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Comparison of strength of the human-animal bond between Hispanic and non-Hispanic owners of pet dogs and cats

By R. Schoenfeld-Tacher, L. R. Kogan, M. L. Wright

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Objective - To assess differences in strength of the human-animal bond between Hispanic and non-Hispanic owners and determine whether these variations were associated with differences in medical care for pets. Design - Survey. Sample Population - 419 pet owners presenting a dog or cat for veterinary services at private veterinary clinics in Aurora, Colo; Chula Vista, Calif; and Mexico City. Procedures - Owner and pet demographic information was obtained via open-ended interview questions. The human-animal bond was assessed through the Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale. Pet health data were obtained from medical records for the specific visit observed, and a body condition score was assigned. Results - Hispanics were more likely to own sexually intact dogs and cats as pets than were individuals of other race-ethnicity groups. Overall, owners were most likely to classify their pets as providing companionship. When data for the 2 US locations were examined separately, no significant difference existed between how non-Hispanic White and Hispanic owners viewed their pets, and scores for the Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale did not differ significantly among race-ethnicity groups. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - There was a strong human-animal bond among Hispanic respondents, and Hispanic pet owners in the United States and Mexico verbalized this attachment in similar ways to non-Hispanic White owners. There was no observed association between owner race-ethnicity and strength of the human-animal bond for Hispanic and non-Hispanic White pet owners in the United States. Thus, other factors must be considered to explain the observed difference in percentages of neutered animals between groups.

Date 2010
Publication Title Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Volume 236
Issue 5
Pages 529-534
ISBN/ISSN 0003-1488
Language English
Author Address Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal hospitals
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Body condition
  4. Cats
  5. Demography
  6. Developed countries
  7. Dogs
  8. Employees
  9. Health
  10. Health centers
  11. Health economics
  12. Health services
  13. interviews
  14. Latin America
  15. Latinos/Latinas
  16. Mammals
  17. Medical care
  18. Mexico
  19. North America
  20. OECD countries
  21. Pets and companion animals
  22. Practice and service
  23. Threshold Countries
  24. United States of America
  25. urban areas
  26. veterinary clinics
  27. Veterinary economics
  28. veterinary hospitals
  29. Veterinary services