The French and their pets the great dilemma of summer holidays

Illustration : "Les Français et leurs animaux de compagnie : le grand dilemme des vacances d’été "

While France is the European champion in pet abandonment, the Assembly is preparing to discuss a bill to improve the animal condition by restricting adoption procedures. In this context, the news site Woopets commissioned Ifop to conduct a survey that reveals both the attachment of the French to their four-legged friends and the number of our fellow citizens willing to adopt one.”

Nearly 3 and a half million French people (7%) say they intend to adopt a pet soon, including about 500,000 in whom this desire is firmly expressed: 1% say they are certain to adopt one out of the 52,641,954 French people aged 18 and over (source INSEE EP 2019). In this, the demand of the French seems sufficient to absorb at least a large part of the 100,000 animals abandoned each year in France (including 60,000 during the summer).”

” Pets: the French love them!

More than one in two French people (52%) now say they have at least one pet in their home, whether cats (33%), dogs (25%) or other species (8%).”

In this France rather acquired to cats, there is a variation in the rate of pet ownership according to different factors: a strong dropout in the oldest (only 33% in the +65 years) while the rates are close in the lower age groups; a proportion of masters that will crescendo as we move away from the big cities (from 37% in the Paris agglomeration to 64% in the countryside)… as well as celibacy (46%, compared to 54% among couples); and a higher rate of possession among the poorest (58 to 59%) compared to that among the middle and upper classes (from 53 to 43%).”

Behind this general observation of the possession of pets in the broad sense, we note that the “France of dogs” is more represented among the youngest (34% of 18 to 24 year olds own a dog in their home), workers (33%) and more modest (33%). The “France of cats” is distinguished by a more equal distribution according to age and standard of living, but with a slight overrepresentation among the higher socio-professional categories (40%).”

Finally, in geographical terms, dogs are more present in Burgundy-Franche-Comté (35%), Centre-Val-de-Loire (31%) and Hauts-de-France (30%), while cats reign supreme on the west façade… and the Northeast Quarter!”

Four-legged friends who represent a significant burden on the budget of households! Pet owners spend nearly 442 euros per year on pet food (up to €546 for dogs). In addition to this item, they spend €144 on veterinary expenses, €86 on toys and accessories, €76 on insurance, €55 on grooming and only €15 on pet care which, given market prices, reveals a low use of all these services.”

” French people who recognize themselves (sometimes totally) in their furry companions

Asked about the character of their pets, the French draw a flattering portrait… and expected. Thus, the match dogs against cats appears folded, with felines that appear more difficult than their canine comrades: they are sociable, but less than dogs (64% of cat owners attribute this character to them, against 85% for dog owners); also greedy (59%, against 63%); less outdoor enthusiasts (58%, compared to 74%); more lazy (54%, vs. 48%); more timid (49%, compared to 35%); less athletic (47%, compared to 53%); and more cloaked – 23% of cats tend to scratch, compared to 12% of dogs that tend to bite.”

If it was thus possible to draw the portrait of the chiens and cats… what about their masters?”

Invited to describe themselves according to the same character traits, pet owners impressively recognize themselves in their four-legged friends.”

If cats do not make dogs, the French are more dogs than cats since 24% of dog owners say they share at least five of the character traits tested with their pooch, against 26% of cat owners compared to their cat. Among dog owners, there are even 15% who fully recognize themselves in their pet (seven criteria out of seven); a rate that climbs to 23% among dog owners in the Paris agglomeration and among the affluent categories. For their part, the cat owners who project themselves totally in these (8%) appear overrepresented on part of the west facade (11 to 12%) and among the poor categories (15%).”

This relationship of complicity between master and animal is observed all the more clearly at the end of the confinement imposed in response to the spread of Covid-19: while 81% of French people believe they have lived well their confinement, this rate rises to 84% among pet owners, six points more than among those who do not have one. That the animal represents a moral support for its master is one thing. But the reciprocal is also true: when 95% of owners assure that their pet has lived well the confinement, this proportion plunges to 77% at home… the French having themselves experienced the confinement badly.”

” A summer marked by “post-Covid” and questions for animals

The summer period is always a delicate and sad period to anticipate for animals. France is, in fact, a European champion when it comes to the abandonment of domestic animals. Following the COVID-19 crisis, 46% of French people say that they will not go on holiday this summer. As a result, a third (34%) had to reduce their holidays compared to last summer, 18% will leave, but for less time than in the summer of 2019, and 16% will not leave even though they did last year. Within the population, it is mainly young people (43% of 18-24 year olds) and the lower middle classes (41%), who appear to be the most affected by this trend.”

In this context, holidaymakers have taken note of the health situation and accordingly refined the logistics of their future holidays. This is why, in response to the lockdown, 79% will seek to reside in a place with an exterior (garden, swimming pool, etc.). At the same time, 63% will make sure to stay in places with as few people as possible and 43% in places closer to home. Among pet owners, 40% plan to take their furry friends with them…

What about the custody of the 60% of them? The question arises, especially since, as we have seen, the budget devoted by the French in this area is rather low.”

Read also: A pilot flies over 2500 kilometers to reunite a dog and his family separated for 10 years (video)

While summer vacation departures traditionally mark the highest number of pet abandonments of the year, 7% of French people say however to consider adoption in the coming months (including 1% “certainly”), nearly 3 and a half million French people. An intention to adopt synonymous with hope and carried even more strongly by young people (up to 17% among 18-24 year olds) as well as the poorest (17%).”

You can download via this link the entire PDF containing the key figures of the survey, as well as, the interview of Chloé Fesch, Co-manager of Canidélite via this linkin.”

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