A survey by the Kennel Club in the UK has found that one of every three respondents thinks a dog fits their lifestyle better than a child.
Nearly four of every ten people say a dog is a happy alternative to having a child.
And one in four say that, while their children come first, they prefer to go on outings with their dogs, according to the poll, conducted among residents of the West Midlands.
The same, apparently, goes for their spouses. According to The Express, 80 percent described their their dog as attentive and loving, while only about half said the same was true of their partner.
The Kennel Club commissioned the poll as part of its campaign to get more restaurants to allow dogs.
About half of those questioned said they had a problem finding a place to eat where their dog is welcomed.
“This research proves what a well loved member of the family a dog is in the West Midlands,” said Caroline Kisko, the Kennel Club secretary. “Given how much we love spending time with our dogs, it’s surprising there are still so many businesses in the region that refuse to allow dogs in their premises.”
As part of its campaign, the Kennel Club has compiled a website, openfordogs.org.uk, listing more than 26,000 places throughout the UK and Europe that let pets inside.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: affection, animals, campaign, children, company, dog, dog friendly, dogs, families, family, kennel club, members, outings, partners, pets, poll, restaurants, spouses, survey, uk
Leave it to us humans to introduce dogs to the joys of working hard and getting nowhere.
The American Pet Products Association (APPA) reports that about 3 million dogs across the country were using treadmills in 2010.
Given widespread obesity in the species (I think we taught them that, too), it’s not an entirely bad thing for dogs to be getting workouts on treadmills.
But there is a monotony to it that strikes me as running counter to what dogs are all about. Show me the dog that prefers a treadmill to running outdoors — in nature, free to veer this way and that, to stop and sniff when the spirit moves him — and I’ll show you a dog that, quite possibly, has become too human.
On the other hand, if the treadmill is the only exercise a dog is going to get, I guess we’ll just have to accept that the times are changing.
According to the Associated Press, the latest APPA survey of pet owners marked the first time the treadmill question was included, based on reports that doggie treadmills were selling briskly. The survey found 3 million dogs made use of them, which is about one of every 25 dogs in the country.
The reasons for resorting to a treadmill are many, and often valid – when it’s too hot out, too cold out; when a pet’s human has become temporarily, or permanently, immobile; when an injured dog needs a controlled form of exercise.
While the AP article explored only the upside of dog treadmills, it strikes me that — like most technology — they carry a high probability of being misused.
Putting your dog on the treadmill could become the equivalent of putting your child in front of the TV set — a way to keep them occupied and quiet. All us folks who seem to think we’re too busy for a walk in the park could come to over rely on them.
The argument could be made, and maybe will: If you don’t have the time and energy to walk a dog, don’t get one — at least not one that requires a lot of exercise.
The AP article mentions one woman in Las Vegas whose rescued dog had dropped from 115 pounds to 80 using a treadmill. That impressed her so much that she bought her own dog treadmill, which is now used by all four of her dogs — too many, she said, to walk at one time.
“I want to make sure the rest of their lives are the healthiest we can make them. If the treadmill promotes a longer life, then it’s easy to do it each day … Whatever we can do now to help them lead a healthier, better life is worth it,” she said.
All that’s true, as long as its not the only activity the dog is getting. Frolicking in the grass and socializing with other dogs also makes for a healthier dog. So while I don’t want a doggie treadmill in my home, or, worse yet, a human one, it’s clear they do have their place.
Dog trainer April Suhr of Las Vegas believes shelters across the country could make good use of them. Getting out of their kennels and onto a treadmill a few times a week could keep shelter dogs from going “cage crazy” and make them healthier, happier and more adoptable, she says.
Suhr has a treadmill at home for her three pets and her foster dogs. Giving them the same amount of exercise by walking and running with them would take several hour and many miles, she noted.
Doggie treadmills, which are built smaller than human ones, come in a range of sizes and prices, starting at nearly $500.
DogPacer, maker of one of the newest and least expensive on the market at $499, has plans to start producing a less costly treadmill for toy dogs in September. Pennsylvania-based GoPet sells canine treadmills and a treadwheel, ranging from $475 to $1,225.
Interestingly, dogs being forced to run on treadmills was one of the first causes taken up when America’s animal welfare movement was finding its footing.
