Showing posts with label dog owner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dog owner. Show all posts

Friday 19 January 2024

Dogflation at 9% in Britain against 4% general inflation. Dog owners ripped off.

Image: MikeB

British veterinarians are killing the goose that lays the golden egg. And somewhat mysteriously and without transparency prices of a range of dog products have risen faster than general inflation. To me, being a rather cynical person 😇, the manufacturers and retailers are ripping off dog owners by jacking up their prices after the Covid-19 pandemic. They know that there are more dog owners out there in Great Britain and they want to milk them as much as possible.

Dogflation means the increase in prices of dog related services and products.

That certainly applies to veterinarians. The Times today reports that "125 owners a day give up on pets as dogflation bites". It's a good title with a hint of amusement but this is a serious matter. 😒

The information comes from Dogs Trust, Britain's biggest dog rehoming charity. They say that they are experiencing unprecedented demand. What they mean is that more people than ever are giving up their dogs to the charity.

And the biggest worry for dog owners is veterinary bills. The problem is that independent veterinarians have been bought out by big businesses to form veterinary clinic chains run by accountants who simply prioritise making a big profit rather than providing an excellent service to their patients. 


That's how it works for the big corporations. So Britain has lost those beautiful independent veterinarians. Well, there are still some around but there are far too many vet chains charging inflated prices and they are, as I mentioned in the opening sentence, killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

By that I mean they are reducing the number of pet owners because the cost of owning a pet is too high and because of that there will be less work for veterinary services. You can only charge so much. You can only rip off people so much before they give up and go away. This is beginning to happen.

The Times reports that, "Dogs Trust says record numbers of owners want to give up their animals and some of its kennels are so busy they have waiting lists."

And the problem is the rising cost of dog food, pet insurance and perhaps most importantly veterinary care. And because there are more people giving up pets which is the general trend at the moment, there are less people to adopt them because there are two sides to this problem.

If the mood in the UK is that it is too expensive to own a dog or a cat there are going be less people knocking on the doors of animal shelters looking for a pet to adopt in addition to, as mentioned, more people giving them up.

Last year Dogs Trust received more than 45,000 requests to give up their pet which is the equivalent of 125 per day.

The chief executive of Dogs Trust, Owen Sharp said: "The demand for us to take in dogs is outstripping our ability to meet it at the moment, so we have waiting lists. There is a direct correlation between people struggling to afford to have their dogs and the numbers wanting to give them up."

The charity commissioned Capital Economics, a research company, to work out the value of dogflation versus the general inflation in the country. Dogflation is at 9% while general inflation is at 4%. And Mr Sharp doesn't know why there is this disparity. I know why: it's rip off Britain.

These companies are taking advantage of people. And a survey by Dogs Trust found that veterinary bills are the biggest concern as mentioned.

Mr Sharp said that he was at a loss to explain the steep rise in prices. He said:
"You hear things such as manufacturing costs are higher or raw material costs are higher but you wouldn't really expect them to be disproportionately higher than the production of human food. So is there an issue going on in retail? I don't know. There is a lack of transparency around it, and I don't feel it's getting enough focus at the moment."
Dogs Trust has asked the government to intervene. They want the government to support struggling dog owners by removing VAT on pet food and veterinary services. Pet owners are being disproportionately hit by inflation.

The charity wants as many dog owners to keep their pets as possible and the same would apply to cats. Mr Sharp added that the charity "desperately need the government to step up and play its part for this country's 12 million dogs and their owners."

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Monday 23 October 2023

People care less about their cats than they do about their dogs

If, like me, you are a cat lover and caregiver, it is rather depressing to think that, in general, cat owners care less for their cats than dog owners care for their dogs but the difference depends on cultural attitudes which in turn depends on the country where you live.

To be honest, I've known this for a long time. Many years ago, I looked up what American citizens spent on veterinary services on their cats and dogs. I went to the AVMA website and in quite a shocking revelation, I noticed that dog owners spend a lot more on their dogs then cat owners spent on their cats in terms of veterinary care. This showed a marked difference in emotional connection between people and their pets as this had little to do with disposable income. Although money is no doubt a factor.

And now we have a quite profound study, an important study, published online which compares cat owners and dog owners and their emotional connection with their companion animals.

