New Study Finds Dogs Make People Better, Happier and Healthier Humans
Recognition > Client Exposure

New Study Finds Dogs Make People Better, Happier and Healthier Humans

January 17, 2017

BarkBox recently launched their “Congrats, You’re a Dog Person” Campaign, an initiative to create a special shout out through videos, images and information to the humans who consider themselves dog people. As part of the initiative, we partnered with BarkBox to generate fresh, compelling and playful data to support their campaign and identify the unique relationship between dog parents and their pups.

In 2016, we conducted a survey to take a deeper dive into the ‘Dog Parent Generation,’ and highlight the quirky and compelling ways dog parents value their relationship with their furry friends. In fact, we uncovered that 93% of dog parents feel their dog has made them a better person in at least one way, including happier (71%), more patient (54%) or responsible (52%). We also uncovered how deep dog parents’ love for their furry friend goes – as 87% love their dog more than they ever thought possible and 83% consider their pup to be their best friend. Dog parents even admit there are no boundaries with it comes to their pup, as many always or frequently allow their dog to follow them into the bathroom (43%) or even admit they have gotten intimate with their dog in the room (33%). 

Please see the full press release from BarkBox below, and learn more about the unique and endearing relationship dog parents have with their pups.

NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Life is better with dogs. Not only because they’re adorable weirdos, but because they make their people better.

Nearly all (93%) dog parents in the U.S. say their dog has made them a better person in at least one way, according to a new study released today by BarkBox, Bark & Co’s monthly box of goodies for dogs and their humans. The first BarkBox Dog Parent Study found that dogs overwhelmingly have had a positive impact on a range of emotional, behavioral and even physical qualities in their people.

  • Seven in ten (71%) dog parents say their pup has made them happier people, with nearly four in five saying it’s easier to wake up in the morning because their dog greets them.
  • About half of pup parents say their dog has made them more patient (54%), responsible (52%) or affectionate (47%).
  • More than four in five (83%) say their dog has made them more active, with 72% saying their dog plays a role in their exercise decisions.
  • In addition, dogs are the ultimate therapists with 85% of dog parents saying their dog has helped them get through a difficult time in their life.

You Say “Boundaries!” Dog People Say, “What Are Those?”  

Long gone are the days of “ownership” and relegating dog to tiny houses in the back yard. Today’s generation of modern dog parents welcome their pups into every area of their lives, even the bedroom and bathroom There’s no such thing as oversharing when it comes to dogs.

  • Nearly half (49%) of dog parents say their dog always or frequently shares the bed with them and more than a third (36%) say they’d sleep in an uncomfortable position to keep their dog next to them at night.
  • One third (33%) admit they have gotten intimate with someone while their dog was in the room.
  • More than two in five (43%) dog parents always or frequently allow their dog to follow them into the bathroom while they’re using it.

Dog parents today look for every opportunity to spend time with their dog and, in many ways, treat them just like human members of the family. (And sometimes better than human members of the family!)

  • One in four pup parents take their dogs to social gatherings (26%) and about one in five (19%) have snuck their dog into a place where dogs are not allowed.
  • More than a third (34%) will sometimes take their pup on dates with their significant other or a potential mate.
  • Nearly one in five (19%) wish their dog could be an acceptable wedding guest.
  • Nearly half (45%) admit to dressing up their dog in clothing and more than one in five (22%) dog parents have thrown their dog a birthday party.

Your Reply When People Say You Spend Too Much Time With Your Dog: Bite Me

There’s no denying the genuine love that people have for their dogs. More than four in five (83%) dog people consider their pup to be their best friend, validating the old adage. In fact, close to nine in ten (87%) dog parents say they love their dog more than they ever thought possible and more than half (56%) wish their dog could understand how much they mean to them. For many, the bond between man and dog even rivals the selfless love between humans.

  • On average, Americans in relationships who tell their furry friend they love them do so six times per day, which is as often as they tell their significant other.
  • Nearly nine in ten dog parents (87%) admit they’re more accepting of their dog doing something than a human, and around half of them say snoring (52%), eating treats throughout the day (48%) or making a mess in the house (47%) are more tolerable.
  • More than one in four (28%) dog parents have shared a secret with their dog that they haven’t told anyone else.
  • Nearly all dog parents (97%) would be willing to do something to make their pup happier, with many even willing to uproot their lives! In fact, close to two in five (38%) of them would move to a house or apartment with a bigger yard so their dog could have better playtime.

The study also found that buying toys and treats each month was a top way that dog parents make their dogs happy, which is only confirmed by the rapid growth of BarkBox. Since launching in 2012, BarkBox has shipped more than 30 million toys and treats to dearly loved pups in the U.S. and Canada. The curated box of all-natural treats, chews and fun toys designed – from the packaging to products – to create moments of insane joy for dogs and their people has a new, fun theme each month. Dog-obsessed experts paw-pick the best treats and innovative toys to match a dog’s unique needs, including allergies or heavy chewers.

Access press images, videos and more for the BarkBox Dog Parent Study here. Learn more about BarkBox at

About the Study

The BarkBox Dog Parent Survey was conducted by Kelton Global, a leading global insights research firm, between October 28th and November 4th, 2016 among 1,006 nationally representative Americans with dogs ages 18 and over, using an e-mail invitation and an online survey.  Quotas are set to ensure a reliable representation of the U.S. population 18 and over.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation.  The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. 

In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percent, from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all personas in the universe represented by the sample.  The margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher.


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