Until the late 1800s — and here’s where we get to the ugly part – dogs were bred and put to work at many a restaurant and inn as turnspit dogs. They were placed in wooden wheels, similar to that you’d see in a hamster’s cage, and encouraged to walk. The wheel powered a chain drive that rotated a spit above a fireplace, ensuring that the meat on the spit cooked evenly.
The short-legged dogs, bred small enough to fit in the wheel, would often be leashed in a way that made them choke if they stopped. Often, a hot coal would be tossed into the wheel to speed a dog up.
When Henry Bergh established the ASPCA in the 1860s, one of his first campaigns was to end the practice.
That a device similar to one once used to enslave and abuse dogs is now being sold — for $1,000 and more — to pamper them and keep them healthy is ironic to say the least. Though it’s with kinder, gentler intentions, we seem in a way to be, after 150 years of stepping forward, back in the same place.
I think that says something; I’m just not sure what.
(Photo: A Belgian Malinois works out on a treadmill at LA Dog Works in Los Angeles; by Grant Hindsley / Associated Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american pet products association, animal welfare, animals, appa, benefits, concerns, dog, dog treadmills, dogs, equiipment, exercise, health, humans, increasing, pet products, pets, products, running, sales, survey, treadmills, turnspit dogs, use, walking
It’s an unscientific poll, and it’s designed to sell T-shirts, but we’re going to report its findings, anwyay:
Seventy-six percent of respondents say “the most normal member of their family” is the dog.
“The Most Normal Family Member“ poll was conducted online by the Social Beat Research Group (SBRG), and was commissioned by Joel Jenkins for his Internet company, www.tmarktees.com, which is selling the T-shirt seen above.
Still, marketing gimmick though it may be, the overwhelming choice of the family dog as “most normal” might say something, while not scientific, at least significant.
As Jenkins put it: “Not only do these results reinforce the belief that pets, and especially dogs, are bona fide family members, but they’re also considered to be stabilizing forces of normalcy within the family unit.”
Coming in second in the poll was ”Me,” but it was a distant second, with only 12 percent considering themselves more normal than their dogs. (Some of those votes could have come from people without pets, Jenkins pointed out in a press release.)
The online poll is now open to the general public. To take the poll and see the latest results, visit www.tmarktees.com
And if you do buy the T-shirt, take comfort in the fact that a portion of the proceeds will be going to Best Friends Animal Society.
(Image courtesy of tmarktees.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, family, family dog, gimmick, marketing, me, most normal family member, normal is relative, not my relatives, online, pet, pets, poll, relatives, survey, t-shirts, tmarktees, unscientific
But according to Petfinder.com, Pet Airways is where your dog can expect the best service.
Petfinder released its annual review of pet-friendly airlines this week, outlining the best options for traveling in-cabin with animal companions. (Petfinder advises against shipping your pet in cargo holds.)
Here’s which airlines came out on top in the various categories.
Most Pet-Friendly Overall: Pet Airways. Dedicated to providing a superior travel experience for animal passengers, the first-ever pet-only airline tops the list for this category due to their outstanding policies and first-class treatment of pets.
Best Amenities for Pets (and Pet Parents): JetBlue. For the second year in a row, JetBlue’s superior JetPaws program landed the airline in top place for the pet-friendly amenities category. The airline provides travelers with a pet carrier baggage tag, a travel “petiquette” guide, 300 TrueBlue points each way, and a comprehensive e-booklet with pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, parks and animal hospitals in some of JetBlue’s major cities.
Best for Transporting Pet Variety: Frontier Airlines. Frontier allows the most diverse variety of pets in cabin, including domesticated dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and small household birds.
Best for Budget-Conscious Consumers: WestJet. Included in Petfinder.com’s review for the first time, WestJet tops this category allowing small dogs, cats, rabbits and birds to travel for $50 each way in-cabin. Coming in a close second, AirTran Airways allows domesticated dogs, cats and birds to fly in cabin for $69 each way.
Best for Flying Multiple Pets in Cabin: Frontier Airlines. Frontier allows up to 10 pet containers on each flight, though only one per human.
Best for Big Furry Friends: Pet Airways. Pet Airways can accommodate some of the biggest pups in town, with the maximum height allowance being 34 inches.
“As the proud parent of a huge pet family, I know how important it is to find a way for your pets to travel safely and comfortably with you, whether across the country or across the state,” said Betsy Banks Saul, the co-founder of Petfinder.com.
