NEW YORK — It turns out, for most Americans, “man’s best friend” is also their number one priority. Nearly seven in 10 Americans admit they take better care of their pet than themselves.
A new survey of 2,000 pet parents, conducted ahead of National Pet Appreciation Week in early June, reveals 67 percent prioritize their pet’s well-being over their own. However, researchers add this isn’t a one-way relationship. Eight in 10 respondents agree that taking care of their pet actively encourages them to take better care of themselves too.
Respondents said the biggest benefit their pet provides is reducing their stress, depression, and anxiety (72%). In addition to that, 62 percent of the poll added their pets help them to exercise more (62%) by taking them for walks and playing in their homes. Another 44 percent said their pets help them to be more cautious of the food they eat.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Stella and Chewy’s, a natural pet food brand, the survey looked at all the things our pets do for us and the relationship between people and their four-legged friends. Results show 61 percent would be willing to pass up on date nights or vacations if their pets aren’t by their side — due to the unbreakable bond between humans and their companions.
Two-thirds (65%) admitted being closer to their pet than their immediate family members. Also, a dog really is a man’s best friend — at least according to 76 percent of respondents. In fact, the poll finds 94 percent make a concerted effort to show their furry friend appreciation on a regular basis.
Pet appreciation day is EVERY day
One in four (26%) do so by celebrating them on pet-themed holidays such as Pet Appreciation Week (the week of June 6) or National Dog Day (Aug. 26). Some of the common ways are playing with them every day (62%), feeding them food they are excited to eat (57%), and letting their pet sleep in bed with them (48%).
Additionally, when it comes to showing our pets how much we appreciate them, many respondents use food as a means to do so.
“Feeding your dog or cat a high quality, natural diet is a must for all pet parents and leads to a happier pet!” says Stella & Chewy’s CEO Marc Hill in a statement. “Because of our connection to our pets and the impact they have on our lives, we can further show our love for them by ensuring their health and well-being is intact, which starts with the food they eat.”
Fifty-six percent show their pets they love them by feeding them healthy, nutritious food, while more than half of respondents (54%) admit they always keep their pet’s favorite treats on hand. Nearly three-quarters of pet owners (73%) make an effort to buy natural food for their pet whenever possible. Most Americans (84%) also look to their pet for support, love, and companionship and are thankful for their pet for helping them through some of the most difficult times of their lives (83%).
“The results of this survey further emphasize what we already know to be true: our pets are our family,” Hill notes. “The bond we share with them is strong, and our pets provide us with so much joy and emotional support on a daily basis. It is imperative that we reciprocate that love by showing them how much they mean to us, too.”