In a recent survey conducted on behalf of PetMeds by OnePoll, a striking revelation emerged: 40% of pet parents would willingly accept a lower salary in exchange for the opportunity to work from home and spend more time with their beloved pets. This underscores the profound connection between pet owners and their animal companions.
The Rapid Onset of Pet Separation Anxiety
The survey of 2,000 pet owners unveiled that pet parents begin to miss their pets, on average, after just 37 minutes of separation. Throughout the day, pets occupy their owners' thoughts approximately 13 times. There is a powerful emotional bond between humans and their furry friends.
Stressors Arising From Pet Separation
Leaving pets alone at home is a significant source of stress for pet parents. 44% express concerns about their pets experiencing separation anxiety. While they may be projecting their own anxiety on their pets, two-thirds of those polled report their pets reacting strongly when they depart for work.
During farewells, pets exhibit a range of emotions, with 48% of pet parents noting that their pets follow them to the door, appearing visibly sad. Additionally, 33% of pets vocalize their distress through whining, while 22% display signs of anxiety by pacing restlessly.
Shifting Pet Mental Health and Rise in Separation Anxiety
A notable shift has been observed, with 42% of pet parents reporting changes in their pet's mental health and behavior over the past two years. In this timeframe, separation anxiety has surged in their humans, affecting 52% of pet owners.
Methods To Alleviate Pet Anxiety
To ease their pets' anxiety, respondents employ various methods. 72% prefer to offer comfort through petting and cuddling. Other strategies include engaging in playtime (54%), providing treats (50%), creating a cozy space (50%), and even playing calming music (20%).
To maintain a connection with their pets while at work, 41% of pet parents arrange for friends or family members to check on their four-legged companions. Nearly one-third utilize pet cameras to keep a watchful eye on their pets' activities during the day.
A desire for more support and guidance in understanding their pet's health and behaviors emerged – 63% expressing interest. Notably, 70% of pet parents are open to utilizing telehealth services for their pets to address any concerns.
Dr. Lindsay Butzer, DVM, a veterinarian and PetMeds Partner, encourages pet parents to seek professional care if they observe significant changes in their pet's behavior or health. “We love to see a strong connection between pets and their humans — that's what being a pet parent is all about. Of course, it's always a good idea to seek professional care if you observe any serious changes in your pet's behavior or health. A pet telehealth appointment can be a fast and convenient way to answer any questions you have.”
Reconnecting After Separation
After a long day apart, pet owners make concerted efforts to reconnect with their pets. Common methods include playing together (64%), engaging in conversation (62%), cuddling (58%), going for relaxing walks (44%), and enjoying TV or movies together (40%).
Matt Hulett, President and CEO of PetMeds, emphasizes the profound love and prioritization of pets in people's lives. “This research confirms what we already know: People love their pets and prioritize being with them. What's eye-opening is how many pet parents feel their own sense of separation anxiety and loneliness when they're away from their pets – a concept that underscores the pivotal role our pets play in our lives.”
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 pet owners was commissioned by PetMeds between June 9 and June 16, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).
This article was produced was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.