Pet Psychology

According to Scientific American Mind, the type of pet you adopt is indicative of exclusive and differentiating behaviors.

Our definition of Pet in this context is an animal kept primarily for companionship. Nearly two-thirds [71%] of Americans own a pet and invest a significant amount toward their health and care, an estimated $58 billion annually.


What does your pet say about you?

According to a study of over 2,000 respondents, the following list provides differentiating behaviors by the type of pet you own (all data presented is as compared to other pet owners):

If you have a DOG, you are more likely to:
Work in Senior Management
Consider your Pet a Family Member
Life with Family Members (not alone)
Be *Extroverted, *Agreeable, & *Conscientious (*peer reviewed)

If you have a CAT, you are more likely to:
Work as a Physician, Scientist, Machine Operator, or Caretaker
Be Divorced/Widowed/Separated
Hold a *College Degree (*peer reviewed)
Be Less Socially Dominant

If you have a HORSE, you are more likely to:
Hold an Advanced Degree
Be Married
If Male: Aggressive & dominant; If Female: Nonaggressive & easy-going
Be a Homeowner

Additional behavior correlations: Owners of unusual pets (such as ferrets) are more likely to own many pets; Dog owners are most likely to have only one. Snake owners are most likely to describe themselves as ‘neat & tidy,’ whereas fish owners are most likely to describe themselves as emotionally stable.

As Scientific American Mind points out, individual differences are always present. That is, some dog owners are reserved and some cat owners are boisterous. As this data is statistically sound, it can differ from you personally, but is representative of pet owners in the US.

Whatever your observations, animal companions are integral to how we view the world and importantly, how we view ourselves. Research studies continually affirm how the unconditional love and affection pets provide (yes, cats included!) keep us healthier and happier. Comparatively, pet owners have lower heart rates, fewer sick days and doctor visits, manage stress more effectively, exercise more often, and likely due to the aforementioned, live longer!

Whether your preferences lean toward canine or feline, or even reptile, health advice from the researcher’s lens: Adopt and thrive!


Power of Pets:
Pets & Happiness:

Pets & Human Health:

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 at 2:16 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.