SEATTLE – February 5, 2019 – Rover.com®, the world’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers, today released “The Real Power of Dog Love” , which 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).
“Our human relationships can be complex, but dog love is pure, simple and makes us happy because pets are part of the family we choose,” said Halle Hutchison, vice president of marketing for Rover. “Pet parents are investing deeply into these relationships, from celebrating holidays like Valentine’s Day with their dogs, to buying their first homes to give their dogs a better life.”
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 at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, Institute for Human-Animal Connection 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 spend their days observing our physical movements and emotional changes to better understand us. In fact, dogs are the animal that observes humans the most, and have a better capacity for emotional intelligence than any other animal we come in contact with. Even returning a human’s loving gaze is intentional. According to Tedeschi, 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 such as making us more friendly, more optimistic, happier and trusting. Our contact with dogs has also been found to assist in 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).
To review the comprehensive report findings, visit: https://www.rover.com/blog/power-of-dog-love-rover/
Founded in 2011 and based in Seattle, Rover.com® is the world’s largest and most trusted network of five-star pet sitters and dog walkers. Rover connects dog owners with pet care whenever they need it. Millions of services have been booked on Rover, including pet sitting, dog walking, in-home dog boarding, and doggy daycare.
As The Dog People™, Rover makes it easier for people to have dog love in their lives through the Rover Guarantee, 24/7 support, vet consultations, and GPS walk tracking. And by sharing expertise on TheDogPeople.com-one of the world’s top dog blogs-Rover provides tips and articles that delight, inform, and enhance the bond between people and their pets. To learn more about Rover, please visit http://www.rover.com.
Rover.com survey conducted via SurveyMonkey in January 2019 among 1,450 U.S. adult dog owners who are dating or in a relationship.