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A New Fur-Ever Love: Pet Parents Prefer to Spend Time with Pets Over People, According to New MetLife Pet Insurance Survey

As Feb. 14th approaches, nearly half of pet parents prefer their pet over a person as their Valentine

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, pet parents around the country are replacing flowers and chocolates with kibble and chew toys. MetLife Pet Insurance’s new Pet Parent Pulse Survey reveals many people prioritize their furry friends over their human connections, with eight-in-ten pet parents revealing they’d rather spend time with a pet than go on a first date. What’s more – 42% of pet parents surveyed said they would rather have their pet as their Valentine instead of a person.

Pets are more than just animal companions. Most respondents (78%) consider their pet to be their child, with 69% stating they love their pet more than some family members.

“Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day – and comes in many forms,” said Brian Jorgensen, Head of Pet Insurance at MetLife. “Our recent MetLife Pet Insurance survey reveals just how special the companionship and connection between pets and their parents are. In fact, nearly one in six respondents said they tell their pet they love them more than they tell their partner!”

As part of the survey findings, single pet parents were more likely than married pet parents to prefer pet companionship to human interaction (82% to 75%, respectively). Additionally, Millennials (25-40-year-olds) were also more likely than older pet parents to prefer spending free time with their pets instead of people (83% of Millennials compared to 71% of pet parents aged 57 and up). Divorced/separated pet parents, by contrast, were most split in their perspective, with just over half indicating they would prefer a pet Valentine over a human one.

While there is no question that the bond between pet parents and their animal companions is strong, over half of pet parents (54%) worry about being able to care for their pet in the future with current economic uncertainties. Pets can be expensive – beyond the Valentine’s Day gifts. The average pet parent will spend just under $1,500 a year, with the biggest expense after food being vet care. To support these pet parents, MetLife Pet Insurance offers an array of pet insurance plans that allow them to take the steps necessary to safeguard their pet’s health while also easing their financial burden.

“Every year, Valentine’s Day serves as a loving reminder to spend time with those we care about most. As our survey shows, this includes pets,” Jorgensen explains. “One of the greatest acts of love a pet parent can take is to ensure the health and safety of their pet. MetLife Pet Insurance provides pet parents with the support they need to care for their pet without breaking the bank.”

To learn more about pet insurance, visit To get a customized quote to meet your pet’s needs, click here.

Research Methodology

On behalf of MetLife Pet Insurance, CITE Research ( conducted an online survey among 1,001 U.S. adult pet parents in January 2023. Respondents were screened to be at least 18 years of age and currently own a pet.

About CITE Research

CITE Research Inc. is a tactical global market research firm specializing in quantitative and qualitative market research. We empower our clients with dynamic research targeting the platforms that matter most for brands on a global scale. A strategic partner to Fortune 500, non-profits and start-ups, our research solutions help companies reach and engage consumers, influencers, customers, analysts, and media. For more information, please call 646-206-9017 or visit

About MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions, LLC

MetLife Pet coverage is underwritten by Metropolitan General Insurance Company, a Rhode Island company, or Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware company. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the administrator for this coverage. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois). For more information, visit


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