2016 Petplan Pet Census: Social Relations

April 5th, 2017

petplan insurance pet census

The social aspects of owning a pet should not be underestimated. More than half (60%) of the respondents believe they are more socially connected due to talking to other while out with their pet.

Those who took part in the survey proved to be the sort of responsible pet owners who do understand the impact of their pets in a wider social context. They generally agreed that they adored their pet so much, that 78.1% would pay an additional fee to have their pet stay with them in their hotel room when on vacation or travel through work.

Surprisingly, many of the respondents (84.7%) are not involved in any pet club with the highest member rate being a breeders club with 9.3% of respondents followed by obedience clubs with 2.1%. The rest of the answers were closely made up of Agility clubs (0.6%), training clubs (1.1%), Equestrian clubs (0.3%) and online clubs (1.9%).

The majority of respondents (60%) feel more connected socially due to their pet. This is directly related to the fact that your dog can be an opening when interacting with someone that you may not know, or they could be used as a safeguard when meeting someone new, allowing you to feel comfortable due to your companion.

Alternatives to dog walking

Pet or partner

When it comes to someone’s love life, it is important to note that some people have had some issues in their relationships due to their own pet or their partners pet. However, overall the results linked strongly too many of the respondents (93%) never having a pet affect their relationship or decided who they were going to date.

  • 5% of respondents said they had dated someone because of their partner’s pet
  • Although some owners have started a relationship because of a pet, the other end of the scale, breaking up with a partner, is much more represented in the results.
  • Only a small percentage of respondents (0.2%) ended a relationship because they didn’t like their partner’s pet
  • A larger group of owner’s (1.2%) broke it off with their partner due to the fact that their pet didn’t like the partner
  • 1% of respondents ended a relationship because their significant other didn’t like their pet

This data shows that many people would rather go with their pet then a potential partner, linking to the fact that a lot of owners have an extremely strong bond/relationship with their four legged friend.


Social petworking

When it comes to new age ways of showing family and friends your new pet, many people take to social media as a way of letting everyone see their new friend. Social media’s allow for a quicker and vaster audience to show off your pet, meaning more and more people are posting photos of their dogs and cats online. However, not everyone creates a social media account specifically for their pet, the following respondents have:

  • 548 owners (7% of respondents) have created a Facebook page for their pet
  • Instagram had a larger rate of users with 665 respondents (8.5%) making an Instagram account for their cat or dog
  • The amount of respondents who had created a twitter account for their pet was 0.5%
  • 8% of owners had created a blog for their pet
  • 5% of answers had ticked ‘other’ in response to social media and their pets
  • The overwhelming figure of 84.7% of responses had done none of the above


Gateway to a better social life

Be prepared to be judged because 35.2% of respondents admit making assumptions about an owner based on their choice of pet. However there is good news if you are an owner, as two thirds of all respondents prefer to make friends with other pet owners!

The debate about whether or not we should allow pets on public transport has been going on for years. Through the respondents there was an overwhelming amount (69.8%) of owner’s who believe Australia should introduce pets on public transport and commuting.

  • Almost 40% of respondents have avoided walking on grass to prevent stepping on poo
  • 9% of owners fear certain animals due to a bad experience
  • One third of respondents deliberately avoided crossing the path of a dog in public
  • 9% have said that their pet has been injured by another animal
  • 43% of answers have been or know someone who has been intimidated by a dog in a public place
  • More than half of respondents (54.5%) have heard an unattended dog barking for extended periods of time
  • Only 22.5% of people answered none of the above


Click the links below to read the other Pet Census sections:

Part 1: Health

Part 2: Finance

Part 4: Family


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