By Danielle Moore // SWNS
Sixty-six percent of pet owners admit that their dog has a “better social life” than they do — and over half say their pet has more friends.
That’s according to a new study of 2,000 dog owners, which also revealed that a full 85% are concerned that their pets haven’t been getting enough socialization with other pups during quarantine.
Yet nearly six in 10 pooch parents said that their dogs have still gotten to see their “friends” more often than they have since the start of the pandemic.
In spite of the seemingly more limited pet play date options, the average American canine has also made three new pup pals during lockdown, according to their owners.
Moreover, the average American dog has managed to make four new human friends in the past year — and Zoom and FaceTime may be to thank for that.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of ACANA Wholesome Grains in celebration of National Pet Month, the survey also examined how the “dog days” of 2020 allowed their pet to shine digitally.
Sixty-three percent agreed that their pet is the “uncontested star” of any Zoom call on which they make an appearance.
And while that would naturally be a pride point for many dog owners, it might sting a little, too – especially since 57% percent said their friends and family seem more excited to see their dog than they do to see them.
Yet over 53% admitted that they themselves have been guilty of sometimes being more excited to see a friends’ pet on a video call than the actual friend.
“Dogs have been the saving grace for so many of us during this strange and stressful year,” said Jennifer Beechen, vice president of marketing for ACANA Wholesome Grains, “So it’s heartwarming to see owners are sharing that ‘puppy love’ with friends and family, even if they haven’t been able to convene in person as often.”
Puppy love of a different variety may have flourished as well during this period.
Thirty-eight percent of respondents reported that the number of playdates they have scheduled for their dog has increased, and over half of respondents have even played “matchmaker” for their pet at the park or other location.
Additionally, less than half of owners’ pups would be considered “single” in their eyes, with 56% admitting that there is, in fact, another pooch that they refer to as their dog’s significant other.
Lucky dogs, indeed.
The extra time at home that many dog owners have had during the pandemic also appears to have paid dividends for their relationship with their furry friend.
And one way that owners have been showing their affection is through food, with six in 10 admitting that, between table scraps and the extra treats they’ve dispensed during the pandemic, their pup pal has eaten better than they have in the past year.
Moreover, nearly seven in 10 report that since it’s important for families to eat meals together, they try to eat dinner around the same time their dog does every night.
“With so many more opportunities to show fido appreciation – in the form of extra treats, walks and playdates – it’s pretty much impossible for owners not to resist the temptation to let their dogs indulge a bit,” added Beechen. “But one of the best ways we can say ‘thank you’ to our pets for the comfort they bring is by making sure we’re feeding them the right thing. Seeking out the quality nutrition and ingredients your pet needs in their food is key to making sure they’ll continue to be by your side for whatever the future has in store.”