SEATTLE – May 10, 2017 – Rover.com®, the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers, today released The Truth About Dog People, a report that delves into the psyche of modern dog owners. The research found American pet parents are redefining dog ownership through an increased regard for the feelings and dignity of their pets. These devoted pet parents, which Rover dubs “Dog People,” make up songs to sing to their dogs (24 percent), share more pictures online of their dog than of friends and family (29 percent), and will even consider ending a relationship if their dog doesn’t like their partner (54 percent).1
“Young Americans are less likely to be homeowners or parents than previous generations, but one category they lead in, is pet ownership. They shower their dogs with attention and splurge on expensive gifts because their dog is their best friend, and they want to be their dog’s best friend too,” said Brandie Gonzales, pet lifestyle expert for Rover. “Dog people are deeply concerned about their dog’s feelings and well-being. And we’re seeing that reflected in everything from how people name their dog to what they feed them, and the type of pet care they prefer.”
The Truth About Dog People: Report Findings
The report includes responses from thousands of dog owners across the country as well as scientific research on pet parents’ relationships with their dogs. Overall, the data revealed that the human-dog relationship has evolved from one of ownership to one based on kinship.
There are more than 54 million households with a dog in the U.S., and the number is steadily trending upward as modern pet parents embrace the humanization of pets and seek to bring their dogs as much joy as their dogs bring them. As a result dogs have come to populate all the places owners’ friends and family are present, and they’re treated like members of the family.
A Dog’s Role in Romance
- One in four pet parents have brought their pet on a date.2
- Most dog people (65 percent) admitted to taking more photos of their dog than their significant other!3
- Almost half (47 percent) of those with a significant other admit they’d find it harder to leave their dog for a week than their human partner.4
Man’s Best Friend…and Family
- Nearly all dog owners (94 percent) consider their dog a part of the family.5
- Fifty-six percent of dog people say hello to their dog first when they come home, before greeting the rest of the family.1
- The majority of dog people (78 percent) would include their dog in family moments like marriage proposals, holiday cards and vacations.1
Love for Our Dogs
- Most dog owners (88 percent) have done things to make sure their dog doesn’t get lonely when home alone, including leaving the TV on or getting a second pet.3
- One in three pet parents have shed a tear when leaving their dog at home.4
- The majority of dog owners (56 percent) have celebrated their dog’s birthday.1
The Health Perks of Dog Ownership
- 3 out of 4 pet parents use their dog or dog videos as a pick-me-up during a rough day.1
- Dog ownership increases leisure time and physical activity by nearly 70 percent.6
To review the comprehensive report findings, visit: The Truth About Dog People.
This new research on dog people comes on the heels of Rover’s introduction of “The Dog People,” a national brand campaign that portrays a collection of moments illustrating why Rover and its community of pet sitters and dog walkers are the dog people that pet parents prefer for dog care. The campaign seeks to show pet parents that Rover can help them find true dog people who will care for their dog the same way they would. As part of the campaign, over the coming months Rover will be introducing additional online resources to help dog owners, including educational content and an advisory panel of dog experts. For more on the campaign, visit Rover’s YouTube channel and blog “Daily Treat.”
To further address the needs of pet parents, Rover also recently announced a partnership with Nextdoor to provide a new resource to help pets and their families stay safe and connected to their communities. Nextdoor’s Pet Directory allows neighbors to add pet photos and identifying details to a neighborhood directory, connecting neighbors as fellow pet lovers and providing a valuable resource to help reunite lost pets with their families. For more, visit: Nextdoor Pet Directory.
1Survey conducted by Google Surveys among 1,500 U.S. adult dog owners in April 2017
2 Rover.com survey of users in January 2016
3 Rover.com survey conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 U.S. adult dog owners in June 2016
4 Rover.com survey conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 U.S. adult dog owners in April 2015
5 Harris Poll, 2015 http://www.theharrispoll.com/health-and-life/Pets-are-Members-of-the-Family.html
6 Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2011 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21487144#
Rover.com®, The Dog People™, is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers. Through Rover, pet parents can discover, book, and manage personalized care for their dogs, including pet sitting, dog walking, in-home dog boarding, and doggy day care. Founded on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the unconditional love of a dog, Rover improves and simplifies life for pet parents and the dogs they love. By connecting pet parents with dog people in their neighborhood, Rover ensures dogs nationwide are happy and well-cared for even when their owner is away, and empowers pet parents to live fulfilling lives. Services are booked through Rover every minute of every day and over 95% of reviewed bookings have received a perfect 5-star rating. The platform offers premium insurance for all services booked through Rover, secure online payments, world-class customer support, vet consultations, a 24/7 team of trust and safety agents, reports that include walk maps and activity tracking, mobile apps, photo and video sharing, and general background checks for sitters.