Doggy Therapy for the Holidays

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Puppy Therapy

A new study by monthly pet-themed subscription service BarkBox shows all of the ways today’s generation of dog parents – especially Millennials – integrate their pups into holiday festivities, photos and gifting.

According to the study, 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 truer 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.

You may find all of this cute, or disturbing – but it is definitely a thing.

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