Pet Owners Say Taking Care of Their Furry Friend Encourages Taking Better Care of Themselves

Nearly seven in 10 Americans admit they take better care of their pet than themselves, according to a new poll.

The survey of 2,000 American pet parents revealed 67% prioritize their pet over themselves—but results revealed it’s a reciprocal relationship.

Eight in 10 respondents said taking care of their pet actively encourages them to take better care of themselves.

In what ways do Americans’ pets help respondents with their own health? Respondents said the biggest benefit their pet provides is reducing their stress, depression and/or anxiety (72%).

In addition to that, respondents said their pet helps them to exercise (62%)—by taking their pets for walks, playing in their house, an so on—and their pet helps them to be more cautious of the food they eat (44%), too.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Stella and Chewy’s, a natural pet food brand, the survey looked at all the things our pets do for us, and the relationship between people and their four-legged friends.

Results found 61% would be willing to pass up on date nights or vacations if their pets aren’t by their side, and it’s due to the unbreakable bond between humans and their pets.

Two-thirds (65%) admitted being closer to their pet than their immediate family members. And a dog really is a man’s best friend—at least according to 76% of respondents.

Because of this, pet parents aren’t shy about showing their appreciation for their pets.

In fact, results revealed 94% make a concerted effort to show their furry friend appreciation on a regular basis, and 26% do so by celebrating them on pet-themed holidays such as Pet Appreciation Week (the week of June 6) or National Dog Day (on August 26).

Some of the common ways are playing with them every day (62%), feeding them food they are excited to eat (57%), and letting their pet sleep in bed with them (48%).

Additionally, when it comes to showing our pets how much we appreciate them, many respondents use food as a means to do so.

Fifty-six percent show their pets they love them by feeding them healthy, nutritious food, while more than half of respondents (54%) admit they always keep their pet’s favorite treats on hand and nearly three-quarters (73%) of pet owners make an effort to buy natural food for their pet whenever possible.

Most Americans (84%) also look to their pet for support, love, and companionship and are thankful for their pet for helping them through some of the most difficult times of their life (83%).

“The results of this survey further emphasize what we already know to be true: our pets are our family,” said Stella & Chewy’s CEO Marc Hill. “The bond we share with them is strong, and our pets provide us with so much joy and emotional support on a daily basis. It is imperative that we reciprocate that love by showing them how much they mean to us, too.”