NEW YORK — Home really ISN’T where the heart is, apparently. New research suggests that if it came down to it, one-third of Americans would choose their pet over their house!
A panel of 2,000 dog and cat owners reveals that 33 percent would choose their four-legged friend instead of their house, and another 33 percent would choose their pet over their significant other.
Owners fear pet’s death more than family members
Another 31 percent say that the possibility of their pet’s death keeps them up at night — even more so than the death of a family member (28%), being the victim of a crime (18%), or going through a divorce (14%). So, it’s no surprise that two-thirds (66%) get stressed thinking about how their pet will age.
According to the poll, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of ElleVet Sciences, 69 percent of respondents worry they won’t be able to identify and treat their pet’s aches and pains as they get older.
On average, respondents reported that their oldest pet lived to about 11 years-old — and about one-third (31%) currently have a senior pet age seven or older. Pet parents are looking for loss of sight (30%), hearing issues (29%), slower movements (32%), and sleeping more (30%) as indicators that their pet is aging.
“When it comes time to help our four-legged friends live out their golden years, pet parents will start to see signs of aging and slowing down,” says a spokesperson for Ellevet in a statement. “Being aware of the signs of aging or more serious medical conditions can help you and your four-legged friend get the most out of your time together.”
Adapting life for elder pets
About two in five respondents (37%) plan to take their pet to the vet more frequently once the signs of aging become more apparent. Nearly half (45%) will make their home more “senior-friendly,” by closing off staircases or lowering furniture.
Fifty-nine percent would consider giving their pets vitamins and supplements, such as CBD or fish oil, and 34 percent would buy extra beds for their pet to sleep on. Thirty-nine percent won’t be getting another pet after their current one passes. Another 44 percent have considered it, but ultimately decided the rewards of having a pet outweigh the pain of losing one.
“It’s no secret that caring for an aging or older pet can be difficult,” the spokesperson adds. “But by making adjustments, both large and small, you and your pet can live happily and comfortably in their final years. Adjustments such as decreasing or adjusting exercise and giving them their favorite foods more often can improve your pet’s quality of life and decrease your stress levels.”