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Source of inequality, tension, even rupture… Taking care of your pet can, in the same way as childcare or managing household chores, be the source of a mental burden. And, unsurprisingly, it affects women more.
The mental burden is illustrated in many forms: professional, medical, sexual… At home, it is largely the responsibility of women: for example, picking up the children from school while at the same time thinking about the day’s shopping list and buying kibble for the dog. The fact of having pets can also represent an element of mental load in its own right.
This is confirmed by an Ifop survey carried out for the company VetoCanis among 963 people representative of the French population who have a pet at home (or who have owned one). Buying kibble, changing the litter, taking the dog out, filling the bowl, planning appointments with the vet, organizing care during the holidays… According to the survey, these daily tasks are carried out by 81% of women surveyed, compared to 64% of men.
The mental load associated with the presence of a four-legged friend at home can even become a source of tension within the couple: 31% of respondents admit to arguing about this. For some of them, this dispute can even lead to a breakup: 10% of the women questioned (compared to 9% of the men) explain that they broke up with their partner because the latter refused to deal with it. For 15% of the French women questioned, the misunderstanding of a partner with the pet has already been the cause of a breakup. Men are 9% to mention this same reason for separation.