While most pet owners commemorate every day in countless ways, Wednesday is National Pet Day, an internationally celebrated holiday that both raises awareness for shelter animals still looking for their fur-ever home and celebrates the happiness our four-legged friends bring to our lives.
For instance, did you know that 93 percent of dog owners believe that one of the best ways to de-stress is to take their dog for a walk? While we’re not sure if that includes every rainy or snowy day, that’s just one of the statistics Rover.com found in its first-ever “Dog People Walking Report,” which dove into the dog-walking habits of 1,500 U.S. pet owners.
Rover’s research discovered that 63 percent of pet parents see walks as a reflection of how much they love their dog, yet 57 percent actually skip walks each week.
“As dogs become part of the family, pet parents spend more time and resources tending to their needs and feeling guilty when they don’t,” said Brandie Gonzales, Rover’s pet lifestyle expert. “Dog owners want ways to balance their busy lives with providing love and care for their dog. Pet parents know walks and exercise are important for their dog’s health and happiness. As a result, we’ve seen growing demand for technologies that enhance pet health, like activity trackers and services like Rover that make it possible to find reliable dog walkers.”
So in honor of National Pet Day, let’s take a, well, walk through the findings of Rover’s “Dog People Walking Report.”
• 94 percent consider their dog a member of the family
• 1 in 5 parents have hired a dog walker after feeling bad about skipping walks
• 70 percent said walks make their dog happier, while 46 percent said they made them more energetic and 41 percent said their dog was calmer
• 70 percent think their dog should be walked at least twice a day, while 38 percent walk their dog once or less per day
• The top reasons for missing walks include cold weather (57 percent), tired/lazy (33 percent), busy day at work (30 percent) and family responsibilities (25 percent)
• Monday is the top day parents skip dog walks
• 42 percent said their dog is sad when they miss a walk
• To make up for missed walks, 52 percent offer extra-long walks, 45 percent give treats, 42 percent cuddle and 14 percent give toys
• 56 percent of pet parents say hello to their dog first when they come home
• 1 in 4 parents say their dog knows exactly what they mean as soon as they say, “Want to go …”
• 74 percent of parents say complimenting their dog is better than chocolate/candy, while 66 said it’s better than staying in bed all day and 61 percent find it better than pizza