Confide in Fido! Nearly half of dog owners turn to their canines over family for comfort

LOS ANGELES — Dogs have been considered man’s best friend for hundreds of years, but according to a recent survey, they may also be man’s (or woman’s) best therapist.

Conducted by Wag!, a mobile dog-walking app, a survey of more than 2,000 pet parents found that 44% of respondents would rather turn to their dog for emotional support than talk about their feelings with a family member.

Dogs also appear to be the center of affection for many families as well, with 38% of respondents admitting that the family dog is the “person” they show the most love or attention to in their household. For reference, 31% of respondents said they show the most affection towards their own children and 23% reported giving their spouse or significant other the most attention/affection.

Judging by the results of the survey, its clear that dogs bring a lot of joy into the lives of their owners, and often times owners choose to express that joy in unique ways. For example, nearly one-third of dog parents surveyed said they would at least consider getting a tattoo for their dog, and 15% said they already have one. As far as tattoo choices go, paw prints were the most popular choice with 44%, then portraits with 27%, followed closely by pet names with 26%.

The majority of pet owners also enjoy celebrating their dog’s birthday in one way or another. A whopping 88% of respondents say they treat their dog to a special birthday meal or treat, 60% say they usually buy a birthday gift, and 25% say they throw an entire birthday party for their dog.

The survey also revealed an interesting new trend among dog owners; many owners feel the need to check in on their furry friend throughout the course of day, with 19% reporting they have purchased some type of camera to keep an eye on their dog while not at home.