Is your dog part of your family?

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By Lisa Spector, Juilliard Graduate, Canine Music Expert and co-founder of Through a Dog’s Ear. A recent article in Pshychology Today by Stanley Coren, PhD referred to a recent online survey by Kelton Research. Of 1,000 people tested, more people are considering their dogs as part of their family and are also referring to them as children. Here are some of the results: Nearly 60 percent say that their dogs play a different role than the dogs of their childhood 54 percent call themselves “pet parents” instead of “pet owners” 58 percent have nicknames for themselves, such as “mommy” and “daddy” 35 percent call their dog their “son” or “daughter” 62 percent of the dogs have their own chair, sofa, or bed 81 percent of dog parents know their pets’ birthdays 77 percent have celebrated their pets’ birthday by buying him or her a birthday present 23 percent of pet parents have a photo album dedicated to only pictures of their dogs 16 percent have started scrapbooks for their pets 71 percent of pet owners admit that they have at least one picture of their dog that they carry with them (although the convenience of storing photos on mobile devices may have added to this percentage) Personally, even though I do consider my dogs as part of my family, I’ve never called myself a pet parent or referred to myself as mommy. However, Sanchez and Gina do have their own dog beds, I celebrate their birthdays (you are invited to a virtual party for Sanchez’s 8th birthday), have scrapbooks dedicated to them, and a picture of my dogs is both my screen saver on my laptop and on my iPhone.

By Michelle Liew

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