Pampered pets are becoming women's priority vs. their partners, according to a study of 901 pet owners by BizRate Research for Shopzilla...

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LOS ANGELES — Pampered pets are becoming women’s priority vs. their partners, according to a study of 901 pet owners by BizRate Research for Shopzilla, a shopping-search site on the Web, which has seen an increase in luxury-pet-product searches.

It’s no wonder that women are spoiling their pets. More than half of women (56 percent) feel that their pets are more affectionate than their partners (vs. 41 percent of men), and 45 percent of women think their pets are cuter than their partners (vs. 24 percent of men).

In the study, women said they had a deeper emotional connection with their pets than men did. Nearly all women respondents (99 percent) reported that they frequently talked to their pets (vs. 95 percent of men) and an astonishing 93 percent of women think that their pets communicate with them (vs. 87 percent of men).

“The most loving thing we can do for our pets is to understand them better and learn their language,” said Jackie Hakim, founder of Healing Arts Dog Training. “Our furry friends come wired in a certain way and being considerate of that can be the building block to a successful relationship.”

Puppy Love

Further, 73 percent of female pet owners report they are more inclined to date or marry someone who also has a pet (compared with 50 percent of men reporting as such). Approximately 7 in 10 (68 percent) pet owners report their pets make them happier than their jobs. Women are significantly more likely to feel this way (72 percent vs. 60 percent of men).

Pet owners are spending big bucks on all-natural dog food, sweaters, diamond-studded collars, booties, doggy day care, dog ophthalmologists, spas, and endless other goods and services. Women are inclined to spend about $50-$100 a month — somewhat more than men are willing to spend.

One-third (34 percent) of pet owners would consider taking their pet to a pet psychic, groomer or therapist. Female pet owners are more inclined to do so (39 percent of women report “yes” vs. 27 percent of men).

On a sadder note, almost one-third (31 percent) will consider a pet funeral. Again, women are more inclined to conduct such an activity to deepen their relationship to their pet (37 percent) compared with men (21 percent).

“While the majority of my clients are women, more pet owners are seeking deeper relationships with their animals,” said pet psychic Patrice Ryan of Celestial Crystals. “The difference is, men come to me for more critical situations such as a lost or sick pet. Women want to know if their pet is happy and comfortable.”

Pampered pooches

With more and more “dog-friendly” establishments, the survey saw that one-third (33 percent) of owners take their pets along with them to run errands such as shopping or going to the hair salon. Women are more inclined to do so (36 percent) compared with men (27 percent).

More than half (61 percent) of pet owners feel that their pets reflect their personality “very much” or “moderately.” Women are more likely to feel this way (70 percent) compared with men.

According to Shopzilla, most of its online searches are dog-related, with the majority (52 percent) of pet owners reporting to spend about $50 a month on their dog.

The most-searched-for pet products include dog houses, dog fences and dog clothes. But even the most pampering pooch owners can find latest luxury pet goods:

• Pet nail polish

• Designer dog carriers

• Gourmet dog treats

• Dog clothing

• Dog clothing

• Dog beds

• Pet jewelry

• Luxury dog collars

• Luxury dog collars

• Dog strollers

• Dog deodorant