“All too often we hear stories of pets dying or getting injured while traveling in a plane’s cargo. We feel strongly at Petfinder.com that you should only travel with your pet in the cabin with you when flying, which is why we continue to review and promote the pet policies of airlines each year.”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, air travel, airlines, animals, dog friendly, dogs, flying, pet airways, pet friendliest, pet friendly, pet friendly airlines, petfinder, pets, review, survey, transportation, travel, traveling with dogs, trransporting
You don’t need me to tell you that it has gotten more expensive than ever to be the owner, guardian, caretaker, parent — pick your term — of a dog.
Over your dog’s lifespan, you can expect to dish out anywhere from $9,400 to $14,000, according to the latest estimates from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
As we’ve noted before, spending on pets seems to just keeps growing, even when the rest of the economy has a droopy, hang dog look. Despite the recession, spending on pets has gone up 6 percent annually since 2008, to $48 billion last year, according to the American Pet Products Association.
And a new survey conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center says that even during the “darkest days” of the recession in 2009 and 2010, when self-denial became common, only 16 percent of respondents reported spending less on their pets.
Of course, what those kind of statistics don’t take into account are all the dogs that — during those darkest days (which, as far as I can see, we’re still in) — have been surrendered and abandoned by families who have fallen into foreclosure or otherwise been forced to move into cheaper rental housing where pets aren’t allowed.
Even if the pet industry is gliding through the recession, many pet owners — and pets — are not.
Since 2008, pet food, veterinary care, and other services have risen at an annual rate of about 4 percent on average, considerably faster than the rate of overall inflation, according to the latest issue of Consumer Reports.
The magazine interviewed manufacturers, nutritionists and veterinarians, and jumped into the crowded pet product marketplace to sniff out the best bargains — and it reports that it’s possible to save hundreds of dollars a year on pet care without shortchanging your pet.
The package of stories is well worth checking out — and they’re all illustrated with photos taken of shelter pets (still the best bargain, it notes) at the North Shore Animal League. Here’s a partial summary:
A significant part of the national pet-food bill these days — Amerians spend about $20 billion a year on it — goes for so-called premium and super-premium varieties.
But “premium” is a virtually meaningless term, with no real legal definition.
Any food you see on supermarket and pet-store shelves that’s labeled “complete & balanced,” “total nutrition,” or “100 percent nutritious” should meet the minimum standards for nutrition set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. That indicates that it’s adequate for the vast majority of healthy pets.
Pet insurance generally costs more than it pays out, the magazine said. Only in uncommon cases, when a pet requires very expensive care, does the coverage pay for itself.
CR compared the three biggest brands — ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, 24PetWatch QuickCare, and VPI, and a fourth, Trupanion, that is a relative newcomer.
In the case of Roxy, a basically healthy 10-year-old beagle in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. whose lifetime medical expenses were examined, CR reported that none of the nine different policies it compared would have paid out more than the projected premiums.
Instead, the magazine suggests starting your own emergency fund, or “kitty,” to help with unforeseen vet bills.
CR says you’ll probably be better off having your dog’s prescription filled at a chain drugstore, supermarket pharmacy, or big-box retailer than through your veterinarian.
Walgreens, for example, allows customers to enroll their pets as family members in its Prescription Savings Club. Giant/Eagle, Kroger, and Target also have discount programs that are open to pets. At 35 of its pharmacies in Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Tennessee, Target is trying out a program called PetRx to fill prescriptions for veterinary medicines.
Several online pet medicine dispensaries offer significantly lower prices as well.
Despite all that, about two-thirds of the pet owners CR surveyed said they buy their pet medicines from the vet who prescribes them.
CHOOSING A VET
The CR survey found that while most people love their vets, they don’t love the prices he or she charges.
“Because veterinary care is an infrequent, sometimes emergency expenditure, it’s difficult for consumers to gauge what constitutes a fair price for any of the hundreds of services their pet might require. The best time to comparison shop is when your pet needs a routine checkup, not when you’re stressed out by a sick or injured animal,” the article says.
CR suggests calling two or three nearby vets to ask what their physical-exam fee is. Nationally, it can range from roughly $35 to $46, according to a 2008 survey of 826 U.S. vets by the American Animal Hospital Association.
