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The Surprising Truth About Dog People

  • 3 min read

A recent Rover.com survey set out to find if dog people truly are different, and if so how? Some of the findings were expected, but others were dog-gone surprising!

For starters, nearly every pet owner considered the dog a part of the family, which pretty much everyone can relate to nowadays. Dogs are lovingly referred to as one of the kids and hold a special place in the entire family’s heart.

But when it comes to the pecking order in the family, who is the top dog? Well, some may be surprised to find out that it is, in fact, the family dog! Survey results showed that nearly 1 in 3 dog owners post more photos of their dog than anyone else (including themselves).  But amazingly, nearly 2 in 3 take more photos of their dog than anyone else, either – including their spouse! Sorry dear, looks like we love the dog more than each other!

A dog and their owner sitting on chairs around a table

Going further, nearly 80% of dog owners reported that they would include their dog in special family occasions. This goes beyond holiday cards and includes things such as vacations and marriage proposals. This is not that surprising, given that 1 in 4 dog owners have brought their dog with them on a date! Even though it is rare that an owner can know the actual date on which their dog was born, most dog owners report celebrating their dog’s birthday.

Pug wearing a red and white polka dot party hat

And like any beloved family member, we think about them when we are away. Over 80% of dog owners worry about their dog while they are away from home.  Nearly 90% have taken extra measures to help make sure their dog doesn’t get lonely, such as leaving the TV!

Nearly 40% of dog owners admit to crying when they had to leave their dog at home, and almost half report to leaving work early to see the dog!  And who do we greet first when we get home? Most dog owners report that the dog is the one they say hello to first. Sorry, kids, looks like you are second fiddle!

Reflection of a dog running through the grass in a car side mirror

But most surprising of all is how high dog owners value their dog’s opinion. Over half of all dog owners would end a relationship if they thought their dog did not like their partner! In other words, dog people seem to be saying that their dog is more important than their partner. Heck, to drive that point home even more almost half of all dog owners say they would have a harder time leaving their dog for a week than their partner!

A couple holding hands while walking their dog

It is hardly surprising that, with the boom in personalized products available online, nearly 40% of all dog people have purchased something personalized for their pet. This ranges from dog bowls to collars to monogrammed sweaters. But this creative bond goes beyond custom pet products. Over half of dog owners sing to their dog, and nearly 1 in 4 of them make up special songs just for their pooch! Doing the math, that means 6% of all Americans are dog songwriters. That totals to more than the combined populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston!

So, what is the benefit of all this worry, work, and wooing our dogs? Does it just feel good, or is there a real benefit to being a dog person?

Not surprising to any dog owner, there are many actual benefits. For example, almost 75% of dog owners have found an increase in happiness and self-esteem. In addition, dog ownership also reduces stress levels and results in making more time for fun and leisure. In fact, owning a dog increases leisure-time physical activity by nearly 70%. If we cannot make time for ourselves, then it seems that they will make us!

With all these benefits to dog people, it starts to make one wonder whether we provide for their survival or if they provide for ours!

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