The fastest growing group of pet owners is single men, according to a survey from the American Veterinary Medical Association.
From 2006 to 2011, pet ownership among single men leapt 28 percent, as compared to 22 percent for single women. Close to half (44 percent) of bachelors now have animal companions, closing the gap on single women (57 percent).
“For now, it’s true that more single women own pets than single men, but this survey shows us that this may be changing,” says Dr. Douglas Aspros, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Most pets are still owned by a family, but that category saw little growth. Ownership jumped overall among people who are divorced, widowed or separated, from 52 to 60 percent.
Those unlucky in love may also place a higher value on animal companionship. The survey showed they are more likely to consider their pet — whether cat, dog, or iguana — as a family member.
“Pets are powerful, positive influences on our lives, offering unique emotional, psychological and physical health benefits to their owners,” Aspros said.