Fido's Family Status May Depend on Where You Live
MONDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A pet's status in a family may be influenced by where the owners live, new research suggests.
People who regard pets as children tend to have a city background, for example, while those in rural areas have a more practical attitude, said study author David Blouin, of Indiana University.
"To think of pets as just another animal is not uncommon in rural areas, which makes sense given the utilitarian relationships people in rural areas are more likely to have with a range of different animals -- from farm to wild animals," Blouin, an assistant professor in the sociology and anthropology department at Indiana University South Bend, said in an American Sociological Association news release.
He also found that pets often lose their status as "children" when owners start having children.
"If you have kids, you have less time to spend with your pets. That's part of it, but not the whole story. People who think of their pets as their children often re-evaluate this thought when they have human children of their own," Blouin said.
Among the other findings:
The study was presented Sunday at the American Sociological Association annual meeting in Atlanta.
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SOURCE: American Sociological Association, Aug. 15, 2010, news release.