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Survey Reveals Most Pet Owners Consider Kennel Boarding a 'Necessary Evil'; Pet Care Industry Shortcomings Spawn Improved Approach
Date:2/7/2008

BERKELEY, Calif., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Amid the gamut of pet care choices today, one survey has found that pet owners deem kennel boarding a "necessary evil," with more than three-quarters of the 1,100 respondents overwhelmingly preferring at-home professional pet care for the convenience, safety, overall well-being and peace of mind it affords pets and their owners.

"Owners are increasingly regarding their pets as bona fide family members whose well-being and safety is paramount," said Paul Mann, founder and CEO of FETCH! Pet Care -- America's most trusted name in professional pet sitting and dog walking services.

"Indeed, owners have become far more discerning about who cares for their pets and how. Despite conventional thinking, however, all pet care services are not alike."

With approximately 63% of U.S. households, or 71 million homes, now owning at least one pet, consumer demand for safe and reliable pet care is at an all-time high.

Americans, of course, have a choice. Available options range from the "old way" -- using a neighbor's kid, friend or family member or checking pets into a kennel or boarding facility -- to 21st Century at-home pet sitting and dog walking service provided by professionally trained, screened and licensed national providers.

Why do pet owners apparently regard kennel boarding pets in such a harsh manner? Almost half of the survey respondents had indicated their "biggest concern about kennel boarding" was that "it puts my pet's emotional health at risk, including depression, separation anxiety, and stress from alpha dogs."

Nearly one-fifth indicated their biggest kennel boarding concern was because "it puts my pet's physical health at risk due to transmittable airborne diseases," while almost one-quarter conceded that "it makes me feel guilty and anxious knowing my pet is in a kennel."

The majority of survey respondents felt "overnight sitting or daily visits in the pet's home" was "the most valuable pet care service."

Nearly three-fourths indicated the "greatest benefit of at-home pet care" is that the "pet maintains its daily routine in comfortable and familiar surroundings."

Other reasons included the "pet receives regular affection, attention and nurturing," the "pet not exposed to germs, viruses and diseases common to group care," the "pet receives regular exercise," "personalized care, medical needs and otherwise," and "convenience."

When asked "how important do you feel it is for a pet care professional to be professionally trained, screened, background checked, bonded and insured?," 80% of respondents indicated "extremely -- I won't entrust my pet otherwise."

To help consumers make informed choices, FETCH! Pet Care offers an at-a-glance comparison of its approach to at-home pet care with other available options, which is accessible online at http://www.FetchPetCare.com/compare. Also from this site, or via toll-free telephone at 1-866-FETCH-ME, consumers may find a reliable at-home pet sitter near their location.
Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link. Paul Mann http://profnet.prnewswire.com/Subscriber/ExpertProfile.aspx?ei=57271


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SOURCE Paul Mann of FETCH! Pet Care
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