Survey reveals pet parents’ biggest pet peeve

Are you touchy about being told how to raise your dog or cat? Don’t worry, you’re not the only pet parent with this pet peeve!

A fascinating survey conducted recently by, which featured anonymous responses from more than 650 pet parents, revealed a surprisingly intimate glimpse into the minds of pet parents and their honest thoughts towards their pets, their pet-less peers, and some of their biggest pet peeves.

The survey questions ran the gamut from provocative (Would you sell your pet for the right offer?) to pointed (Do you secretly hate people who are allergic to your pet?) to weirdly thought-provoking (Do you wish that your pet could talk, even if that meant it could gossip about you?).

But one interesting statistic stood out among the rest, perhaps because it’s so relatable, something we suspect that many of our fellow pet parents feel, but don’t often voice out loud.

Don’t tell me how to raise my dog

It’s a known fact that telling someone else how to raise their children opens you up to scorn, curses, and justifiable banishment. Less discussed, however, is how pet parents might feel about similar criticisms lobbed at them in regards to how they treat their beloved animals.

Well, let’s just say that it’s a good idea to hold your tongue the next time you feel like commenting on your friend’s poor choice in dog food or litter-box placement.

As it turns out, the majority of pet parents get pretty testy when told by others how to raise their pets. According to the survey, an overwhelming 73% of them respond negatively to any sort of unsolicited opinions on their pet-rearing abilities.

Of course, some of us take it more personally than others. The majority of the above 73% described feeling “a moderate amount” of anger when told how to raise their pets, while 39% claimed they feel “a great deal” of anger upon hearing unsolicited feedback or criticism. A smaller percentage said they were only bothered “a little,” though it’s clear that even a little bit of anger is enough to make you realize how unpleasant it is when someone questions your devotion to your pet.

Pet parents respond to these criticisms in varying degrees as well. Some become touchy at seemingly harmless recommendations, which can be interpreted as a personal affront to their love or caretaking abilities. For others, it takes unsolicited advice or explicit criticism to offend them.

Either way, it’s clear that pet parents don’t care for being second-guessed when it comes to the way they treat their animals. Pet parents, it turns out, don’t differ much from parents with human children in this respect.

And really, who can blame them?

Some other interesting finds

The Top10 survey revealed a whole host of unexpected and intimate thoughts that pet parents don’t usually express out loud. It’s worth checking out yourself, but here’s a peek at some other highlights we found interesting. How many can you relate to?

  • 14% of pet parents secretly hate people who are allergic to their pet
  • 75% of pet parents wouldn’t sell their pets no matter what the offer
  • 17% of pet parents are less likely to have kids because of their pets


Daniel Clinton is the editor-in-chief of He harnesses his background in journalism to oversee a talented team that brings consumers honest and clear insights about the latest products and trends. He is a Los Angeles native who loves food, travel, tech and the Lakers.