It’s no secret that having a pet has a ton of benefits. Sure, they might leave messes on our rugs, chew things they’re not supposed to, or misbehave in other ways…but for many pet owners, having a pet (or more than one!) is one of the best parts about being home (especially during this pandemic!). Depending on the type of pet you have, the best parts of having a pet may vary.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a struggle for many Canadians and Americans. For over a year, we have been encouraged (and at some points, required by law) to limit our social gatherings and contact with others. For many, this has resulted in feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Many have found that having pets, or in some cases, getting new pets, has helped them feel less lonely. From firsthand experience, we can report that having a pet also helps encourage us to exercise (especially among those of us with rambunctious dogs), reduces our stress levels, and adds more fun to our lives. With our pets adding so much joy to our lives, we wondered: what do Canadian and American pet owners think the best parts of having a pet are? We decided to survey them to find out!
HOW MANY CANADIANS AND AMERICANS HAVE A PET?
In total, 50% of Canadians and 60% of Americans have a pet:
- About one-quarter (27% of Canadians and 26% of Americans) have one pet
- 23% of Canadians and 34% of Americans have two pets or more
WHAT ARE THE BEST PARTS OF HAVING A PET, ACCORDING TO CANADIAN AND AMERICAN PET OWNERS?
We asked Canadians and Americans who have at least one pet to tell us the extent to which they agree or disagree with various statements about having a pet. Their responses were overwhelmingly positive!
The greatest proportion of Canadian and American pet owners agree that having a pet or pets…
- Adds fun to their lives (95% of Canadian and 92% of American pet owners agree)
- Adds more love to their lives (93% of Canadian and 90% of American pet owners agree)
- Makes them feel less alone (89% of Canadian and 88% of American pet owners agree)
Most of them also agree that having a pet or pets…
- Improves their overall health (88% of Canadian and 85% of American pet owners agree)
- Lowers their stress levels (86% of both Canadian and American pet owners agree)
- Adds a sense of purpose to their lives (79% of Canadian and 84% of American pet owners agree)
In addition, 78% of Canadian and 82% of American pet owners with children in their household agree that having a pet or pets helps teach their child(ren) responsibility.
Nearly three-in-five Canadian (57%) and American (59%) pet owners agree their pet encourages them to exercise, but this makes sense: not everyone has a big dog in need of regular walks to keep them company! Through personal experience, we can report that our cats aren’t the biggest source of inspiration when it comes to getting our exercise in (sleeping, on the other hand… 😉). All things considered, Canadians and Americans agree there are a lot of positives that come with pet ownership!
This web survey was conducted from April 23 to 25, 2021, with 1,548 Canadians and 1,003 Americans (including 795 Canadian pet owners and 597 American pet owners), 18 years of age or older, randomly recruited from LEO’s online panel. The data was analyzed and weighted by our statisticians using 2016 Census reference variables (for the Canadian data) and 2010 US Census reference variables (for the American data) to render it representative of the opinions of Canadians and Americans.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PARTS OF HAVING A PET?
SHARE THEM WITH US IN THE COMMENTS BELOW, AND LET US KNOW WHAT KIND OF PET(S) YOU HAVE!
DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE OTHER MAY BLOGS ON LEO:
- Bet Your Chances: The New Contests on LEO
- The May 2021 LEO Contests
- Pineapple on Pizza and 15 Other Polarizing Foods
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