In essence, they concluded that cat owners really do care less about their cats than dog owners care about their dogs. Although there is a cultural difference depending upon where you live. In this survey they looked at cat and dog owners living in Britain, Denmark and Austria.

They used for different methods of measuring cat and dog owners' concern about caring for their companion animals:

  1. The Lexington attachment to pets scale (LAPS). This is a well-known test for measuring the emotional connection between owners and their pets.
  2. Whether owners had taken out a pet health insurance policy.
  3. How willing were owners to pay for life-saving treatment?
  4. And the expectation of owners as to veterinary diagnostic and treatment options.

The difference between dog and cat owners was greatest in Denmark. Austria was in the middle in terms of treating cats and dogs differently and there was the least difference between dog and cat owners' attitude towards caring for their pets in the UK.

More dogs and cats were insured in all three countries but there was the least difference in the UK in this respect. The difference was much greater in Denmark.

In terms of expensive life-saving treatment, more dog owners than cat owners were willing to spend over a certain amount in all three countries. However, the difference was most pronounced in Denmark compared to the United Kingdom. The researchers felt that this criteria revealed a clear difference in concern for the welfare of cats and dogs.

In Denmark and Austria, dog owners expected more veterinary treatment options to be available than cat owners. But the difference was not noticeable in this respect in the UK.

The researchers concluded that in all three countries, "people care more about their dogs than their cats but with a clear cross-country variation and a very modest difference in the United Kingdom. Therefore, it does not seem to be a universal phenomenon that people care much less about their cats than their dogs.".

What they're saying there is that there is a clear difference between how people care for their dogs compared to their cats; the former getting better treatment than the latter but this difference in caregiving depends upon cultural attitudes in different countries and in Denmark there was the greatest difference whereas in the UK there was the smallest difference.

My personal opinion as to why people care for dogs better than they do cats is because the dog is a pack animal and they look to their owner as the alpha leader for guidance. This helps to generate a better connection between owner and companion animal. And with that better connection on an emotional level the person is more likely to spend more money on their pet because the emotional bond can be greater.

Conversely, the domestic cat is seen as independent which by the way is a misguided myth in large part, and therefore there is less of a close connection in many homes between owner and cat. This leads to the belief that the domestic cat can be left alone to live their lives and come into the life of their owner as and when they need to. This automatically leads to less caregiving and therefore less expenditure in terms of veterinary care.

There are misconceptions about both dogs and cats. For example, the media: books, movies and advertisements and online adverts et cetera can stereotype the dog as being loyal, affectionate and in need of care and attention. They are a "man's best friend". Conversely, cats are sometimes depicted as aloof, independent or less in need of human companionship. This may portray the concept that they require less care.

Thursday 11 November 2021

Dog owners and cyclists have a sense of absolute entitlement which can make them behave badly

NEWS AND COMMENT - UK:  In a civil case in which a cyclist is suing a dog owner for damages of £50,000, Judge Patrick Andrews attacked both parties to the civil action. He said that both dog owners and cyclists have a sense of absolute entitlement which could on occasions make them behave badly. Note: cat owners have escaped the judge's scorn! Nice one. He is right of course 😉 .

Dog owners and cyclists have a sense of absolute entitlement which can make them behave badly
Felix the cocker spaniel who has a human caretaker with an absolute sense of entitlement according to a British judge. Photo credit: as per the image.

In the case, Carina Read's cocker spaniel was accused of knocking David Crane off his bike causing him to suffer a brain haemorrhage. David Crane was cycling on Acton Green Common in west London in 2016. Read's cocker spaniel ran into Crane's path causing him to break suddenly and fall off his bike.

In an earlier hearing Reid was found negligent in that she had failed to call Felix back as her dog ran towards a path. She is appealing the decision and the judge granted the appeal but in doing so he said:

"We all know that cyclists, whether on path, road or common, have a sense of absolute entitlement to do whatever they want to do and we all know that dog owners also have a similar sense of entitlement to do exactly what they want to do irrespective of anybody else. It's quite a conundrum".

Comment: I can endorse the judge's views on cyclists certainly. But it does not apply to all cyclists. It is that some cyclists have a sense of entitlement and they are insensitive to other road users. In fact there is a battle between cyclists and car drivers on Britain's roads.

As for dog owners, I also meet these when walking in Richmond Park, south-west London. Once again, I tend to agree with the judge. 

