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Pets Are Influencing a Huge Life Decision for Millennials

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Dogs are a priority for this demographic.

A third of millennial-aged Americans who purchased their first home say the desire to have a better space or yard for a dog influenced their decision to purchase their first home, according to a new survey.PETS DogAndWoman 2

Dogs ranked among the top three motivators for first-time home purchasers and were cited by more millennials than marriage/upcoming marriage, 25 percent, or the birth/expected birth of a child, 19 percent.

The poll was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage, a division of SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI). It included 412 U.S. adults ages 18-36, among whom 248 purchased their first home and 135 have never purchased a home.

Only the desire for more living space, 66 percent, and the opportunity to build equity, 36 percent, were identified by more millennials as reasons they purchased their first home.

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“Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions,” Dorinda Smith, SunTrust Mortgage president and CEO, said in a press release. “For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; home ownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.”

Among millennials who have never purchased a home, 42 percent say that their dog – or the desire to have one – is a key factor in their desire to buy a home in the future, suggesting dogs will also influence purchase decisions of potential first-time homebuyers.

“Millennials are trending toward homeownership,” Smith said. “Demand among millennial-aged, first-time homebuyers is robust, and we expect them to continue adding strength to the housing market.”

Read more at SunTrust

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Dogs May Be More Perceptive Than We Ever Realized, Study Finds

Even untrained strays can read human gestures.

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Dogs seem to be able to interpret human gestures even when they’ve had no training, a new study has found.

As any dog owner knows, pet canines understand commands and gestures with ease. A group of researchers set out to determine whether these capabilities are innate or require training, according to a report from Frontiers Science News.

The researchers looked specifically at pointing, with Dr. Anindita Bhadra of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India, and colleagues studing stray dogs in several Indian cities.

“The researchers approached solitary stray dogs and placed two covered bowls on the ground near them,” Frontieers Science News reports. “A researcher then pointed to one of the two bowls, either momentarily or repeatedly, and recorded whether the dog approached the indicated bowl.”

About 80 percent of participating dogs successfully followed pointing gestures.

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“We thought it was quite amazing that the dogs could follow a gesture as abstract as momentary pointing,” Bhadra was quoted saying. “This means that they closely observe the human, whom they are meeting for the first time, and they use their understanding of humans to make a decision. This shows their intelligence and adaptability.”

The research was published in Frontiers in Psychology.

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State Considers Banning ‘No Pets’ Rental Listings

Some landlords are not happy about the proposed legislation.

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New Hampshire legislators are considering a ban on “no pets” notices in property listings.

Proposed legislation would forbid landlords and home sellers from barring pet owners, the Concord Monitor reports.

They could make rules related to pet deposits, noise control, sanitation and safety, according to the newspaper. But they could set make rules based on size, breed or appearance.

The legislation was proposed by state Rep. Ellen Read, a Democrat from Newmarket. It has drawn opposition from some landords who say it could lead to unsanitary conditions as well as allergy problems for some residents.

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But Julia Seeley, New Hampshire state director for the Humane Society, said her organization supports the bill.

We just strongly believe that a family should not be torn apart simply over housing,” she said.

Read more at the Concord Monitor

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Spotify Rolls Out Music Playlists for Pets

Pets seem to favor classical music and soft rock.

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Digital music service Spotify had a hunch that people were playing tunes for their pets.

A study by the company found that 71% of pet owners did exactly that. The survey included 5,000 music-streaming pet owners from the U.S., the UK, Australia, Spain and Italy.

The company explains:

That being said, we created a unique experience to help you craft the pawfect algorithmically generated playlist for you and your pet to enjoy together. Head to spotify.com/pets for a playlist you can share with your dog, cat, iguana, hamster, or bird.

See the graphic below for more details from the survey.

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