Even in a recession or financial hardship, pet owners are more likely to curtail their monthly expenses (ie. electronics, entertainment, clothing, groceries, household goods) than on care or supplies for their pets, according to a national survey conducted by public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard International Communications.
However, pet owners did say that they would cut back on pet luxuries if faced with financial constraints, such as toys (57 percent), pet fashion (52 percent), professional pet care such as day care and walkers (47 percent), professional grooming (45 percent) and name-brand pet food (38 percent).
Responses varied slightly when the same question was asked to only those pet owners who participated in the activities. If faced with financial hardship, they would cut pet fashion first (82 percent), then professional pet care such as day care and walkers (80 percent), professional grooming (68 percent), pet toys (65 percent) and name-brand pet food (40 percent).
In addition, almost one-third of the pet owners surveyed said they may cut spending on veterinary visits and preventative medications.
Overall, 22 percent of respondents felt that they will be financially worse off in 2008 compared to 2007; 46 percent felt that they will be the same; and 32 percent felt they will be better off financially.
The online survey included 665 pet owners (including 602 who have a dog or cat).