RightPet, an online resource for pet owners to access a wealth of information and expert advice on pet health, wellness and behavioral concerns, announced the findings of its eight-year pet ownership study. Most notably, the study discovered personality and gender differences between cat and dog people and that children between the ages of 10 and 17 years old say they get more satisfaction owning pet rats than cats or dogs.
The RightPet study surveyed nearly 17,000 pet owners across 113 nations, who shared detailed reviews of the specific breeds and species of animals they currently own, previously owned or have worked with. The survey also included a scientifically-validated personality quiz, which measured participant’s personality traits, using the Big Five (or Five-Factor) model of personality dimensions.
“Today’s data-loving pet owners and future pet parents can use RightPet to find what pet best matches their experience, lifestyle, preferences and personality. More importantly, we use RightPet’s growing data to help pet owners make evidence-based health, behavior and wellness choices for their new best friend each step of the way as they grow together,” said Brett Hodges, founder of RightPet.
Key findings include:
- Children and Teens Enjoy Owning Rats More than any other Pet: Adults who previously owned, and children who own or have owned, animals between the ages of 10 and 17 years old rated satisfaction with pet rats higher than any other type of pet, including dogs and cats.
- Women vs. Men on the “Dogs vs. Cats” Debate: Women like cats more than dogs. In contrast, men like cats and dogs the same.
- Dog Owners Are Generally Happier with Large Dogs: Women and men are both more satisfied with larger dog breeds than small breeds. This is especially true for men, who are happiest with large and giant dog breeds.
- For People Open to New Experiences: Pet owners who score high in the personality trait of “openness” tend to be more satisfied with dogs than cats.
- Moody and Anxious Men Don’t Care Much for Cats: Men who experience a lot of negative emotions tend to be less satisfied with cats than more emotionally-stable men (i.e., ones who experience fewer negative emotions). In contrast, moody and anxious women tend to enjoy cats just as much as their more emotionally-stable peers.
- The Least Favorite Pets to Own: Based on 32 types of pet and livestock animals included in the survey, geese and scorpions are the least satisfying animals to own
“Many people view their pets as family members. But pets are family members that we get to choose,” said Nathan W. Hudson Ph.D. “The RightPet study was designed to understand the extent to which individual differences, such as personality, gender, and age, predict how satisfied people are with different types and breeds of animals as pets.”