Study Finds That Humans Lean On Their Pups to Get Through the Holidays

The “most wonderful time of year” can be a stressful time for many humans. According to a new survey released today by BarkBox, the monthly box of toys and treats for dogs and their people, many Americans find solace from the dizzying array of holiday demands and longer visits with extended family through quality time with their dog.
  • 85% of dog people say their pup helps them cope with stressful events during the holiday season, including being around difficult family members (46%), arguments among family (33%) or going to extended family’s house (22%).
  • 40% of dog people have taken their dog for a walk or played with them to escape family during the holidays.
  • 43% are more excited to see their dog or their family dog during the holidays than their human family members. This is even more true of Millennials, singles and those who live in urban areas, with more than half getting more excited about time with their dog than their own flesh and blood.

Pups Snuggle Into Every Holiday Tradition

The study also polled dog people about the way they integrate their dog into holiday traditions and found that 9 out of every 10 includes their pup in holiday celebrations in some way.
  • 85% of dog people can’t imagine the holidays without their dog and nearly three out of four (74%) say some of their most significant holiday memories involve their dog.
  • The most popular ways dog people include their pup in traditions are special meals (58%), getting them a stocking (57%) and including them in their holiday photo shoot (56%).
  • One third of dog parents sign their pup’s name – or paw print – into their holiday cards.
  • Millennials with dogs are even more extreme, with one in every six saying that they have coordinated a matching outfit with their dog.
However, dogs do occasionally present some challenges during the holidays.
  • Nearly one in every three dog people (30%) say that their dog has destroyed a holiday gift or décor.
  • 29% say their dog has urinated on or knocked over the Christmas tree.

Dogs Get Presents Because They Appreciate Them

But America’s dog obsession doesn’t stop at holiday traditions and moral support in the season of giving.

  • 80% of dog people will buy their pup a gift this holiday season and 81% would be excited to receive a gift from someone else that really is meant for their dog.
  • 71% of dog people say their dog is the happiest receiver on their list.
These stats are only confirmed by the explosive growth of BarkBox. Since launching in 2012, BarkBox has shipped more than 50 million toys and treats to dearly loved pups in the U.S. and Canada. From the products to the packaging to the pics on social, BarkBox designs every piece of each month’s box to create insane joy for dogs. Every month’s box features a new theme for dogs and their people to sink their teeth into. Ski lodges and spaceships, Back to School and back to the dinosaurs. BarkBox themes let the dogs and people that subscribe see it all.
This latest study follows earlier surveys by BarkBox, which similarly looked at the way today’s modern generation of dog people do life with their dogs. A 2016 study found that nearly all American dog parents feel their pup has made them better a person in some way and will go to great lengths to make them happy. The company’s research, which was conducted by Kelton Global, also found that, on average, dog parents post about their dog on social media six times per week.
Learn more about BarkBox at
Study Methodology
The BarkBox Holiday Survey was conducted by Kelton Global between October 23rd and October 30th, 2017 among 1,024 Americans with dogs ages 18 and over, using an e-mail invitation and an online survey. 

About the Editor

Formerly an editor at Demand Media, writer at Citysearch, The Examiner and proofreader at The Los Angeles Daily News, Christy Scronce decided to start Disarray Magazine because she missed writing what she wanted. From hiring writers, to contacting publicists and making assignments, Christy is responsible for the editorial strategy of DisarrayMAG. 

When she’s not running Disarray, she’s consulting for Tigerlily Consultants, helping businesses with their content marketing and social media strategies. 

Categories: Events, news, Pets

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