Pets win women's hearts on Valentine's Day

On Valentine's Day, more women really want a wet, slobbery kiss from a tail-wagger than a chocolate candy-carrying Romeo.

A new survey found that women would rather smooch with their pooch, than with their two-legged partner.


Of 4,300 U.S. pet parents who participated, 66 percent of women said they wanted Valentine's Day kisses from their pet, according to a Facebook survey by Petplan Pet Insurance.

But that's not all.  A full 67 percent of female pet parents would end a relationship with a significant other if their partner clashed with their pet. And 60 percent of women said they'd spend more money for Valentine's gifts to shower on their four-legged sweethearts.

And what did the guys say?

Nearly 60% of men said they would prefer kisses from their significant other, and nearly 70% plan to spend more money on their people partners.

Fewer than half of the men surveyed said they would leave a partner who didn’t connect with their pet.

Men and women both agree on this: their pets make terrific Cupids.

Some 68% of those polled say their dogs and cats bring them and their significant other closer. And the overwhelming majority (81%) of pet parents plan to give their four-legged family members a special gift for Valentine’s Day.

The survey results didn't surprise Natasha Ashton, co-founder of Petplan, the nation's largest pet insurance company. (I featured the company in a piece I wrote last year on the growing pet insurance market.)

"Women are as enamored of their pets as they ever were," she said."Pet parents will have their pets on their cell phone screensaver, not their husband or children."

Ashton should know, she's one of them.

(Full disclosure, so am I.)

According to survey results, pet owners are even doting on their "fur babies" on Valentine's Day (now we know why pet products are a $52 billion a year industry):

· 74% of pet owners plan to spend up to $25 on presents with 10% planning to spend even more

· 54% of pets will get a new toy

· 44% will feast on a special Valentine food/treat

· 6% will sport a Valentine accessory or clothing

Does that sound excessive? Those numbers are supported by a national retail survey that found one in five Americans said they plan to buy their pet a special something for Valentine's Day.

But in the end it's all about coming home to someone who's always happy to see you.

"It's a frenetic society," Ashton said. "Pets bring us peace and comfort that you don't get anywhere else."

(Photo/The Doggington Post)