A new report from Rover, called “The Real Power of Dog Love,” explores the loving relationship modern dog owners have with their pets. Created in honor of Valentine’s Day, the report found that devoted dog people gaze lovingly into their dogs eyes (67 percent), cuddle their dog more often than their partner (47 percent) and would even consider ending a relationship if their partner didn’t like dogs or was severely allergic (53 percent).
Scientific research also indicates that dog love isn’t one-sided, and dogs are equally as eager to bond and connect with humans. According to Phil Tedeschi, professor, and researcher on the human-animal bond at the University of Denver and member of Rover’s Dog People Panel, our loyal canine companions are constantly working to understand humans and fit into our lives.
Tedeschi notes that dogs watch and wait for moments to gaze and connect with humans. This eye contact stimulates bonding and the “love” hormone, oxytocin, which has human health benefits like lowering blood pressure and reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.
The Real Power of Dog Love: Report Findings
The report includes responses from hundreds of dog owners across the country who are dating or in relationships. Overall, the data revealed that Valentine’s Day and love is going to the dogs.
Love for Our Dogs
- Nearly half (47 percent) of pet parents have planned a Valentine’s Day celebration for their dog, including buying them a new outfit or baking a dessert.
- One in three pet parents says they plan their entire weekend around spending time with their dog and doing activities their dog can participate in.
- Most dog owners (81 percent) use a “baby voice” or “puppy voice” when they talk to their dog. And millennials are the most likely to use a special voice when talking to their pup.
Dog Love vs. Romantic Love
- More than half (53 percent) of pet parents would consider ending a relationship if their partner didn’t like dogs or was severely allergic.
- A quarter of millennial dog people have actually continued a relationship or friendship just because they liked the person’s dog.
- Twenty-four percent of pet parents take more pictures with their dog than friends, family or their significant other.
Dogs & Dating
- The majority (69 percent) of dog people agree that seeing someone is a dog lover would make them more interested in dating them.
- One in three pet parents regularly brings their dog on dates.
And the reasons people bring their dog on dates include: wanting to make sure their dog and potential partner get along (41 percent), feeling their dog is a good judge of character (30 percent), and because their dog makes them feel comfortable (29 percent).
Rover.com survey conducted via SurveyMonkey in January 2019 among 1,450 U.S. adult dog owners who are dating or in a relationship.