• Men committ emotionally quicker to their pets than women - 31% said they felt love after two days, compared to 22% of women.
• 32% of men would choose a new partner over their pet if they didn't get along, just 17% of women would do the same.
A new survey looking at the relationships of Britain’s 26 million pet owners has found that men can behave towards pets like they behave towards women, committing emotionally much more quickly than women do, but more likely to trade them in favour of a new model. Women, for their part, develop stronger feelings over time for their pets, making the relationship into a life-long commitment.
Based on a survey of 2,000 people, Pets for Life – a TV series airing Tuesday 28th June, on Showcase, Sky Channel 201, 7.30pm, which aims to improve the nation’s knowledge of animal welfare and reduce the number of abandoned pets – found when it comes to their pets, almost a third of men, 31%, said that after just two days they felt love towards their pets and treated them as a member of the family; similarly 28% of men said they fell in love with a human partner after date three.
By comparison, only 22% of women felt the same toward their pet after just two days, and even fewer (18%) felt they were in love with their partner after three days. However, by month three, 64% of women, compared to 48% of men, said they really loved their pet and thought of it as a member of the family. 57% of women and 43% of men said it took three months to fall in love with their partner.
The survey also found that the 32% of men who would re-home their pet if their new partner was not keen on the animal, were twice more likely to have “leapfrogged” in a previous relationship – trading in the old girlfriend having found a new model – than men who had taken a complete break between relationships (44% vs 18%). Just 17% of women admitted to leapfrogging in a previous relationship and only 19% would trade their pet for a new partner.
Alastair Clayton a spokesperson for PMGTV|http://www.pmgtv.com/aboutus.html] the company behind Pet’s for Life, commented:
“Of course a pet should be for life, but as a nation we seem to be treating our animals as if they were humans who are not totally dependent on us. We enter into relationships with animals without thinking about the long-term consequences. For an animal, there is no such thing as a quickie divorce or an amicable separation. Animals can add so much to our lives, but it’s important that people understand the cost, time and commitment involved before taking on responsibility for a pet. Pets for Life aims to tackle these issues and provide real solutions to the everyday problems that can result in animals being given up or abandoned.”
Overall, women spend more time with their pets, averaging 11 hours of quality time a week, compared to men’s 9 hours. But when it comes to sleeping arrangements, 36% of men admit to sharing their bed with their pet, compared to just 29% of women who would do the same.
4% of men admitted to using their pet as a means of making contact with women, but 6% of men would put their pet’s feelings above that of their own.
According to animal charity The Blue Cross, over 4,000 animals were given up voluntarily over the last 12-months, many for financial reasons such as the owner becoming homeless, moving house or losing their job, but also due to a change in relationship status.
Documentary makers PMGTV http://www.pmtvc.com have worked with leading animal charities and brands, including the Blue Cross, to bring Pets for Life, a new concept in TV documentary programming to our small screens. The programme aims to provide Britain’s 26 million pet owners with a comprehensive guide to responsible pet ownership and caring for new and existing pets.
Anyone who cares about the welfare of animals should watch Pets for Life: a HOW TO special set to air on Showcase, Sky channel 201 and Freesat 403, from Tuesday 28th June at 7.30pm, with new episodes every Tuesday, and repeated every Sunday at 6pm
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Notes to editors
About Britain’s 26 million pet owners
The survey also revealed that one out of every two adults now owns some sort of pet, which means there are 26 million pet owners in Britain, 12.8 million with cats, 11.8 million with dogs, 6.8 million with fish, 2.4 million with rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, mice and rats, 1.9 million with birds, 980,000 with outdoor animals (including horses, donkeys and pigs), and 1.5 million with snakes, reptiles, spiders and an assortment of other exotic creatures.
About the Survey
The online survey was conducted between 31st March and 4th May 2011 and questioned 2,331 British adults over the age of 18, of which 1241 were pet owners.
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