Dog people are special—just like their dogs. Recently, Rover set out to discover just what defines a dog person, and we’ve got some interesting findings for you. Our research shows that American pet parents are redefining dog ownership through an increased regard for the feelings and dignity of their pets. These devoted pet parents 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).
“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.
If you recognize yourself in this report, you’re probably part of the Dog People pack. And that’s awesome, of course.
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.
- Most dog people (65 percent) admitted to taking more photos of their dog than their significant other!
- 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.
Man’s Best Friend…and Family
- Nearly all dog owners (94 percent) consider their dog a part of the family.
- Fifty-six percent of dog people say hello to their dog first when they come home, before greeting the rest of the family.
- The majority of dog people (78 percent) would include their dog in family moments like marriage proposals, holiday cards and vacations.
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.
- One in three pet parents have shed a tear when leaving their dog at home.
- The majority of dog owners (56 percent) have celebrated their dog’s birthday.
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.
- Dog ownership increases leisure time and physical activity by nearly 70 percent.