A new survey looking at the relationships of 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 – no surprises there then!
Based on a survey of 2,000 people, Pets for Life – a new TV series on Showcase, Sky Channel 201, 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, 31% of men 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 by trading in the old girlfriend having found a new model, than men who had taken a complete break between relationships. 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 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.”
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.
How many of us would consider giving up a pet to apease a partner? I haven’t and never will – infact, I have ditched men who didn’t get on with my pets and hold great store by how partners and potential partners act around animals and children alike even to the point that its one of the first questions I ask when I meet someone new! Have you ever given up a pet for a new love? Would you?