They allow their dogs off the lead when they shouldn't in the park. They harass deer and on occasions deer have been injured or dogs have been injured by the deer.

ASSOCIATED PAGE: Red setter dog attacks a deer in Richmond Park

On one occasion a dear was attacked by a dog, ran into the road and was hit by a car. Subsequently the deer was euthanised. The dog owner was prosecuted in the magistrates courts successfully, by the way. He was a senior executive with a sense of entitlement. And either an ignorance of the bylaws of Richmond Park or a disregard for them.

ASSOCIATED: Irresponsible dog owners in Richmond Park allow dogs to attack deer

The bylaws of Richmond Park are designed to protect deer and the park. Loose dogs often harass and chase them and it's unpleasant to see particularly so because their owners know that they're doing wrong but do nothing about it because, as the judge so wisely said, they have a sense of absolute entitlement.

Enough, but there is a similarity between the mentality of cyclists and dog owners and on this occasion the two came together to the detriment of them both.

Tuesday 16 February 2021

Cats harm the likeability of both heterosexual men and women

This is disappointing. I think this study has been written about before but it is worth addressing again. The study basically says that if you are looking for a date on one of the dating sites and you are holding a cat you are less likely to attract someone. That's the bottom line of it and what's surprising is that it negatively impacts both women and men.

Man with domestic cat companion
Image by Pexels from Pixabay 

Straight men that own a cat have a 5% lower 'like' rate on average compared with straight men who don't own a cat and for women the 'like' rate is even worse at 7% lower.

For the heterosexual woman looking at the heterosexual man who has a cat with him in the photograph the man is perceived as being "less masculine when holding the cat, higher in neuroticism, agreeableness and openness and less datable."

That's interesting because they see the man as being more agreeable and more open but less datable. Therefore they don't seem to appreciate or rank the character traits of openness and agreeableness. Obviously neuroticism is not a great trait and I can see why they don't like that but this rather strange, isn't it?

And how do they equate having a cat with being neurotic? It seems that some women see man who have a cat as being more likely to be neurotic. I know that some women think that many man who have cats are homosexual. But both these trends or biases are, I would honestly suggest, incorrect. They are prejudices or stereotypes.

Perhaps it is all about perceptions and those perceptions come about through social media presenting fake ideas. Social media affecting the thoughts of people. Perhaps it is social media changing the opinions of people because they been bombarded with poor ideas and false concepts.

You might think it is true that men with cats are more neurotic but where is the science or logic that says this? You could equally argue that men who have cats are more likely to be decent people who appreciate animals and are concerned about animal welfare. That should make them more attractive to women.

Perhaps the problem is actually with the heterosexual women who might have a tendency to like disagreeable, testosterone-fuelled, secretive, unreliable and super-masculine men. Perhaps they have a tendency to go for that sort of man to their detriment. So the problem could be with the heterosexual women rather than the men.

The same, to be totally fair, could be said about men who see women as being less datable because they have a cat. But perhaps the reason is different in this instance. Perhaps when they see a heterosexual woman on a dating site with a cat they see competition. Perhaps they don't want to compete with the woman's domestic cat companion and therefore don't bother to make contact.

Or another possibility is that as women tend to prefer cats to men it may be that a heterosexual man looking for a woman does not like cats and therefore it puts them off.

It's particularly galling to note that the opposite is true with dogs. If either a gay or straight man is presenting himself with a dog they have a 20% higher chance on average of scoring a 'like' and for women that is a 3% higher likelihood. So dogs are beneficial to dating both for women and mainly for men.

This probably points to the suggestion that I made earlier that women want a more masculine heterosexual man. And if a man has a dog they might think that he is more likely to be more masculine. This in turn may go towards looking for a person who can protect them. Women might think that more masculine men are more able to protect them because they are more competitive and physically stronger et cetera.

It is all somewhat stereotyped to be perfectly honest. The logic isn't really quite their. It is a simplified attitude but nonetheless there it is; provided you believe that it is true because the study only had 1300 participants i.e. women looking at men. Perhaps more work needs to be done on this to get a more accurate picture and even then I'm not sure I would believe it.

The study comes from Colorado State University. It was reported on the Wall Street Journal and other online news media. I think this is a repeat reporting though.

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