‘The truth about pets’: How do I know if a pet is a good fit for me?

Two-thirds of people who have had a pet say they have had no experience of adopting them, but only 25 per cent of people say they’ve been happy with their pets, according to new research from the Australian Animal Health Research Centre (AAHRC).

Key points:The research found about 60 per cent people with pets say they were happy with the animals they have adoptedThey found about 30 per cent said the pets they had adopted were ‘not as good as the one I would have adopted’The researchers found most people with dogs and cats, and one-third of people with horses, had had no formal introduction to the animals.AAPR chief executive Paul Taylor said he was shocked by the findings.

“These findings are extremely concerning,” he said.

“While the majority of people are happy with an animal, a large minority have not had the opportunity to adopt it.”

The overwhelming majority of pets adopted are not as good a fit for a new family as they would have been had they had a formal introduction.

“Mr Taylor said the results also showed there was a big gap between what people were telling themselves about adopting pets and what actually happened.”

A lot of people would have a positive view of a pet but then there’s a whole spectrum of experiences,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.”

There’s a big grey area there.

“If you’re having a discussion about pets, and the first thing people say is, ‘oh, my husband loves dogs, he loves dogs’, well it’s not as easy as that.”

It’s just a bit of a leap to think you could adopt a dog.

“The AAHRC research, published in the journal PLOS One, found about half of people (47 per cent) who had a dog or cat said they had had a negative experience with the animal, and nearly half (47%) said they’d never had a chance to adopt a pet.

The AAIBC study also found that people were generally happy with pets they knew, with the exception of dogs, horses and rabbits.

The research was based on a survey of 2,000 people aged 18 and over who had experienced adoption in the previous three months.

About two-thirds (65 per cent, or 2,022 people) said they hadn’t had a good experience with their pet, and of those, 70 per cent had no contact with the pet, the survey found.

About 40 per cent were satisfied with the pets that they had, but a majority of those (55 per cent), or 793 people, had experienced no contact or had negative experiences.

The findings show that for most people, the process of adopting a pet was not a simple one, with more than two-fifths (62 per cent or 4,093 people) saying the adoption process did not include much thought or planning, and a further 22 per cent saying it was not very much thought.

About half (49 per cent and 865 people) of people said the animals that they’d adopted were “not as great as the ones I would’ve adopted”, while more than one-quarter (28 per cent; 521 people) believed the animals were not as ‘fit’ for their lifestyle as the people they had been with previously.

About three-quarters (73 per cent – 2,564 people) thought that adoption had had negative effects on the animals’ well-being, while another third (31 per cent: 616 people) were unsure.

The most common reasons people reported for not having an ‘appreciable’ experience with adopting a dog, horse or rabbit were: not being able to get to know them (21 per cent); not being ‘in touch with the people who will love them (16 per cent).”

This is not to say that the animals don’t deserve love, or that we shouldn’t spend time with them,” Dr Taylor said.

However, he said that it was important to note that the research showed that the majority people were happy to adopt pets, even if the animal did not seem to fit their lifestyle.”

What you can do with a pet you have adopted is change their lives,” he added.”

We all know that people have problems with pets that don’t get the attention they deserve, and that is something we should be working on.

“Pets that do get the same attention as pets that are in their immediate family are likely to be happier with the person around them.”

Topics:animal-behaviour,human-interest,animal-science,adoption,human,people,humanities,research,australia,qld,aor,sa,vicSource: ABC News (AAPN)

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