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TDK conference 2012

The relationship of healthy lifestyle and preventive veterinary medicine
Jókay Katalin Diána - year 6
SzIU, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Department of State Veterinary Medicine and Agricultural Economics
Supervisor: Dr. László Ózsvári


Present days, the importance of healthy lifestyle and the awareness of disease prevention are continuously increasing. In my survey my intention was to analyse whether habits of having a pet and demanding veterinary preventive services are different for pet owners pursuing a healthy lifestyle from those who are less health-conscious.

The basis of my research was a 61-point survey which focused on either the lifestyle of the pet owner and the habits of having a pet. The survey was available online and in hard copies as well between 14.05.2012 and 03.10.2012. Respondents have fulfilled 620 surveys of which 600 were evaluable. I have used R.2.14.2 and MS-Excel programs for processing and evaluating the surveys.

The respondents were divided them into two main categories; if 68% of their answers given for the 25 questions demonstrating their lifestyles complied with literature references I have considered them to be „health-conscious”. I have assigned 262 people to this category. This way the „non-health-conscious” category contains 338 people. When analysing the demographic data of the two categories I have observed significant statistical differences; the health-conscious category contains more women (p= 0.003) and more people over age 31 (p= 0.0097) and having a college or university degree (p= 0.009), than the other category.

In regards the demand for veterinary services the owners pursuing healthy lifestyle required blood tests for preventive reasons much more often (p= 0.002) than the respondents from the other group. The rate of health-conscious pet owners who requested other veterinary preventive services was higher, however the differences were not significant. Hence, the health-conscious owners take their pets to vet several times a year and also many of them request general health checks of their animals. Their pets more often receive non-mandatory vaccinations and ecto and endoparasitic treatments.

It is common in both categories that their decisions are mainly influenced by their vet when it comes to treatments to be applied to their pets, however this influence is greater for health-conscious owners and the cost of the treatments have less impact on their decisions also. The importance of buying specific products (medicines, endo and ecto-parasitics, pet food) directly from their vet is the same. In both groups respondents require vaccinations for their pets significantly more often than for themselves (p= 4.022e-06 and p= 1.192e-13) and also a significant difference could be found concerning the frequency of health checks taken by health-conscious pet owners for themselves and that requested for their pets (p= 6.993e-05).

In summary the health conscious pet owners more often request the preventive veterinary services than the non-health conscious ones, but the differences found are mostly not significant.

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