People would rather cuddle their pet than partner, study finds

Who doesn’t love a snuggle with their beloved pooch at the end of a hard day?

Fiona Evans
Thursday, 25th May 2023, 10:30am
People would rather cuddle their pet than partner, study finds

But this may be leaving our special humans ‘in the doghouse’, as many animal lovers admit to favouring cuddles with pets more than partners.

Sixty-six per cent of pet owners said they prefer cuddling their ‘fur baby’ to their better half, new research has found.

It’s men who are keener to cosy up with their pet than women, whilst millennials are the generation most inclined to seek solace in the paws of their furry friend, according to the poll of 2,000 people.

Least likely to find themselves in the doghouse are baby boomers – with 66 per cent saying it’s their spouse that they would prefer to snuggle up with, compared to just 34 per cent who’d rather curl up with their canine or feline companion.

The research, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of global pet brand PetSafe®, also found that pets are apparently better listeners than human loved ones.

Sixty eight per cent of respondents said that it is their pet they confide in at the end of a bad day – more than best friends, family members and colleagues.

This is hardly surprising when considering that 84 per cent said that their pet is their number one source of joy.

“We’ve always known pets hold a special place in our hearts but this study proves just how much we love and value them – and how much good they bring into our lives,” said Rob Steele, of PetSafe®.

"They give so much in terms of love and emotional support, that most owners treat them as part of the family.

"They’re always there for a cuddle or to lend a furry ear and their love is unconditional and uncompromising, and for that they deserve only the best from us.”

More than three quarters of those polled said they find it impossible to say no to their pet, with 77 per cent of pets ‘living like royalty’ thanks to their protective ‘pawrents’.

Despite tightening our purse strings elsewhere as the cost of living continues to bite, 84 per cent of respondents say they still want their pet to have the best of everything.

When it comes to making our pets feel special, we’re most likely to buy them treats, closely followed by planning walks and play dates with their ‘preferred pooch pals’.

Almost a fifth of the nation’s indulged dogs and cats are treated to at least one new toy each week.

Such is our devotion to our furry friends that 84 per cent of those polled take their pets on holiday with them.

More than a quarter of their pets travel on every trip.

Our attitude to our pets’ health, happiness and well-being is also affecting our relationships and making us better people, according to the research.

Almost half of those polled said their pet has helped them to be more mature, with similar numbers saying they have become more patient (45 per cent) and more compassionate (43 per cent).

Forty three per cent of those polled said pet ownership has improved their mental health and 40 per cent have become more active – helping to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, ease loneliness and improve cardiovascular health.

Of those polled 84 per cent said that their pet is their number one source of joy (photo: Adobe)
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