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More than half of dog owners say there are days when they love their pet more than their spouse, partner or significant other.

Vancouver, BC – More than half of British Columbia’s dog owners have chosen not to attend a party or gathering because they lacked a sitter for their pet, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 58% of BC’s dog owners say they have missed out on an event because there was nobody who could take care of their pet.

BC’s dog owners are extraordinarily fond of their pets, with 99% saying they consider their dog as part of their family and 54% saying are days when they love their dog more than their spouse, partner or significant other (including 57% of women).

Four-in-five dog owners (80%) say they would not date or marry a person who did not like their dog. A canine is not a deal breaker for non-dog owners, as 73% of them say they would date or marry a person who had a dog.

Two thirds of BC’s dog owners (69%) say they are satisfied with the amenities that their municipality provides for dogs, including 78% of men, 74% of those aged 35-to-54 and 80% of those who live on Vancouver Island.

There are some striking differences on questions related to personal behaviour. While 95% of BC’s dog owners say they always pick up after their dog, 93% of non-dog owners say they have seen pet owners not picking up. Also, while three-in-four dog owners (75%) say they always make sure that their dog is leashed when it is outside, 96% of non-dog owners say they have seen unleashed dogs.

Also, while 41% of BC’s dog owners have bought clothing for their dog, only 18% of non-dog owners would do so.


“British Columbia’s dog owners undoubtedly express a deep-seated love for their pets,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “However, as indicated by many non-dog owners, this love should not be used as a licence to overlook existing waste and leashing regulations.”

Both dog owners and non-dog owners are in agreement on two issues: whether dogs can express how they are feeling (96% and 93% respectively) and whether dogs can tell how people feel and treat them accordingly (86% and 90% respectively).

Three-in-ten British Columbians (31%) have a dog in their home, including 35% of women, 35% of those aged 35-to-54 and 38% of those in households earning more than $100,000 a year. Most of these owners have only one dog at home (69%), but 25% have two dogs, and 6% have three or more dogs.

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from July 24 to July 29, 2016, among a representative sample of 879 British Columbian adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.3 percentage points. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West

Photograph: Corey, Office Dog at Insights West