Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are still choosing to spend more of their time at home, in the company of their families and pets. Many have adapted their lifestyle to be even more accommodating to their animals, with dog owners, in particular, spending more time exercising and dining outdoors with their companions. To better understand the changing sentiments around dog companionship, we used the PureSpectrum Insights platform to target owners. We asked questions covering mental health, professional preferences, budgets, and travel.
Dogs at Home
43% of American households that own a dog have more than one. 42% of owners also reported acquiring at least one new dog in the last two years, some as a result of lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. 38% of respondents adopted from a shelter/rescue organization and another 30% reported purchasing their dog from a breeder. Another 38% found or were gifted their dog and only 10% of American dog owners said they purchased their dog from a pet store.
And while the number and types of dogs that Americans own vary, there are a few sentiments that almost all respondents shared. 97% of dog owners say they consider their pooch a member of the family. And 93% of those owners believe that owning a dog positively affects their mental health.
But do more dogs in a household equal happiness? Not always. When utilizing the PureSpectrum Insights platform to filter by the number of dogs owned, respondents who had 5 or more dogs in their household were less likely to feel the positive mental impact of dog ownership.
Dogs at the Office?
With all the ups and downs of the last few years, it’s no surprise that over 60% of dog owners believe the COVID-19 pandemic has increased their bond with their animals. Many Americans now work from home and consequently spend more time with their pets. Only 37% of American dog owners say there isn’t anyone in their household who does not have an option to work from home.
60% of owners say they believe dog ownership helps them maintain better work/life balance. But what happens if and when workers are required to return to the office? 30% of the dog owners say that they would consider leaving their job if they were required to return to the office without their pup.
Are dogs in the office going to be a trend for the future? While dog owners do not make up the entirety of the workforce, 89% of owners do not believe dogs in offices pose a big work distraction. To make this sentiment more feasible, we asked dog owners what building-provided perks would be most utilized by them.
Pet insurance has also recently become a perk at some workplaces. Nearly a third of all dog owners currently have insurance but only about half of them (14%) said their employers offer the insurance. However, 41% of dog owners consider pet insurance to be an important workplace benefit that they wish their employer offered.
What America Spends on Dogs
Over half of American dog owners say they spend over a hundred dollars on their dogs per month. There are many ways that owners spend this budget. 28% employ a dog walker and 17% percent send their pup regularly to doggy daycare. Another quarter of dog owners have purchased a monthly subscription box for their pooch.
The one expense that every owner has is food. 78% of owners report feeding their dog dry dog food while another 36% also purchase wet food. 30% purchase fresh food and another 22% say they make some of their dog food.
When asked in an open-ended question what brand of dog food was primarily purchased, Purina, Pedigree, and Blue Buffalo were the most popular responses. This is demonstrated below in the PureSpectrum Insights word cloud feature.
With America’s desire to spend more time with their dogs, it’s no surprise that dog owners are also willing to pay to travel with their dogs too. Only 13% of respondents say they have flown with their dogs but 63% of dog owners report that pet policies affect which hotels they choose. When asked how much they would be willing to pay in pet fees, 42% of owners are willing to add at least $50 to their bill per night.
A Four-Legged Future
As America continues to pivot and adjust to the “new normal,” it seems that many would like dogs to remain by their side. The more workplaces do to accommodate employees’ furry family members, the easier it may be to retain them. People are clearly bonded with dogs and this closeness presents growing opportunities for a variety of industries.
Curious to dive deeper into this data set, including more detailed consumer crosstabs about dog owner spending? Or are you ready to run a survey or tracker?
PureSpectrum interviewed 639 online respondents on January 31st, 2022, using the PureSpectrum Insights Platform. The platform is integrated with the PureSpectrum Marketplace which combines proprietary measurement tools and third-party data validation to quickly collect high-quality insights. The study targeted dog owners within the United States. This study uses a 95% confidence level to examine the data.