About 85 percent of respondents also said that their pet gives them support, love, and companionship.

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Our dogs and cats are far more than just pets; many of us consider these four-legged friends to be members of our families. And just like we all do for our loved ones, pet owners make sure to prioritize caring for their cats and dogs. According to a new survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of natural pet food brand Stella and Chewy's, your pets are actually taking care of you in return. Seven out of ten Americans noted in the survey that their own wellness habits improved just by being attentive to their pets' needs.

woman outside exercising with dog
Credit: Vesnaandjic / Getty Images

Of the 2,000 American pet parents surveyed, 67 percent of people said that they prioritize their pet over themselves and that the pets did help counteract this by boosting their owners' lives in specific ways. Over 70 percent of pet parents explained that their four-legged companions helped reduce their stress, depression, and anxiety while 62 percent noted that they helped them exercise (specifically by taking the pets out for walks and playing together). Furthermore, 44 percent of pet owners explained that they became more aware of the food they would consume on a daily basis because of how they cared for their pets.

But a key part of the pet-parent relationship really does come down to plain and simple love. About 85 percent of the survey respondents said that their pet gives them support, love, and companionship. An additional 83 percent of people said that they felt most grateful to have their pet as their rock during hard times.

"The results of this survey further emphasize what we already know to be true: our pets are our family," said Stella & Chewy's CEO Marc Hill. "The bond we share with them is strong, and our pets provide us with so much joy and emotional support on a daily basis. It is imperative that we reciprocate that love by showing them how much they mean to us, too."

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