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Your Pet, Our Passion.
man on sofa with dog

New Study Reveals that Owners See Pets as Family Members and Best Friends

2 min read

Our latest survey of pet owners has revealed that the majority of us regard our pets as family members – including making comparisons to a child or best friend.

A poll of 2,000 pet owners in the UK was commissioned by Purina and has revealed how close the bond between owner and pet truly is. See the fascinating results below!

How do pet owners see their pets as family members and best friends?

The results of our survey highlighted the unbreakable bond between owners and their pets. The participants were asked a series of questions to reveal the true depth of owner-pet relationships.

73% of those surveyed said that they view their pet as one of their best friends. Only 4% of those questioned strongly disagreed that this was the case. Just over 1 in 2 (53%) of those surveyed also revealed that they even consider their pet as one of their children.

By viewing their pets as family members, pet owners make sure they are included in daily activities, even when it comes to bedtime. The findings highlighted that 65% of respondents allow their pets to sleep on their bed at night, and just under 1 in 5 (19%) let them share their bed every night. 

The results of the survey also showed that pet owners are confiding in their pets the way they would a best friend or family member. 79% of participants agreed that they talk to their pets as if they were human, including asking them questions or for advice.

Treating pets as family members doesn’t stop at daily activities. When comes to family holidays, 48% of pet owners revealed that take their pets on holiday with them. 4% of these even make sure to take them abroad.

How to strengthen the bond between you and your pet

Nurturing the bond between owners and pets is important for a healthy relationship. This, in turn, makes you both happier and more comfortable around each other. We’ve listed some ways to strengthen your bond with your pet below. Take a look!

Training your pet

Our pets love to learn! Training with them gives them some physical activity to do, but also gets their brains working.

Dog training can include common dog commands which are essential for day-to-day life. This includes ‘sit’ and ‘stay’, for example. Similarly, our dogs also love to learn tricks. This gets them up and active but is also mentally stimulating. 

From social skills to litter training, our feline friends also benefit from cat training. Similar to dogs, they can learn their names and other commands which some find fun to learn! Clicker training your cat can be an effective method for this.

As you’re the one teaching your pet, they listen and put your trust in you which strengthens your bond!

Regular and stimulating exercise

Regular exercise is great for our pet’s health but it also means they look to you to action the exercise.

For our pooches, regular dog walks are a must. This gets you and your dog outside in the fresh air, doing an activity together that’s sure to boost your moods. See our guide on expert tips for walking your dog so you can get the most out of your exercise time together. 

Cats also need to be kept fit and active! Cat exercise looks different to dog exercise – you’ll need to invest in fun cat toys, laser pointers and even cat game apps. Some cats also enjoy time outdoors to explore and run around. For indoor cats, it’s a good idea to buy cat trees they can climb to get those muscles working! 

Consistent grooming

Taking care of your pet’s fur, nails, and skin is sure to strengthen your bond. Whilst your pet is feeling relieved from the pampering, you’re spending time to groom them and learn about their needs which is a true bonding experience.

Dog grooming is specific to each dog breed as it depends on their coat type. See our handy guide on how to groom long and short-haired dogs so you’re giving your pooch the best possible spa treatment. 

Though cats do groom themselves, they also need brushing to keep their fur healthy and shiny. Similar to dogs, cat grooming depends on their fur length so make sure you’re getting the right brushes. You might even find your cat purring when you brush them! 

Be a safe space for your pet

The big wide world can be scary for our pets so it’s important that they know they can come to you when they’re frightened. Some of our pets like to hide when they get scared, so making sure this space is always accessible also tells them to trust you. Being sure to give cuddles and comfort on a daily basis is also a must so they know they can receive reassurance from you when the going gets tough. And, of course, cuddles from our furry friends are always soothing for us too. Finding comfort in each other is what strengthens the human-pet bond.