Millionaires are dog people
There's a reason the wealthy prefer canines to cats, even more than the average household does.
This post comes from Robert Frank at partner site CNBC.
Dogs and millionaires have a lot in common. They are relentless opportunists (especially when it comes to rewards). They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They defend their turf. And in general, they don't like cats.
Perhaps that explains a new survey that shows that millionaires are far more dog-friendly than the rest of Americans.
According to a study by Spectrem Group, 58% of millionaire pet owners have a dog. Only 37% own a cat. Only 3% keep fish, 2% have birds and 2% have a horse.
Those stats are far more canine-leaning than the rest of the country. According to the Humane Society, 39% of U.S. households own a dog, compared with 33% of households that own a cat.
Why have millionaires gone to the dogs?
Jennifer Cona, a trust and estates attorney and partner with Genser Subow Genser & Cona in New York, does a lot of work on pet trusts. She said that of all the pet trusts she's worked on, 90% are for dogs and only 10% are for cats. (She's written only one parakeet trust.)
She said dogs provide one thing especially important to the wealthy: "unconditional love."
"You don't get that from a cat," she said. "Dogs are like children for some families, except they don't mess up in college or run off with money. Sometimes it's easy to see why dogs are the favorite child."
Plus, she says, millionaires know that dogs don't love them for their money.
"It's unbiased love, and money doesn't enter into the equation," she said. "That's important."
Millionaires show their love for their dogs in part by their spending. One-quarter of millionaire pet owners spend more than $1,000 a year on their pets every year, the Spectrem study said, while more than half spend more than $500 a year.
Many would say those numbers are understated, given all the diamond dog collars, chateaubriand dog foods and booming dog spas in evidence these days. Not to mention the medical bills.
The survey showed that 34% of pet owners spend money on grooming, while only 6% spend on "sweaters, accessories, outfits and costumes."
More than half of millionaire pet owners spend money on teeth cleaning for their pets. More than 16%, meanwhile, said they would spend money on reconstructive knee surgery, hip surgery and "anti-anxiety, anti-depression" medication for their pets.
Money, I suppose, can't buy happiness -- even for dogs.
Why do you think millionaires prefer dogs. Security? Loyalty?
More on CNBC and MSN Money:
Luckily, I also love cats, and there's always room for a cat. :)
As the Petrendologist who travels throughout the country regularly, meeting and providing the best pet advice to the wealthy, middle class and struggling pet owners, I know that most pet owners consider pets as family members and want to give them the best food, healthcare, services and equipment that they can buy. The difference between the wealthy (the haves) and the rest (the have-nots) is that that former can easily afford the best essentials and highest ranking service providers for their animals. However, that does not mean the pets of the wealthier are any happy or healthier than the pets of those who do not have as much. For example, pet owners of all socio-economic classes spoke out against Romney’s treatment of his dog’s travel accommodations on a family vacation. Just goes to show you that more money a pet owner has doesn’t mean he is a better pet owner. And lastly, whatever your preference (dogs, cats, birds or other) animals are superb companions, especially dogs. I have all three. It is this social aspect of dog ownership that makes theme such a grat fit for our lifestyle and our society-they think of us as part of their pack and we thank of them as part of our family. As a result, we want to provide for them when we pass on. -Charlotte Reed
Millionaires are also more likely to strangle hookers, cheat on their wives, and be rude obnoxious A holes.
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