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Pet parents prioritize fur babies’ happiness over their own: poll

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For nearly four in five Americans, the ideal welcoming committee has four legs.

That’s according to a new poll of 2,000 pet owners, where 78% agree that seeing their pet when they get home is the best part of their day.

So it’s no surprise that 71% said they regularly put their pet’s needs ahead of their own.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of toughThe survey aimed to find out to what extent pet parents prioritize their pet’s happiness when making important life decisions and planning their daily activities.

According to respondents, pets influence what trips they take (40%), where they live (37%) and the people they interact with (35%) and a third (36%) say their pet even influences how they spend money .

Pets also play an important role in all aspects of daily activities, with nearly half of respondents (49%) admitting that they plan their free time around spending time with their pet.

Pet parents prioritize their pet's happiness when making important life decisions and planning their daily activities.
Pet parents prioritize their pet’s happiness when making important life decisions and planning their daily activities.
SWNS

More than two in five (43%) would change their intention to include their pet, and 39% would rather cancel to spend more time with their pet.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of respondents have gotten another pet for their pet and 33% would consider getting another pet.

Mostly it was to prevent their pet from becoming lonely (66%), but 51% did this to give their current pet more exercise.

Seeing pets upon returning home is the best part of the day for most.
Seeing pets upon returning home is the best part of the day for most.
SWNS

“Pets have become our entire world, so it’s no surprise that they claim a prominent place in the household,” says Dr. Katy Nelson, senior veterinarian at Chewy. “This reflects the larger trend of ‘pet priorities,’ or putting the needs of our pets above our own when considering important life decisions or planning our social agendas and daily behaviors.”

To increase their pet’s well-being and happiness, 23% cooked them a homemade meal and 21% let them choose where they want to sleep in bed first.

Nearly half (46%) of pet parents spent more on their pet’s medical needs than on their own.

People admitted to adopting a pet for their pet.
People admitted to adopting a pet for their pet.
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Getting a pet has changed respondents’ lives in ways they could not have imagined.

Since getting a pet, respondents believe they are more responsible (40%) and more empathetic (32%). Nearly three in ten (28%) feel even better prepared to have children.

About half (51%) of respondents say they are as much in tune with their pet’s emotions as their pet’s, and two in five (20%) say they are more in touch with the emotions their pets than their own.

Nearly half said they spend more on their pet's medical needs than on their own.
Nearly half said they spend more on their pet’s medical needs than on their own.
SWNS

This essential bond allowed pet owners to pick up on their pet’s love language: More than half (55%) said their furry friend has a love language, and 36% of them believe it’s physical touch in the form of petting, kissing and hugs.

Another 24% believe that quality time is the way to their pet’s heart.

“The in-depth understanding of our pets’ emotions and personalities increases our attention to their needs and desire to provide them with first-class care and comfort,” said Nelson. “While this can sometimes lead to high costs, affordable options such as wellness and insurance offers and online vet visits through Connect with a Vet can enable pet parents to keep their pets as happy as possible.”

Less than a third thought having a pet prepared them for having children.
Less than a third thought having a pet prepared them for having children.
SWNS

Understandably, this is why many respondents find it more difficult to leave pets at home.

More than half (62%) wish they could take their pets with them if they leave “all the time” or “usually”.

And for those times when it’s better to leave them at home, pet parents give them hugs and kisses (42%), give them their favorite toy or blanket (39%) and turn on the TV (35%) to make sure to keep them comfortable and happy.

Pollsters admitted to cooking homemade meals and putting animals to sleep in bed.
Pollsters admitted to cooking homemade meals and putting animals to sleep in bed.
SWNS

It’s no surprise that 35% of pet owners mentioned “kissing me when I get home” as a way to bond with their four-legged friend.

Other common rituals shared by pets and their parents include watching TV or a movie (38%) and lying next to each other during times of stress (36%).

But others share more intimate rituals. such as taking a nap together (34%) or being “guarded” by their pet when they are in the shower or bathroom (32%).

Nearly half admitted to changing plans for their pets.
Nearly half admitted to changing plans for their pets.
SWNS

Top decisions influenced by pets

Get another pet – 62%

Medical expenses – 46%

Change plans – 43%

Cancel plans – 39%

Travel and Vacation – 40%

Where you sleep in bed – 21%

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