Truth is stranger than fiction, Mark Twain famously said. Truth may certainly be inspirational as well. In fact, studies and statistics reveal that the relationship between pet owners and their animals is both strange and inspirational, beyond any fiction conceived.
Here are some examples, surely the tip of the dog-berg (or cat-berg, if you prefer):
Cat lovers are smarter than dog lovers: This might not surprise Garfield the cat, yet it certainly is a surprising find from a Carrol University study. Perhaps not as surprising, dog lovers tend to be more extroverted and lively, while cat lovers fall into the introvert, nonconformist camp.
This is sure to escalate the dog lover vs cat lover wars, perhaps be the study that launches a 1000 more memes on the internet. However and in the end, the study found that 60% of participants claimed they preferred dogs, with only 11% admitting to prefer cats, and 29% stating they liked both animals equally. When it comes to quality over quantity, though, a qSample study revealed that cat lovers spend an average of $10,000 on their feline in its lifetime, while dog lovers spend $8,000 on Fido during its lifetime.
Pets are just good for your health. This may not include those trying to tame their dragons, but a National Center for Health Research article, combining several research findings, outright summarizes that:
Some research studies have found that people who have a pet have healthier hearts, stay home sick less often, make fewer visits to the doctor, get more exercise, and are less depressed. Pets may also have a significant impact on allergies, asthma, social support, and social interactions with other people.
The article concedes that more research needs to be done, specifically with what specific animals affect what demographic of their owners. Yet there is no doubt that cat lovers and dog lovers will escalate their war over this after hugging their pets for better health.
Dogs are psychic. Maybe their owners are not that smart, but canines in a famous and in-depth study have been found the ability to double as furry GPSs. To be more specific, the study revealed that 46% of dogs know when their owners are close to being home—mainly by such signs are agitation, barking, or standing by the window/door. The study even attempted to mask the owners’ arrival by changing arrival times, parking cars further down the street, being as quiet as possible, etc.
Cats also displayed the ability to predict when their owners were coming home, but alas at a much slower rate of 14%.
Dogs can smell disease. Not only can they test your curfew, dogs also act as personal physicians. Data reveals that dogs can sniff cancers of the lung, breast, skin, bladder and prostate—all by picking up on extraordinarily faint scents emitted abnormal cells.
Furthermore, dogs are increasingly utilized to assist individuals with diabetes, as they are able to smell fluctuations in blood sugar. Lastly and just as amazing, research does indicate some dogs can even predict an epileptic seizure 45 minutes before it begins.
As for cats, they just don’t seem to care.
Maybe cats are winning the war, though. There are over 71 million pet owners in the U.S., and statistics do state that a larger percent do own dogs. Nonetheless, the reality is that there are 81,721,000 cats in U.S. households as of 2007, compared with 72,114,000 dogs. Just over 32% of households owned a cat, and the average cat owner had at least two felines.
In the end, no amount of statistic will matter to pet owners on how victorious their animal is. Their pet is the protagonist of their story, in the strange but inspirational world of pets.
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