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woman and dog at the park
TrainingPet CareHealthPlay

April 10, 2023

PetSafe® Expert

Rob Hunter

Pet parent survey: why pets are the best, and how to show them you care

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you have a special cat or dog in your life (or both… or a whole pack!) and you’re no stranger to the joy they can provide. We were curious about how people across the country show their pets some love, so we surveyed 2000 pet parents* about how much their pets mean to them, and how they give that love back! Here’s a summary of what we found.

woman and man and dog at the park

Pets make life better.

While we didn’t need a survey to tell us that pets can improve our lives, it was great to hear from pet parents just how and why pets can provide this gift. We know how comforting it can be when our cats and dogs greet us at the door when we get home. But have you ever told your pet about a particularly troublesome workday? If so, you’re not alone, as 68% of pet parents said they confide in their pets when they’ve had a bad day. And it turns out that our human family members often just can’t compete with the love and comfort the furry ones provide – six out of ten pet parents reported that they’d rather snuggle up with their pets than with their partners at the end of a long day! Needless to say, pets make us happy, often more than anything else in our lives. Indeed, eight out of ten pet parents said that their pets are their number-one source of joy.

girl and cat

Pets help us grow as people.

Beyond just making us smile or comforting us after a tough day, our pets help bring out the best in us so we become better people. Just like a child, a pet is a loved one who depends on us completely to stay safe and healthy. Pet parents told us that caring for their pets helped them become more responsible (33%) and more mature (48%). Pets show us unconditional love for a lifetime, and learning to return that can be a truly life-changing experience. Pet parents reported that their pets helped them learn to be patient (45%) and more compassionate (43%). Pets also help support the health of our bodies and our minds! Many pet parents said their pets helped them become more active (40%) and improved their mental health (43%).

man and dog at park

Our best friends deserve the best of everything.

It comes as no surprise that nine out of ten pet parents surveyed said they want only the very best for their pets, with 78% admitting they have a hard time saying no to their pets. In fact, seven out of ten went so far as to say they believe their cats and dogs live like kings and queens. Now that’s a pampered pet!

Top 3 ways pet parents show their appreciation:

We know there’s nothing wrong with spoiling your furry family member every now and then. Here are the top three ways our surveyed pet parents said they show their appreciation for their pets:

  1. Forty-nine percent buy designer clothing or accessories for their pampered pal.
  2. Forty-four percent treat their cat or dog to visits at a high-end pet spa.
  3. Forty-three percent set up a wireless fence to keep their buddy safe at home.

woman and dog running

Taking your pet’s care to the next level

Our pets do so much for us, it’s no wonder we invest time, energy and sometimes, worry into making sure they have the best of everything. Our surveyed pet parents let us know some of the concerns they have, and the ways they take  their love and appreciation to the next level with recommendations for care routines and supplies that every pet parent should try.

A safe place to play

One of the biggest worries any pet parent has is when their pet is at risk of straying into dangerous situations or getting lost. In our survey, 41% of pet parents expressed worry about the possibility of their pets getting lost or running away. Letting your pet enjoy the outdoors doesn’t have to be risky, though! While traditional wood, metal or vinyl fences are still popular options, they also tend to be expensive to purchase, labor-intensive to install, obstructive to your and your pet’s view, and not always reliable, especially if your pet has a habit of climbing or digging. That’s why 17% of pet parents recommended an electronic pet fence as an absolute necessity. With a wireless or in-ground pet fence, your pet gets a clear view of the neighborhood and a secure place to play outside, and you get peace of mind knowing your pet is safe at home.

kids and dog playing outisde

Better walks

Going for walks is a big one, with 74% taking their pets for a walk every time the pet expresses a desire to go out. But scheduling life around walks and potty breaks is not always possible! That’s why 17% said that a pet door is something that every pet parent needs, giving pets access to the outdoors even on the busiest days. And when you do get the opportunity to stroll together, a no-pull solution like a harness or headcollar can do wonders for making walks less stressful and more enjoyable for you and your best friend. Pet parents agreed, with 13% saying a no-pull solution is a must-have.

Traveling together

Traveling with pets is a popular pastime as well, with 52% taking pets on vacation every time they go. If you’ve ever traveled with a pet, you know it can be challenging if you’re not well prepared. Pet travel gear like seat covers, dog ramps and travel seats ensure that you and your buddy can hit the road safely and comfortably for every trip.

Peace of mind while you’re away

Leaving our pets alone for long periods of time is never fun, and 52% of pet parents said they experience guilt when they’re forced to do so. Whether you have to work late or you’re stuck in traffic, one of the big sources of worry at times like these is making sure your pet doesn’t miss any meals and that they have plenty of fresh water to drink. Pet parents recommended automatic pet feeders (13%) and pet fountains (14%) as two must-haves for all pet parents, ensuring consistent meal routines and healthy hydration, even when you’re away from home. Keeping pets entertained while you’re busy or away is also important, with the average pet owner buying their pet a toy twice a month. Dog toys and cat toys are not just fun, they’re important for a pet’s body and mind, as 76% of pet parents reported that their pet become more energetic after receiving a special treat or toy. And if your best friend is a feline, an automatic litter box takes all the worry out of busy days as its self-cleaning action provides your cat with a clean place to go every time.

kitty gettings pets

At PetSafe®, we’re committed to unleashing a lifetime of joy for pets and their families everywhere. We know that pet parents, like pets, come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re about to adopt your first cat or dog, or you’ve been a dedicated pet parent all your life, we’re here for you and your furry family members.

*This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 American pet owners was commissioned by PetSafe between March 29 and March 31, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

Written by

Rob Hunter

Rob Hunter

PetSafe® Brand Copywriter

PetSafe® Expert

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