Pet Parents Prove to be More Picky
By Jennifer Boncy
September 3, 2013

While there are certainly plenty of loving, caring pet owners out there, people who refer to themselves as “pet parents” seem to be more particular about the services and products they choose for their animals, according to a recent survey conducted by Rover.com, a web-based portal connecting pet owners with pet sitters.

Of the 1,270 dog owners that Rover.com surveyed, 76 percent identified themselves as “parents” to their animals. The survey revealed that compared to other pet owners, self-described pet parents are more likely to dog-proof their homes—74 percent versus 62 percent of those who call themselves “pet owners.” A majority of respondents in the “pet parent” group—81 percent—also said they would vet pet sitters with as much scrutiny as they would a babysitter for a child; and they place a high value on premium foods for their pets—43 percent of pet parents feed their dogs organic diets and 16 percent feed raw diets.

The survey revealed some regional differences in people’s approach to pet parenting, as well. Austin, Texas, and San Francisco outpaced the national average in the number of people who identify as “pet parents”—80 percent and 78 percent, respectively. San Francisco pet parents are also outpacing their counterparts in other states in some areas; 53 percent feed organic, 19 percent feed raw and 78 percent dog-proof their homes.

Interesting statistics aside, however, retailers in all 50 states probably can attest to the growing number of pet “parents” versus “owners.” And apparently, this is good news for the industry overall.