A man walks his pet dog while wearing a mask to protect from COVID-19.

PetPlace Reader Survey: Even 2020 Is Better with Pets

In most respects, 2020 has been anything but an average year. Schools and businesses have closed, reopened, and re-closed their doors; countless annual events and traditions have been postponed or cancelled altogether; and families and friends have been forced to settle for digital interactions, keeping one another at a distance. For PetPlace.com’s staff and readers, however, one thing hasn’t changed a bit — we’re crazy about our pets. After surveying more than 400 members of the PetPlace community, we can confirm that 2020 was largely business as usual for pet parents. If anything, it was a banner year.

About 46% of respondents are dog people, just under 26% prefer cats, 16% keep both as pets, and around 12% responded with another type of pet in mind. All 100% agreed that pets of all stripes can make any year a little brighter.

Pets Are Part of the Family

The team at PetPlace considers their own pets to be members of the family. This survey confirmed that the animal enthusiasts who visit our site feel the same way. More than half of respondents (60.23%) report sharing a bed with their pets and the vast majority (88.1%) regularly talk to them. In fact, chatting with dogs, cats, and other pets was even more popular than we expected. Just two pet parents said they never do it.

Treating pets like family means spending quite a bit of money throughout a given year. Discounting necessities like veterinary care and food, we asked survey respondents how much they spend on their pets every twelve months. Nearly 4 in 10 (38.05%) pet parents spend more than $500 and some made it clear they spend much, much more. One reader couldn’t name an exact figure, but noted, “trust me, she is spoiled.”

Other readers admitted to spoiling pets with treats and regular snacks from the table. While more than a quarter of pet parents (28.5%) say they never offer scraps, nearly a third (30.8%) can be convinced to do so, and almost 10% (9.4%) are always ready to offer a handout.

Just 5.7% of surveyed readers manage dedicated social media accounts for their pets. A far larger portion opt to share photos and videos on their own personal feeds. Around 20% (18.9%) of readers regularly show their pets to followers, while another 34% post an occasional snapshot. With the holidays approaching, we’re expecting more posts than ever from PetPlace’s readers. Surging adoption numbers have provided some of 2020’s only heartwarming headlines and many pet parents will be taking trips to shelters for a special kind of gift.

Speaking of the holidays, PetPlace readers agree that annual celebrations are much more festive when pets take part. A whopping 79.4% of respondents plan to include the family pet on this year’s holiday shopping list. Nearly as many (73.9%) buy their pets birthday presents each year too!

Click here to see the results of our reader survey.

Heading into 2021

If there’s been a silver lining to 2020’s “new normal,” it’s that we’ve all gotten to spend a lot more time with our pets. Whatever 2021 brings, our reader’s pets should expect another long year of attention and affection — with or without stay-at-home regulations.