Research shows that cat and dog owners try all kinds of methods, from behavior training to acupuncture therapy, to help their furry friends stay well.

Pets are our family members and best friends, so it's only right that we keep a close eye on their behaviors. According to a new survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Spot Pet Insurance, we observe our dogs and cats closely and regularly monitor them for unusual patterns. And when pet parents do notice something out of the ordinary, they take the steps necessary to bring their furry friend's physical and mental health back to baseline. The latter is a particular priority, noted the study: Nearly 58 percent of the participating pet owners welcomed another animal into their home so their first one could have a friend.

As for the study's other main takeaways? Researchers also discovered that 66 percent of the rescue owners involved attributed their pets' unusual behaviors to stress; 51 percent of the general pool shared that their new pets struggled socially, based on a lack of exposure to humans or their domestic lifestyles. The biggest breakthrough, though, is that a whopping 69 percent of the volunteers prioritized their pet's physical and mental health over their own.

woman petting cat lying on couch
Credit: disqis / Getty Images

However, 63 percent of the polled pet parents didn't know what to do, exactly, to help their canine and feline friends feel better. But they are trying: Forty percent take them to daycare if they do not work from home and 38 percent bring them to the office. Outside of work, 61 percent regularly play with them, 51 percent talk to them, and 50 percent simply prioritize quality time. Forty-one percent turn to behavioral training and 37 percent try acupuncture therapy to help their pets. "Holistic health isn't just for humans—we see more pet parents pursuing a range of health and wellness options for their pets today," said Trey Ferro, CEO at Spot Pet Insurance, in a statement. "That includes activities that keep pets mentally and emotionally healthy, like socialization and behavior training."

Those surveyed noted that they regularly ask for help to improve their pets' wellbeing: Sixty percent refer to their veterinarian, 48 percent go to online blogs, and 43 percent chat with other pet owners. "Having a community of pet parents to connect with and share advice with can help people tap into the joys of pet parenting," Ferro added. "Still, it's important to develop a relationship with your vet or pet health specialist so you can turn to them whenever you need serious pet health counsel."


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