Fido and Fluffy can keep their owners calm during tough times.
Veterinary care can be expensive, but the effect pets have on their owners outweighs the cost to keep them healthy, according to a new study. That's because pets help owners deal with tough financial circumstances.
Independent research firm Catalyst Direct surveyed 400 pet-owning Americans and found that many were stressed because of the economy. Seventy-three percent say they're more worried about finances than before the downturn; 64 percent say they're more anxious; 59 percent say they're less confident; and 32 percent say the economy has affected their sense of identity.
But respondents also said their pets help them cope with the uncertainty. Eighty-nine percent say their pets help them deal with the stresses of life; 86 percent value their pets' appreciation, despite their own financial concerns; and 83 percent value the steady presence their pets provide.