Dog Owners Say Their Pets Make Them Healthier

August 31, 2016
Peter Evans

A new survey of US dog owners finds most think their pets contribute to their overall health and wellness.

A new report finds dog owners believe their pet is good for their health—and their social lives.

According to the recently released Rover Trends Report, 93% of US dog owners believe that taking their dog for a walk is among the best ways to de-stress. Owners report feeling happier (59%) and calmer (41%) when walking with their dog rather than when walking alone.

Furthermore, 8 out of 10 dog owners say that they meet people while out walking their dog. These include neighbors (66%), new friends (33%), and even future dog sitters/walkers (24%).

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of dog owners think they would be more likely to stick to their pet’s exercise routine than their own. Yet more than half of dog owners (55%) feel that their dogs are getting less than 45 minutes of exercise a day. Busy schedules (40%) and poor health (17%) are among the top reasons cited for this. Still, 9 out of 10 dog owners believe they would know if their dog was overweight.

So many dog owners are worried about their dogs while they’re away that almost 9 out of 10 pet parents have taken steps to ensure their pets don’t get lonely. These range from buying special toys and treats (46%) to even getting another pet to keep their dog company (29%).

Asked about their pet “parenting style,” more than half (52%) of dog owners say their parenting style is that of “doting parent,” and they love pampering their pooch. Fifty-six percent of pet parents say they have bought birthday or other holiday presents for their dog, while almost 4 out of 10 owners have purchased personalized gifts for their dog.

The majority of dog owners (65%) say that they got their dog for companionship. In fact, more than 6 in 10 Americans have more photos of their dogs than of their friends or significant other.

An estimated 54 million homes across the US have dogs, which are the most popular pet in the US (44%).