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Americans willing to sacrifice for their dogs

An American Kennel Club survey has found that Americans are willing to sacrifice their own needs to better care for their dogs.

For those of us who have been doing that for years now, that’s not exactly big news. But perhaps — given the state of the economy — it bears repeating.

Here are some of the highlights:

— 96 percent of respondents would forego their daily latte to save money for their dog’s expenses.

— 97 percent said they would forego massages or spa treatments in order to afford a vet bill.

— 79 percent would cancel a teeth whitening appointment so their dog could have an annual teeth cleaning.

— 65 percent would regularly eat Ramen noodles before they would skimp on their dog’s high quality food.

— 59 percent would perm or color their own hair in the kitchen sink in order to keep Fido’s appointments at the groomers.

“In general people are more dedicated to their dogs than ever before. No doubt dogs bring comfort and stress relief to many people during this difficult time,” said AKC spokesperson, Lisa Peterson. “This is reminiscent of what we saw during hurricane Katrina. With people facing great hardship, many remained so loyal to their pets that they were willing to risk their lives. Our survey demonstrates that they are also willing to forgo some of life’s luxuries for the welfare of their pets.”

More than 69 percent of respondents would cut back on gifts for their friends or extended family before they would skimp on holiday gifts for their dog. Nearly 9% would even scale back on gifts for their spouse before cutting back on presents for their dog.

A majority — between 70 and 90 percent — said that before scrimping on their dogs’ care, they would cutback in these areas: dining out, gym membership, new clothes, home remodeling and new car.

The only two areas where the family dog didn’t take precedence were internet and cable TV service.

On the other hand, those who responded were looking for ways to cut back on pet spending: 52 percent look for sales and coupons, 48 percent said they are purchasing fewer treats, toys and non-essentials, and 34 percent said they have begun buying dog food in bulk.

The survey was conducted on the American Kennel Club website in November and December. A total of 1,088 people responded.


Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time December 9, 2008 at 5:41 pm

Anybody who wouldn’t do a bit of sacrificing for their dog needs to look at the first picture on the left at the top of this page, “the best of Ohmidog.” The only area of sacrifice I don’t understand is the Christmas presents. Seems to me that dogs don’t know Christmas from any other day of the year except that there are humans at home all day. Who knows what they think about the tree. A couple of extra yums and some quality time after dinner should make any dog pretty happy.