New research shows a quarter of Americans have never gone a day without their furry companion

·3-min read

If you've got a juicy secret to tell, the best secret-keeper may be your furry, four-legged friend.

A new survey of 2,000 American pet owners delved into how crucial respondents' furry companions have been to their lives and found 62% rather tell all secrets to their pets than humans.

What respondents love most about their pets is their loyalty, which is why most (88%) believe having them by their side makes their life feel more complete. 

For a quarter (24%), they have never gone a day without their pet by their side, and 72% feel depressed without them.

If they do temporarily part ways, the average person can only be separated from their fur babies for a week — anything more is just too long to bear. And if respondents go on a trip, 64% will ask a close family member to watch their pet while they are away.

Four in five (81%) said their pet has taught them to be a better, more responsible person. Just as many (84%) said their pet has brought them nothing but complete joy.

Commissioned by ZippyPaws and conducted by OnePoll, the study revealed three in five pet owners found their fur babies by pure luck or coincidence. A further 15% said they originally had no interest in getting a pet until they first met the soon-to-be pet.

While 82% of respondents said they always had pets around while growing up, the remaining 18% did not. Nearly half of them (43%) said they were never allowed to have a pet growing up.

For those who weren't allowed to have a pet, the reasons included their parents believing pets would be too big of a responsibility (27%), them not liking animals (23%) and saying there was no space for pets at home (9%).

Nearly two in three respondents (64%) said they dreamed of one day owning a pet for themselves.

"Our pets are so much more than just adorable creatures living rent-free in our homes," said Jen Glaser, ZippyPaws Co-Founder. "They are our friends and family, and they love us unconditionally. You can always be certain that you can confide in them about anything you're going through and they'll still be there."

More than half of Americans with pets (56%) said they got a pet to match their lifestyles. 

Twenty-seven percent said they got a pet to match their healthy lifestyle, where they can both exercise and keep up with good habits together. Others got their pets to match with their active, busy lifestyle and outgoing personality (24%).

Four in 10 (42%) of pet owners got their pet as a result of a major milestone in their life. These meaningful moments include getting into a relationship (17%), living on their own (13%) and moving into a new home (13%).

When pets come home for the first time, respondents recalled the first things they did to get them acclimated to their new environment: a nice bath, a vet checkup, introducing them to other pets in the home and plenty of cuddling.

Even after bringing their pets home, respondents described a variety of milestones they have gone through with their pets by their side, like moving into a new home (40%), getting a new job (34%), getting into a relationship (34%) and experiencing a breakup (25%).

"It's really incredible to see what people go through with their pets," said Ashley Newman, ZippyPaws Marketing Manager. "It just goes to show how strong that bond is between pet and owner. Your lives are intertwined, and that's a dynamic that we've seen shift over the decades. Pets have become more than just the dog that sleeps outside every night."

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