There’s new research to prove what we already know to be true: People really love their dogs. Purina, the pet food brand, recently surveyed over 1,000 dog owners to learn more about the bond we share with our furry friends, and the results come as no surprise. Of over 1,000 people surveyed, 95 percent said that they view their dog as part of the family. The only shocking thing here being the five percent who don’t.
What we were most interested to learn, though, is that over half of the women surveyed said they would rather spend time with their dogs than with their significant others — or any family member for that matter. “I like when he’s laying next to me when my husband isn’t here, because I feel like there’s no stress,” Taylor Napoli, 35, from South Hadley, Mass told Moneyish of her 6-year-old lab/collie mix. “He has no expectations of me. He’s just there and so reliable in a way that people aren’t sometimes.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time the bond between a dog owner and their dog has been explored. In a survey from 2017, 54 percent of people said they would reconsider their relationship altogether if their pet didn’t like their partner. They also found that 81 percent of responders talk to their dog like they were a friend, and it’s been reported that nearly half of married women with pets say they get more emotional support from their pets than from their husbands.
A dog is no doubt a great source of companionship and comfort. Perhaps it’s because they provide unconditional love and acceptance without judgement or that they listen without talking back. Whatever the reason, this bond is understandable given the increasing amount of research pointing to the mental health benefits of simply owning a dog.