By Dr. Becker
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, over the last five years, pet-owning singles have begun to close the gap with pet-owning families.
Single Pet Ownership is Increasing
The number of single adults with pets increased over 16 percent from 2006 to 2011. During the same five-year period, the number of families with pets grew less than 1.5 percent. As of 2012, 55 percent of single adults in the U.S. were pet owners, compared with 66 percent of families.
Other interesting AVMA Sourcebook facts:
- Divorced, widowed and separated adults who own pets grew from 51 to 60 percent
- Single men living alone who own pets increased from 34 to 44 percent
- Single women living alone with a pet rose from 47 percent to 57 percent
Dr. Douglas Aspros, president of the AVMA says, “It's interesting to see that more and more single people are discovering the comfort and satisfaction that owning a pet can offer.”
Also interesting is the fact that singles who own pets are more likely to consider their furry companions family members, while families tend to view their pets as companions or property.
As a Single Pet Owner, Would You Choose Your Pet Over a Potential Partner?
If you’re currently a pet-owning single who would like to find a partner at some point down the road, for the sake of your pet and your future relationship, it’s important to know ahead of time how you’ll handle the situation if a new love interest isn’t a “pet person.”
If you can’t imagine life without your pet, don’t assume you’ll ‘”get over it” if you find yourself attracted to someone who isn’t an animal lover or who is adamantly opposed to family pets.
The degree to which you and your partner are committed to animals is an important consideration for your long-term happiness as a couple and as individuals. You may believe your pet is a member of the family, with all the rights and privileges that come with living in your home. The person you’re seeing may believe pets are fine, as long as they live in the backyard. Trying to work around such disparate views of pet ownership is a recipe for a great deal of stress and potential heartache down the road.
Knowing your degree of pet compatibility is as important as understanding one another’s positions on raising children, money management, and career aspirations. So take stock of this issue before you find yourself committed to someone who has no intention of including your beloved pet in your future together.