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Is Your Pet Your Sweetheart?

Is Your Pet Your Sweetheart?

In 2006 there were more than 72 million pet dogs in the U.S. and nearly 82 million pet cats, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook (2007 Edition). In the same year, nearly half of pet owners, or 49.7 percent, considered their pets to be family members.

How many of those consider their pets to be their sweethearts? In a poll taken of 3,000 British dog and cat owners, 19 percent stated that they would rather have a pet than be involved in a romantic partnership. For 81 percent of the dog owners polled, it would be an instant deal breaker if their date didn’t like their pet. And 79 percent polled stated that they wouldn’t give up their pet for a romantic partner.

Pet Me If You’re Single

A study by the National Institutes of Health revealed that having a pet can help to diminish feelings of loneliness, particularly for women living alone, and compensate for the absence of human companionship. However, owning a pet doesn’t have to disallow meeting a human mate. In the British study cited above, 5 percent of dog owners have been on a date with someone they met walking their dog, with 1.5 percent still dating that person. I am in the U.S. and am amongst those who have been on a date with someone I met while walking my dog (while not being in the 1.5 percent still dating that person.)  I have been known to fall in love with a Golden Retriever in a heartbeat, and it may have been possible that I confused who my attraction was for when I looked up at the other end of the leash. However, I believe that how you do anything is how you do everything. So, observing someone’s relationship with their pet can also reveal a lot about the person.

That may account for the recent popularity of online dating sites for pet owners. DateMyPet.com and PetPeopleMeet.com are two such sites. On the latter, I read a success story from a woman who met her match when she fell in love with a man who also rescues dogs. Yet, once in a human relationship, people often state they crave the kind of unconditional love they receive from their pets. Can Pets Improve your Relationship?, an article by Dr. Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP, states that all the qualities we often want in our mate appear similar to those we experience with our pets. Her reports show that a person in a relationship often wants to be spoken to with the same affection shown to their pet.

 

According to a survey by Sealy mattresses,  67 percent of people regularly bed down with their cats and dogs, and many prefer to share their beds with their furry friends than with human partners. Why is that? 51 percent say their sleep is disturbed by their partner, compared to 38 percent who claim their canines and felines wake them up constantly. But, does the real answer go much deeper than quality of sleep? What do you think? Have our beloved pets replaced human partners or enhanced those relationships? Thanks for clicking on “comment” below and sharing your thoughts. Also feel free to share stories if you met your human partner because of your pet or if you stayed away from someone because you listened to your pet.

Whether your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day is human, furry, feathered, or all of the above, Sanchez and Gina and I wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day.

Related:
10 Reasons Dogs Make The Best Valentine’s Dates
Divorcing With Pets: Who Gets to Keep the Dog?

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Read more: Behavior & Communication, Cats, Dogs, Humor & Inspiration, Pets, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.

380 comments

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6:53AM PDT on Mar 30, 2015

Pets, yes!

6:49AM PDT on Mar 27, 2015

He might think he's my master

12:02PM PST on Mar 7, 2015

My first dog Peaches was much more than a sweetheart. She was my inspiration which led me to adopting a compassionate vegan lifestyle. She "taught" me to care about all animals- recognizing that they too have the same basic rights as we. I can never understand how other pet owners didn't come to the same conclusions as I. It must be that Peaches was one of a kind.

7:57AM PST on Mar 3, 2015

I've shared my bed with pets, but the woman comes first always!

7:16AM PST on Feb 26, 2015

Yes, they are :)

3:42AM PST on Feb 25, 2015

Every one of my pets is a devious, spoilt brat! And they're my sweethearts!

3:51AM PST on Feb 24, 2015

I sleep with a couple of black cats and of course my man :-)
They are my sweetheart!

6:21PM PST on Feb 20, 2015

Sure
:0)

1:29AM PST on Feb 20, 2015

yes,of course:he is :)

1:25AM PST on Feb 20, 2015

ty

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thank you for sharing.

I don't believe I'd ever have a dog in an apartment in case he or she turned out to be a barker. …

Nicee work

Very interesting.

Thanks for timely information.

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