True best friends: Most dog owners say they’d risk their lives to save their pet

NEW YORK — From snake attacks to jumping into oncoming traffic, a new study finds one in three dog owners have put themselves in harm’s way to save their four-legged friend.

Some Americans have pulled off daring rescues from towering construction sites or dove into pools all to save their dogs. One respondent says they got in between their hound and another angry dog. Another even took an electric shock from exposed wiring before their pup got too close.

In advance of National Love Your Pet Day on February 20th, a survey of 2,000 American dog owners examined all the ways respondents show their love for their pooch. More than seven in 10 people (72%) said they would gladly put themselves in harm’s way to save their dog. It’s no surprise that respondents leaped into action when their pup was in danger since nearly four in five (78%) consider them a full-fledged member of the family.

Do we love dogs more than people?

For some, their bond with their pet could be the most important relationship in the household. Of those respondents married or in a relationship (79%), over half (53%) admit to kissing their hound more than their partner.

The survey, commissioned by JustFoodForDogs and conducted by OnePoll, also finds three in five (61%) admit they prefer their dog to some people they know. Forty-seven percent confess to knowing the names of the dogs in their neighborhood, but not their owners. The same number add they have even canceled plans in the past just to stay in with their furry friend. All this quality time with Fido had some respondents saying they have been accused of spoiling their dog (70%), but they don’t care.

Americans give dogs the royal treatment at home

Nearly two in three Americans (65%) think of spoiling their pooch as a form of self-care and 63 percent revealed they are better about scheduling their dog’s vet appointments than their own doctor visits. Researchers also explored the little ways respondents show their love for their dog. One in two people (49%) let their dog sleep in bed with them and 46 percent let their pup on the couch too.

One in three (34%) can’t bear to be apart for even a moment and let their four-legged friend follow them into the bathroom while using the toilet or shower. Respondents truly want to see their dog everywhere they go. In fact, three in ten (31%) have purchased custom decorations that look like their dog. Perhaps the ultimate sign of true love between dog and owner can be summed up in the 13 percent of Americans who let their dog sip from the same water as them.

“The survey results reflect what we see every day: people view their pets as members of their family,” says Shawn Buckley, Founder of JustFoodForDogs, in a statement. “Our pets bring us so much joy, and while they ask for little in return, we only want the best for them and our actions in caring for them demonstrate just that.”

Food fit for a canine king

A third of respondents said they’ve cooked a Thanksgiving meal just for their pet and add they don’t want to leave them out of the other major holidays either. Forty-seven percent have dressed up their pup for Halloween and also included them in the holiday photoshoot.

One in four (28%) bought their dog a Valentine’s Day gift to show their love and 37 percent have thrown them a birthday party. Over half the poll (52%) have even cooked meals specifically for their dog. Seven in ten Americans said they want their pooch to eat just as well if not better than they do.

“Cooking a nutritionally balanced meal from fresh whole food is the single best thing you can do for your dog’s health,” explains Dr. Oscar Chavez, Chief Medical Officer of JustFoodForDogs. “Scientific research shows real food is better for our pets than processed kibble. The fact that 7 out of 10 people surveyed want their dog to eat as well or better than they do demonstrates how pet parents want to make responsible choices for those in their care.”

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