How to tell if you love your pet more than people

How to tell if you love your pet more than people


Do you sometimes wonder if you are alone in loving your pet as much as, if not more, than you love people? 

How can you tell if this is the case? Pawshake conducted a survey recently amongst 1,500 pet owners, and it turns out, loving your pet as much as the people around you is a very normal feeling.

Our study found that there are five key areas which demonstrate the love we have and the importance our pets have on our life decisions. How many of these areas do you include your pet in when making choices?

  • Dating
  • Family Life
  • Work-Life
  • Social Life 
  • Holidays

Read on to find out what we uncovered from our survey - the results may or may not surprise you!


Do you find yourself making dating decisions based on the pet as well as the partner? Our study found that pets are a major factor in who we choose to date (or not date). In fact, 85% of pet owners say they wouldn’t stay in a relationship or even be friends with someone if their pet didn’t like them, or they didn’t like their pet.

Is your phone full of pictures of your pet? This is also completely normal: we found that less than 1% of pet owners have a majority of pictures of their partner on their phone. This is opposed to a whopping 74% having mainly pictures of their pets on their phone.

Is this a trend? We reached out to Tatum Brown, Founder of the Dog Social Company, who said ‘pets are part of the family, so when making decisions that could potentially impact them, they must be considered. Like myself, many people are choosing pet companionship over children, and therefore direct their love and attention accordingly.’

Family Life

There is no clearer example of our love for pets than in modern family life. If you greet your pet before people when you arrive home from work, you are among the 93% of Australians who have admitted to this!

The Pawshake study also found that there's a trend towards adopting a pet rather than having a baby: with 78% of Australians thinking that owning pets can be a substitute for having kids.

‘We’ve seen a significant change in the pet ownership space in Australia recently, with the line between children and pets becoming more and more blurred’ says John Bishop, Co-Founder and Joint CEO of Pet Rescue.

"It’s no surprise to me that more people these days are just having a four-legged baby to complete their family’ says Lara Shannon, the founder and presenter of Channel 10 television program Pooches at Play.

At social gatherings, I find it is rare for human baby photos to be shared around, with most people I meet getting out their phones to show me pictures of their dogs. I don’t even remember the last time someone showed me a picture of a human baby!’


Pets have a real, significant impact on productivity and happiness at work. Even though they are not present, pets have a real, significant impact on productivity and happiness at work. 

In fact, a massive 96% of Australians would take a day off if their pet was sick or injured and 72% of Australians daydream about their pet at work. Of course, this is a major reason why many people use a pet sitter or dog walker if they work full-time.

Pet-friendly workspaces are also a big deciding factor on where many people choose to work, with 72% of Australians saying they would choose a job based on being able to bring their pet to the office.

Social Life

If you find yourself arranging social events and plans around your pets, this is very common. We found that 79% of pet owners will change their plans in order to accommodate their pets, with preferences given to cafes or locations that are pet-friendly.

Do you celebrate special occasions with your pet? 77% of pet owners also include their pets as part of holiday celebrations by buying them treats and gifts. 

A further 80% revealed that they also celebrate their pet’s birthday. Popular birthday celebrations include special treats, special birthday songs, home-cooked meals and extra toys. Some pet owners might go so far as to throw birthday parties with invitations to other fur-pals, custom-made cakes, balloons and even a special holiday trips are just some of the ways pet owners choose to spoil their furry friend.

Jason, owner of pet bakery Woof Gateaux, says ‘Birthday celebrations that we cater for now are so extravagant that some ask for custom 3 tier themed cake with a 30+ fur friends guest list all dressed up, with all bringing gifts and personalised handwritten cards for their pals, with even a birthday song sing-along by all.”


If you worry about your pet while you are on holiday, you aren’t alone: with a massive 95.2% of pet owners fretting about their pet when they are away. Thankfully, receiving daily updates from a trusted pet sitter is one way to prevent this holiday stress.

And if the sky was the limit and their pet could come to any holiday destination, popular dream locations include anywhere Hawaii, New Zealand, the Gold Coast and Greece. Jetpets has noticed a huge increase in people taking their pets on interstate holidays with them, particularly over the summer period. Jetpets spokesperson Jenna Matheson said, “in recent years, we have seen a spike in return domestic flights being booked for pets over the Christmas period, as lucky dogs and cats travel to wherever the family summer holiday spot may be.”

So, in a nutshell: there’s no need to feel guilty or strange if your life revolves around your pet! This is a perfectly normal part of modern pet ownership and is just a reflection of the love and respect many of us have for the animals in our lives. 

Take away the stress or worry while you are at work or on holiday. Find a Pawshake pet sitter to drop in and visit your pets, walk or board your dogs. With thousands of pet sitters in Australia, you and your pet are bound to find the perfect match.