FLEA AND TICK TREATMENTS
There are more choices than ever here, some of them even affordable. With the patent expiring on fipronil, one of the active ingredients in Frontline Plus, a leading brand, the market has opened up to competitors.
CR found two that were new to the market, Sentry FiproGuard Plus at Petco and PetArmor Plus at Walmart, offered sizeable savings. A three month supply of PetArmor Plus cost $28, compared with $50 for FiproGuard Plus and $62 for Frontline Plus at Petco.
“We found other brands for as little as $9, but be careful. Some inexpensive products might not be as effective and might require you to spray or treat more often … The more insecticide you find yourself using, the greater the health and safety risks to you and your pet.”
(Photos: Top photo by John Woestendiek / ohmidog!; other photos by Michael Smith, courtesy of Consumer Reports)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bargains, care, caretakers, cat, consumer reports, consumer reports national research center, costs, dog, dog food, economy, expense, flea, frontline, guardians, insurance, market, medicine, north shore animal league, nutrition, pet, pet insurance, pet owners, pet products, pets, premium, prescriptions, prices, raising, recession, retailers, rising costs, saving money, survey, tick, treatments, veterinarians, veterinary, veterinary care, vets
For the 20th year in a row, the Labrador retriever is America’s top dog.
While America’s three most popular dog breeds remained the same — Lab, German shepherd and Yorkshire terrier – the American Kennel Club’s annual list of most oft-registered purebreds had some surprises.
The beagle overtook the golden retriever for the No. 4 spot.
“Not since the early 20th Century has the bulldog enjoyed such sustained popularity,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “‘Bob’ was the first AKC registered bulldog in 1886, and today the breed enjoys its highest ranking in 100 years at number 6.”
The AKC numbers are based on the numbers of purebreds registered with the organization.
Baltimore’s top five breeds reflected the national averages, except for the presence of the Rottweiler at No. 5.
Chihuahuas, ranked 13th nationally, were the sixth most popular breed for Baltimore.
Some other national highlights from the AKC’s count:
- The French bulldog made the largest leap in the past decade, jumping 50 places from 71st to 21st. Other breeds with the biggest increase in rankings over the last decade include the Havanese (from 86th to 31st) and the Cavalier King Charles spaniel (from 54th to 23rd).
- Closing the gap this year, a couple of breeds that had been on the decline over the past decade made double digit increases over the past year — Keeshonden (from 102nd to 87th) and Anatolian shepherd dogs (from 115th to 109th).
- “Bully” breeds have been steadily increasing over the past decade, including the bull terrier (from 78th to 53rd) and the Staffordshire bull terrier (from 97th to 74th).
- Among smaller dogs that rose in the rankings were the Yorkshire terrier (from 7th to 3rd in the past decade), the Cavalier King Charles spaniel (from 54th to 23rd) and the Havanese (from 86th to 31st), proving that they are top of the Toys.
- A trend toward larger breeds is seen with the rise of the Great Dane (from 28th to 17th), mastiff (from 39th to 28th), Newfoundland (from 53rd to 44th), Bernese mountain dog (from 58th to 39th) and the Greater Swiss mountain dog (from 104th to 88th).
Posted by jwoestendiek January 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, america, american kennel club, animals, annual, baltimore, beagle, boxer, breeds, bulldog, dog, dogs, figures, german shepherd, golden retriever, labrador retriever, list, most, most popular breeds, national, pets, popular, popularity, pug, registration, survey, top dog, u.s., yorkshire terrier
So, with only three days left to Valentine’s Day, your honey still hasn’t firmed up the plans?
Could be he, or she, is planning to spend it with the pooch.
Rather than spending Valentine’s Day with their human partner, a fifth of adults would prefer to be with their pet, Reuters reports, based on a global poll conducted in conjunction with the market research company, Ipsos.
The survey of 24,000 people in 23 countries found, globally, 21 percent of adults would rather spend February 14 with their pet than their spouse or partner.
Interestingly, Turkish people were most inclined to want to spend the day with the dog (49 percent), while the French were least likely (10 percent).
The survey found that age and income were even bigger factors than country of residence, with younger, less affluent people more likely to choose their pet as their Valentine’s Day companion. About 25 percent of people aged under 35 opted for their pet over their partner, compared to 18 percent of those aged 35-54 and 14 percent of people aged 55 and over. Men and women were evenly split over the question.
