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With the downturn in the economy and people seeking more comfort from their pets than ever, the popular pet care and news site ( recently partnered with The Associated Press ( to poll Americans on their attitudes towards their furry friends. The survey revealed that half (50%) of American pet owners truly consider their pets to be as much a part of the family as any other person in the household.

Single people of both genders, but especially single women (66%), were more likely to say that their pet is a full member of the family. Only 46 percent of married women shared the same viewpoint. In comparison, 52 percent of single men said so, compared to 43 percent of married men.

A great percentage (43%) of pet owners think their pooch or kitty has their own sense of style, with 1 in 5 dressing them up in fashionable attire. That said, results show that “Fido” is the more likely to be fashion forward, with almost a quarter (23 percent) of dog owners saying they’ve purchased an outfit for their pet, compared with 12 percent of cat owners.

In addition human tastes also reach pet tastebuds, with 43 percent of respondents admitting to feeding their pets people food at least sometimes, with more dog owners doing so (48%) than cat owners (40%).

In some respects, the Poll reveals that dog owners treat their pets more like members of the family, in that they’re more likely to have taken their pet to a family vacation than cat owners (50 % vs. 39%). They are also more likely to have included their pet in a holiday card (37% vs. 33%) or family portrait (38% vs. 32%). Canines are also more likely to be taken to work as opposed to felines (21% vs. 14%).

Still, more cat owners (36%) allow their furry friends to sleep in the same bed with them, as opposed to dog owners (29%), with married people more likely to relegate their pets to its own bed than singles. And, birthday celebrations cut across the playing field, with 29 percent of dog owners marking the occasion in comparison to 26 percent of cat owners.

They say a “rose is a rose” by any name, but almost half (49 percent) of respondents have given at least one of their current pets a human-like name, including 51 percent of dog owners and 50 percent of cat owners. What is the most common name? None stood out, but “Max” got a few more mentions than any other though not enough to give it any broad claim to popularity (even it got less than two percent of all mentions).

For more information go to:

The Poll was conducted May 28 to June 1, 2009 by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media. It involved landline and cell phone interviews with 1,110 pet owners nationwide, and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

About Petside
Part of iVillage Networks, ( was created by NBC Digital Networks, in partnership with Procter & Gamble Productions, Inc., as a comprehensive source of information and services that helps pets and their owners get the most out of life. Offering customized content and a highly personalized experience, is ranked among the top 10 pet Web sites and offers unique editorial features, expert Q&A’s, tools and how-to videos.

About The AP:
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP.

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