The status of the house pet, seen either as an animal or a child, determines to a great extent how much time and money (food, toys, veterinarian) are spent on the animal.
The addition of children to a household can influence an animal’s status. Their arrival means adults have less time to spend on the animals. A pet previously seen as a child can lose this status and ‘turn back into’ an animal.
Of the pet owners in Indiana involved in the study, 93% of the dog owners and 77% of the cat owners brought their animal to the veterinarian at least once a year. Of the dog owners, 81% spent at least two hours a day on their pet; this was true for 67.5% of cat owners. Two per cent of the owners of either dogs or cats did not devote time to their pets daily.