When you are a committed and enthusiastic pet owner, your pets are the centre of your universe. When you are absorbed in the world of people (pet owners or not), pets appear to come way down the list of priorities. At least that’s how it seems to me. Some examples:

• Magazines and newspapers – where is the pet section? If it exists at all, it is likely to be at the very back of the publication. More people, of course, must buy designer outfits or make baked Alaska than be interested in pets. Supermarkets and grocery stores – ditto.
• Lifestyle websites, television shows, homeshow exhibitions etc – do you ever include pets in your education and infotainment? Perhaps pets don’t make a home.
• Real estate – why do we hide all evidence of our pets when we sell houses? Personally I’d rather buy a house where I know my pets will be comfortable. What better way to prove it than show me that other pets have lived there.

Before you think I’m extreme in my views cos I work, live and breathe pets, remember I’m not the only one who values critter companionship. Here in Australia:
• Over 60% of households currently own a pet. (85% of people would like to own a pet.)
• Pet owners contribute $4.62 billion to the economy.

Worldwide, we pet owners save our economies millions of dollars as pet owners are healthier and make less visits to the doctor. We also grow up with better self-esteem, are more popular with our peers and are more likely to talk to people we meet – all because we have a pet.

Until the general population realises that pet owners are a valuable segment of the market, we pet people just have to broadcast ourselves to one other. And, so far, we are doing a great job. Look at the no. of businesses, websites, mags, products that are solely devoted to pets and run by pet lovers. And how word of mouth from pet owners can make these ventures a success. Great work pet people 🙂

More info
Dr Jo’s website