A preliminary attempt was made to assess how pet owners view their relationships with their pets and how pet relationships compare with human relationships. In the sample studied there was a marked variation between individuals in their perceptions but two group trends emerged. First, the pet relationship was most similar to the relationship to the individual's own child and, secondly, the pet relationship was frequently valued because of the attributes of 'dependency', 'fun/play' and 'relaxation based on absence of demands'. It is suggested that the personal meaning of pets for people needs to be further explored.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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