Pet owners lose 11 hours of sleep weekly worrying about their furry friends

NEW YORK — The average pet owner panics about their furry friend 72 times a year, a new poll revealsBetween incidents that have already happened, hypothetical situations that could happen, or fears about both, the survey of 2,000 American cat and dog owners reveals these panics happen about six times a month.

The most common pet panics happen when their companion throws up unexpectedly (52%), falls off a chair or couch (48%), or slips out of their leash while outside (45%). Other monthly situations include refusing to eat a meal (43%), not coming when calling their name (28%), not showing interest in playing with their toys (18%), or even escaping the house or yard (15%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Tractive, the survey results reveal that respondents worry about their pet’s well-being an average of three times per day, and they spend about five hours away from their four-legged friend on any given day.

Italian Greyhound
A new survey shows the most common pet panics are throwing up unexpectedly, falling off a chair or couch, or slipping their leash outside. (Credit: Photo by Chewy on Unsplash)

When their pet is home without them, pet parents fret about whether their pet is getting into something they’re not supposed to (68%), if their pet is sad because they’re gone (47%), if they’re hungry (45%), and even if they’ve gotten out of the house or yard (21%). Almost two in five (39%) admit they lose more than 11 hours of sleep each week worrying about their pet.

This may be because 15 percent are more concerned about their pet’s health issues than their own. Similarly, another 13 percent say they worry more about their pet’s well-being.

“Few things can bring as much joy or anxiety as owning a pet,” says spokesperson Andrew Bleiman, Executive Vice President of Tractive, in a statement. “GPS trackers help you find your pet fast when they run off and send you health alerts so you can catch potential issues early.”

More than one-third (37%) of pet owners say that their pet has escaped from their home on at least one occasion. Another 13 percent say they’ve had a false alarm regarding their pet escaping. Of those respondents, most took action right away and started calling friends and neighbors (56%) or posting on social media (54%). Other pet parents put up flyers (45%), called the local authorities (41%), and even accused other members of their household of letting their pets out (19%). While 38 percent simply panicked, a similar number (36%) admit they were unconcerned, as a solo “paw-trol” is a usual occurrence.

However, it took nearly an entire workday, or about seven hours, for the average respondent to locate their pet. Many pet owners found their four-legged friend nearby, including hiding in their neighbor’s yard (54%), under their home or patio (45%), or visiting with their neighbors (29%).

Other pets took their adventure more seriously and wound up miles away from home (54%), wandering down the street (43%), or even at a vet, police station, or shelter (36%).

Regardless of previous experience, three in five (60%) believe that their pet is likely to enjoy an overnight, outdoor excursion by themselves.

“Anyone who has lost a pet can tell you those minutes, hours or days were among the most stressful moments of their life. It’s important to take a layered approach to preventing lost pets, including ID tags, microchips and GPS tracking devices,” says Bleiman. “It’s encouraging to see people taking these steps proactively for their pet’s safety. Half (55%) of survey respondents said their pet was found because they were microchipped and scanned when brought to a shelter or vet, and 48% used a tracking device.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 cat and dog owners was commissioned by Tractive between Nov. 8 and Nov. 9, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

YouTube video

Follow on Google News

About the Author

StudyFinds Staff

StudyFinds sets out to find new research that speaks to mass audiences — without all the scientific jargon. The stories we publish are digestible, summarized versions of research that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate.

The contents of this website do not constitute advice and are provided for informational purposes only. See our full disclaimer


  1. As I walk in the country or along the coast, I tend to worry more about the furry things in the undergrowth and the birds watching me from the fenceposts, or the denizens of the sea feasting on our plastic, and wonder how they make ends meet while humans are fawning over their dogs. I was just listening to a radio program that reported how people are queuing up to buy treats, professional ‘pampering’ and Christmas presents for their pets (and then how SUVs are getting bigger and bigger). Makes a break from climate change, atrocities in Israel, body bags in Gaza, ballistic missiles in Ukraine, young people sleeping on the streets, and – oh yes – our cost of living and energy poverty crises.

  2. I’m 77 now, and only have 2 dogs and 4 cats, but when my 4 sons were growing up they each had a dog of their own and I had an Olde English Sheepdog, (Lady Pamela Wembelton). My husband abandoned all of us to have a love affair with a bottle of bourbon. He never even showed up for the divorce. It was decreed that he pay a token child support of $50 a month total for all 4 of his sons, but we never saw a penny. I worked 1 full-time and 1 part-time job for 14 years. On my half days off I cooked meals for the week for my sons, including breakfasts of French toast that I would freeze so they could just pop them in the toaster before school and lot of laundry. However, IF it hadn’t been for the dogs they had to teach them responsibility, devotion and love, I don’t think my sons would have had a chance to turn out to be the real men they are today. So, to this very day, the most I sleep every night is 5 hours because habits are hard to break, but animals are sooo worth it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *