Pets: Survey

How much do Bostonians spoil and spend on their animals? Also, is the city truly pet-friendly?

| Boston Magazine |

A snapshot of animal attraction in the Hub, courtesy of the 1,600-plus readers who responded to our exclusive online survey.

[sidebar]MEET THE OWNERS…
Gender:

Female   79%
Male   21%

Age:
25-34   32%
35-44   23%    
45-54   20%
55-64   15%
Younger than 25   6%
65 or older   4%

Home turf*:
South End   18%
South Boston   13%
Back Bay   12%
Jamaica Plain   10%
Allston/Brighton   9%
Beacon Hill   7%
Charlestown   7%
Dorchester   5%
Other   19%
*Respondents who live in Boston.
 

…AND THEIR CRITTERS
Number of animals in household:
One   54%    
Two   28%    
Three   8%    
Four or more   10%     

Primary animal in household is:
Dog   60%
Cat   31%
Fish   3%
Bird   2%
Gerbil/hamster/guinea pig   1%
Reptile   1%
Ferret   1%
Other   2%

Where it came from:
Shelter/rescue group   41%
Breeder   35%     
Friend/family   9%
Pet store   5%
Stray   3%
Petfinder.com/other website   3%
Other   4%

Why it was chosen:
Disposition   55%
Size   11%
Pedigree   9%
Youth   6%
Attractiveness   4%
Other   15%
 

THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND DOGS
In the past 12 months, how much have you spent on vet care?
$200–$499   37%
$500-$999   24%
$1,000 or more   20%
$50-$199   14%
Less than $50    5%

In the past 12 months, how much have you spent on toys and treats?
$50–$199   39%
$200–$499   34%
Less than $50   16%
$500–$999   8%
$1,000 or more   3%

Which of the following is something you’ve done? (Choose any that apply.)
Put a photo of your pet on your phone   39%
Dressed your pet in costume   25%
Attended a pet birthday party   11%
Commissioned a portrait of your pet   7%
Used your pet to attract a potential mate   4%
Entered your pet in a pet show   4%
Taken your pet to an acupuncturist   2%
Taken your pet to an animal psychiatrist   2%

Which of the following do you agree with? (Choose any that apply.)
My pet understands what I feel.   29%
I couldn’t date someone who didn’t get along with my pet.   29%
My pet understands what I say.   29%
My pet enjoys watching TV.   13%
    
How likely would you be to risk your life for your pet?

Very likely   53%
Somewhat likely   36%
Not at all likely   11%
 

PETS AND THE CITY
It is easy to take pets on public transportation in Boston.
Strongly agree   3%
Agree  9%
Somewhat agree  18%
Disagree   22%
Strongly disagree   12%
(No opinion   37%)

Boston has plenty of great public spaces to take a dog.
Strongly agree   9%
Agree   25%
Somewhat agree   32%
Disagree   12%
Strongly disagree   5%
(No opinion   17%)

Local businesses and restaurants are welcoming to pets.
Strongly agree   1%
Agree 7%   
Somewhat agree   22%
Disagree   30%
Strongly disagree   20%
(No opinion   20%)

It is easy to find other people here who share my pet-owning interests.
Strongly agree   17%
Agree   43%
Somewhat agree   24%
Disagree   4%
Strongly disagree   1%
(No opinion   12%)

Boston is a more pet-friendly place than other U.S. cities.
Strongly agree   5%
Agree   14%
Somewhat agree   22%
Disagree   17%
Strongly disagree   7%
(No opinion   35%)

What specific thing would make Boston more pet-friendly? (Write-in answers.)
Creating/improving dog parks 53%
Allowing pets into more shops and restaurants 18%
Providing more waste receptacles/poop bags 10%
Allowing pets on restaurant patios  6%
Encouraging more pet-friendly housing 5%
Other suggestions: Tax breaks for those who adopt pets from shelters; bring-your-dog day at Fenway Park; more signage outside pet-friendly businesses; sand or beet juice instead of salt for de-icing sidewalks; a cat parade.

Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2010/03/pets-survey/