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Science. People prefer dogs or cats? They care more about some animals – study

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Dog owners take care of their pets more than cat owners, according to the results of a study published on Monday. They show that dog owners have a higher declared level of attachment to their animals, are more likely to cover their dogs with health insurance, and are willing to pay more for their treatment.

The international study analyzed data on 800 Austrians, 626 Danes and 691 British citizens. Of the total 2,117 study participants, 844 were dog owners, 872 were cat owners, and 401 were owners of both dogs and cats. The respondents were asked to complete a series of surveys relating to their declared level of emotional involvement and their willingness to incur costs related to caring for a pet. Data was collected between March 11-25, 2022.

Dogs or cats – who do we care about more?

The study results were published on Monday in the online version of the scientific journal Frontiers. As its authors note, previous scientific works have already shown that dogs care more about their owners than cats. These However, in the opinion of researchers, the conclusions could not yet be considered common, as they were carried out on research groups limited to representatives of single countries. Therefore, to confirm greater commitment to caring for dogs than cats, the authors of the latest study included pet owners from three European countries: Austria, Denmark and Great Britain.

Dog owners care for their pets more than cat owners, research shows Shutterstock

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People prefer dogs over cats?

As indicated in the content of the study, the level of declared emotional involvement was higher among dog owners in all three countries. Differences in this respect were highest in Denmark. Dog owners were also more willing to pay for life-saving treatment for their pets. The largest discrepancies in this respect were also recorded in Denmark. The difference in the percentage of dog and cat owners willing to pay veterinary bills if their pets’ lives are at risk was as much as 16 percentage points. In Austria it was 15 points. percent, and in Great Britain 6.

The study results also indicate that dog owners have higher expectations regarding the number of veterinary treatment methods available in their first-choice clinics than cat owners. Similarly to the previous parts of the study, the greatest differences in responses to this part of the study could be observed in Denmark. Among respondents from this country, the expectation of availability of 5-8 treatment methods (the maximum number to choose from) was reported by 33 percent of respondents with dogs, 21 percent with cats and 24 percent participants with dogs and cats. The smallest differences in the frequency of choosing this answer were recorded in Great Britain. It was selected by 41 percent. dog lovers, 38 percent cat lovers and 35 percent dog and cat owners.

According to the study results, dog owners are also more willing to cover their pets with health insurance. 29, 72 and 58 percent declared having such insurance. respondents with dogs from Austria, Denmark and Great Britain, respectively. In the case of cat owners, this percentage was 10, 24 and 37 percent. study participants.

SEE ALSO: Why do some dogs howl more often than others? Tests

In their conclusions, the study authors emphasized that while their results indicate that “owners care more about dogs than cats,” “the extent to which this is true varies significantly” in each of the three countries they analyzed.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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