How Much Time does Owning a Dog Take?
Does It Take Over Your Life?
What Do You Get Out of It?
I recently conducted a survey among PWD owners regarding how much time it takes to own a dog. Here are some interesting results. Bear in mind that this includes dogs of all ages—the initial care, socializing and training for a puppy is even more time-consuming.
On average, respondents spent 50.8 hours per week in dog-related activities. Of that total, 20.3 hours, or 40%, are spent in maintenance of their dogs. Maintenance duties include feeding, grooming, exercising, basic training, etc. That time is spent in approximately 2 hours per day for routine maintenance, and 6 others per week in attending training classes or vet appointments, etc. That doesn’t include shopping for dog food and supplies, travel time, cleaning (vacuuming) etc. Do you have 20 hours or more a week that isn’t already committed?
Responses to the questions regarding non-maintenance dog-related activities such as attending dog shows, education and research, e-mail lists, etc. ranged from 8 to 55 hours per week.
The impact of dog ownership on total social life is dramatic. On average, respondents spent 45.2% of their social life in dog-related activities. This compares to an average of 27.3% work-related, 23.1% family-related, 20.6% community/church/school-related, and 33.1% on other activities, primarily involving friends or other leisure interests.
Dog ownership does appear to be a life-long leisure pursuit. Analysis shows that 85% of the respondents had been under the age of 25 when they first acquired a dog. Since 89% were in the 40 to 55 year age range, most of them had been dog owners for at least 15 years. The respondents were also beyond the general child rearing years.
In an open-ended question, respondents were asked to provide the three most important benefits accruing to them personally through their dog ownership. Findings on personal benefits were as follows:
96% -- Companionship
56% -- Socializing with other dog owners
52% -- Acceptance and love
37% -- Entertainment
33% -- Impact on family life
30% -- Increased exercise
22% -- Personal achievement
Other benefits mentioned were sharing (service work such as therapy dog visiting and search and rescue), stress reduction, travel, reflections on values and spirituality, protection and security, and nurturing.