Getting a pet can be one of the most life-changing decisions in a person’s life. For many, it’s about companionship, and for others having a pet comes from a love of animals and a desire to give them a good home. Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt that having a pet can be a beautiful, fulfilling thing for dog parents.
Dogs are beloved animals, and there’s a reason that they’re so often called “man’s best friend.” But how much of an impact do dogs actually have on people’s quality of life? A new study from Barkbus explores just that. The mobile dog grooming service surveyed dog parents and non-dog parents to get a sense of their quality of life in multiple areas: physical health, mental health, social life, and financial health.
Overall, dog parents seemed to have a higher quality of life, especially in the areas of financial and physical health, than non-dog parents. Specifically, 59% of non-dog parents rated their physical health as being either good or excellent, while 70% of dog parents said the same. On the financial side of life, 56% of non-dog parents said their financial health was good or excellent, while 66% of dog parents said the same.
One respondent said that having a dog helps them to be more active, and gives them someone to take care of every day.
“He gives me more of a routine and makes me feel good for being able to give him a good life,” the respondent said.
When it comes to why respondents who were dog parents decided to get one, the reasons obviously varied. A majority, however, said it was for companionship (67%). Notably, 45% of respondents said it was to improve their mental health, which is quite a significant reason to get a dog.
A notable 93% of respondents said that including their dog in their online dating profile got them more matches, which certainly says a lot about the perception that people have of dogs and dog parents.
We all struggled during the pandemic, and everyone had different things that helped them cope and stay mentally and physically healthy. How did dog parents fare during the pandemic? Well, the survey showed that 60% of dog parents actually got one during the pandemic.
That seemed to inform the way they worked during the pandemic, too, as 69% of people who got a dog during the pandemic said they opted to work remotely. That certainly indicates that dog parents may have some increased separation anxiety; confirmed by the fact that 74% of dog parents turned down opportunities to leave their home because of their commitment to their dog.
“My dog has changed my life so much. I am much more responsible with my time and money since I have had her,” one dog parent said. “She also has made me have more responsibility, and my family understands I am more responsible now, too.”
It’s certainly clear from the study that dog parents have a great quality of life, and that being dog parents can provide some light in dark times.