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  Most treat pets as family member
Updated 21 April 2004, 08.42
Cat
Almost three quarters of Brits treat their pets as one of the family, says a poll on owners and their animals.

Owners are also spending a lot more money on animal goodies to treat their furry friends because they feel so guilty leaving them in the house alone.

More and more are buying posh pet accessories, as well as special pet wipes and healthy-eating nosh.

It's predicted that by 2007, we could be spending as much as 516 million a year on our animals.

Pampered pooch
Guilt makes us spend more
Around 12% of pet owners also admitted in the poll that they love their pooches and pusses so much, they take them everywhere with them!

"Pets are increasingly being treated as one of the family and are often regarded as having human qualities and emotions by their owners," said Claire Hatcher from Mintel, who did the survey.

"Like many full-time working parents, pet owners today are now lavishing more money on their pets simply to try and relieve their guilt for not spending enough time with them."

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