We’d Rather Be with Our Dogs Than with Other People

Study of 2,000 pet owners found that favoring 'quality furry time' over social commitments is doggone common

A new study of 2,000 people has found that over half of American dog owners admit “they flake out on social events to hang out with their pet,” according to a piece in SWNS and in Fox News.

The survey results come from Link AKC, which created a smart collar for dogs and is dedicated to providing “dog parents with useful, insightful information to give them peace of mind that they are doing what is best for their dog, who in exchange do so much for them,” according to a statement by Herbie Calves, Link AKC’s CMO.

The American Kennel Club group “pinpointed the mental, physical and emotional health bonuses of dog ownership. The study also found that many owners say their pet genuinely aided their ability to get over a breakup or handle the death of a loved one.”

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Six in 10 people who participated in the survey said their pet frequently “takes care of them in some way, shape or form, reinforcing the important two-way relationship between dogs and humans.”

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This is hardly surprising to scores of us who fawn over our pets every day  — we know dogs provide nonjudgmental comfort and companionship. Sure, they have their demands. There is work, discipline and — yes — money required to keep them healthy and happy, but the benefits far outweigh the downsides, most dog owners will say.

And they wouldn’t give up their pets if you paid them.

The bond between people and their dogs “is understandable given the way they [dogs] aid our mental health — from their ability to lessen relationship stress to softening bad days at work and more. The average dog gets their owner through five (4.83) stressful events every week,” the article noted.

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Eighty-two percent of dog owners also saw an improvement in their mental and emotional health because of their “four-legged therapist,” the piece noted.

Other results, according to the survey:

  • Four in 10 responders said they leaned on their pet to get through the loss of a loved one.
  • Another 20 percent said their dog has helped them get through a difficult breakup.
  • More than half of dog owners said seeing their pet when they come home makes them feel extremely happy.
  • Eighty-eight percent said their dog made them a better person.
  • Fifty-five percent said unconditional love is the biggest benefit of dog ownership — followed by constant companionship.
  • Nine out of 10 respondents said they feel safer with their dog nearby.

Longtime dog owners have also known their pooch helps keep them physically active: Over two-thirds of those who took the survey “credit their dog with helping them to exercise more regularly. Sixty-two percent of those polled say their dog gets them out of the house for a walk two or more times a day, with 68 percent claiming to have actually noticed improvements to their health as a result.”

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And let’s not ignore the importance of the approval of our significant others.

The survey found that 80 percent of the people “said it would be a deal-breaker if their romantic partner did not like their pet.”

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