- 95% of pet owners rely on their pet for stress relief.
- Nearly 7 in 10 pet parents (69%) say they take better care of their pet than they do themselves.
- The vast majority of people (70%) say they prefer spending time with their pet rather than watching television (30%) to relax.
- Nearly half of respondents (47%) say their pets help them be physically active.
- 70% of employed pet owners say they would be happier and more productive if they could have their pet at work with them, on-site or remotely.
- The most popular ways pets help people relax are by snuggling up (68%), making their owners laugh (67%) and helping them feel less alone (61%).
Embargoed until 5 a.m. ET/4 a.m. CT on Monday, June 20, 2022
DALLAS, June 20, 2022 — Almost all cat and dog owners rely on their pets for stress relief, according to a new survey released by the American Heart Association, a global force for longer, healthier lives for all. .
Additionally, of the 1,000 pet parents surveyed in May 2022 by Wakefield Research for the American Heart Association’s Healthy Bond for LifeMT initiative, 7 out of 10 say they prefer spending time with their cat or dog to release stress rather than watching television (30%).
Pets are beloved members of the family. In fact, the survey found that 69% of pet owners say they take better care of their pet than they do themselves.
To celebrate the bond between people and their pets, the American Heart Association is bringing back Best Friend Fridays. Every Friday in June, July and August, people are encouraged to share photos on social media showing how their pets are helping them reduce stress and build healthy habits using the hashtag #BestFriendFridays.
“Many pet owners have found emotional support from their pets, and science confirms the physical and mental health benefits of companionship,” said Glenn Levine, MD, Professor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and Chief of Michael’s Cardiology Section. E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, volunteer medical expert for the American Heart Association’s Healthy Bond for Life and lead author of the Association’s Scientific Statement on Pet Ownership and Cardiovascular Risk. “Chronic or constant stress is a key risk factor for heart disease and stroke, and studies show that having a pet can improve mood, reduce stress and encourage healthy lifestyle habits like physical activity.”
The new American Heart Association survey also identified nearly half of pet owners (47%) who say their pets help them stay active. According to the survey, the most common ways pets help their owners relax are cuddling (68%), followed by making their owners laugh (67%) and helping them feel less alone. (61%).
A pet could also be the secret weapon for productivity at work, with 70% of employed pet owners saying they would be happier and more productive if they could have their pet at work with them, on locally or remotely. Pet owners under 40 are the age group most likely to appreciate this benefit (75%).
Overall, having a pet can help you reduce stress, get fitter, lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. and increase your overall happiness and well-being. Healthy Bond for Life emphasizes that the main reason for adopting a pet is to give the animal a loving home, but adopting a pet can bring many health benefits, both psychological and physical.
For more information on Healthy Bond for Life, visit www.heart.org/pets.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is an unrelenting force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are committed to equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with many organizations and millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for public health and share vital resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Join us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
The American Heart Association Pet Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 adult dog and cat owners in the United States, between May 26e and May 30e, 2022, using an email invitation and online survey. Representative quotas have been set for dog owners (61%) and cat owners (39%).
The results of any sample are subject to sampling variations. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted as part of this particular study, there is a 95 out of 100 chance that a survey result will not deviate, more or less, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would have been obtained if interviews had been conducted with all the people in the universe represented by the sample.
For media inquiries:
Erin Montie: 214-706-1223; [email protected]
For public inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and stroke.org