Over 13,000 pet owners participated in the 2020 Pet Census, accounting for about 25,000 dogs and 6,000 cats

By Benjamin VanHoose
September 24, 2020 01:53 PM
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Who needs a social life when you already have man's best friend?

Earlier this month, Wisdom Health Genetics, a leading pet genetics company and maker of Wisdom Panel dog DNA tests, released the results of its 2020 Pet Census survey, painting an up-to-date picture of human-pet connections.

Over 13,000 pet owners participated in the survey, accounting for about 25,000 dogs and 6,000 cats.

One notable finding in the census is that the majority of pup parents — 72 percent, to be exact — admitted to canceling social plans simply to spend time with their four-legged pal. For cat owners, that total was 32 percent.

Proving animals are just as much part of the family as any human, 64 percent of pet owners said they view their dog or cat as a child or family member.

"The Pet Census results reveal that pet parents across the U.S. increasingly think of their animals as family. The bond we share with our dogs and cats rank among our most important relationships," Audrey Yoo, general manager at Wisdom Health Genetics, said in a press release.

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"In the last 10 years, our pets have undergone an incredible lifestyle evolution. And they now play a central role in our own lives — whether they’re improving our mental health especially in these unique times or sharing a spot in our beds."

The census also showed that pet owners consider themselves enriched mentally by their furry friends. Ninety-nine percent of dog owners and 96 percent of cat owners said their pets have a "positive impact" on their mental health.

Additionally, three-quarters of pet owners said companionship is the primary reason they got a pet in the first place.

Wisdom Health Genetics also noted that pet adoption is rising in popularity, with dog adoption increasing by over 16 percent since 2010. This year, 63 percent of pet owners said they got their dog from a shelter or rescue, and 51 percent adopted their kitty.