About 1,000 individuals per country took part in the poll, with Turkey showing the largest numbers by far of owners who preferred their pet’s company on Valentine’s Day. Next came India with 41 percent, Japan with 30 percent, China with 29 percent, the United States with 27 percent and Australia with 25 percent.
The nations where residents were the least likely to want to spend the day with a pet over their spouse or partner were France at 10 percent, Mexico at 11 percent, the Netherlands at 12 percent and Hungary at 12 percent.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 11th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: age, animals, cats, companions, companionship, countries, date, dog love, dogs, gender, global, humans, income, love, partner, partners, pet love, pets, poll, prefer, preference, reuters, spend, spouse, survey, turkey, united states, valentine, valentine's, valentines day
Relationships between dogs and their owners generally fall into three distinct categories, according to a university researcher.
As a result, says David Blouin, a cultural sociologist at Indiana University South Bend, some dogs live pampered lives while others are still expected to work for a living, all depending usually on their owner’s lot in life.
Blouin, according to Science Daily, says the attitudes of dog owners generally fall into one of three following categories:
- Humanists, who highly value their dogs and consider them close companions, treat their pets almost like pseudo people, or surrogate children.
- Protectionists, often vegetarians, greatly value animals in general, not just as pets.
- Dominionists, who see animals as less important than people, often use their dogs for hunting, guarding or pest control and require them to live outdoors.
“I found it interesting that there are different ways to relate to and think about animals and that people are able to switch and latch onto a different way of thinking about and treating animals when other things happen in their lives, like having children,” said Blouin, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
Blouin conducted 28 in-depth interviews with dog owners from a Midwestern county. Blouin said the distinct orientations toward animals are a result of personal experiences, demographic characteristics and family structure. Rural dog owners were more likely to leave their pets outside, for example. Empty-nesters seemed to be the most attached to their pets.
“People don’t make this stuff up themselves,” Blouin said. “They learn how animals should be treated. There are different ideas out there and these ideas exist in little packages, which are promoted by different groups, like the Humane Society or kennel clubs.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: attachment, attitudes, cultural, david blouin, dog, dogs, dominionist, humanist, humans, indiana university, owner, protectionist, relationships, research, sociology, survey
Half of all American pet owners consider their pets as much a part of the family as any other person in the household, according to an Associated Press-Petside.com poll released this week.
Another 36 percent said their pet is part of the family but not a full member, according to the Associated Press.
Most pet owners admit to feeding animals human food, nearly half give the animals human names and nearly a third let them sleep in a human bed. While just 19 percent had bought an outfit for a pet, 43 percent felt their pet had its own “sense of style.”
Singles were more likely to say a pet was a full member of the family than married people — 66 percent of single women versus 46 percent of married women, for example. And men were less likely than women to call their pet a full member of the household.
According to the survey, slightly over a quarter of pet owners celebrate their pet’s birthday or the day it came to live with them, and a third have included a pet’s photo or name in a holiday card.
About one in five respondents take their pets to work, and 42 percent of pet owners have taken a pet on vacation, usually the family dog.
The AP-Petside.com poll was conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media from May 28-June 1, 2009. It is based on landline and cellular telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,110 pet owners. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 24th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: associated press, beds, cats, children, dogs, family, household, members, names, owners, pet, pet owners, pets, petside.com, poll, relationship, survey
A study by Apartments.com has found that 80 percent of renters say a pet-friendly policy plays a major role in where they choose to live, and nearly one of every three seek out a home that is convenient to ameneties like dog parks and walking trails.
A whopping 90 percent of those responding to the survey said they had a pet, and half of the other 10 percent said they plan to get one within the next year.
While the majority of respondents experienced difficulty finding an apartment that allowed pets, 89 percent said they were not put in a position where they had to choose between their animal and a place to live.
For survey respondents who said they were forced to give up a pet, the two main causes were identified as not being able to find an apartment with a pet-friendly policy (65%) or not being able to afford the pet deposit (27%).
Apartments.com says more properties are welcoming pets. More than 11 million searches were conducted on the website in 2008 by people seeking pet-friendly apartments.
For tips on renting with pets, Apartments.com offers a special section on its website.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: apartments, apartments.com, contest, landlords, pet deposit, pet friendly, pets, policy, properties, rental, renters, roommate of the year, survey, tenants, tips, video