Paws for thought
Pet parents come in all shapes, sizes and types as a new survey has found on how people treat their pets.
Experts probed the way the country’s dog and cat owners interact with their furry friends and found almost three quarters (66 per cent) admitted they would fit into a particular parenting style when it comes to paw’renting.
But while the nation’s kids are brought up by ‘Helicopter’ parents and ‘Tiger’ mums, the study by pet wellbeing firm ITCHpet.com found our nation’s pets are more likely to experience pet paw’renting alternatives such as the ‘Traffic Light’, the ‘Entranced’, the ‘Sloth’ and the ‘Constable’.
Other popular methods have been identified as the ‘Hy-Paw-Chondriac’, the ‘Goose’, the ‘Pinot Noir’ and the ‘Sergeant Major’, with the ‘Paws-off Parent’, and the ‘Baggage Handler’ completing the top ten of most typical pet paw’renting styles based on feedback from more than 1,800 UK pet parents.
The experts view
Top pet behavioural expert Professor Peter Neville, who worked with pet well-being specialists ITCHpet.com said “pet parent personas” have become more common in line with our growing desire to humanize pets to ensure they feel like one of the family”.
Prof Neville added: “It’s fascinating to discover that there are clearly different categories or “personas” when it comes to pet paw’renting.
“The ‘Traffic Light’ is the clear winner from the data we’ve analysed, with 28 per cent of pet parents adopting this style, which is good. It shows most pet parents are sensitive, caring owners.
“Traffic Light’ pet owners have a healthy balance of rules and freedom.
Pets might be given the red light when it comes to surfaces or the bed, but these owners enjoy nothing better than giving them the go-ahead to roam freely in the park.
“The ‘Entranced’ was the second most common type, voted for by 15 per cent of pet owners.
“These people have the best intentions, but as soon as their pet locks eyes with them and gives their command, they’re toast as they turn to putty in their paws.”
The most laid-back of the types is the ‘Sloth’ (14 per cent). Dogs and cats who are lucky enough to have a sloth for a paw-rent are the envy of the street’s pet-life as they are spoiled rotten.
The ‘Constable’ (13 per cent) has a strong focus on law and order. They are firm but fair.Obedience and good manners are imperative in their household and they have a clear set of signals to help their pet understand their wishes.
Almost one in ten owners (nine per cent) admitted they are ‘Hy-Paw-Chondriacs’, who always put their pet’s health first.
Seven per cent of those who took part in the study confessed to being the ‘Goose’ who protects their young.
Other types include the ‘Pinot Noir’ (seven per cent) whose pet enjoys the finer things in life.
The ‘Paws-off Parent’ (three per cent) personifies the old proverb that ‘it takes a village’ to raise a child.
The ‘Sergeant Major’ (two per cent) demands respect from their pet.
Finally, the ‘Baggage Handler’ (one per cent) does exactly as described. If they have a bag on their arm, their dog or cat is almost certainly in it. They love being close and going on adventures together. A pet’s comfort and security is always at the front of their mind.
Raising our four-legged friends
A spokesperson for ITCHpet.com said: “We have a dedicated community of over 70,000 pet parents who are not only keen to ensure their pets get the best flea and worming subscription on the market, but also often tell our team tales about the trials and tribulations of raising their four-legged friends.
“It’s been well documented that 2020 has seen a surge in people taking the plunge and adopting a dog or cat, so our team – many of them pet parents themselves - have spent the past few months talking to those customers who have had to adapt and learn about how to raise their new family member and be the best pet parent possible”.
“What we’ve heard from our customers is, just like raising a child, certain decisions have to be made early on when it comes to acceptable behaviour in the home and how that is taught. But it’s not one size fits all; everyone has their own pet “paw-renting style”.
Interesting stats to emerge from the ITCHpet.com study of 1,834 dog and cat owners were that almost one in three (29 per cent) adopt similar styles of parenting to their children and pets.
In fact, only 16 per cent said they used a completely different style of parenting with their children compared to the one they use with their dog or cat.
Around one in three (31 per cent) said their parenting style with their pet had evolved as they got older.
More than half (52 per cent) believe their parenting style has led to a well-rounded and well socialised pet, while 38 per cent felt their pet parenting style had helped them to bond with their pet.
Around one in four (27 per cent) said their pet parenting style had improved their relationship with their pet.
Prof Neville added: “They check carefully before putting them on the ground, making sure other animals don’t frighten them and they ensure everything is safe to walk on.”
Paw'renting types at a glance
Overall top ten ‘Paw-Renting’ types
- Traffic Light 28 per cent
- Entranced 15 per cent
- Sloth 14 per cent
- Constable 13 per cent
- Hy-Paw-Chondriac 9 per cent
- Goose 7 per cent
- Pinot Noir 7 per cent
- Paws off Parent 3 per cent
- Sergeant Major 2 per cent
- Baggage Handler 1 per cent
For more visit http://ITCHpet.com