New Survey Shows Just How Much Pets Influence Life Choices

By: Chewy EditorialUpdated:

New Survey Shows Just How Much Pets Influence Life Choices

Have you considered getting a pet FOR your pet? If so, you are not alone!

Many of us (we're pet parents too... we get it!) have increasingly factored our pets in our everyday and larger decisions about how we live. It's a fact there is pretty much nothing we won't do to ensure our creature companions' bliss. So when we read that a poll of pet parents conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Chewy found 62% of respondents have gotten another pet for their pet, that seemed about right. (Let that sink in. Nearly two-thirds of pet parents polled have adopted a second or third pet FOR their pet.)

“Pets have become our whole world, so it’s no surprise to see them claim their rightful place of prominence in the household,” says Dr. Katy Nelson, senior veterinarian at Chewy. “This reflects the larger trend of ‘pet prioritization,’ or placing our pets’ needs above our own when considering major life decisions or planning our social calendars and daily behaviors.”

What made them bring home a new live-in pal? Most commonly, it was to keep their pet from getting lonely (66%), but 51% did so to give their current pet more exercise. (Is this the right decision for you and your pets? See related stories below for guidance.)

So, what else did this interesting new poll uncover? (And does all of this sound familiar?)

  • 78% agree that seeing their pet when they come home is the best part of their day.
  • 71% said they regularly put their pet’s needs before their own.
  • 40% report that pets influence what trips they take.
  • More than half (62%) wish they could bring their pets with them when they leave either “all of the time” or “most of the time.”

But when it comes to the new wave of pet parenting, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Pets Own Us (and we're not mad about it)

Pet’s are in control when it comes to many of the major decisions we make. According to respondents in this new poll of pet parents, pets influence where they live (37%) and with whom they hang out (35%). (We are solidly in the "love me, love my dog" camp!)

Pets also play a significant role in all aspects of day-to-day activities. Nearly half of respondents (49%) admitted they plan their free time around being with their pet. More?

  • More than two in five (43%) would change plans so their pet could be included.
  • 39% would rather cancel to spend more time with their pet.
  • More than 1 in 3 enjoy watching TV or a movie together with their pets.

To bolster their pet’s well-being and happiness, 23% have cooked them a homemade meal (get pet-safe recipes here) and 21% let them choose where they’d like to sleep in bed first.

When it comes to money matters, there seems to be no ceiling to spending on our pets.

  • Almost half (46%) of pet parents have spent more on their pet’s medical needs than their own.
  • One-third (36%) said their pet even impacts how they spend money.

Note: Financial experts recommend creating a rainy day fund exclusively for your pets so there is no unexpected strain on your budget. And pet insurance is another good option to explore.


Pets Change Us (for the better)

Are these life changes are well-beyond worth it? Well, since getting a pet, respondents in this poll of pet parents say their lives have become sweeter in ways they couldn’t have imagined.

  • 40% say they’ve become more responsible and 32% are more empathetic.
  • Almost three in 10 (28%) even feel more prepared to have kids.
  • About half (51%) of respondents say they’re equally in tune with both their and their pet’s emotions, and two in five (20%) say they're more in touch with their pet’s emotions than their own.

This essential bond has allowed pet parents to pick up on their pet’s love language:

  • More than half (55%) said their furry friend has a love language.
  • 36% of them believe it to be physical touch in the form of petting, kissing and hugs.
  • Another 24% believe quality time is the way to their pet’s heart.

“The deep understanding of our pets’ emotions and personalities increases our attentiveness to their needs and the desire to provide them with premium care and comfort,” Dr. Nelson says. "Although this can sometimes lead to high costs, affordable options like wellness and insurance offerings and online vet visits through Connect with a Vet can empower pet parents to keep their pets as happy as possible."

Nothing can really prepare you for the way your heart grows 10X when you bring a pet into your life, but as the surveys says, you're in good company.

Did You Know?

Admit to turn on the TV for their pets when leaving for the day.
Report being "supervised" by pets in the bathroom.
Believe quality time is the way to their pet’s heart
With so many of us bringing home new pets, it's important (for their health and your sanity) to have the right gear, goods, foods and supplies at the ready. Chewy's New Pet Shop has checklists and guides and is a great place to start. Did you find the information in this poll of pet parents useful? If so, please use the share buttons to spread the news.


By: Chewy EditorialUpdated: