42% of Pet Parents Feel Caring for Pets is More Stressful Than Kids!
Pets can be an incredible addition to any family, but they can also come with a bit of stress. In fact, a recent study revealed that nearly half of pet parents shared that caring for their pet was more stressful than caring for their partner or even their children!
What is it about our pets that worries us the most?
That was the goal of the recent survey conducted by OnePoll and ElleVet Sciences. They polled 2000 pet owners, asking them questions about their relationships, their pets, and the stress that they experience in their role. The answers revealed that the top three sources of stress in most people’s lives include their finances (54%), their job or career (49%), and their ability to care for their pets (42%).
The survey went on to discuss reasons for being stressed about our pets, and there was one concern that the majority of respondents shared – as pet parents, we worry about our ability to provide the care our pets will need in their senior years.
As our pets get older, their needs often change. We can see this in the way they act and the activities they engage in. A once hyperactive, high-energy dog may start to slow down and sleep more. A dog that easily jumped onto the couch most of their lives now requires stairs or a ramp to get up for cuddle time.
Not all changes that come with aging are inherently bad, but 68% of parents say watching their pet age and suffer would be more hurtful to them than losing their job (61%) or breaking up with their partner (61%).
“Supporting your pet through all stages of life can minimize their stress, allowing you to create more happy memories together,” shared Amanda Howland, co-founder and CCO of ElleVet Sciences. “As your pet gets older, it’s important to be proactive in identifying the signs of aging, such as difficulty moving, trouble sleeping, and social isolation. It’s all about more time, and more quality time with your pet, and for them, aging and stress are intertwined so taking care of discomfort-related aging and cognitive decline can reduce their stress significantly.”
The concern shared by the survey respondents (and other pet parents nationwide) clearly illustrates how important our pets are in our lives. While 73% of those surveyed described their pet as their “protector,” they serve many other vital roles in our lives – our best friends, sounding boards, cheerleaders, motivators, and companions.
Your senior pet may require some changes around the home. Throw rugs can be used to provide traction on slippery floors. Safety gates are key for blocking off unsafe areas like staircases that could lead to injury.
Caring for our senior pets may be stressful, but it’s also an opportunity to repay our pets for everything they have given us throughout their lives.
Even just setting aside time in your schedule each day for a walk around the block followed by a short cuddle on the couch can positively impact their lives, reducing stress and promoting better health.
“Just like us, pets’ needs can change as they age, so their daily routines, diet, and exercise may need to be adjusted to improve their quality of life, as well as adding high-quality supplements,” Howland explained. “Small adjustments can ensure your pet’s golden years are less stressful for both themselves and their human companion.”
Britt Kascjak is a proud pet mom, sharing her heart (and her home) with her “pack” which includes her husband John, their 2 dogs – Indiana and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx. She has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around the country camping, hiking, and canoeing with her pets.
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