of pup parents regard them as equal to their human family, while 48% of feline parents do.
Dog ownership was also found to be more common than cat ownership.
The survey also found that the country is pet friendly — 62% percent of US residents own a pet, with 35% having more than one.
The populations most likely to own them are white and Hispanic adults, those who live in rural parts of the country, individuals who are either married or living with a partner and those under 65.
Twenty six percent of the country say there is not enough emphasis on pets’ well-being and an equal amount think there is too much.