Blow off your friends and let’s have some quality “us” time

If you’d rather just hang out at home with your pets after a long day at the hospital, you’re not alone.

According to a new study, more than half of American dog owners admit they turn down social invites to stay home with their pets.

The study of 2,000 dog owners, conducted by Link AKC, creators of a smart collar for dogs, cited the bond created between humans and their dogs. Dogs can reportedly help their owner through five stressful events a week, and many owners said their pet genuinely helped their ability to cope with traumatic events such as the death of a loved one or a breakup.

More than half of dog owners surveyed said seeing their pet when they come home makes them feel extremely happy.

When something makes you feel that good coming in the door, why would you want to go back out?

Other significant figures:

88% said their dogs made them a better person.

Six out of ten respondents said their dogs take care of them, so they stay home because they feel the need to return the favor.

Another reason to stay home: dogs are great listeners. 81% of respondents said they talk to their dogs like they would a friend, and single people were twice as likely to talk about relationship troubles with their pets.

As it turns out, a lot of people trust their dogs more than they would their friends. 73% say they tell their dogs things they wouldn’t tell anyone else.

And dogs are good for more than just your mental health.

More than two-thirds of the survey takers credit their dogs with helping them to exercise more regularly. 62% say their dogs get them out of the house for a walk two or more times a day, with 68% claiming to have actually noticed improvements to their health as a result.

The study also showed that many people feel safer around their pets.

“The physical benefits of dog ownership are often the first that come to mind, but we’ve found the emotional and mental health benefits of having a furry companion are just as impactful,” said Herbie Calves, Link AKC chief marketing officer. “People consider their dogs members of their family and are looking for ways to connect and interact with them on a deeper level.”

The bottom line:

According to 55% of survey takers, the biggest benefit of dog ownership is “unconditional love.” A close second is constant companionship.

So, consider skipping that invitation to go out with the gang tonight and stay home with your pets. Odds are, it will do everyone a world of good.

Photo credit: (c) iStock/BrianAsmussen

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