"Pet love" is intense across state, new poll finds

Oct 19, 2015

How much do you love your pet?  Enough to cook them special meals? A new poll finds that nearly one-third of New Yorkers devote some time to preparing special treats for their four-legged friends.

That's just one of numerous findings documented in a poll released by Siena College.

The data indicates that six out of 10 people who live in upstate New York currently own a household animal. About 30% own a dog, while 20% own a cat.

This pooch looks like it's craving a specially-prepared meal from its devoted owner.
Credit Lian Bunny

The poll shows that more than one-third of pet owners spent at least $1,000 a year on their pets, providing an often-overlooked economic spin-off effect. Expenses range from food and vet visits, to grooming, treats and toys.

Don Levy, director of the Siena Research Institute,  told WBFO the poll findings demonstrate the strong bonds that exist between many humans and their pets.

“34 percent (of owners) say they celebrate their pet’s birthday. A third of pet owners say they take their pet to a groomer.”

Levy says that one-quarter of owners admitted to dressing their pets in costumes. 88 percent of owners speak to their pets as if they were human. Three-quarters of owners allow their pets on furniture and more than 60 percent reported that they sleep with their pets. 

“We love our pets, we place a lot of energy into them they’re important to us they’re an important member of our family if we have a family," Levy said. “They’re an important friend they very well may be our best friend. And we certainly show that."