Entries in Cats (2)


Pet Ownership Declines: Is the Economy to Blame?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The number of American pet owners declined last year – and researchers believe the economy could be to blame.

A new survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association shows the dog population declined by about two million, to 70 million nationwide, while the cat population fell by about eight million, down to 74 million. It's the first time dog or cat ownership has declined since 1991.

“[Pets] are expensive and so we can only speculate that part of this is due to the economy,” said Ron DeHaven of the AVMA.

Pets are also more common in family households, the number of which has also declined.

DeHaven also suggested that the high costs associated with pet ownership may have kept some from replacing older pets that passed away.

The survey is published in the 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Commercial Meant to Appeal to Dogs?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Nestle Purina created an interactive commercial now airing in Germany and Austria featuring different high-pitched squeaks and tones meant to appeal to the furriest of family members.

After consulting with experts in pet behavior based in St. Joseph, Mo., the folks at Nestle Purina learned that dogs’ hearing is twice as sharp as humans’.

“They can pick up frequencies which are beyond our range and they are better at differentiating sounds,” said Dr. Georg Sanders, a nutrition expert and consumer consultant at Nestlé Purina PetCare in Germany.

The commercial, made specifically for Beneful, first uses a squeak similar to the sound a dog’s toy makes, something that both the pup and its owner will be able to hear. The commercial also has the sound of a high-frequency tone -- much like a dog whistle -- that dogs respond to but humans can hardly recognize.

The marketing ploy follows another of the company’s campaigns, also launched in Germany, where dogs were able to sniff out the smell of Beneful dog food while on a walk with their owners on special posters. It seems the company hopes that by catching the pet’s attention they can also influence the people who make the shopping decisions in the household. But Nestle Purina says that the commercial is only meant to highlight the special relationship between owners and pets.

“We wanted to create a TV commercial that our four-legged friends can enjoy and listen to, but also allow the owner and dog to experience it together,” said Anna Rabanus, Brand Manager of Beneful for Nestlé Purina PetCare Germany.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio